Friday, 23 June 2017

One year later and ... what?

Anniversaries come round so quickly these days, I must be getting old. Can it be a year since we strolled down to the polling station and made a mess of the world by voting to leave the EU? With the shenanigans in Brussels and Downing Street, the departure of one prime Minister, the humiliation of a second,  and the decline of the seemingly invincible Tory hegemony into a rudderless collection of loons and fools kept in office if at all by the even more bizarre (if that were possible) Democratic Unionist Party the year since the utterly unnecessary Brexit vote has been entertaining if completely unproductive with regards to leaving the EU. The UK Government hasn't got a clue what it wants to do (if it has it hasn't told anyone) or how to go about getting it and neither does it have the power at home to come to a decision on hard or soft Brexit or anything in between really. We shall see if the Queen's Speech gets past the Commons; if not then who knows what will happen. Another election or a minority Labour Government led by a man who was described as unelectable by the vast majority of his own MPs only last year. Add to all this events such as terrorist attacks and the appalling loss of life in a fire in a London tower block and it's clearly going to be a long hot summer for whoever is in charge which is as it should be.

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Aristocrats

Allow me, if you  will, to have my annual rant against hot weather. It's 29C and stinking humid as hell and I'm hating it. I know, I know 29C is just warming up for some places but this pale psychrophilic Englishman much prefers 19C;  actually now I come to come to think 9C is just dandy. To add to the misery everyone is supposed to be happy now summer is here: oh look! blue skies and barbecues and relaxing in the glorious sunshine (sunshine is not glorious it's a vile irradiating emission from the furnace in the sky and it can bugger off). Stuff that for a game.

Deep intake of breath ...
aaand relax ...

Where was I? Oh yes
These common gulls were taken by Margot in wonderful cool March. It's difficult not to see them as laughing at something, the human condition perhaps or the Brexit talks that finally start today, the PM who is afraid to show her face in public ("strong and stable"), that bloke from Hull and Hereabouts; there's so much to choose from. Or maybe they've just heard the dirtiest joke ever.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

An Old Stinker

Some birds have different or dialect names. Where I come from, Hartlepool, these beautiful birds are known as stinkers; civilised folk call them starlings of course. They used to be much commoner than they are nowadays with flocks in winter of thousands but now you are lucky to see a hundred or so wheeling around.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Another Blackbird

As the theme for this month was Nature I think I'll take a little break, put the blog on autopilot and post a few bits of nature for the next few days.

Margot took this.

Monday, 12 June 2017


Not really in the mood for this blogging game so here's a blackbird to be going on with.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Lord bless us and save us

They say confession is good for the soul and I confess I got it wrong along with just about every other pundit (some of whom were even paid). The electorate had a simple job to do, pick a government, any government, but somehow it chose not to do its job. Well fine, so be it. Oh the Tories are still there for sure but only by going into into bed with Northern Ireland's Calvinist loony party and then only by the narrowest of margins. The general view now is yet another election and soon. How exciting! This church's wayside pulpit may have the answer to the country's present political entanglement, but somehow I doubt even heavenly intervention is going to clear up this little lot. Meanwhile I'm sticking to forecasting what's for dinner.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

You'll be amazed at a Mazda

"The fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun. The only reason I’m giving it five stars is because I can’t give it fourteen."  -Jeremy Clarkson

While the demos are off merrily democking I thought I'd just post a picture of a natty sports car in red and cream. Kind folks on social media and a spot of googlifying tell me it's a Mazda MX5. Now I consider the private motor car to be the most pernicious invention known to mankind but if we have to have them (and it seems they'll be around for a while yet) they should all look as smart as this.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Election? What election?

For the last fifty days the country has been gripped by the democratic process, millions enthralled by the choices before them, the enormous responsibility of choosing the next government ... or rather it has not been any of these things. I do not recall an election with so little interest being shown, so few posters in windows, so few leaflets (I've had nothing from the Labour lot for the second election running, I think they aren't trying), or hustings or meetings of any kind whatsoever. If it wasn't for the TV/media constantly going on about it you'd never know there was an election going on at all. (What if it was all fake news after all and there really isn't an election? How would we know? ...) It's as if everyone really knows these campaigns change nothing so no-one is paying attention. So for what it's worth my prediction is the Tories will win by at least forty seats quite possibly by many more, not the silly landslide predicted fifty long days ago but easily enough. Oh and Diana Johnson will win as well; this is Hull; donkeys with red rosettes win in Hull.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Lost in music

Here he sits picking out pleasant tunes on his guitar and being roundly ignored by all and sundry. I suspect he doesn't care. He seemed oblivious to all the commotion and screaming not fifty yards away.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Classical Beauties

The Royal Hotel on Ferensway has joined the jamboree with these pieces of pseudomarmoreal pulchritude. Nothing says 'culture' better than a scantily clad lady with a jug.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Dealing with stuff

Here at the foot of the Queen Victoria statue are heaped flowers and balloons and toys and cardboard messages. It's part of that modern fashion for taking part in ceremonies or rites of remembrance and outpourings of sympathy and solidarity. I think I can date the start of this fashion at least in this country; 31 August 1997 or what we call in our house Princess Di Day. The weeks following that car crash were filled with outpourings of grief, giant heaps of flowers and dozens of books of condolences up and down the country (who read them?). I didn't know the woman, never met her but it seemed the whole country had lost a greatly loved family member; it was all totally surreal. So now with every natural disaster, road accident or passing terrorist attack (this one in Manchester the other week but it could be anywhere) we get this and more sometimes (Je suis Charlie was particularly grating). 
I have to say I prefer the old way of dealing with deaths and disasters; flags at half mast maybe, a few words of condemnation or commiseration, absolutely no interviews with survivors, family members, no coverage of police operations, no sensationalism and certainly no heaps of flowers, toys and so on and just move on. Deny your enemy the oxygen of publicity as Mrs Thatcher reportedly said, the bastards absolutely hate to be ignored or, as a columnist in the Guardian put it recently, "Publicity is terror’s “second wave”. Without publicity, terrorism is just dead bodies." But with 24 hour news coverage of everything they have to fill in the gaps with something even if it's only people putting flowers round Queen Victoria in Hull. I suppose I'll just have to deal with it.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Two Circles of Hull

So the promised fountains are in business. And instantly turned into some kind of amusement feature for screaming children to put on their cossies and splash around in the jets of foul smelling over chlorinated water. Cue jokes about the great unwashed of Hessle Road or East Hull (take your choice) getting their annual wash... Someday perhaps the novelty of these fountains will wear off but until then Queen Victoria Square, the centre of town, has been turned into a stinking nauseous pit of hell.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Double Helix

The first day of a new month arrives and the City Daily Photo theme is Nature.