Saturday, 31 December 2016

Sunset and evening star

Ah well that's another turn around the solar system completed. I hear so many saying this year has been a bad one, worst year ever and so on and so forth. I admit I've known better ones but none quite so surprising. Still if you're reading this at least you're not dead; you can always eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.
Margot is responsible for the title of this post. "Use "Crossing the Bar"" says she, "seems apt... "

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
                                           Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Cheerful beggar old Alfie! 
Chin up then and keep buggering on. I'd wish you all a Happy New Year but that doesn't seem to work any more ...

Friday, 30 December 2016

You see the world turned upside down

I'm posting this picture upside down because, in line with just about everything this year, it looks better that way.

Margot took this while standing on her head in Cottingham.

The weekend in black and white could possibly be here.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

To see oursels as ithers see us!

Things to do on trains: part 1
Take silly pictures of yourself and get gawped at by other passengers.

This was taken somewhere between here and there, sometime ago by somebody.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Cottingham lights up again

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and sponsorship from local shops Cottingham puts on a decent display of seasonal lights considering it's only a village (albeit the biggest in England). It almost rivals Blackpool ... almost.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rudolph the red-nosed automaton

With a head that slowly and eerily moves from left to right and back again this illuminated monstrosity is meant to bring seasonal cheer to passers-by. Hmmmm

Monday, 26 December 2016

No Trains Again

We always go for a short walk down Snuff Mill Lane towards sunset on Christmas Day  just to play on the rails and take silly pictures like this. Here's some we did earlier.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Tangled up in blue

Over in Trinity Square the finishing touches to this year's marathon makeover were being put in place the other day. I noticed this figure wrapped in blue plastic. It's the reinstated statue of Andrew Marvell. This seems to be a more modest presentation as previously he was atop four or five steps and surrounded by four concrete balls. Naturally those steps were the place for alkies and druggies to while the day away. Where will they go now, those poor souls?

And jumping over to the other side of town to the junction of King Edward Street and Jameson Street this was the scene late on Wednesday still with a rush to complete by Christmas Eve. Still with the old orange barriers and still a fair few paving blocks to be laid. I haven't been back since then but the local paper reports that Jameson Street, off to the left, is now clear of barriers though the response from readers seems somewhat mixed.

And as ever a job is not done until it has been seen to be done by at least five other workers ...

If you've reached this far it only remains for me to wish you all a "Happy Whatever It Is You May Be Celebrating" this exceedingly mild December 25 ...

Saturday, 24 December 2016

He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake...

A local house had this somewhat menacing gigantic Santa in the window. It's  enough to put anyone off their turkey and trimmings ...Ho Ho Ho.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Thursday, 22 December 2016

The moving plod plods; and, having plodded, plods on.

In the  glad confident years of the end of the last century Humberside Police spent well if not too wisely and opened little stations at various places throughout the town and outer regions. One such was this in Pearson Park, next door to the mosque since you ask. There was another built on Beverley Road not four hundred yards from this... Total waste of money. Although it was a station it never seemed to have anyone in it and the couple of times I needed to contact the old Bill I had to use a phone installed in the doorway which put me through to some distant operator who took a message and promised to "see to my query" (meaning get lost and don't bother us we're having our tea break). 
Well you probably know where this is heading ... 2008, the political choice to impose austerity and so on meant that Humberside Police had to close these places in the name of efficiency (an admission if one were needed that these places weren't an efficient use of resources) and they also rashly sacked hundreds of officers. I must just mention in passing that Hull now has the highest burglary rate outside of London (hoorah!) ... maybe it's unconnected and really due to all that culture, who can say?.
So, anyhow,  if you want a big Victorian villa in Pearson Park with nice quiet neighbours apply to the Humberside Police...

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Old woss'is name lived 'ere.

‘It was the top flat of a house that was reputedly the American Consulate during the war, and though it might not have suited everybody, it suited me’. 
                                                                   Philip Larkin
Pip Larkin gets a small plaque for his endurance if nothing else; eighteen years in an attic flat overlooking Pearson Park. I'd liked to have shown more of the place, a large Victorian town house, but high hedges and a high gate with a 'Beware of the Dog' sign, along with sounds of said dog sniffling and growling around somewhat put me off. Visitors to next year's city of culture are duly warned.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Why did the zebra cross the road?

Zebra had to close earlier this year due to the landlord raising the rent by about 50%.  This is the newly reopened Zebra still on Newland Avenue just across the road, in fact, close to the zebra crossing (yes, I know, it's just too much). Anyhow here's wishing Ann good luck in this relaunch.

Monday, 19 December 2016

We'd like to build a little extension ...

There's been a mosque in Pearson Park since the late 90's. It was in a converted Victorian villa and as the congregation grew many worshippers had to pray outside in what was the front garden. Clearly not an ideal situation especially when it rains. So plans were submitted for an extension to the rear and after the usual delays and objections from the neighbours (t'was ever thus) consent was given in 2011 and so now Hull has this rather pleasant little addition to its skyline and the prayerful get to keep their heads dry in wet weather.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Tree Doodle

Over in Pearson Park a chestnut tree about to be felled due to being rotten has been transformed into this interesting oddity; a three headed being each head having a crown and an outstretched arm holding an ice-cream. There's not a lot to say about it really. I like it.

There's another dead tree close by if anyone fancies having a go.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like that old end-of-year scam season again

Do you recall the Xmasses of yore when families gathered round a blazing log fire and exchanged small gifts of oranges or maybe an apple if you were lucky, while outside was a snowy Winter wonderland with robins singing among the berries of the holly tree? Nah! Me neither it's always been a greedy money grabbing time of flog them a pile of unwanted dross and make them feel guilty if they don't join in the 'Festive Fun'. As everything is 'done by computer' these days why not invent an app (I think that's the word) that will virtually exchange your presents from one machine to another, no actual goods will be harmed by this transaction as only money will move from your account to the dealer's. Then you can take pictures of yourself smiling as you 'unpack' your 'gift' and you can share your delight with millions of others by the magic of social networks. Awesome! Oh hang on, I think that's already happening ...

Margot took this picture.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Deep in darkness

I've shown this old fish tank and penguin prison many times before but always with the sun up and and a bright blue sky. Here it is in a bit of late evening gloom.

The weekend in black and white is here.
Weekend Reflections are here.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Change of signs

Just two and half weeks now to the C of C and what better time to change all the boundary signs to advertise this auspicious event. Pedants have already moaned at the abbreviated name; "Wot no Kingston-Upon-Hull!" 'tis an outrage! a sin against nature! have they no sense of history! and so on. Still no-one on the planet, not even the pedants themselves, call the place anything other than Hull. If you are wondering what the old signs looked like they were very blue and yellow which may go down well in Sweden but to me they weren't very welcoming. I think this is something of an improvement. The UK C of C thing is going to date in a few years meaning even more signs; it all makes work for the working man to do.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Quite Gratuitous

Well now there's  Margot saying the other day "Oh that'll be removed in a day or so". "What?" says I. "The bare backsides advertising a student accommodation agent" says herself. "The what now? Surely not ..." says I in all innocence. "Oh! ... I see what you mean" ...
And there's more; there's two gentlemen with their trousers around their ankles and the "Your place or mine?" tagline ... and all this on staid old Newland Avenue. There's not be such goings on since a dominatrix was boarded up in a massage parlour a couple of years back.

Now I don't mind a bit of smutty innuendo now and then I mean it's so full of, well, do I need to draw you a picture?. But not everyone, it seems, shares my view which is perhaps just as well. So cue the obligatory social media indignation from the PC (Puritanical Claptrap) brigade, the perennially silly and ever available for a quote MP for North Hull up on her hind legs with Tweets about "sleaze" and "brothels" and "portrayals of sex acts" (such a dirty mind she must have). And the cries of it objectifying women (but not men, note) and "will no-one think of the children" (who see far more and worse on their computers and phones before breakfast) etc etc etc. Those who wished to be offended were duly offended which is as it should be and they are no doubt smugly content.

Anyhow the accommodation agency have "organised the immediate removal of the images" but not so immediate that I was unable to take a leisurely stroll back down Newland Avenue to refresh my memory and verify my facts as it were.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Joining the dots

Do they still have those games for children where you have to draw a line from one number to the next until a kind of hazy picture emerged and you were supposed to think, wow, I drew that? I've often wondered if working in an office might not be just a bigger paid version of the same thing. 

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Falling haloes, whips and other seasonal failings

It's that time of year for silly window displays. Here we have some seemingly drunken winking mannequins tottering over to starboard with haloes at what can only be called a jaunty angle. If the intent was to say that angels get their kit at this shop I think it merits a glorious fail.

A few doors down we have a mannequin with a whip for no discernible reason. Maybe for some festive flagellation; who knows. Maybe whipping up trade ... any way another fail I think.

And speaking of failure these shops are on Whitefriargate which, in the past, has had seasonal lighting that at least looked faintly impressive. This year there's a tawdry single string of lights. Pathetic really, maybe they shouldn't have bothered.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Use Alternative Crossing

I may have mentioned, from time to time, the troubles and tribulations caused to this wonderful town by the presence of the A63 sometimes known as Castle Street and universally regarded as a pain in the fundament. Well now Highways England which is responsible for all this decided to upgrade a pedestrian crossing and work commenced in October ... and here we are at the end of the first week of December with no crossing, no upgrade, no work being done, no workers on site, nada, rien, zip!. Questions are asked by Councillors as to just what on earth is going on here (not a lot, clearly). Highways England are the folk who have promised to improve this road but have yet to submit planning applications ("We're working on it", they say and have been saying for years) and if it takes this long for them to upgrade a crossing (come to think of it how do you upgrade a crossing?) then I shudder to think how long any improvements to the actual road will take. 

Just a little footnote here. This crossing is the most direct route to the Marina and Fruit Market area where many of next year's City of Culture events are happening. That all kicks off in a little over three weeks. Just sayin' is all.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Camera shy

I thought I had seen most of this town's statues so it was a bit of a surprise to catch this lump out of the corner of my corner as I was passing through Zebedee's Yard the other day. The reason I hadn't seen it before was that it's in an enclosed yard behind a wall and only visible through iron bars in window-like openings which explains the odd angle. There's a much better picture of it here along with a little info. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

'Ole in the ground, so big and sort o' round it was

After a vote of residents on what they wanted for the remains of the Beverley Gate (aka the Hull Hole) the Council, in its wisdom, decided not to cover up the few old bricks but instead create an even bigger hole with seating and landscaping and so on. Quite how this bigger, better hole won't end up the haunt of disaffected young folks and who will pick up the litter that will inevitably fall in I don't know. Still I'd better not make too many adverse comments or I might end up like the poor chap in this cautionary tale; enjoy:

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Rising in the East

These impressive towers, just a shade under 300 feet (I'm of an age that doesn't do metric), are the first outward sign that production has really gotten off the ground at the new Siemens wind power plant in east Hull. The blades that go with these babies are nearly 250 feet long. When it comes to wind power it seems size matters. These are destined to sit in the North Sea and power our homes and industry at least while the wind blows. I suppose we'll get used to seeing these things over the coming years but they were quite a surprise when first seen the other day.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Orange men

Queen Victoria Square was veritable hive of activity as the finishing touches are applied to the multi-million pound make over. We are absolutely assured that it will all be completed this month all that is except the new water features which won't be activated until Winter is over. I toyed with using this for the 'transitions' theme yesterday but I realised that actually nothing much has changed just the size of the brick paving. 


The barriers of course remain and if anything the maze has become even more complicated to pass through. In this picture you can see some of the old paving bricks that somehow have survived. They weren't pretty. Below the new paving which is more varied but hardly eye-catching and certainly not worth the months of disruption and loss of trade and business.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The end of November

It's not often people stop and gawp at the sky but yesterday's flaming sunset was quite a spectacle and had folks looking up in amazement. I stood by the river and watched the old Sol Invictus disappear behind Lincolnshire's pylons and, of course, I pointed my camera at it just like you're not supposed to (eyesight is overrated).

Today's first of the month theme for City Daily Photo is "Transitions".

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sunset silhouette and shadows

Not much to say about these; they are what they are. Margot wants the world to know she took the top picture.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?

Here's a familiar sight on a Friday evening on Beverley Road, traffic tailing back to the town centre and not moving much faster than a horse and cart did two centuries ago. But this is bliss compared to the predicted Carmageddon to come on Monday and Tuesday when a section of Ferensway is to be completely closed to allow the completion of some road improvement. A three mile diversion (!) has been put in place involving crossing the river twice. Now even at the best of times those river crossings are bottlenecks and with all the extra traffic it's going to be so much fun. The official advice is to take a bus instead of your car but being stuck on a bus in giant gridlock wont improve things much. My advice: stay in bed.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Roundabouts but no swings

Quite the most pointless roundabout in town. Behind are the battery farms off Osborne Street where people are raised to become awesome citizens and quite a few of them are.

Friday, 18 November 2016

O tidings of comfort and joy!

For the past fortnight or so a few dozen homeless folks have been camping around the fountain in Queen's Gardens. It was a protest at what was perceived to be the uncaring attitude of the Council towards rough sleepers; they wanted to be put in houses or flats rather than put in hostels. I don't know the rights and wrongs of this issue and I'm coming here with less than half a story as by the time I got round to going to town the camp had been evicted leaving only this colourful tent which was pulled down just after I took this on Thursday. The next day the Council planted four big Xmas trees on the site, well we can't have the poor and  homeless ruining the season of good will to all men now, can we?

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Déjà vu all over again

I happened upon a train having a shower the other day (as you do) and was wondering how I could lever this image into this blog. I need not have worried.
Back in the glorious sixties and seventies when motorways were being built up and down and across the country somehow Hull missed out. No three lane transportation route thunders into one of the UK's largest ports. The M62 would stop many miles west of the city and a two lane dual carriage way was considered sufficient from that point on. Well it wasn't and it isn't. And the city and port of Hull is still suffering from that short sighted penny pinching attitude. Screech forward to today and the track from Liverpool westward (equivalent to the M62) will be electrified but the Government has decided in its infinite stupidity that the rail line from Hull to Selby will not be electrified. So passengers from London or Liverpool will have to switch trains and go back half a century or more in terms of rail transport. Freight will have to be moved by practically antique, in terms of technology, engines. This is a despicable decision from a Department of Transport that is unfit for purpose, that clearly has nothing but contempt for the city of Hull, that has still not even put in place plans to alleviate the mess it caused back in the seventies. Ah well we are unloved but we have the culture ... and the old push-me-pull-you trains will be clean for the next fifty years of service.

Monday, 14 November 2016

It's da Green Manalishi with the two prong crown

The relentless principle of monetising every inch of space has reared its ugly head again in the aspirant city of culture. On what was an open area with seating there has now been plonked, a big glass box with a ridiculous double-projecting roof. The purpose of this structure is the sale of warm water infused with the dust of the beans of the coffee plant. Yup, yet another coffee shop.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Grey Days Ahead

Melancholy and utopia are heads and tails of the same coin.
Günter Grass
The time has come, I think, to withdraw into my shell and let the flood of the world's insanity pass over me. I may be some time ...
The weekend in black and whiter is here

Friday, 11 November 2016

On Newland Avenue the poppies blow ...

It will not surprise you to learn I'm not one for poppy wearing or remembering past wars and all the dead and all that business. My old grandad  joined up to fight in the first European madness; he fancied wearing a kilt so he and his brother joined a Scottish regiment just for that reason! His brother didn't come back. (let's hope insanity does get passed on) Any hoo he would say he had no time for the sycophantic Royal British Legion and their revelling in the horrors of the Somme and so on. So what was good enough for old Joe is good enough for me. Strikes me that every year there's more and more of this enforced, dare I say phoney,  'remembrance' of past hostilities (for example, everyone on TV has to wear a poppy or face obloquy from the self-appointed arbiters of public decency) when a bit, nay, a large dollop of forgetfulness might be in order. Enough of this dwelling on the past.
What we have here is part of a grandly insane scheme by a local lady to knit or crochet over 3000 woollen poppies and plant them in all the flower boxes on Newland Avenue. I suppose it's impressive if that's the sort of thing that impresses you. With the inevitability of the sun rising in the morning some toe rag stole a set of poppies. Go take up your quarrel with the foe ...

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Nice mural, shame about the building

They say if you stare this mural for long enough (in my case over thirty years on and off) you can see 'Hull' spelled out by the masts and rigging of the boats. I wouldn't worry if you don't see it.
This is the now empty BHS store and I've shown it before in better times. I'm showing it now because there's a bit of a storm in a teacup brewing over getting the mural some protection from removal or demolition and so on. The powers that be have said that the 1960's work by Alan Boyson "does not reach the standard for listing compared to other examples". There's another mural inside, which I don't remember ever seeing, and that too was not listed. This decision has not met with universal approval and a petition has been set up to get the Council to do something about it. (You can sign it here should you wish.) It's not difficult to discern the dark arts being employed here. If this does get listed then that building will be damn difficult to demolish without a lot of expense and I think that building really should come down if only to subtract one ugly thing from the planet. So I signed the petition; to lose the mural would be like losing an old friend, but I'll sign one to remove the building as well if anyone were to put one up. Go figure.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

All Gone A Bit Pete Tong

I thought on this day a wonky reflection of the statue of liberty might be apposite.
A year where things happen that weren't supposed to happen has topped itself out nicely with the election, as President, of Mr Trump in the good old US of A. Democracy does have a tendency to demock, as it were, and this year has been a doozy for the 'baskets of deplorables' turning over the old certainties. (Politics 101 never, ever insult the voters, they may be hoopleheads but you keep that to yourself). Which is, I suppose why  we have these little things called elections. And the world is still spinning ... if a bit wobbly.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Skidby Mill

Rootling around my old photos for something to post I came across this one of Skidby Mill. It seems I took this a mere eleven years ago. The old mill I'm guessing will still look much the same which is more than can be said about myself or indeed the original post. In the six years since I first posted all the links have been changed or lost, such is the impermanence of all things digital. So if you've a hankering to know more about this place then go here or here (but don't wait too long).