Sunday 20th October 2019, 12.50pm (day 2,978)
It’s always nice to eat out on a Sunday lunchtime. Wherever you may be.
The world’s first-ever railway line ran from Darlington to Stockton in 1825, and 192 years later the time it takes to get between these two places by train probably isn’t a great deal less than it was. As one waits, then, for the trains to permit one to leave Teesside there is plenty of time to admire the surrounding scenery, a happy hunting ground for fans of industry and the urban. I am not intending to be rude: I have had two good days out here in the last couple of weeks. But you don’t come for the landscapes. Or the train service.
Whatever has happened down the years to the configuration of Manchester Victoria station, this footbridge is definitely less used than it must once have been. The only time it’s really worth using it is if you’re sat at the back of the 8:05 from Hebden Bridge, which stops on platform 6 and the principal footbridge gets clogged up with the contents of the full train, this one is slightly nearer. But hey, it’s got an interesting view.
The Barbican estate is home to about 4,000 people and is a huge complex in the City of London. When it was finished in the 1970s it was often decried as a brutalist architectural monstrosity. Actually I kind of liked it, I bet it’s a pretty decent place to live, with a lake and garden within its walls and generally a rather peaceful feel. Something tells me the guy seen here has been there for a lot of the last forty years.
Of course this is a city with its problems as well as its good side. This is South Beirut, where last Friday night a huge car bomb claimed the lives of 15 people. The sectarian divisions within this whole region are too complex for an outsider like me to truly understand. I would also say they are too complex for outsiders like the US, UK, French, etc. governments to understand too, but that doesn’t stop the latter group dipping their hands into the mix anyway. Perhaps appropriately for day number 727, this was taken from the plane seconds after take-off, as I returned home this morning.