Tuesday, 31 December 2019


It seems that 1970s browned glass windows (some call it 'gold' but some is fools) that give photographers such nice reflections are somewhat passé and doomed to the poubelles de l'histoire. So I mentioned the windows on High Street a while back (in passing I'll mentioned that the company involved with that has just gone into liquidation ...) and now plans have been made to change the windows on Europa House on Ferensway to bring them up to date or whatever the excuse is. Still given that the place has never been fully used since 1975 and was sold recently for less than the price of a good new car (£12,000 was the price since you ask) a change might be a good idea. 

You want to know what it might look like? OK here's the picture from the local paper, just don't tell anyone I borrowed it.

I have to say I think this is an improvement ... it's brighter, lighter and there'll still be some reflections.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

The pedagogical industrial complex

In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.    Friedrich Nietzsche

That light blue K (the Special K?) is a common sight in these parts as pupils (let us use the proper term, pupils are forced to go to school to learn, students go to university or college to study, in theory) seem to be obliged to wear a uniform with a distinctive if somewhat dull K-badge upon it. Freddy Nietzsche's comment about being mediocre applies to Kelvin Hall school as it is rated  "average" in the Government's school performance results.

Kelvin Hall takes the young impressionable souls from the age of 11 and spits them out at the age of 16. At that point you might think a person would be free to go do what they like: eleven years of state education and you'd be set up for whatever the world could throw at you. Well you might think that and I couldn't comment but in England you'd be breaking the law. For in England's green and pleasant you have to (now let me quote this right for I find it a bit unbelievable) "do one of the following until you’re 18:
  • stay in full-time education, for example at a college
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training"
Note if you live in Wales, Scotland or beautiful Northern Ireland you can go run in the fields or whatever at 16 but in England you must not, ever be a NEETS (that's Not in Education, Employment, or Training, in case you were wondering).  

So then you might, at 16, and I think you'd be wise so to do, you might choose to go to Wyke 6th form college which is conveniently next door to alma mater to study for your A levels or your BTechs or whatever collection of letters they are using these days. Wyke college, from what I gather is a bright spot of learning (I guess you've got to want to be there and so want to study) and boasts really good exam results. I won't be  a  grudge and say that exams are easier these days, I passed mine forty five or more years ago and things change and there were fewer, far fewer staying on after 16 back then and hardly anybody went on to University despite full grants and free tuition. I'm just going to put it down to having smaller kitchens, I guess.


In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. Mark Twain

Until a few years ago schools in Hull, as in most places, were run by the local authority. Hull City Council, in my own personal experience, is not fit to pick up the litter off the streets let alone be entrusted with the education of its young people. Hull's education record as perennially bottom-of-the-league was scandalous. Recently most schools have become "academies", that is not-for-profit charities funded directly by central government and independent of the local authority. This supposedly gives freedom of curriculum and allows for more tailored practices and hopefully an improvement in education standards (well they couldn't get any worse).

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Winter Trees

In this bleak midwinter rain has fallen, rain on rain ... and so Snuff Mill Lane fields are nicely awash and home to a few wary gulls and it's all a bit otherworldly.

I know it's hard to believe but I have seen a farmer try to grow a crop in these fields a few years ago. Every now and then it gets ploughed, harrowed and sown with barley or some such; I'm not qualified to say what sort of yields comes out of here but it can't be good since it's been fallow for a few years now. I think this is protected land, as in the Council's 'local plan' does not have in its sights, and it's also a site of scientific interest (but that means diddly-squat if developer wants it).

I've mentioned before that it's a great place for seeing the things of nature with birds, roe deer, weasels and so on. Best thing I saw this year was a buzzard being attacked by some crows. I took a not very good picture ...

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

St Nicholas' Chapel

There may be no Santa Claus (who can say?) but there is definitely a St Nick's with its impressive spire looming out of the evening gloom over the Fisher Fleet in King's Lynn.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

`You'll want all day to-morrow, I suppose?'

`A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!'

The fortnight of 'festive' indolence is under way. I recall, when I was a child getting on for sixty years ago, that grown ups would work all the way up to and including Xmas Eve have one or two days off and go back to work until New Year's Day which for some reason found the grown ups sore of head and full of remorse... Then one year, in the 70s, the holiday was at a weekend so it was thought right, fitting and proper to take the Monday off as well, to make up for not having had a day off ... and so the nonsense grew until Xmas Day met and married New Year's Day and gave birth to a tawdry litter of fourteen days of pap and pabulum. Nowadays many just jack it all in and have a two week end-of-year break up (like they were school children again) ...  it's an imposed commercialized pseudo-pagan (well the Xians nicked it from the pagans to begin with) drink fueled marking of the passing seasons in a bland debt-ridden, double-glazed, air-conditioned world where seasons have absolutely no meaning any more.
I blame the Victorians, they invented the modern Xmas with their idiotic Xmas trees (let's put lit candles on a tree and keep it indoors near an open coal fire, seems like a good idea!) and cards with impossible snowy scenes (it rarely snows in this country, truth be told, and, in any case, snow is just the absolute pits!) and the roast bird and the presents and the family get together (and the inevitable fall out ...  If only "one's own kin and kith were more fun to be with...", so true Mr Nash, so true...) A particular villain in all this indulgent, seasonal frippery is, of course, Charles (Gawd bless us, every one!) Dickens with his nauseating sentimental tripe, I hope his chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, eternally ...   Bah!

Sunday, 22 December 2019


In much the same way that out-of-works actors are not "out-of-work" but "resting" this shop is not "vacant" but "repairing". This photo was taken some while ago (it has lingered in the draft folder for years) and I believe the shop has been "repaired" and reopened, it may well have closed for repairs again such is the style these days.
I read a piece in the Times the other day about how a town in Scotland, Paisley, had dealt with its empty shops by converting them into flats and accommodation and had somehow revitalised its town centre from the scourge of retail desertion. The major retailers aren't going to be coming back ever so why not? Hull City Council however continues to double down with plans for even more retail space on the soon to be demolished BHS site. Maybe they don't get the Times in the Guildhall.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Forgotten Evangelicals

Blogger allows you to make draft postings and somehow this picture has been hidden away in the "draft" for so long I've forgotten what I was going to say about it (maybe something witty about fishers of men, or has that been done already?). So I thought I'll just leave it here and if anything comes to mind maybe I'll add it later. I can tell you this is in Bridlington and it's tucked away down a steep alley way close by the harbour but then you might guess that from the sign.

The weekend in Black and white is here.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Among the leaves so green, O

I could tell you this road is named after John Wymersley who in the early 16th century ran the well nigh bankrupt Haltemprice Priory close by and came into conflict with Hull City Council as then was in the guise of the Sheriff of Hull who ran neighbouring villages. The dispute I read came to a "battle or skirmish" in 1516 ... I could but Wikipedia has it all written down so neatly that it would waste my time so I'll just copy it here ...

"the Prior claimed that though the priory was within the Shire of Hull it was not part of it, and was within the Lordship of Cottingham, and had taken the issue to the Star Chamber; the case was referred to the Abbott of Meaux; Bryan Palmes; and Sir William Constable who had decided in the Prior's favour. Despite this decision on 6 October the Sheriff of Hull together with 200 people of the town began to approach Wolfreton; the Prior, who had been informed of the Sheriff's intentions roused his tenants, and armed the monks of the Priory, who then blocked the roads, and hurled abuse on the Sheriff and his people. The Sheriff's party returned the insults in turn using foul language. Subsequently, the altercation came to blows and a quarrel with arrows ensued. The battle continued until the monks, many being old or fat, gave way, and fled to their priory, followed by the Sheriff's group. The situation was prevented from becoming more inflamed by the arrival of the Lord Mayor of Hull, who having learned of what was happening hastened to the scene with 60 horsemen. Subsequently, the Prior sought redress in the Star Chamber, with the Sheriff accused of riot and other crimes – the legal proceedings continued for three years at much expense, leading to the settlement that the Prior was given Willerby and Newton within his authority, whilst Hull obtained free right to the fresh water springs of Anlaby"


Ah that was so far in the past and they don't do stuff like that these days except ... well my own little patch of this green and pleasant isle is in Cottingham but Hull City Council claims it owns the road outside my house and is trying to tell me how to keep my hedge in trim. We've been through the hurling abuse at the Sheriff's men stage and I have my complaint before the Star Chamber as I write ... all I need now is 60 horsemen since old and fat monks are pretty useless and scarce on the ground these days. 

To finish I thought I'd include this little video of a song which has been earworm of mine lately. The song goes on and on but this is a short and sweet version and, much like this post, quite mad.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

The Helter Skelter Girl

I found this among the pictures Margot had taken at Hull Fair this year.

The weekend in black and white is here.

Friday, 13 December 2019

The Not So Strange Death of Labour England

 You're going to reap just what you sow

I won't gloat too much, I promise, but a smile and a cheery demeanour are surely in order after the results of yesterday which were far better than I expected (though I did have a bet with Margot for a fifty seat majority). The so-called Left (they are actually repressive gangsters), I see, are still in denial (good), blaming everyone from the media, the BBC, the Guardian newspaper (of all things!), Donald Trump, nasty tricks by the Tories (who would have thought?), lies, more lies... everyone is to blame, in fact, everyone but themselves and the three years of denigration of the electorate who have come round and in the words of a (now ex) Labour MP bitten them on the backside. Labour are as far from power as they could possibly be, this is worse than the thrashing from Thatcher as back then Labour still had people who wanted to govern the country, this lot seem only to want to control their own little faction with purity of thought. There's a lesson here for those who think they can take people for granted: don't even think about it.
Oh and lest we forget, in Scotland the nationalists did so well they'll be wanting a second independence referendum and who can gainsay them? First the EU then the UK ... it all falls apart. Excellent.

Oh as you can see old Warty is looking as sick as a Labour supporter ... this is, afterall, Friday the thirteenth, unlucky for some, so they say ... but I'm not gloating, not me, sir, no sir!

Thursday, 12 December 2019

The Biggest Game

Some seats are marginal and some are so safe they weigh the vote instead of counting it. Such is the condition of the constituency I find myself in today as the country douches itself in cold water puts on a mac and a warm, woolly hat and toddles down to the Polling Station to exercise its democratic right to kick out its MP. Here in Howden and Haltemprice (or is it Haltemprice and Howden? you know I think it might be) there has been a Conservative MP since the Reform Act of 1832, it's considered the second safest seat in the country. So why bother voting? It's just a big game where one side always wins. In this election though I said wouldn't bother I shall be voting and voting for the sitting Tory MP. I want him and his party to have a nice big majority. Why? The hung Parliament of the past two years or so has been a stinking insult to the majority who voted to leave the EU and for all the faults of the Conservative Party (and I could write a book) the other lot both Labour (a party now devoid of meaning, led by an untrustworthy dunderhead, who promise even more delay and dithering on their path to ultimate betrayal) and the Liberal Democrats (who it has to be said are neither liberal nor democratic and have already sold the pass on Brexit) are utterly execrable and incapable of pushing water downhill.

The Lib Dems ... well I post this here because they will be washed out just like this photo.

When I first came to this place elections were held in the school hall across the road at the back. This was deemed to be interfering with the running of the school (how? don't ask me) so now the Council has to pay out for a containerised Polling Station in a pub car park which appears as if by magic the day before and vanishes the day after every election. Is there a big storage space for resting Polling Stations?

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Like water off a ...

Lately I've been reading up a bit on quantum physics and what 'reality' might be. I thought it about time I caught up on all this; the theory is nearly a hundred years old after all and besides it makes a refreshing change from Thomas Carlyle and his delightful but seemingly interminable French Revolution. I can appreciate that there's no analogy suitable for the behaviour of an electron or photon and how you can't know anything about it until you look and how looking changes everything, I can grasp all this... (and pace Neils Bohr I do not find it shocking at all but maybe I really  don't understand it ...) Anyhoo, it got me to thinking that perhaps, there is an analogy from quantum physics for the current election, how once it's over, and we sneak-a-peek inside Schrödinger's election box to see whose cat has died in there; the psephological wave function collapses, as it were, and all other probabilities become zero ... or maybe I should just get out more.
I can't help thinking that all the huff and all the puff of all the political classes flows so rapidly off the electorate's back that it has no effect at all. None but the most obtuse or gullible are going to be convinced by the performance of any of the parties or the not-so-subtle bias of the media. I'm guessing the vast majority made their minds up over the last three and a half years, since the Brexit Referendum and have seen what the Opposition has to offer (the Opposition, to stretch my analogy possibly to breaking point, seems to obey the Uncertainty Principle: you can know what its policy is right now but you cannot possibly know what its policy will be at any time in the future and, much like that old electron in the "only mystery of quantum mechanics", it 'seems' to want to go through the Leave and Remain doors simultaneously) and well, well we'll see. When Friday comes, and "democracy has democked" and the result is out who, I wonder, will be saying "I don't like it, and I'm sorry I had anything to do with it".

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Somewhere like King's Lynn ...

Red Mount Chapel, The Walks, King's Lynn
A man that is tired of London, said some wag, is tired of life, to which I add that a man that is tired of Hull has come to his senses. Hull is a well known dump, the ultimate crap town (accept no substitutes), run by petty minded, petulant jumped up jack-in-offices. I hate the sodding place, I'm sick of it and its gridlocks, its failing services, it's depressing shitty little town centre, its pathetic attempt to be a city, nay a city of culture ... pah to hell with it all. I should leave (should have left years ago), go somewhere, anywhere that doesn't depress, irritate and bore me to death. Somewhere like King's Lynn, perhaps.

This little folly, the Guannock Gate,  has been carefully moved, rebuilt and plonked here as a feature in the Walks. In the city of culture a similar town gate is now a demolished, despoiled and despised hole in the ground, a place where litter and louts and their odious offspring accumulate.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Again with the rainbows

If this looks vaguely familiar it's because I posted it or something so damn similar you wouldn't know the difference back in September, here to be exact where there's a bigger and better rainbow. Only this time I flipped it round juste pour rire.

The monthly theme for City Daily Photo was Rainbow but I paid already and I don't really care ...