Tag Archives: 50

Outside King’s Cross, late

Tuesday 28th January 2020, 10.30pm (day 3,078)

King's Cross late, 28/1/20

London approaches its century of appearances on the blog: this is number 91, and going on my usual frequency of visits here, it’ll hit the milestone before 2020 is out. Tonight I’m just passing through, but it has made for a more leisurely journey than if I’d started from home tomorrow. And yes — the various signs and stickers on that fire exit over there do annoy me.

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Garden on Foster Lane

Monday 27th January 2020, 11.35am (day 3,077)

On Foster Lane, 27/1/20

A brief interlude at home in Hebden, between trips. It still refuses to get particularly wintry. I have always liked this garden, passed on the way to the shops from our house: it is past due an appearance here. Today it can have its moment.

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Just another day on Northern Rail

Sunday 26th January 2020, 12.10pm (day 3,076)

Smoky train, 26/1/20

An illustration of how it is on public transport in the north of England at the present time. After making it back from Northern Ireland as far as Manchester Victoria, the (20 minutes late running) service to Heben Bridge apparently bursts  into flames as it couples up with another couple of carriages. And the thing is, we all just shrugged out shoulders and ignored it. And then the carriages left anyway. This is how Keystone Kops it has really got.

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In the Ulster Museum

Saturday 25th January 2020, 10.30am (day 3,075)

Ulster museum. 25/1/20

One of those shots which is a nice arrangement but the OCD in all of us goes, couldn’t you have straightened up the goddamn chairs. Really.

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Weather warning

Friday 24th January 2020, 10.05pm (day 3,074)

Belfast rain warning, 24/1/20

The blog’s first trip to Northern Ireland, and only my third. Has it been as wet as this neon display suggests? No — or not yet, anyway.

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Snowdonia (probably)

Thursday 23rd January 2020, 3.15pm (day 3,073)

Snowdonia cloudscape, 23/1/20

Up in the air again, from Manchester airport heading roughly north-west, though not very far (so if you want, you can deduce where I travelled to before I post from t/here tomorrow). Not long after take off, visual interest was added to the flight to the south, where this cloudscape revealed itself. I wasn’t sure at the time where this might be but a subsequent look at the map suggests the hills in the background must be Snowdonia, in the north-west corner of Wales. It’s the general golden wash that I like about this photo, however. Far better weather up there than down on the ground today — as is often the case, of course.

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January afternoon

Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 3.10pm (day 3,072)

January afternoon, 22/1/20

One of those days that was spent sat at home, marking.¬† On such days, photographically, I’m glad my house has a view. It’s been a mild winter thus far, which doubtless some will attribute to climate change but frankly I think Britain always does have these, every few years: the last really mild one was 2013-14. But then again maybe some east wind will cover us in snow in March, as happened in 2018….

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The best place in Stalybridge

Tuesday 21st January 2020, 6.20pm (day 3,071)

Stalybridge station buffet, 21/1/20

Stalybridge railway station’s buffet bar is perfectly preserved in its early 20th-century state, with no sense of tweeness or fakery: it is also provides the best beer for miles around. As a result of both these things it is locally, and perhaps even nationally, famous. You will not find a better pub at a railway station anywhere else that I know of.

Which means you can experience the best of Stalybridge without ever leaving platform 4 of its station, because it’s not really a place one wants to get to know better. Trust me.

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Abingdon Street, reopened

Monday 20th January 2020, 10.00am (day 3,070)

Abingdon Street, reopened, 20/1/20

Abingdon Street is one of the keys to making my walk between Victoria station and my office as peaceful and traffic-free as is possible. In summer 2018 it was closed off, to allow for the building of the latest boutique hotel that Manchester city centre doesn’t need. This annoyed me so much that I specifically moaned about it, twice, in the manuscript of the book I wrote on sabbatical last year (due out in March, apparently). However, last week it looked as if preparations were being made for its reopening and today I got to walk the length of it again for the first time in 18 months. Thankfully, despite the concrete carbuncle now stood at one end, it remains as peaceful and traffic-free as before. Welcome back. These are the little things that matter, sometimes.

Not that I’ll be using it again for a couple of weeks — I’m not back in Manchester for work for a fortnight.

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By Bordesley station, Sunday morning

Sunday 19th January 2020, 9.05am (day 3,069)

Bedford Road, Birmingham, 19/1/20

Another very beautiful (but frosty) winter’s morning, part of which we spent walking from our hotel back to New Street station through a near-deserted Birmingham city centre. I don’t know this place well; it seems a strange mix of time periods, blocks of urban desolation suddenly becoming US-style skyscraper downtown and then a bit further on, leafy suburbia. Anyway, this shot relies on two things: the narrow slot between two small road signs and the flare effect having behaved itself well.

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