Friday, 31 July 2015

This is no country for the young

There you go; that's what's called a proper career choice: sausage or burger. Difficult and depressing when you've had your heart set on being a juicy chop or a succulent sirloin steak but you don't get those opportunities without qualifications, experience but best of all, knowing the right people these days ....

On the subject of sausages and as it's Friday and the end of the month here's the cautionary tale of ambitious Sammy Bell and his misfortunes.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Why not try teaching?

Alfred Gelder Street, Hull
This colourful bicycle advert is for teacher training in Hull (School Centred Initial Teacher Training!) and was one of several around town while the student degrees were being doled out the other week. I suppose if you can make it in Hull then you can make it anywhere. Teaching is not for everyone, and my experience, admittedly many years ago, is that really good teachers are rarer than hen's teeth. I know I couldn't do it, at least not without facing manslaughter charges after each lesson! Now I come to look at that bike again it does look a bit bloody ...

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The lightbulb joke

No you won't find me making derogatory remarks about council workers changing lightbulbs, no sir, not me. Cheap shot. Beneath me. I'll simply ask why they came round at about seven in the evening to do this job, surely not on overtime by any chance ... Anyhow banished now are the orange glow neon lights of my lifetime, replaced by moonlight-white light emitting diode thingies that save electricity and leave drive ways unlit and gloomy. Still the stars shine brighter, there's lots of them, did you know?

And while on the subject is it lightbulb or light bulb? 

OK so you want lightbulb jokes, go knock yourself out here

It takes two people to make this blog post. Margot to take the photo and an idiot to write this drivel.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cycle Park

Every year hundreds of bikes get stolen in Hull so any measure to provide a secure place to park your expensive multi-geared mountain climbing machine (how they sell these things in flat old Hull is a mystery to me) from the thieving toe-rags with bolt-cutters is welcome. This is the recently opened Hull Cycle Hub in what used to be the ticket office of Paragon Station. £1 a day will see your bike locked up and waiting for your return. And if you've got a flat tyre there's even a workshop for repairs. You can also hire a bike from the same place for £3.50 a day. There's more about all this here.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Saturday's Post

You know those sisyphean tasks that this town gets itself into, bridges that take years to build, piers that are never mended, roads that will never be upgraded, derelict buildings that defy both the Council and gravity; the list goes on and on. Well now that silt you can see in the background, well there's now a plan to shift it and all the other sediments from all the way up to Beverley, some eight or nine miles away, out into the Humber to aid river flow. What's that the poet says about a man's reach ...?

The monochrome fun goes on at the weekend in black and white here.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Penguin prison window

Anyhow here I am pointing the camera outside the biggest fish tank in the country (possibly in the world, who cares?) to capture these well known Hull landmarks in reflection. This place hires a man with a hawk to scare off the pigeons that have every right to be there (well just wait 'til the seagulls find out about that! That'll be one dead hawk!) while incarcerating penguins from the South Atlantic. What a bunch of humbugs!  Oh yeah this place has blocked my account on Twitter ... alors tant pis! Ou tant mieux!

Weekend reflections are here.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Skip this if you like

I bet you didn't know that there are people out in the 'real' world who keep an eye on the number of skips being used. To put a skip out on the public highway you must have a skip licence from the council and councils having nothing better to do keep tallies on this. Just as there are weathermen who make forecasts based on seaweed and pine cones so there are economists who use skips as bell-weathers for the state of the construction industry. More skips means more little building projects on the go. And the latest figures I've seen show that skip use is increasing all over the country; happy days are here again. Truly this is a one nation skip-led recovery in which we will all, no doubt, end up in the skip together.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Need a helping hand

Tucked away in a corner of garden of the transport museum this ancient looking statue gives no indication as to its origins nor its subject matter. We have a lady minus a hand holding on to a shield and wearing a Greek-style helmet.
Well it was difficult to find anything out about this but after asking Hull Museums (thanks to assistant curator Tom Goulder) I get the picture that this is thought to be a statue of Minerva (or possibly Britannia) from the Royal Institute which stood on Albion Street. It was part of a group of three statues. So how did it (and the other two that I have yet to find) end up in these gardens? Well German bombing in 1943 destroyed the Royal Institute and damaged the statues that much is known. The same explosion destroyed records so the story of the statues becomes a bit hazy. At least it was until, by persistence, I came across this link which is quite clear that, yes, this is Minerva and came from the Royal Institute. The poster of that page also states the statue is by W.D. Keyworth, junior and dates from 1883. So mystery solved then ...
Returning to our statue and if it is Minerva then she would have had a spear in her missing hand and would have looked a lot like this.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Old dog, newish tricks

Ah we all shall be saved from wet feet and damp houses as the announcement is made for a £45 million plan to improve the river Hull's flood defenses. But do note the plan has been agreed; not the £45 million! If I prattle on about flooding a lot then well it's the thing that hangs over this area like some wet sword of old what's his name. Most of the Hull valley and certainly all of the city of Hull itself is below sea-level at high tide. Anyhow one of the proposals is to use the tidal barrier more often as a sluice gate to stop the Humber going upstream during heavy rain as opposed to its current use only during very high tides on the Humber. Seems they've already tried it out and it works surprisingly well. So if they get the go ahead and that means amending legislation then the old girl will be in action maybe two or three more times every year. If that doesn't work then proper sluice gates at a cost of £16 million could be built. And if all that looks like a lot of money then think on that it's estimated a good flood of the Hull river basin could do £3.4 billion damage and make my feet wet.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Moggie and the Maggies ...

... or the cat on a cool slate roof.

We were down the Land of Green Ginger the other day when the normal town hubbub was overwhelmed by a loud repetitive cackling from on high. Turns out a cat had entered the roof top domain of two magpies who were, to say the least, displeased by this development. The cat, as cats do, simply ignored all the fuss and went about its business. That's it really; hardly worth craning your neck to see what was going on.

I think Margot K Juby took this one

Friday, 17 July 2015

Blue barge

This old barge or lighter with the odd name of Poem 25 is a fixture in the old harbour of the river. I've shown it before here but that was before colour was invented.

Weekend Reflections are here

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Blade runner

Apologies if this is not the finest quality shot but this cargo ship was nearly two miles away across the old Humber. The odd looking items are wind turbine blades heading to some assembly plant upstream. These may not match the world's longest blades (75m!) but they're still a fair size. News came only last week of yet another big deal for the wind powered industry with Dong from Denmark (I kid you not) signing to build an offshore turbine complex near Grimsby on the south bank, so we should expect to see more cargoes like this.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A little OTT? Perhaps not ...

I have noticed that Hull University's graduation days have become something of an annual bean feast, with town criers and chamber music and so on. All those well dressed ladies in high heels that obviously were hurting like hell. What could they do this year to top the last? Well an over sized CCT screen showing the ceremony from City Hall live in Queen Vic Square was not the most obvious answer but here it is nevertheless. Next year a fly pass by the RAF perhaps? I suppose if you are going to put yourself in debt for twenty five years buying a degree (sorry that's paying for tuition, what was I thinking?) then a little celebration is in order. Good luck to all those newly qualified clever so and sos. I really don't envy you, well not much.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Long Walk to Freedom

It's been a while since I had walked down the lower end of High Street which I have shown before to have an empty plot awaiting the construction of an umpteen storey hotel. The site had a dismal security fence with the usual warnings for those who would misbehave. So it was something of a pleasant surprise to come across this colourful mural to Nelson Mandela which apparently went up last September. Don't know how I've missed this 'til now. 

Finally credit where credit is due. This was commissioned by Full Flava Arts along with Roots and Wings and Freedom Festival Ltd and it's the work of twelve graffiti artists. You can view the creation of the mural and get a much fuller view than I present here by going to this page.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Say Cheese

In Latin American culture the instruction is, quite rightly, "Diga 'whiskey'" and while Swedes like to say 'Omelette', Danes have "Sig 'appelsin'", say orange. Germans, I'm told, prefer spaghetti, Iranians apples and Moroccans bread. All silly ways to make people smile while having their photos taken. (I suppose the modern version is along the lines of "Say Selfie") Are you smiling? No? Well suit yourself.
Oh and if you can say 'Cheese' ten times without laughing then it seems you are a very truthful person. 

This is the service gate of the Hull Cheese about which I posted at length some time back, here.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Truelove revisited

Given the usual practice of removing metallic works of art from public view in order to release the scrap value therein it is heartening that this installation has survived the passage of time. Here, once again, are Memiadluk and Uckaluk ill-fated visitors to this town from far northern lands. No excuse for reposting this other than it's a better image and my new camera, capable of facial recognition, said the subjects blinked, well hah!

The good old weekend in black and white is here.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Aussies suck ...

... something called Up & Go (a breakfast drink, m'lud ) every morning which is why they will no doubt win this Summer's Ashes series which starts today in Cardiff. Sadly there'll be no “Morning, everyone” from Richie Benaud but life goes on. Cricket, I'm told, is an impenetrable mystery to some folks who fail to see how a match can last five days, end in a draw (if we're lucky!) and still be gripping stuff. Well there you go, that's just how it is.
These adverts however really do 'suck' if I may use the vernacular.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

True story

This little house has been empty for some time. Emptiness is taken as an invitation by low-life scum to enter and take out all the copper piping, to  mess the place up, break all the windows, squat for a while, use as a drug den and then finally set fire to it. Add to all that the failure of the foundations leading some real fancy cracks, it's a wonder it has fallen down. In the above picture the rear extension is on the point of tumbling over. The Council have scheme to bring properties like this back to life but the damage was too great even for that most generous of institutions, it gave the place a zero value; £0!!
Still the place was not doomed for a Prince Charming had fallen in love with this sleeping little money pit and set his heart on restoring it to its former glory. So just the other week after years of trying to trace the owner he finally bought the place and has set about clearing the overgrown garden (mainly elderberry and ivy not thorns! This is not a fairy tale!) and will shortly be demolishing those parts about to fall down with a view to rebuilding. This blog (and, I suppose, the nice guy who lives next door) wishes him well!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Tre Kronor

Guildhall, Hull
It's a little known fact the Hull was once a Swedish city and that there was much trade with that Baltic country in medieval times that continues to this day. This explains the accent of native born Hull folk and also how Hull's coat of arms has three crowns on it exactly like the Swedish coat of arms and the ever so similar the three crowns over the stadshus of Stockholm. Sweden's ice hockey team wear three crowns on their shirts as do Hull's two Rugby League sides. It's all very sub rosa and embarrassing as the English like to think the king in Kingston upon Hull was an English King when in fact it was one of the Gustavs or maybe a Magnus I forget for the moment. Sadly, or more likely stupidly, wars have been fought over these three damned crowns. Hull's three crowns are even protected by an Act of Parliament. All this hidden history is so little appreciated that you could say I just made it all up. It's the heat, Carruthers, the damned heat....

The weekend in black and white is here.

Real history people have little or no idea about these three crowns either as you can find out here.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Say it with padlocks

As the Parisian Pont des Arts padlock affair came to a close the other week so a new one springs up here at the Victoria Pier. These, as far as I can tell, are unlike the French version not symbols of undying love but acts of remembrance to lost family members, not so much matched as dispatched shall we say. There are wreaths and little cards with those sickly doggerel verses that accompany death notices in newspapers. This is a most unwelcome development and symptomatic of the increasing desire for public displays of 'grief'. The place, which attracts many visitors for its views across and along the Humber, is in danger of becoming a morbid eyesore. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hanging around

This poor girl has been hanging around with the blood going to her head for over a year now and by rights I should have posted this last year with all the others from the day given over to celebrate Hull's selection as the City of Culture (here). But I didn't and so luckily for me (and for you, my joyful reader!) I can post it for this month's collection of all things upside down by the people at City Daily Photo.