Saturday, 31 August 2019

Simply add water

The river Hull in these parts is basically an extension of the North Sea and as such is subject to the same tidal ups and downs. Which means if you don't much like being stuck on the the muddy banks then wait a while and a soothing, reflective brown influx will gently lift you up. 

Weekend Reflections are here.

Friday, 30 August 2019

A Devilish Plot

... and so it came to pass the news that they had dreaded... Parliament to be prorogued! It's a coup, I tell you, a very British coupe (sic). A devilish plot to undermine the Will of the People. The people being a small portion of those who were in a minority three years ago and have filibustered and conspired to thwart the decision by the majority to leave the corrupt European Union. MPs simply must have time to debate this issue, three years not being enough seemingly. It's unconstitutional, though the Queen signed off on it and it should happen, and indeed has happened regularly for three centuries, to each and every Parliament . 
I think I have never seen so much stupidity parading itself in righteous indignation. So many public figures making total fools of themselves. So many empty threats to do this, to do that. I don't know what you can make of MPs who threaten lock themselves into the chamber of the House of Commons after prorogation and refuse to leave. Suit yourselves, mate, it still not a sitting Parliament. 
Opposition party elements have met to decide who amongst them should be the next Prime Minister after a vote of no confidence (which they haven't won yet, nor yet put down a motion Parliament being still in summer recess). Will they chose the leader of the opposition? Here's a man who has promised on becoming PM to only be there a while, "Make me "temporary" PM", he pleaded, like anybody believes that or anyone with a brain would put that mad man in charge of a sweet shop never mind a country. Or perhaps it will be the ancient right honourable member for Nottingham, the Father of the House, a man known for wearing suede shoes and boozing and playing jazz records, which makes him eminently suitable for the job. This conspiracy or coup, as you might very well say, against the will of the majority is of course, they say, to uphold the will of Parliament. (and there in lies the rub, for this Parliament is the problem, it has failed to carry out the will of the majority).
The Speaker of the House of Commons, a man who by tradition has "neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak" has spoken in a most unconstitutional way and demonstrated once again his bias and his unfitness for the role. 
There's a petition (isn't there is always a sodding petition?) to stop the whole thing. A petition to be put before Parliament, which will , of course, be prorogued ... The local paper headlines that "thousands" have signed it from this region, the truthful headline would read that hundreds of thousands haven't signed it. But truth sells no papers nor is it yet click bait.
Others who imagine themselves to be leaders of some left wing insurgency (bless them for they know not what they do) are claiming mass demonstrations up and down the country to "stop the coup" ... erm two men and their granny and perhaps a dog (the dog voted leave but now has no choice) outside a town hall in Manchester or Birmingham is hardly an insurgency. It's just, well, pathetic. 
Indeed the whole Remain thing is just a pathetic display of petulance by those who feel themselves entitled to have things their own way. They are a bunch spoilt middle class brats, some with the funds to have their day in court where they will find no solace (the government has broken no law other than the one that says no government shall do what it says it will do;  for that is truly unheard of). 
And so a madness has befallen the losers and apoplexy has struck all the right people. It is both an unpleasant and yet delightful spectacle watching the headless chickens run hither and yon. The devil must be having a good old laugh, I know I am.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Butter and Eggs

This is common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) growing by the side of a busy road. It's by no  means a rare plant and is a favourite of bees who need to be fairly strong to get at the nectar hidden in the snapdragon like flower. The plant has many names relating to the colour , butter and eggs as I've indicated but also bread and butter, butter haycocks and yellow rod. Other names seem to be local folk making stuff up to please themselves so here's a small sample of alternative names: brideweed , rabbit flower, bunny mouth (?) and calf's snout (??). My favourite though, among the many names, has to be dead men's bones which might possibly relate to the practice of using the plant medicinally, who knows?

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Leni Riefenstahl without the uniforms

I took this a few days ago by accident almost as the camera was playing tricks and I needed to see if it was working properly. So anyhow I notice that this annual shindig, the Freedom Festival,  that started as a one-off one-day thing a few years ago has now grown and grown and grown an awful size to a five day "celebration of arts, community and humanity". Do any of these need celebrating? I think not, arts should be suppressed and certainly not state sponsored (not a penny), community is a word used by crooks to get elected and humanity couldn't give a monkey's for Hull or its stupid festival. Should the taxpayer be coughing up for this? I am certain not. Nevertheless the grasping arty types, filled with a sense of their own entitlement, demanding (because hell they're celebrating art innit? and the community whatsit called? and the humanity thing yeah, oh the humanity!) and getting their grants from the numpty Hull City Council and other agencies filled with taxpayers hard earned money. The event is, of course, a load of phoney baloney batshit! It's five nights of torch lit parades (think Leni Riefenstahl without the uniforms or the stage direction) and clowning around likely to appeal to the community and humanity innit.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Four years ago Humberside Police were given the worst possible efficiency rating and were condemned as inadequate. Public confidence in the force was the lowest in the country. Last year it was reported that the same force had failed to record thousands of crimes every year. (Let's just forget about this, shall we, nothing to see here, move along now ...) The new PM has promised 20,000 new officers for the country so no doubt there'll be even more sitting at the nearby Costa coffee hut on Clough Road just opposite the inordinately expensive new headquarters, looking menacing at anyone who gives them more than a casual glance.

Monday, 26 August 2019

You only live once

So you're 18 years old, you've attained the maturity that comes with adulthood (Hah!); you've passed your A levels (or maybe not ) and now you are wondering where to spend your thousands of pounds of student loan debt. And so you ponder the standard of your future education, the standard of your lecturers, what degree you are going to take, the amenities of the town, the accommodation and all the other petty considerations but having done all that what is going to sway it for you to come to the city of culture? Could it really be that monthly gym membership is cheaper than London? Gosh! well that clinches it then ... 
Given the choice, at 18 years of age, between three years in Hull or three in the Big Smoke (or indeed any other proper sized big city in the UK) paid for by a debt I most likely will never have to pay off  I would be on the train out of here quicker than you could spit ... and you can stuff your gym membership! Hull is all very nice in parts and no bad place to live but London it is not and it does not come close. I don't want to say this is no town for bright young people but it doesn't have anywhere near the offerings of big cities. Small town Hull will still be there and the cheaper gyms, should you ever want them, when the bright lights pall ...

Sunday, 25 August 2019

There's a pink one ...

                      ...and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one

Coltman Street's Victorian villas have had a new coat of paint and were looking a bit special and not at all ticky-tacky though they do have a touch of sameness about them.
Note to avoid parking on a double-yellow line (an offence punishable by excommunication and forfeiture of  all lands and titles) it is considered perfectly OK to park your white van on the pavement.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

A touch of the Dorics

I know it's difficult to believe but ... in the mid-1850s your well-to-do Hull folk were building their desirable residences on Coltman Street and whoever had this Victorian town house built clearly wanted to distinguish their little palace from the hoi-polloi of the hovels of the hinterland of Hessle Road with a little touch of classical elegance. The house like most of the street is now a HMO ( House of Multiple Occupancy; a delightful abbreviation for stuffing as many tenants in as the law will allow ) and comes with al fresco seating ... very classy!

I find upon a modest amount of research that the building was once a social club in the 1930s and also that it is Grade 2 listed and was designed by Benjamin Musgrave of Hull and built c1854. I told you it was classy.

Friday, 23 August 2019

The shop formerly known as Terry's

There aren't as many corner shops as there used to be, not that that is a bad thing it's just the way things work out. This one on Coltman Street/Gee Street has been over the past 120 or so years a laundry, a grocers and after changing hands many times recently it's now an off licence/convenience store and possibly still known by those who know of past things as Terry's.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

All new, all singing, all dancing

And speaking of buses, as I was a few days back ... The blue bus company has got some brand new buses with some rinky dink new technology. Well actually it's just the old GPS talking voice thingy adapted to a bus and it tells you out loud (and I mean loud) in a machine generated voice that no human could ever match just what stop is coming up next. Albany Street came out as Al-Banny Street, for example, there were others that made us cringe and with  a dozen or more stops on a shortish hop well the old  Luddite tendencies were bubbling forth ... I can see how it might help those who can't see so well or maybe those who don't know the town so well but it was horribly grating to the ear and intrusive to conversation. We both agreed that it wouldn't last long (the drivers won't stand for it we said) and indeed the next time we got on a new blue bus it had rather unsurprisingly been muted and the driver had a wicked smile on his face ...

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Seemed like a good idea at the time

Sometimes a good idea gets just a little out of hand ... this magnificent silver birch adorns, nay, dominates majestically the delight that is Coltman Street.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Golden Eagle

I've shown the Eagle on the corner of Coltman Street and Anlaby Road a couple of times before (here and here). The place has long ago given up on being a pub like it once was and had fallen on hard times as they say. Well now it has been converted into flats, though I did hear a story that a small pub (with micro brewery?) might open on the ground floor. Whatever happens the place now looks a million dollars, with new windows and all painted up with the eagle (that they really couldn't remove, now could they?) given a fresh golden coating. It all looks really good. 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Yankee Meal

Here we are on Hessle Road the noted culinary centre of the City of Culture. To tempt your palette with some fine American fare there are pizzas of various hues, Donner kebab, Hamburger (with or without a scrumptious cheese topping) and Frankfurter ... all with French Fries to go. If all that seems just a little too American they do sell a spiced chicken dish described as "Southern Fried", must be some novel Home Counties recipe ...  
Seriously though the place has great reviews and if this is the kind of stuff you like then this is the kind of place you should try.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Delights of Dovedale

There I was idly going through the curate's egg that is Twitter when I came upon the postcard from the past (@PastPostcard) titled Delights of Dovedale. Dovedale? The name rang a bell, where had I heard it before? Turns out Dovedale is a National Trust owned valley in Derbyshire noted for its Peak District scenery and the hundreds of  thousands of tourists who flock there each year.  But that wasn't where I 'd seen the name ... Our delightful Dovedale is a not so pretty large barge that spends a great deal of time just tied up, slowly rusting on the Hull mud. As far as I know it's not noted for anything much other than being posted in this blog a while back. Maybe if it stays there long enough the National Trust will take it over.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Le Chat Noir

This little black cat turned up a couple of years ago and looked just like another little black cat that also roamed these parts a few years earlier who was called Nipper because he would be all smiles and purring then give you a nasty nip if you weren't lively enough to get out of his reach. So this guy became Nipper for lack of imagination. Nipper I hasten to add is not our cat; all our cats have died so he's spotted a gap in the market hasn't he? Nipper just appears and makes himself at home in the garden, on the back of the sofa or on the bed if you let him. Nipper never seems to go home save when it's raining. He may look sweet but he can catch birds, well one goldfinch will sing no more that much I know, and mice. If Nipper is your cat and you haven't seen him for a while he's probably asleep out the back behind the pumpkins.
Nipper is appreciating Black Cat Appreciation Day even if no-body else is.

Friday, 16 August 2019

The Prudential Memorial

I must have seen this plaque close by Queen Victoria Square hundreds of times, seen it, walked over it, gone about my life and then the other day finally I stopped to read it. Such a small thing, such a terrible story and, to me, a better memorial than the gaudy thing just along the street.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

A Good Wall Spoiled

There's a craze to paint murals in this donkey's ass of a town. You've got a few square feet of blank  Victorian or Edwardian brickwork doing no harm to anyone and it just can't be left in peace; it has to be coated in some "artwork". We've seen it on Hessle Road and other places and it's creeping all over the place. There's even a plan to paint houses on Spring Bank in gaudy colours just because some layabouts want a grant from the Art Council or the stupid Council and they have nothing to offer the world but vandalism dressed as "community art". The themes in this case we are told were suggested by primary school children because, as is clear to any fool that has ever breathed, uneducated, uninformed 5 to 11 year old youngsters are a positive fountain of inspiration and objectivity. So the four corners of this unfortunate bridge on Chanterlands Avenue have the above garbage (Aim high, never give up, pshaw! How often young children come out with such phrases ...), a sporty theme featuring two unknown sporty people celebrating  sporty events from before many of the children born, a badly drawn collage of Hull images (including Larkin's Toad an image familiar to all Year One intake children at all primary schools) and a long "Eco" thing involving a whale, an octopus, a shark, a large green turtle, some penguins and a polar bear oh and some floating plastic bags to remind us all what sinners we are. (It seems youngsters have a very depressed view of the world and quite possibly think it is all doomed) Quite what all this has to do with Chants Avenue I haven't a clue. It's just plain old fashioned prattery. Worse though; it is condoned vandalism, a good wall spoiled.

This squat little building was once a gents' urinal now closed because of Council cuts ... which leads me to ask  who will pay to maintain this tosh because in a couple of years they'll all fade and date and you can never go back to the nice, cool red Victorian bricks that just did their job and harmed no-one.

And you can imagine the whimpers of condemnation when someone came along and put up their own shitty little "artwork"; without permission (shocking!) not at all in keeping with the theme (The horror, The horror!). I do not recall this bridge ever being 'tagged' like this before they decorated it with their murals ... Well, as ye sow, so ye shall reap

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Everything comes to him who waits.

Have I mentioned that in this one-horse town there are two bus companies? Well the other day we had all-day-tickets-to-ride from one company, let's call them the red company. So  we sat down and waited the arrival of one of their nice red buses. After fifteen or more minutes I'd taken the above picture, we'd talked about the drunks and drop-outs that used to hang around this bus stop and the church opposite, about the guy who jumped off the roof of the building on the right and then we twiddled our thumbs and peered up the road to see where our bus could be ... but  nothing but blue buses arrived. I mean five blue buses arrived, like they were having some kind of blue bus joke. I was all for giving up and walking. We weren't going far, just four stops down the road but we had tickets, it was the principle of the thing ... So, anyway, we set off to walk and, well you know what comes next .... not fifty yards on a big red bus goes sailing by. 

The weekend in black and white will come if you wait long enough.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Talking of Michelangelo

Which is it: is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's blunders?
                                                                                                 Friedrich Nietzsche

Anglican God Services Inc., have let it be known that they will be putting on a display of high definition photographs of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in their local office in town (whether they have paid for the rights to Papist God Inc. has not been disclosed.) It will, of course, feature this famous scene where Man creates God in his own image (if only he hadn't all would be well and all manner of things would be well). They haven't said whether Heston and Harrison will be on hand to sign autographs and maybe sing a duet or two, I know they're both dead but death shall have no dominion as we all know.

Entrance to the peep show is free but you will need to get a ticket ...

Monday, 12 August 2019

When I paint my masterpiece

But someday, everything is gonna be different
When I paint that masterpiece.
                                                                                             Bob Dylan

In clearing the site to make resting room for tired automobiles they finally tore down the tired weathered old boards that had lined the perimeter for as long as I can recall. This fencing was home to a mural of Mandela and more recently this little collection by the guy who styles himself as Preg ( I almost wrote prig can't think why ...) appeared.

These were on the High Street side of the site. The river side attracted a somewhat less figurative scrawler.

... and finally a simple message is often more effective. All gone now and not missed at all.

Sunday, 11 August 2019


This site that was to have had an eighteen or twenty-two storey hotel on it at one time, the plan described so accurately by a councillor as looking like a packet of cigarettes, has been cleared and rolled flat to be a car park. You wanna see the other side of this, I know you do ... here then in glorious technicolour.

The Weekend in Black and White is here.

Saturday, 10 August 2019


On a very breezy, overcast but not especially cool day that threatened much forecast heavy rain but turned out dry I took me walk around town and was led by the faintly unpleasant smell of burnt onions and sausages to Queen's Gardens where a "Festival of Food and Drink" was ongoing. There were plenty of stalls and plenty of customers stuffing their faces with produce from around the world. I didn't have much of an appetite so I just passed through.

Friday, 9 August 2019


Next door to the Bull on Beverley Road this supplier of deep fried battered savoury mashed potato  is apparently the Best in Hull and that, I suppose, is something to be. Hullophiles often claim Hull to be the home of this greasy carbohydrate rich delicacy but I can tell you patties were on sale in my home town Hartlepool and I suspect many other places have a similar concoction.  Pattie and chips is apparently a thing in these parts; the poor man's fish and chips ... I had them as a kid and quite honestly they're nowt special.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Plug in, turn on and leave alone ...

... blank ecstasy unbounded by the mortal physics.
                                                                                                         Sean O'Brien
Or maybe just someone waiting for the bus.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Refreshes the parks that other beers cannot reach

Pearson Park is the unlikely recipient of a large dollop of money (is £3.8 million a large dollop or a goodly sum? what is the convention on money matters?) to restore, repair and otherwise faff with those bits that remain of the original Victorian gift to the town from property speculator and gun runner Zacc Pearson. The works includes taking away the gates and making them as good as new though why that should mean that entrance is closed for approximatly (sic) six weeks is beyond me. (And why good money should be spent on gates that are never, but never, closed is also beyond me, but it's not my money so I don't care.) There's rumours of a new bandstand for the drunks and takers of spice to stay dry on rainy days so they will be happy. The conservatory will be replaced  and there's to be a wee bridge across the lake just like there was when Prince Albert had his memorial made. For a few thousand more they could have had a crossing sweeper named Jo ... but tough decisions have to made.
The park has a bit of a reputation  for being a place  where people of a certain disposition indulge their pleasures (both carnal and narcotic). But after all this turning back of the clock by the friends of Pearson Park they will no doubt be so in awe that they will move on elsewhere and not spoil it for respectable people (same goes for the rats that abound there in).

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Hollyhocks Hang Harmlessly

Some nice people have not only planted cardoons in Newland Avenue but supplemented the fine small trees with hollyhocks some of which have gone a bit mad in the recent heat growing to ten foot or more.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Big Phil Woz 'Ere

Grove Street

I suspect there aren't many streets which can boast it has a quote from a Philip Larkin poem just daubed as graffiti on a wall at the end of a ten foot, but this is the city of culture and we would expect nothing less. However the other offerings with  the usual clich├ęd priapic sketch (no doubt compensating for the "artists" own inadequacies), a fading silver sprayed FUCK (likewise) and a direction to consume the rich confirm that old saying: omnia mutantur, nhil interit.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Cardoon Time

Out and about on Newland Avenue this afternoon and came across this splendid beast growing in a raised bed. It's a cardoon or globe artichoke and most definitely not your standard Council plant. I'm told they are edible or rather the inner bits of the stalk can be stewed up and consumed au gratin should you choose. Anyhow bees love them.

Margot took this picture

Saturday, 3 August 2019

A Painted Lady

I've been reading stories in the press of this year being a good year for Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui); how it's a once-in-a-decade event where zillions of these butterflies arrive on these shores from Africa for their summer vacation. Normally I ignore this kind of stuff but I have to admit there are a fair few around in the garden but then there often are at this time of year along with the large and small whites, the peacocks, the holly blues and the common blues, the territorial almost aggressive speckled wood, orange tips, gatekeepers, brimstones and,  new to me this year, a meadow brown .. I think that's all oh and hundreds of moths but then I don't do moths ....  So here's  a Painted Lady from the other day on the Butterfly Bush.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Golf, anyone?

Picture by Margot K Juby
Back in the 1920s or so before all these here houses were built all this land was a golf course, run by Hull Corporation I believe though I wouldn't put my life savings on that being the case. The clubhouse was where the now closed Lloyds bank is on the corner of Cottingham Road and Hall Road. Anyhow all that's long gone and the only trace or reminder is this little road which goes by the name of Golf Links Road.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

A Bit Black over Bill's Mum's

After a few hot days last week (no records broken, barely reached 30C but still not nice for the likes of me) we had a perfect little area of low pressure sneak in from the south west, so nicely circular a met office bloke was in raptures. Anyhow it did what cyclonic stuff does: sunshine and rain, sometimes downpours and the occasional bit of thunder and lightning to spice things up. In other words a typical British summer all told ... it is, as someone once described it, three fine days and a thunderstorm.

Apart from being the rather silly Yorkshire Day the first day of August is  the theme day for City Daily Photo and continuing their trawl through colours they have hit upon black which, as any fule kno, is no colour at all.