Friday, 26 May 2017

Old Chestnuts


It's that time of year when the Horse Chestnut trees send forth their floral delights. These contrasting specimens are on the corner of Newland Avenue and Cottingham Road but you can find them spread all over town. Only the white ones produce conkers of any usable size. For some unfathomable reason these are sometimes known as Buckeyes in America ... there's even a fetid buckeye which sounds truly delightful.

Margot took this.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

L'homme d'hier


I freely admit my ignorance of Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry. You can't know about everyone, nor should you be expected to. I gather, after a quick look see on Google, he was of some import. Still I don't see why the uiniversity took so much against him that it removed a rather large version of the above inscription from the courtyard behind the library and replaced it with this piddling thing that seems to be covering up some utility port in a flower bed that you would quite easily miss. Below is how the old feature looked taken from the 2008 University report it's been replaced by a giant comma. Clearly pauvre Antoine is no longer flavour of the month.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

I Want To Ride My Bicycle


They've got all the Lycra gear, helmets, obligatory sunglasses... and I'm guessing those bikes don't come cheap, so serious biking then ... well maybe not so serious.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tell me the old, old story


Tell me the old, old story,
  Of unseen things above,
Of Jeremy and His glory,
  Of Labour and Its love
Tell me the story simply,
  As to a little child,
For I am weak and weary,
  And helpless and defiled.


Tell me the same old story,
Sell me the same old view,
Tell me the stale old story,
 For the many not the few.

Over in east Hull the Labour Party treats its constituents like infants who should always keep a-hold of Nurse, for fear of finding something worse. And yet in east Hull and some other Labour places they seem to lap it up. I went to see Jeremy Corbyn at a meeting in town on Monday evening in Zebedee's yard. I say I went but I did not stay and did not get to see the would be Prime Minister and hero of the working man. Zeb's Yard is a horrible cramped place, totally unsuitable for a meeting. The goofy bearded loon or Great Leader of The Most Advanced & Unified Labour Party turned up half an hour late according the paper and still the large mass of deluded fools, sorry that should read devoted believers, comrades and acolytes, hung around for yet another thirty minutes before no doubt he incanted the ritual benediction: "For the many not the few". Verily J C makes them whole.

Mrs May ("strong and stable") in the poster is shown with Mrs Thatcher's hair style. That's just so original, so subtle! She is being a total mean bitch; taking dinners from hungry school kids and telling pensioners they'll have to pay for their care out of the forced sale of their homes (neatly and rightly labelled a dementia tax) and wants to bring back fox hunting, in short saying the kind of nasty things you only say if you know you can't lose and she won't. When pressed she crumbles and stutters and seems to back track; she and the rest of this government are clearly not up to the job of leading anything but nevertheless she'll win by a country mile. You see for the rest of the country the idea of Jeremy Corbyn as PM brings out that old fear of finding something worse...

My apologies to Katherine Hankey.  

Monday, 22 May 2017

Wacked


Well that didn't last long, did it? A year ago I posted about it opening and now it's gone. Too wacky even for east Hull.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Now with even less


As I was passing down Beverley Road I thought  I may as well mention (again) the ongoing, seemingly eternal, saga of this derelict building. For those who are new to Hull (& where have you been all our lives?) this is the remains of the National Picture Theatre destroyed by a bomb in WW2, seventy six years ago and allowed to stand (and slowly fall) in this state ever since; it claims to be the last blitz damaged civilian building in the country. Is there an award for long term neglect? Hull has no shame and would win that one, no worries.
In the near five years since I posted about it the Council have been led a merry dance by the owner who wants to use it for some purpose that was clearly unsuitable (to the Council and other busybodies, I couldn't care less). The building on the left, the old Swan pub, is owned by the same person and started to be renovated as an Indian restaurant but that stopped after a few weeks (I suspect that was some sort of ploy to hold off the Council). The last rumour I heard was  the Council has finally agreed to compulsory purchase it but whether that has actually happened I don't know. The feeling that nobody has a clue what is going on in this place has been with me for decades.
I'm guessing in five or so years time, if I'm still doing this nonsense, I'll pass by and nothing much will have changed, even the ghost cars will be the same ...


Margot took this; she likes old wrecked things ...

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Are you aware of Hull?


Does a creeping, cold sensation grab you by the sensitive parts as you gradually realise that you are being seized with the gruesome realisation that you are 'aware of Hull: UK City of Culture'? Fear not; you are not alone. According to the tiny Leader, some 53% of people have struggled to cope with this awareness problem, with even more suffering in the badlands of the "North". There is only one cure but it is drastic and may be fatal. Go, get you to the godforsaken hole and disabuse yourself of all that nonsense, once and for all. Then let us never mention it again...

Friday, 19 May 2017

Driven up the wall


You've met this poor guy's feet the other day so I thought it it only appropriate that you were given a fuller, more rounded picture. This is of course another of those figures being featured at the University over the summer.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Blue Train



I just had a moment's notice to capture this locomotion. As I'm just old fashioned and a lazy bird I won't tell which way it's going.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What's in a name?


This was once the Blockbuster video rental shop until, well we all know what happened to the video rental business ("Please mammy what's a video?"). Then it became the Mahattan coffee bar for a while until, bored with that, it underwent a transformation into this: the Tipsy Chicken. Inviting ain't it? Never mind just across the road and down a bit is a restaurant by the name of the Dirty Bird... tasty.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

4 Octavia X


Now I maintain this is meant to be a dog but Margot insists it's feline and looks a lot like our dear departed old cat Lulu (a ginger tom and a lot better looking than this old brute). Whatever it is it's on a wall on Beverley Road near Kingston Youth Centre. I hope Octavia was impressed.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Sign something simple


You can't have a year long bean fest without some promotion and as with all advertising the less you mention the product the better. Whoever was paid a no doubt substantial fee to come up with these instantly forgettable catch lines has learnt that lesson well... Here's a couple of the many enigmatic messages festooning the town.  When I'm bored I might post some more.



Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Nation's Feet: a scandal


Armies may march on their stomachs but most folk use their feet. So what happens if, say, you get corns, calluses or ingrowing toe nails? Not that you would; no you will go through life like a dancing fairy with no need of podiatry care. But suppose you did and you went along to your doctor expecting the NHS to give you relief. Well unless you are under 16, over 65 or a registered disabled person with diabetes you will be turned away. Now this seems a strange policy since the workforce of this country needs good strong feet and not caring for them will mean a painful and less productive workforce, lost workdays and reduced GDP; all the things the NHS was designed to prevent. But as you can see feet are not glamorous, they're a bit of a joke really and so people are left to suffer. I'd write to my MP if I had one right now... and my feet weren't playing up.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Ne'er cast a clout till May be out


No, not a political slogan, but advice on what to wear in England in spring time which can be notoriously fickle temperature wise. You may know May blossom  as hawthorn, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn or (my favourite if Wikipedia can be believed) motherdie but the name matters little when it's covering the whole countryside with luscious white blossom. The scent of this bush is particularly pungent and, some say, redolent of corpses which may be why it is considered bad luck to bring the blossom into your house. It looks much better outside any way.




Margot took the top shot. She prefers it in colour but it's not her blog.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 12 May 2017

A trip round the bay


Though Pirates grow old
And their beards go grey
It's never too cold
For a trip round the bay.



OK I'll give up the doggerel and stick to the day job...

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Look what they done to the hole, Ma ...


Now I know you should not judge something before it's finished but this is not looking good. Regular readers will recall the Hull hole otherwise known as the Beverley Gate ruins or remains or whatever. It had become an uncared for, litter strewn place where youths gathered to do whatever youths do (skate boarding, drinking, smoking, in short all the fun things). The options were to fill it in or re-jig in some way to make it more amenable. A public vote decided on the latter option and we are where we are with this; well it's about half as big as it used to be, the lining seems to be horrid brownish beige 1970's concrete tiles that clash with the ancient brickwork, the steps are just ugly, it looks awful. Oh sure there's a lot of planting behind where I'm standing and the taxi rank has been moved (much to the annoyance of taxi drivers) but I don't see this as anything other than worse than before. And where are our discontented youths to go now? And who will pick up the litter? Maybe filling it up was the better option ... it's never too late.




Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Acquainted with the Night


“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.”                                                                                                                ― John Keats


This is apparently Mental Health Awareness Week where well intentioned folk try to shed the stigma of anxiety/depression/suicidal ideation and "seek to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health". Good luck to them in that, many have tried and few succeeded. For some of us though it's not just one week in a year but every day we have to deal with all this mental crud, step by little step or post by little post perhaps...


 Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rainand back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. 
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Robert Frost

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The pretty bit


Prince Street is in just about all the tourist guides as a "must go see if in Hull sort of place". Strange how I hardly ever see anyone down here.



Sunday, 7 May 2017

A frozen moment of contemplation


I mentioned a little while back the collection of statues dotted around the University campus and that I would wander back and have another look. Well I wandered and looked and took a few photos which I'll post from time to time over the next few days and weeks. The collection is called Cairns and there's plenty of literature about it which maybe you should read because there is no way I could up with a sentence like "The figures on campus portray frozen moments of contemplation and take on the form of human trail markers referencing themes of spirituality and physicality." My loss I guess ...

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Building a legacy


Here is the eastern end of Jameson Street with the canopy of the now empty BHS store that used to shelter those waiting for buses. Where once there was a steady stream of cars, buses and people, the very arterial blood of any city, there is now yet another bland, pedestrianised desert. 




When a shop stops selling stuff and the doors close and the "for sale" signs spring up (redevelopment opportunity, of course) this is when the cover up operation starts. In swoops the council or whoever and City of Culture posters festoon the empty windows and doors. It all looks so professional, they've obviously had a lot of experience in this. So the empty BHS store is no longer a salutary lesson in the failure of modern business but has somehow become a bright blue advertisement for Culture and that is some sort of legacy I suppose.


Now I've gone on about this mosaic thing before and how there was a petition to get it some protection from any future wrecker's ball. Well it seems there yet another petition to get it Grade 2 listed. As you simply cannot have too many petitions I signed that as well; you may like to do so it's here. The mural now has a Twitter identity (@BhsMuralHull)  and I read recently of a young person who had a tatoo based on the mosaic. Now that is truly a lasting legacy.



The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Last Trip Memorial


For a place the size of Hull to lose 6,000 to 8,000 men in the fishing trade over the years there are surprisingly few memorials about the place. It should therefore not come as a complete surprise that the past year as seen two coming along together (like buses), this one hidden away in Zebedee's Yard and another of silhouette statues on St Andrew's Quay (which I have yet to see). Now this one has changing coloured lights shining through cut out words to do with the trawling industry as well as stainless steel miniature ship's bows as flower holders and memorial inscriptions. It's all a tad dull, unmemorable and slightly saccharine for me but others may find it more to their taste, who's to say? Anyhow you can buy a bow and have it inscribed for a mere £500. There's a shed load of stuff about it here so I'll shut up and push off...



Thursday, 4 May 2017

A foreign country


I don't know what the protocol is with photoblogs regarding showing photos of photos; I did it before and no-one said anything so I'll try it again. So above we have the Princes dock as it was some time ago with trawlers parked up against Maurice Lipman's tailor shop (yes, that Lipman's dad). I have no idea who took it or when it was taken (1940s/50s early 60s even, someone will know)  and I do hope that lady crossed the road safely. The picture is on display in Zebedee's Yard as part of a memorial to lost trawler men, I'll show more tomorrow. Nowadays there's no road,  no trawlers and no tailor shop either. I think it's selling Apples (not the fruit). 


There were two other photographs on display so here they are to make the full set.


This is from what is now the Maritime Museum, that dinky little bridge in the distance is now Castle Street...


...and this is from the exit to the Albert Dock if I'm not mistaken.
(And I am mistaken; it's St Andrew's Dock!)

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

... and still we wait


The promised fountains in Queen Victoria Square have yet to materialise. We are told by a Councillor that "The technology used to operate these features has not been used anywhere else," and "So it that sense they're unique. Issues around that technology are being addressed.". Now as far as I know fountains have been around for thousands of years; how difficult can it be? You have water, you squirt it through a hole, repeat process until bored... These however are fancy fountains with bells and whistles, well coloured lights anyway as you can see in this article from a well known local newspaper. If I were a gambling man I'd put a small wager on these things working on and off for a season or two then being quietly forgotten and paved over.


...and also outside the Holy Trinity Coffee Bar the so-called mystical mirror pools are also still not in place (surprise, surprise) and guess what the reason is? "I can safely say nothing like this has ever been seen before in this country, if not Europe. I prefer to call them glazed paving. They are going to be mystical, magical and I hope quite special...." says the guy who sold these puppies to Hull City Council and "They are definitely the first of their kind in the UK and they're here in Hull." Yeah right, puddles with knobs on, can't wait.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Balanced Diet


Following on the "Let's Eat" theme of yesterday this pub sign seems to cover all the essentials ...

Monday, 1 May 2017

Tasty in blue


Hooray, hooray the first of May outdoor eating starts today ...

Today's first of the month thingummy at City Daily Photo is "Let's Eat!" Pop over there to see what others have cooked up.