Fishing from the beach

Saturday 21st November 2020, 12.30pm (day 3,376)

Fleetwood beach, 21/11/20

An all-too-welcome excuse to get out and about was offered today — yes Mr Johnson it counted as ‘essential travel only’, so call off the wolves. The destination was a new one for me, Fleetwood, standing at the corner of Morecambe Bay and thus with a magnificent view that could not possibly be captured in a single camera shot. This one’s OK, I like it because of the fishermen (appropriate for the town, whose football team, Fleetwood Town, are known as the ‘Cod Army’) and also the bird which gives a nice touch. The weather was a lot better than it looks here, too. Anyway — an escape, for a while.

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Bernard joins us for a drink

Friday 20th November 2020, 5.30pm (day 3,375)

Ginge by the river, 20/11/20

To stop the walls closing in any more than they already are I’ve been making a point of sitting out in a spot by the river in the early evenings, when the weather allows. Just to take some air, watch the ducks (my post of a few days ago was taken from this same point), have a couple of beers. Feel human. Clare joined me for this one and so, for 15 minutes or so, did fellow ex-Railway habituĂ© Bernard, who happened to be passing with a bottle of his own. We talked. As much as anything, we just enjoyed the fact we could see someone else’s face, for real.

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White elephant?

Thursday 19th November 2020, 9.35am (day 3,374)

Oddfellows Hall & MECD, 19/11/20

The vast MECD, or Manchester Engineering Campus Development, is pretty much finished. In embryonic form it was first depicted way back in early January 2018. It now dwarfs the old Oddfellows Hall, which it has part-swallowed, yet what you see rising here is only a small part of the whole.

Thing is — and I am very sure that, having spent hundreds of millions of pounds on this new plaything, the senior management of UoM are keenly aware of this point — is this now the whitest and most mammoth of white elephants? And what of all the blocks of new student accommodation, and hotels, and office blocks, and all the other city-centre property developments that global capital has been poured into over the last decade or so? If you think the economy’s taken a Covid hit thus far, wait for the whole global commercial property market to go tits-up. This piece of economic elastic does not have infinite tolerance. I predict we’ll be coaxed back out into our offices soon enough: if not, they’ll hear the crash on Pluto.

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Vinyl remnants

Wednesday 18th November 2020, 5.55pm (day 3,373)

Vinyl remnants, 18/11/20

A turntable has made a reapperance in our house for the first time in twenty years, so we’ve been digging out some of the old records that survived the Great Vinyl Cull of the 1990s (I was a student, I needed the money, I regret it now, sure). And it’s been an excuse to pick up some new material as well, including that of the very fine band seen to top — previous blog stars themselves. I wonder what music will, in the end, emerge from this time of paralysis, or what art of any kind.

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Wood fungus

Tuesday 17th November 2020, 2.25pm (day 3,372)

Wood fungus, 17/11/29.

Another deeply unexciting day. At the moment, this fungus probably has more of a social life than the whole human population of the UK. I chose this shot because I like the stately swelling of the grey trunk to either side; but the fungus has made it inside, and looks there to stay.

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Kitchen duties

Monday 16th November 2020, 8.50pm (day 3,371)

Clare, Joe, kitchen, 16/11/20

3,371 days into this blog (nine years, two months and 22 days) and I am buggered if I am going to let this profoundly boring and pointless period see it peter out through sheer lack of interest. But it’s not very interesting, is it. This is the true impact of this bloody virus. It’s made the world so goddamn boring, suddenly. (With no offence meant to my family members, pictured here, who are about the only things that are keeping me sane.)

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Path no more

Sunday 15th November 2020, 12.40pm (day 3,370)

Crosby dunes, 15/11/20

As good an illustration of the encroachment of sand dunes as you could show to a geography class. That sign is of current design and cannot have been there all that long, but of the ‘shared path’ which it once indicated, there is now no other evidence at all.

The docks are those of Liverpool, by the way. Did I stay at home today? Nope.

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Wall artist, in blue

Saturday 14th November 2020, 2.05pm (day 3,369)

Blue graffiti, 14/11/20

I thought as I walked past this guy, at first, that his facial mask was somewhat excessive even for the present. Then I saw what he was doing. It’s a way of stopping people painting ‘JOHNSON OUT’ on this wall, at least.

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Duckwatching

Friday 13th November 2020, 3.25pm (day 3,368)

Ducks, 13/11/20

As government policy and public fear continue to ravage our lives and economies, I speculate as to what kind of future awaits, and ahead there’s an old-man version of me that just wanders through our empty town each afternoon to spend time watching the ducks. They are peaceful, good-looking creatures, they clearly have some basic society, with obvious couples, occasional spats and arguments, and an ability to understand and make use of the dynamics of water flow for their own personal edification. This duck seems proud of her own drake and watches the other two parade past in much the same way as might a haughty woman sat outside a cafĂ©. To my eyes, anyway. There is little else to look at right now.

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A house of doors

Thursday 12th November 2020, 9.30am (day 3,367)

Riverside shed, 12/11/20

Well, it’s not a house in the sense that anyone lives here — at least, not yet (wait a couple of years and this might be the only thing round here that many people can afford). Spotted on one of my random walks around the local area that are the only meaningful activity available to us right at the moment.

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