Tag Archives: Manchester

Vending at Victoria

Friday 8th October 2021, 3.25pm (day 3,697)

Victoria vending, 8/10/21

The end of another week…. and some snacks are required for the journey home. This is one of those where I just saw some good light over on the far platform and tried it out.

Following a negative Covid test this morning — but of course it was always going to be negative — this should be the penultimate shot of around 615 consecutive days in the UK. But on Sunday, I will be leaving for a week; if the clenched-up bureaucracy at each end of this journey does deign to let me through. Destination — well, you can find out on Sunday (or possibly Monday).

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Deansgate awaits

Sunday 3rd October 2021, 3.00pm (day 3,692)

Deansgate, 3/10/21

Manchester once again plays host to the Conservative Party’s annual Conference, and today was the day that the Party and its state police force graciously permitted the parallel annual Protest March. This was safely kettled somewhere to the right of Deansgate, as we look down it here. The whole city centre was cordoned off to cars, and eerily quiet, apart from the distant drums of the protestors. Ahead are Beetham Tower and the West Tower of Deansgate Square, the tallest habitable buildings in the UK outside London: monuments to a particular kind of property-driven capitalism that the Conservative Party fully epitomise. No one can be publicly seen to question it, to ask whether this is really the way that we want to structure the world. The waiting police vans make sure of that.

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Free beer and haircut

Tuesday 21st September 2021, 11.45am (day 3,680)

Free beer and haircut, 21/9/21

In some years the return of the students to campus is not always exactly a welcome event — it marks the end of summer, it presages a lot of work for the weeks ahead, etc. But in 2021 it would be impossible not to celebrate it. And anyone who thinks that some kind of future lockdown is an inevitability, please leave the room now, I will have nothing to do with that viewpoint. The only way I will be incarcerated in the future is by being arrested.

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The Mayor (with P)

Friday 17th September 2021, 2.05pm (day 3,676)

Andy Burnham, 17/9/21

The gentleman with the somewhat alien purple hue and the ‘P’ branded on his forehead (this is what happens when you sit in front of the data projector) is Andy Burnham, the elected Mayor of Greater Manchester. For a politician, he spoke a reasonable amount of sense at the meeting I attended today. 40 people in a room, about the same number attending online — all expressing freedom of choice either way. Seems fair enough to me.

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Oxford Road, with people

Thursday 16th September 2021, 9.10am (day 3,675)

MMU, Oxford Road, 17/9/21

In recent years I have adapted my walk into campus so I don’t go down Oxford Road, but today was an exception, for trivial reasons. It’s the main thoroughfare between the two universities and the city centre, and walking along it today at least allowed an appreciation of the fact that there are people back in view, doing things, enriching the local environment. The big influx of students hasn’t happened yet — but next week this should be heaving. And it’s all the better for it. I heard from an academic colleague today about the research showing how lockdown, spending 100% of our time in one place, is devastating for our ability to actually form new knowledge and long-term memories. Why are there those who love it and crave it?

Anyway, no more pandemic politics for now. I merely regret, slightly, that the angles are not quite right on this one.

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Heading for campus, early

Tuesday 7th September 2021, 8.05am (day 3,666)

Manchester morning, 7/9/21

Did something I had not done since 28th July, and went to campus. The scenes are much the same as they have ever been, but the weather is certainly very fine at the moment. A ‘goodlife’ indeed, even at 8.05am.

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The Pride of the Gotham Hotel

Saturday 28th August 2021, 12.50pm (day 3,656)

Pride of Gotham, 28/8/21

Passed through Manchester city centre this afternoon. Somewhere over there –> the annual Pride festival was taking place, but this is as near as I got to it, so let me pay homage by depicting this well-adorned statue outside the uber-hip Gotham Hotel.

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Joe visits Manchester

Wednesday 18th August 2021, 11.10am (day 3,646)

Joe at Victoria, 18/8/21

Three weeks and two days until Joe goes off to university, the psychological implications of which (for us all) remain unexplored. But at least we can get the logistics prepared, so he accompanied me to Manchester today to pick up practical stuff, plates, cutlery, you know, things that mean he won’t have to eat off the floor. Will this be the last shot of him in this particular city? Impossible to say what the future will bring.

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Near-normality (Victoria station)

Thursday 5th August 2021, 10.15am (day 3,633)

Replacement bus sign, 5/8/21

I had a work meeting today, that included lunch, face-to-face with two other people. The rail service is having its annual summer ‘upgrading’ spasm and so my journey to and from this meeting was a complex — but not, it should be said, unpunctual — tangle of three different trains, two buses and a taxi.

All in all then, a sense of normality returns (perhaps leaving out the bit about punctuality).

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Not a wedding photograph

Monday 19th July 2021, 2.05pm (day 3,616)

Not a wedding photo, 19/7/21

Photographer and bride… but there was no groom in sight, so either these two were preparing some photos for a wedding at a later date, or this was a fashion shoot of some kind. The lump of rock behind is the big glacial boulder that stands in the Old Quadrangle of the University of Manchester.

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