A whole house has appeared upstairs — a desirable property, it seems, albeit one in need of restoration, and unfurnished. It looks like the wife is on a restoration project. Quite possibly this will be on the office floor until 2026, or thereabouts.
Another one of those shots that is basically an attempt to achieve some kind of perfect symmetry. Of course we are all imperfect beings so once again I cannot quite achieve it. I did wonder about asking the bloke at the back to move one seat to his left but perhaps he is the essential element that sets off everything else. Taken about fifteen minutes before our group presented at the conference — a few more people than him did turn up, honestly.
This was a busy scene earlier in the day but by dusk, things are packing up. A blob of drizzle that I did not spot in time would normally be grounds to reject the shot but here it provides a kind of ghostly highlight for the last remaining bits and pieces that are heading into the storage shed behind. I like the little ‘eyes’ peeking out over things on the left, too.
Wednesday 14th September 2022, 10.40am (day 4,038)
I was just passing, honest. The crowd who were in the foyer of University Place next door were doubtless heading here shortly after I did so, ready to spoil the pristine purpleness of the carpet, at least. But I’m sure the posters were interesting.
Recently, Britons have been staying at home because a computer program — which they are not obliged to install — has been telling them to. As a consequence, holes appear in the supply chain, not of everything — you can see there’s still plenty of booze on the shelves — but of certain things. This is the crisp and snack aisle at the Co-op. All that remains are two tubes of Pringles and an anomalous, lonely tup of Chupa Chips. A First World problem for sure, but nevertheless, a bizarre demonstration of the Butterfly Effect if you ask me. Someone designs an app in a certain way; a few months later, there are no crisps, tinned tomatoes or frozen vegetables available for purchase.
After a good and enjoyable weekend — the comedown. Rain all day and the streets of Manchester still empty, this is a city with a lot of ‘recovery’ needed; and at the moment it’s not happening. From next week there’s more of a chance but there are a lot of political interests who, seemingly, would rather it didn’t — for whatever reason. “The struggles of the past have resulted in great gains”, quotes the Guardian (via its sponsored deckchair). Not this one, so far.
Booth Street, Manchester. This is the most public of workplaces, floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor. It has lain empty for 15 months now. Today, the lights were on — yet still no sign of occupancy. The ‘evacuation point’ sign seems somehow meaningful.
I’m not an economic expert, but I’ve been observing. Just audible at the moment, over the general silence of our cities, is a quiet but ominous creaking. If the arbitrary closures go on any longer than December 2nd, and the busiest month of the year is taken away from businesses like shops and pubs, expect to lose most of the independently-owned ones by March. I think Boris Johnson knows this, but the question is whether he cares enough.
The schools are shut for half-term, there are no trains to Manchester and it rained most of the day. Hebden Bridge is back in lockdown almost by default. It’s a depressing time, a silence hangs over the place that is unnatural and wrong.
This is Leeds railway station, at what should be peak time on a Saturday morning.
You may think this desperately depressing scene is justified and necessary. I do not. When a crime has been committed the good investigator first asks — cui bono? It means ‘who benefits’? And who does benefit from all this — if we are not travelling, not spending money in the same places we were spending it last October, seeing friends, partying in nightclubs, going to Elland Road or wherever? I name Rupert Murdoch, Jim Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt and all their kin as people with the most profoud vested interest in keeping us locked up through the spreading of fear and this year’s sudden, digitally-driven enhancement of what Michel Foucault called the carceral state. If I’m wrong, sue me. If you don’t like it, defy it.