Here’s 1960s town planning for you. Build a concrete monstrosity of a street in the centre of your city, with a car park on top of it, and name it after a female character from that city’s history who was alluring enough to appeal to its most dashing hero. Maid Marian’s appeal is at least hinted at by whomever decorated the wall, but that’s scant consolation.
This one is here more because I like the shapes and patterns than anything else. But I suppose there’s an ongoing sense of frustration at the remnants of lockdown, which hangs around like an irritating guest at a party that can’t get started with him there. We are in the ‘we’re doing it because we said three months ago that we would’ stage, as far as Authority goes — for of course, they cannot be seen to have changed their minds. Going on the front pages of the papers today even the media are not bothered any more. But Mytholmroyd station car park remains largely unused.
The establishment in question is located somewhere round here but that sign isn’t pointing to it. Instead it just presides over a mostly empty car park, where there should be signs of visitors, shoppers, people just hanging out in the town centre on a Saturday.
One of the lies we’ve been sold over the last year centres around the notion of ‘essentia’ and ‘non-essential’ retail. Amazon can compel their drones to go work in warehouses that are centres of virus transmission, but I am not allowed to patronise a local bookshop, nor to buy a pair of shoes. This has been an unparalleled opportunity to shaft small businesses, one the Tories (backed up by Labour, who are even worse) have taken with glee, while puttng on their concerned face, and telling us it’s all for our own good. Not if you are a business owner, I imagine. But that’s OK, we can just blame them for ‘not adapting’, like not inventing a way to get nails done online. Sorry to break out into this again, but there’ll be weeks more of this crap yet.
My penultimate day in Manchester, 2020. A year which has had fewer such days than expected. How often does the place display its appalling street drainage? I think this is a big contributor to the city’s reputation for wetness.
My Manchester colleague Lee skulks around the Uni of Melbourne’s underground car park waiting to be picked up. So to speak. Melbourne’s seventh shot in a row, and there’ll be a few more yet: a period of stability, place-wise, after a long run of moving around — the period 8th March to 4th April featured 21 different places.
Altrincham Street marks one of the edges of the Manchester campus. Officially, it ends just behind where this shot was taken: here, we are looking through a gate that blocks off this extension, squeezing itself through the gap between the car park and the (overcrowded and inadequate) cross-Manchester railway line on the right. Why this shot, and the second monochrome shot in a row? I just like the perspectives. And it’s a kind of non-space, forgotten, unused. In some cities there’d be a whole thriving community down here.
After a few weeks of getting out and about, my 49th birthday was spent at home in Hebden Bridge, and this is the weather that greeted it. I’m sure it’s not a metaphor for my advancing years…. but it was rather a wet blanket (OK, that’s a metaphor). Onward, anyway, onward with my fiftieth year on the planet (good grief). But the travelling is over for a little while.
After three days in a rather blue theme, let’s go monochrome, which seems somehow fitting for the fact I was in work so early this morning this car park hadn’t even begun filling up. Still, it’s my only day in Manchester this week, so let’s be acceptant of it all.
It was the city of Derby I was heading to last night for my evening out, and a very good evening out I had. Having not been there (blog-wise) before I was keen for the place to feature on the blog as the latest new location, but walking through it back to the railway station this morning, it really did feel like a very nondescript place. All car showrooms, parking lots and industrial estates. So the above is pretty much the best you’ll get of Derby on a Sunday morning. Sorry.