Sunday, 30 June 2019

A road by any other name ...

You know how towns like to honour folk by naming streets after them: so this town has a Larkin Close; an appropriately dull cul-de-sac, Alfred Gelder Street, Jameson Street, and Ferensway , of course; that local turncoat John Hotham from the civil war times gets a road along with Sir Thomas, Lord Fairfax who gets an avenue; there must be dozens more: Raich Carter Way, Blundell's Corner spring to mind as I write... just outside Hull, across the road from me, there's a short avenue named after a guy who wanted to be Lord Glencoe but somehow the connotations of bloody massacre made him change to Lord Strathcona ... so, anyway,  the other year they decided to rename Garrison Road as Roger Millward Way. I'm not sure that this is any kind of honour since Garrison Road as was is really just an extension of the dreaded A63/Castle Street, the bane of motorists' lives and a right pain in the nethers to cross at times... and I wonder how many even know about this or whether the name will catch on ... when they finally get home, will the motorists of this fair town put their feet up, wrap their hands round a well deserved hot brew and say "oh that *beeeep* traffic on Roger Millward Way was such a *beeeep* disgrace" ... nah not going to happen, ever.
I won't pretend to know anything about who or what Roger Millward was, some sporty bloke, so I've heard,  rugby league, really, really not my scene ...

I mentioned today and several times before that this road is  a pain to cross and that young men have been seen to turn into grey beard loons waiting, funeral directors have been spotted lurking for falling stock ... well some concerned person has put up a plaque to let the world know that those who wait may be gone but are not forgotten, not lost just gone before ...

Saturday, 29 June 2019

It's a kind of madness

I suppose my favourite view of Hull is one where I can't see it all, out across the Humber, where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet as some baldy bloke once wrote so many years ago. I was gazing across the wondrous brown ooze the other day when I spied out to the east something on the horizon that was new to me, so pushing the camera's zoomy potential to the limit I took a picture with no hope of it showing anything much. When I got home and looked at the hazy image above I thought what on earth is that ... turns out it's the biomass storage silos at Immingham docks some nine miles away as the seagull flies. It's all part of the current vogue for saving the world by  burning trees to make electricity. Instead of digging up coal from under the ground in Yorkshire (like they did for centuries) they now import wood (9 million tons per year) from across the world (America and China) in very large oil burning ships that dock at Immingham, discharge their biomass into these silos from whence it's taken by oil burning train to the Drax power station, in Yorkshire. I'm sure this salves the conscience of those who worry about the amount of atmospheric CO2 produced by mankind (estimated at ~5%) compared to that produced by "nature" (~95%). I'm also sure they do not worry that burning wood makes more CO2 per KW of electricity generated (50-85% more than coal and nearly 300% more than gas!) as wood burns less efficiently than coal (which is why our ancestors went to the trouble of digging out coal in the first place). Acres of forest are chopped down daily to turn on the lights in Yorkshire and hereabouts; it takes a mere fifty years for it to regrow. I've read that  4,600 square miles of forest are needed for this one power station alone, I find that an absolutely staggering figure if true. Chopping down young trees grown for this madness seemingly releases lots of  CO2 from the forest which takes years to be reabsorbed by new growth, so harvesting biomass process actually increases atmospheric CO2
This is , of course, not cheap, it is much more expensive to produce sparks this way than by traditional coal burning so we find biomass burning plants are closing all across the world, they simply can't compete. However Government policy (made law this week without any discussion or vote in Parliament but simply by ministerial decree, so much for democracy) is to increase the price of energy for everyone, sorry,  I should say to reduce emissions and make the UK Carbon neutral by 2050 (whatever that means) ...  It is obvious that burning biomass is far from being a sustainable, renewable, "carbon neutral" process . But there you go; the greeny squeaky wokey folk and HM Government will have it that there is a problem with our atmosphere and that this is a solution; they are, of course, all completely mad.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Holy Mackerel

It's been a while since I posted anything piscine related to the Hull Fish Trail. To rectify that omission and as it's Friday here's part of a small shoal of mackerel lurking for a passing sprat no doubt. You can find them at the eastern end of Holy Trinity church where Lowgate turns imperceptibly into Market Place. They're carved out of sandstone and have been in the pavement and walked over by the passing throng since 1992 or thereabouts and are getting a bit worn out and easily missed.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

“Trees, how many of 'em do we need to look at?”

A few years ago I noticed that the two elm trees on Nelson Street were going a bit patchy in the foliage ... oh no, I thought at the time, not the dreaded Dutch Elm Disease again ... still hope for the best I said to myself with no real expectation ... so it came as no great shock or surprise to find that they've recently been removed. Just two more casualties in the long running decimation of millions of these trees across this country and indeed the world.

Here's one of the beautiful beasts back in 2016 just starting to show signs of distress recorded, as it were, for posterity.

Elms produce hundreds of thousands of these 'seeds' every year from what I heard and read not one of them is fertile ... all English Elms are genetically identical clones (brought here by the Romans along with rabbits and pheasants, gratias vobis ago), which doesn't help things if you are looking for a disease resistant variety.

OK I admit I enlarged and fiddled with contrast on this to see how many rings I could count; somewhere around 170 was my best guess which puts our young elm here around 1850ish which would fit in nicely with the opening of the Corporation Pier for the ferry to Lincolnshire.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Where there's muck ...

I'm much too young to have any knowledge of the great smogs of London but I am old enough to remember when each house in the land burnt coal and the fuss and bother of the clean air legislation that meant we had to change to smokeless fuels: coke at first (which was a bit like having a mini blast furnace in the living room) and then later converting to good old North Sea Gas. I think all towns and cities in the in the UK are now smokeless zones however East Riding of Yorkshire has no smokeless zones at all so in Cottingham there are still the odd one or two coal burning houses pumping out the vile reeking smoke. It's amazing the intolerable, acrid, throat stinging stench from one coal fire and yet I don't recall this from thousands of coal hearths when I was a young lad; that was just how things were then. So no, I don't miss the old ways, the days starting cold and freezing as the fire obviously had gone out over night and wouldn't "catch" unless a sheet of newspaper was held over it to pull a draught up the chimney, the ashes needing carrying out, the regular delivery from the coal merchants, the sweeping of the chimney every so often to stop it catching fire (that was fun though, for a young'un, watching the brush poke out of the chimney with a cloud of soot), really cold bedrooms with ice on the window in winter, no central heating, no double glazing, no instant hot water, the singular joy of a frozen toilet and so on... I'm feeling a cold shudder just writing about it (but that could be because it's only 14C outside) ... give me a nice, efficient, clean gas boiler with instant central heating any day. But I digress ...
It was not just the bronchi of every living soul that were covered in a patina of soot and tar but the buildings were coated in grime, some with centuries of soot, as well. You might imagine that after nigh on fifty years of clean air these buildings would all be sparkling and for the most part you'd be right but ... well there's always one isn't there? This reminder of how things used to be is 46 Whitefriargate. It was originally a bank built in 1904 and despite, or maybe because of, its sooty grime it is Grade 2 listed. Now imagine, if you can, every building in every town similarly coated, ... no wonder old films were black and white ...

Monday, 24 June 2019

Well, you know what thought did?

...Followed a muck cart and thought it was a wedding.

I seemed to have timed my arrival in town on Saturday for the ceremony of the emptying of bins, an event designed to draw in crowds and reassure folk that the City of Culture will not be overwhelmed by litter. So it was that I followed this muck cart , sorry, stately urban refuge collection and recycling vehicle, up the sunny delight that is Jameson Street where it posed  in front of the now empty BHS store, an almost iconic Hull combination.

À propos  the empty store the council , last I heard, had asked for tenders and plans for demolition. Whether those plans have to include keeping the mural I  know not; the council has said it is its intention to keep it. I won't tell you what I'm thinking because you know what thought did ...

Sunday, 23 June 2019

"Your patience and cooperation is appreciated."

"This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide."
                                                                                        Her Majesty's Government

Leather, I read, is the appropriate gift for a three year anniversary and a good strong leather tawsing would sort out our dozy elected representatives fine and good. Three years of prevarication, horse trading, Parliamentary shenanigans that I've never seen the like of before and still somehow, to no-one's real surprise, the UK is still in the EU. The record from the illiberal, antidemocratic Remainers is stuck, "Leaving without a deal" would be a catastrophe, the world would stop spinning and the sky fall in ...but of course there is no deal that they could accept not even the watered garbage offered by Mrs May. The record of our so-called "Brexit means Brexit" government is one of supine surrender to the stubborn mules of the EU. So the delay saw the farce of this country participating in the EU Parliamentary elections where the Bexit Party, a mere couple of months in the making, got twice as many votes as the next two parties put together. (Somehow this was seen as a tremendous victory for the Liberal Democrats who, it goes without saying, are neither liberal nor democratic.) 
Now two Prime Ministers have been consumed by Brexit and a third is about to be chosen in an arcane process involving only members of the Conservative and Unionist Party. This appears to be accompanied by  merry and bloody hatchet jobs in all the media on the leading contender's private life, make stuff up, report scurrilous lies, you name it, it's open season on Boris Johnson (I could almost feel sorry for the overweight old Etonian sybarite, almost...) He just so happens to 'promise' to leave the EU, come what may, on October 31; ah promises, promises ...
The other guy, Jeremy Hunt, or Mrs May in trousers, campaigned to remain in the EU and now mealy mouths vaguely about leaving, hints at a second referendum (by all means bring it on!) and has a surname that is often the subject of Freudian slips ...
Three years ago today the people of this country, participating in the largest democratic exercise in the history of this country, voted by a clear majority to leave the EU. The government said, in a pamphlet delivered to every house in the land, "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide." So, as the old song says, "Why are we waiting? Why, why, oh why?".

A Pedant's PS shouldn't that be "Your patience and cooperation are appreciated." ?

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Summer in the City

Six years ago, almost to the day, I posted a collection from a trip round town on a Saturday afternoon. I thought maybe it could be time for a sequel, update, repeat call it what you will. There was plenty to see, as last time, but later, when I got home and watched to local news on ITV, I realised that I'd 'missed' a 'party' in Whitefriargate celebrating the birthday of murdered MP Jo Cox ( I'd noticed the seats and folk sitting around but ignored it ...had I known I would still have ignored it anyway, there's a creepy and creeping use of this woman's death as a weapon to try to silence dissent. She is portrayed a some kind of saint whereas she was in fact just another Labour/Remain MP whose politics I do not support and never will.). I also missed a gathering in Queen's Gardens by trade unionists still trying to get folk to think that unity is strength and passing on the age old messages of the labour movement... good luck with that on the first warm Saturday of the summer ... and Summer in the City was what the really quite talented young busker above was singing, he must really like the old tunes from last century ...

Mickey was posing for selfies and trying to sell twisted balloons

The youngsters' steel band was playing Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D which goes surprisingly well on steel drums; it does however go on and on and on and on ... and then stops for no apparent reason, a relief to all concerned.

A wee bit of faintly ridiculous quasi phoney Scottish cultural tosh was ignored by the oh so discerning passers-by ... they know their Culture when they see it.

The indoor market that two years ago I posted as being empty and deserted was heaving, it seems every pitch or stall has been filled with large variety of enterprising businesses. It was good to see  and a bit like old times.Let's hope it can continue.

Quite a lot of places had little yellow elephants displayed and outside a pub on Trinity House Lane a lady was wearing a plastic yellow elephant on her head, (out of respect for her privacy/sanity I did not photograph it). Seems it was Yellow Day in Hull and that's as much as I know or indeed want to know. 

And finally, before I go, there's this ...

Does your local news get read by someone who makes you want to throw yourself under a passing train or bus just for shits and giggles? Mr Levy... what can I say after watching this one-time 'actor' and disc-jockey read the news on the local BBC for what seems like a lifetime? ... he ums, he ahs, ums and ahs, ums and ahs ... he speaks with his mouth shut, he mutters, he mumbles, he puts accentuation in all the wrong places...  he thanks us for being there each evening,  and, ever so politely, thanks us again for "tuning in" (tuning in? Poor old soul, probably thinks he's still on the wireless.); he looks like he's lost a pound and found a penny ... and thanks to the iniquity of the British television licence, the vile regressive TV Tax,( soon to be reimposed on 75 year old pensioners), we all pay his wages whether we watch him or not ... and do you know what? Hundreds if not thousands like him and think he's doing a grand job... de gustibus and all that jazz.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Nunc pro tunc

Ah the old injunction: learn from the past ... but whose past are we to learn from? Historians being human beings like ourselves tell tales like us and have to pay their bills like us and so write their histories not with any degree of impartiality or objectivity but to put bread on their table. They'll twist the past to fit the present (and vice versa), make up a glorious past, tell and sell outright lies just to suit their own or their master's ends ... so perhaps the only good lesson, then, to learn from the past is caveat lector.

I came across this inset just the other day. It's in the newly-laid-two-years-ago paving stones close by the ... well I won't say where it is, I'll see if any one else has spotted it in Hull. It's an odd, easily overlooked, small thing and I can find nothing about it from the usual channels.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

"92) Spot the koi carp in the old dock next to Princes Quay"

Pictures by Margot K Juby
Last year the local paper ran a piece labelled: "The ultimate Hull bucket list: 101 things to do in the city before you die"; the sort of cut and paste job they do when there's no news in June. Anyhow, apart from finding that I'm now quite ready to kick that bucket having done nigh on all the things on this list, lurking down there at number 92 is "Spot the koi carp in the old dock next to Princes Quay"... no picture accompanied this just a reassurance that "They are in there. Honest." ... like there is any difficulty getting a photo of these beasts, easy peasy you'd think. Except I've tried over the years with different cameras, different times of day, polarising filter, you name it... getting nothing that was anywhere near good enough. So when Margot said she'd have a go with our new Lumix I was not hopeful, "It'll never work", I said, "You're wasting your time ....", I said ...
So how did so many big, prize carp end up in Princes Dock? Well I've heard two stories: one was that they were taken from Queen's Gardens pond to give them more room to roam (seems unlikely). The other was to control the algal growth and flies next the to Princes Quay shopping centre (seems a bit more likely) ... what ever the reason the Council did put over 1000 fish into the old dock back in 2010 and they seem to be thriving on algae, flies and bits of naughty children thrown in by desperate parents ...

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Beauty of Snuff Mill Lane

Picture by Margot K Juby
Hogweed is such a crude name for this little gem of an umbellifer. An alternative of cow parsnip is not really a whole lot better. How about Heracleum sphondylium (Heraclean vertebrate??? Linnaeus has a lot to answer for) does that sound grander? Or (new to me) Eltroot? As it's seemingly de rigueur these days to bring in the Bard at any opportunity I'll just ask what's in a name? ... and move on, quickly.

Snuff Mill Lane whence came this beauty is doing that thing it does in June when it rains lots and is warmish (OK cool ~14C) and muggy. Hay fever sufferers should probably avoid this place for a while. You'll have to imagine, if you can, the sound that accompanies you in this place with dozens of singing birds all competing for my one good ear... It can only be a matter of time before someone comes and strims the whole lot down in the name of tidiness... 
And it pays to keep your wits about you as you never know what you might come across down this lane.

The weekend in Black and White will be blooming here, hopefully.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019


Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives.”

... so says  a statement from UNESCO and it's pretty hard to disagree. So, let us say that in the City of Culture, the place where hundreds of thousands if not millions (if you swallow the Kool Aid stats) came to visit and gawp in amazement at the torch lit parades, the fancy dress parades, the installation of  a wind turbine blade, the simply ridiculous Turner Prize, the art-and-fart, here-today-and-pissed-off-tomorrow, paid-for-by-the-taxpayer steaming garbage that oozed through the newly paved streets of this town ... well, in this benighted place far too many adults (42% in some wards) can barely read or write above the level of an eight year old and nearly 40% of their children leave primary schools not able to read properly. To put this into some sort of historical context back in the early 19th century it was reckoned nearly two thirds of working men could read after a fashion though fewer could write (teaching writing was frowned upon as working folk might start writing their own stories and tales of woe and so on and that most definitely would not do). In parts of this town there seems to have been little progress in two centuries... 

There's no glamour in functional illiteracy, no awards for being unable to write, no visitors from Primrose Hill and Hampstead, no sponsored rainbow coloured celebration in the heart of town, it is most definitely not liberating  ... just a daily struggle to get by as  the better informed, better paid world races on ahead.

You might think that libraries like the one above on Beverley Road could help; it is, after all, right in the heart of one of the most deprived areas in the town ... but some time back (10 or 15 years) this place (along with several others) was closed. "Underperforming" was the accounting term used. It became part of a brand new expensive school, called  "Endeavour". That school lasted but a few years and is no more, it too "underperformed" ... along with all the other underperfoming schools in the town.

So the Council's plan to deal with adult under education as I understood it was to expand the Central library, bring in Learning Zones ... with fewer books and more computers and that essential aid to learning, a modern ambience (think how well Oxbridge would do with a modern ambience!). The result is that Hull is not the worst place in the country for literacy problems; no, no ... it's just the eleventh worst place.

The Northern Library, as it was known, was built in 1895 to the standard pattern of public libraries back in the day. It is now seems to be a Grade 2 listed empty place that is clearly no longer underperforming ...

Monday, 17 June 2019

Gimme Shelter ...

"Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm ..." warbled the ageing Nobel laureate from Minnesota so many, many years ago. Well imagination is a wondrous thing and will be well exercised by our brand new long awaited replacement bus shelter. Those who design these things no doubt never stand waiting for the bus that never comes and give no thought to the very idea that the wind might blow and the cold rain fall from a different direction to the one they decide. Still this marks progress, all we need now is a little sign saying "Bus Stop" and perhaps, if we may be so bold, a timetable for decorative purposes only you understand ...but as someone else warned some time back "You should not ask for so much" ...

Sunday, 16 June 2019

A kind of magic

As you go up Newland Avenue (up meaning Northwards) you pass under a rail bridge and maybe pay little heed to the patch of land just to your side. It is hidden behind some protective fencing and only measures a few square feet. It used to be a bit of a problem with litter and "stuff" accumulating there, really just an ugly nuisance; but then some locals took it in hand and transformed it into a teeny magical garden where not everything is as it appears... So a big well done and many thanks to the folks who did this.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

A case of the s'pose'das

Last year I read that this old trawler, the Arctic Corsair, was supposed to be moved from here next to the museum of streetstrife and transports of delight, where it has been since 1998, eventually to one of the ancient dry docks upstream. The move was supposed to allow for flood defence work to be carried. Then I read, that the boat was supposed to be moved last October on the equinoctial high tides. Well, that did not happen. I read that a bunch of regulations and paper work were supposed to in place before that could even begin to happen. Also the silt was supposed to be washed away before they could move it. A new date for moving was set; supposed to be equinox in March this year... (and here we are in June which is supposed to be warmer than February but this year's weather has decided to do things arse over tit ...)
The old dry docks are, of course, silted up and the mud, I read, was supposed to be used to make building bricks. The work to clear the mud was reportedly delayed by a brood of ducklings which had no idea it was not supposed to be there (naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret...). As you can see the trawler and the old silt are still where they are (per omnia saecula saeculorum)... and the next equinox is supposed to be in October ... at least that's the supposed to date.

Friday, 14 June 2019

et in Argos ego ...

This was for many years an Argos store until it shut a couple of years ago. Before that, I remember it was the Habitat store selling overpriced 1960/70s designed household furniture and lighting, clearly Hull wasn't quite the market for such goods as the store closed years ago. (Obviously this was before "Culture" came to the town.)
Argos is an odd kind of store where you chose your goods from a catalogue that runs to over 1000 pages with many, many thousands of products, write the product code on a slip of paper take it to the checkout, pay for it (declining the offer of buying a warranty, thank you, but I wasn't born yesterday), wait a short while and your stuff appears by magic from behind a counter. Do they make up your item as you order it? or is there the biggest warehouse in the world hiding in the back?
Now, of course, you can browse the catalogue and order/pay online; go to the shop and pick up your goods ... I think they even deliver (we live in wonderful times). Few folk take home their own copy of the Argos catalogue which used to be reprinted twice a year (I think). Hundreds of these thick glossy tomes would be stuffed in boxes outside the doors of each store. They made excellent door stops but mainly they made even better landfill. 

PS I now read that the Argos catalogue has in fact been withdrawn from many stores with a view to scrapping it completely ... which goes to show how much I know about anything.

At least the Weekend in Black and White is still here.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Preventing a Collapse of the Banks

That's river banks in case you were wondering. At long last work is under way to repair, fix and generally improve (upgrade could be the word I'm looking for) the riverside defences. Here the rig is on the stretch running along Tower Street but much work has already been completed upstream on Bankside and Wincolmlee  to the amusement of the many drivers who were unable to use that route as a short cut  ... It's a real big job and costs a mere £44 million but then you've  got to count the cost of losing bits of Hull to floods and the moaning and the groaning and the blaming and so on and so forth for ever and a day ... money well spent.

That river bank doesn't look too bad does it? But a few yards upstream it's much, much worse ...

The Weekend in Black and White will be here at the appropriate time.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

"This is summer, you have to make an effort ..."

After the excitement of the Lord Mayor's Hanse Day I was at a loss for something to do and to make things even more interesting it started to rain, heavily. Now a little rain never harmed anyone and a temperature like today's of 11C (I'm wearing two jumpers to keep warm!) is not going to cause any impediment to enjoying the delights this fair city has to offer ... as I was told as a child "You can't put the heating on. This is summer, you have to make an effort!". So I took my own advice on what to do in Hull on a rainy day and shuffled on over to the Streetlife Transport Museum to see what, if anything, had changed since I last visited some seven years ago. The short answer is nothing has changed at all as far as I could tell. Rebuilt railway signalman's hut still there? Check. Red bus with guy still hanging out of window? Check. Blue bus still going to West Dock Avenue? Check. Biplane still swooping low over a typical Hull Street scene as they did so often back in the day? Check, check and checkedy check for all the other things ...
So while Pluvius did his thing outside I had a quick shifty round and took a few piccies, then I put on my old green bucket hat, zipped up my coat and made my way home. You can have too much fun in a museum so best to limit yourself  or so I convinced myself ... oh and in future if it's rainy and cold in Hull I'm just going to go home and have a nice cup of tea while summer pulls itself together.

Looking at this façade I realised it looked familiar, it's a copy of the entrance to Hepworth's Arcade on Lowgate ...

Monday, 10 June 2019

You don't know what you've got till it's gone ...

What you've never had, I suppose, you'll never miss. So future new visitors to Lowgate might wonder at older folks shaking their heads and sighing a little at the loss of the 1970s brown glazed façade of the block opposite Holy Trinity. Gone forever now the near perfect reflections that any and I guess every local photographer and tourist snapped up on their first trip around town ... I know old empty offices serve no purpose and folk need places to live and poor threatened landlords die such a painful death without income ...and all the rest... so anyway here are new apartments whose occupants will no doubt complain about old folk pointing their crooked fingers at their windows, shaking their heads and sighing.

Well, OK then just once more ...  for old times' (and old timers') sake ...

*Shakes head and sighs*

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Half-hearted Hanse

I read that at the last formal meeting of the Hanseatic league in the 17th century only nine cities bothered to turn up, maybe the weather was bad or maybe they'd heard and seen it all before and just couldn't be bothered... So it felt yesterday when I revisited Hull's Hanse day celebrations; the event had been rolled into the Lord's Mayor's Parade which did not not bode well (if you need to combine two of your events into one biggy;  "the Lord Mayor's Hanse Day", then probably neither are worth the effort of visiting). 
By the time I got there just after two in the afternoon I'd missed the parade (thankfully) and everything looked to be over... we were promised all sorts of goodies but there were I think about four possibly five pathetic stalls in the square outside Holy Trinity church, a few more tucked onto Trinity House Lane and something silly was going on in Queen Victoria Square... this was nothing like as big an affair as back in 2016 and visitors were few and far between; granted the weather was as the weather was as it often is in early June; varying between somewhat disappointing and absolutely pouring down... and maybe we've all heard and seen it all before.

... and what I asked myself do these folk do when it's not Hanse Day? I know King's Lynn has a Hanse Day and there were a few other ports with Hanseatic connections but is that enough to keep the wolf from the door?

In case you were wondering why folk (or fools even) don't wear such fabulous headwear any more, so good at keeping the ears warm well fashions change and things evolve ...