Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The best seat in town

Tourists are flocking to see the latest city of culture installation on Trinity House Lane. The work, sponsored by a local public house, is constantly added to and occasionally subtracted from but will remain a feature in the city through out the year. I think it's a strong statement of the conflict between high ideals and base reality. I highly recommend it.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hull says NO! So Trump Won't Go!

Here in the dark of a January evening a collection of banner wavers, delusional socialist wannabes, imps, pimps, banjo players and just plain old fashioned passers-by have collected in Queen Victoria Square to demand that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE about that awful Mr Trump and his evil acts.  There was lots talk of building a socialist alternative and fighting American Imperialism all drawing the appropriate Pavlovian applause response. I hear he keeps a close ear to the ground and worries so much about how well he's doing down on Hessle Road and the Avenues, so this grand demo will greatly irritate his ulcers and boil his piss I've no doubt.
Seriously though Mr Trump  the duly (and newly) elected head of state of a foreign country is getting up everyone's nose at the moment He might be doing something right then, but it's not my circus and not my monkey as they say these days. But it not just American noses, no sir, well it wouldn't be would it? The self-proclaimed liberal luvvies have got to show themselves as "doing" stuff so they hold these little demos sprouting up over the country, all utterly meaningless and just an excuse for the same old tired inane claptrap to be spouted forth. But the irrelevancy doesn't stop at few demos; oh no.  There's currently a petition to Parliament  (that's the UK Parliament by the way just in case, like me, you were wondering what the hell it has got to do with us) with over 1.5 million signatures saying Mr Trump should not be allowed to meet the Queen! Ye Gods! I would have thought that making him meet that wizened old brood mare was a suitable punishment for anyone but no, he must not shake hands (or anything else) with Queenie or the world will end or some such nonsense. Now as this pathetic little country is seeking a trade deal with the good old evil US of A what chance do you think that petition has, hmmm? I expect Brenda will be told to get her knee pads out, moisten her royal lips and grin and bear it.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Surplus to Requirements

The natives are getting restless in deepest, darkest Cottingham. The local council, not Hull, for once, but the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, hereinafter known as ERYC, has decided that the Civic Hall in Cottingham is "surplus to requirements" and want to sell it off to whoever. That phrase 'surplus to requirements' clearly came from a soulless, heartless accountant and not something with a brain between its ears. Needless to say this has not gone down well with all the hundreds of people who use it for exercise groups, plays, community activities of all descriptions; real people to whom it is essential.  So plans are afoot to take over the place locally with a trust to manage the running of the place. Hopefully ERYC will see sense  and stop acting like ideological ass holes and remember there are elections coming up sooner or later when perhaps they'll find that they, too,  have become surplus to requirements.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Erstwhile Bank

In what estate agents might call a prime location on the junction of Hallgate and King Street here is the building formerly known as HSBC. If this does not become a trendy wine bar and/or  restaurant in the next few months I'll be very surprised. It seems the big boys are closing branches up and down the country. HSBC are closing two branches in town including the Whitefriargate one. While Cottingham still has three other banks that folks can use some villages and even small towns have no banks at all which I imagine is a right pain if you're a pensioner with limited mobility and no understanding the web or if you're trying to run a shop and run out of change. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

The Quality Street Lights

So here's some old flats on Porter Street all lit up as an arts project called "I Wish To Communicate With You" for some reason that escapes me. Puts me in mind of those coloured cellophane wrappers that came (probably still do for all I know) with Quality Street chocolates. Obviously it's all to do with that damn culture thing. The pictures I've seen of it, including this one, really don't do it any justice, it's much more impressive in real life, though hardly a stunningly original piece.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Ideal

This place on Midland Street seems to be hanging on despite the demolition of the nearby Albert Hall. It's both a driving school and a printers, odd combination but that's how it is.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Terrace

Or rather the back of the terrace. This is the derrière of Albion Street and is posted here to give a fuller, all round picture, wouldn't want to be accused of frontistic tendencies ...

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Vacuous Nonsense

As part of the cultural bonanza currently being spread like field manure, hither and yon, several advertising hoardings around town are to be taken over for what is termed Art. Now I know art is not meant to mean anything so this is clearly qualifies as art, a house, a car like thing and Rudolph the reindeer suddenly discovering who has been sworn in as 45th president of the US of A. A whole year of this fap crap, oh how wonderful!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The E.U International

Hard boiled Brexit or the soft runny kind may affect these little supermarkets selling delicacies from the Baltic and other exotic places but I rather think they'll still be here long after we've all forgotten about the EU, Mrs Merkel (Wer sie?) and the single market or whatever. The current stupid little falling out is a mere blip, a historical hiccup. It'll all blow over and the dust will settle and we'll say what was all the fuss about. What kind of madness was that? We''ll get back to doing what we've been doing for two thousand years or more, trading goods and carrying people across the North Sea and the Channel, to and from Europe and beyond. What else can we or Europe do?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Bingo Hall

The advertising on this building attempts to convince that it is so much more than bingo but that's advertising for you; a manifest denial of the truth. This place, on Clough Road, looks like and is the same size as a large warehouse and has a large car park to cope with demand. It replaced the much smaller hall on Beverley Road. I can think of at least two other similarly large bingo clubs in Hull so there must be plenty of people wanting to get their "eyes down for a full house". In the UK 45 million visits a year were made to bingo clubs which was more than went to professional football in England so it's no small business but personally I cannot see the attraction of housey-housey.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

One for sorrow

Yesterday, Blue Monday, was supposed to be the saddest, most depressing day of the year which, if true, means that things can only get better ... 

Margot took this sad picture so many years ago that we still had a Labour government and the current out-going POTUS was Borack Who?

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Wrong Way

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well. It were done quickly ...

I hope yesterday's post did not give the impression that the town is cleared of the orange menace. As you can see there's still plenty of it about. Work is still going on and won't be finished until March so I'm told. So if you're in town and want to get from A to B without going via C to Z, it's as well to check out the intricate maze of pathways that have been set out before us. The unwary may be taken several hundred yards out of their way. 
If you think there's an inordinate amount of this stuff going on in Hull it's because the Council claim to be trying to do three years work in one year.  We shall see if might not have been quicker to go slower.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Orange Barrier Man

Someone has to have the job of taking away all those friendly barriers that have corralled and shepherded us these past months and here is that someone wearing suitable camouflage.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The New Look

In the bad old days Jameson Street had paving, a few trees, a scattering of seats and a row of street lights. Now, after the expenditure of untold millions, Jameson Street has paving, a few trees, a scattering of seats and a row of street lights. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose as they often say these days in the city of culture.

Friday, 13 January 2017

The statement from our sponsors

The City of Culture thing is under way as I may have mentioned. The year is being financed by 'partners' or sponsors in common parlance. The old saying "he who pays the piper calls the tune" mostly definitely applies to what you see before you. Siemens manufacture wind turbines in an old dock out in the badlands of east Hull and being a major sponsor, sorry partner, they get to plonk, sorry (again) tastefully place their produce in the town square. Oh to be sure it's officially a sculpture or an installation or whatever by the name of "The Blade" but anyone can see this is just product placement gone barmy. I won't bore you with statistics of size and weight and so on since I know you won't be impressed, let's just say it's big and intrusive and leave it at that. And you certainly don't want to know how it got here, let's just say the fairies left it overnight. The natives, however, seem mightily pleased with their gift from the gods and go up to it and touch it as if it wasn't real, all very odd, still if it keeps them happy I suppose it does no harm.

Somewhere there's a team of engineers who must be very pleased with their work.

Did I mention it was bloody big?

It may not be art but it makes a good place for birds to keep an eye on the insanity of this place.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Lumpy Bumps

You know how it is; finishing off a make over and deciding that a little extra decorative piece would just round off the tout ensemble. So it came to pass that Hull acquired this artfully crafted installation down by the Marina. What is it, do I hear you ask? Hmm, you and the rest of the world ...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Alley

I showed the pleasures of the far end of this delightful place a while back (OK five years ago, who's counting?). It looked like this. I don't think it'll have changed much since then.
I suppose in the interests of fairness, filling in space and finding something to say when completely out of ideas that the building on the right is reckoned to be one of the most haunted buildings in Hull if not in the whole country. The local rag regularly runs pieces (here's one) on alleged paranormal happenings, there is apparently an evil force lurking within. Even the police have been called out, I bet they loved that. I guess even Hull has its dull news days (no, no it does, rarely, I admit, but it can be dull in Hull) so these fantastical reports should come as no real surprise. If I was to tell you that you can pay to spend the night there and be scared out of your wits you might think some sort of scam was being played. I couldn't possibly comment.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Florist

This was taken in December when it seems there was a market for wreaths of holly and mistletoe and other Yuletide paraphernalia; how long ago that seems now. Hollyhocks is on Princes Avenue and seems to be blooming.

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Takeaway

This one is on Cottingham Road but it could be just about anywhere in town, they're ubiquitous and they all look pretty much the same.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Deterrent

On Liberty Lane some recent demolition work has left this quite redundant anti-intruder device hanging in the wind.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Millpond

I'd never seen old Humber so flat calm and peaceful. No clouds other than those made by the gentle folk of Lincolnshire (*waves hello*) without which this picture and the similar one below would be somewhat lacking in interest. 

Thursday was exceptionally clear and in these parts and at this time of year that almost always means there'll be a cracking sunset, so I make no excuses yet another going-down-of-the-sun photo. I could get tired of these sights but hopefully not any time soon.

Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Public House

Next door to our greasy fingered barber is the Star of the West or rather the reinvented Star of the West. The original watering hole was on West Street (geddit!) and looked a lot like this
As I recall I went into the old place on my first Saturday afternoon in Hull some thirty five or more years ago and had a pint of uninspired beer and a memorably soggy and execrable steak pie. A fine welcome! The place remained a sleazy dive, frequented by Saturday night pub crawlers and reporters from the nearby Hull Daily Mail. I never went in again and can't really say I missed it when the old place was knocked down to make way for this. However in my assiduous research for this post I did come across a song about the Star of West, it's in the 'folk' style and clearly the writer was more impressed than I was.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Barber Shop

It's a barber's shop on Trinity House Lane. OK it's a rock 'n' roll barber's shop. So why Greasy Fingers? Something to do with hair product apparently.
I post this but I haven't been in a barber's for over thirty years and my hair, what there is of it, is over my shoulders like some ageing hippy. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Laundry

You can't make an economy out of taking in each other's washing said somebody, (possibly Mark Twain it sounds like the sort thing he might come out with). Well maybe not an economy but certainly a thriving little business. The laundry at the end of the road seems to being doing nicely so much so it has recently expanded into the old Victoria Wines off licence next door. I've always called this place sounding like Netta but it occurs to me they might want to be more like Neater, who knows or even cares?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The corner shop

This shop replaced an older shop about ten years or so ago and has a number of franchises running it. The current lot took over this Summer and immediately put up the price of everything an cut the range of goods on offer. So I don't go there as often ususally to take money out of the ATM now Lloyds have shut the local bank across the road. It's cheaper in Tesco and Sainsburys which I never would have believed. Until I took photo this I hadn't realised quite how many bollards surround the place, security to prevent ram-raiding which seems to be out of fashion these days.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Eyes like saucers

I could do with a little tinder-box and few wishes being fulfilled at the moment but I don't suppose one is coming my way any time soon.
This hound was in a shop window in Bridlington oh so many months ago and has hopefully found a forever home by now. I believe his eyes light up and maybe he performs other tricks who knows? He looks harmless though.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

That was the year that was

The theme for City Daily Photo starts the year Janus fashion by looking back for the 'Photo of the Year'. Out of 236 postings I liked this monochrome effort the most although not particularly strongly. In terms of most viewings, however, the one below was easily the most popular with twice as many hits as the runner-up. Why? I don't know, maybe it was my shameful purloining of the Sea of Hull thing, maybe folks just like a big wide brown river or since most of my viewings are from Russia for some unknown reason maybe Putin is planning to visit this year.

Today is also the start of the City of Culture Year,  there are fireworks tonight on the Humber and a week of light shows in the town centre. I shall endeavour to keep coverage of this to a minimum, there might be something tomorrow and that'll be it for a while. There's more than enough rubbish already out there without me adding to it. If you want more: Google is your friend.