Picture of the Day: Gandalf the Blue, Delamere Forest, UK [2005]

Before we begin, yesterdays picture of the day was from 2011 and not 2016. Doh!

Today we see the rare demin coated Gandalf-Stegzy in the wild. This was taken during a walk through Delamere Forest in 2005 back when walking through Delamere Forest was a thing. Now Delamere Forest is mostly a middle class family centric Center Parcs knock-off aimed at those with free thinking, liberated self-expressionist pedestal children with names such as Calendula and Spatula, like many places in Cheshire seem to be these days.

Picture of the Day: Bishop Eton, Liverpool [2011]

As a youth living in South Liverpool, I spent a fair bit of time in Bishop Eton Parish. Not only did I have a bar job there, but in my younger, informative years, I spent a good while singing in the church choir. The redemptorist priests had a house there within the grounds, the gate house and boundary wall you can see in this picture which was taken today in 2011.

As far as I know it’s still standing.

Picture of the Day: Canal Boat, Foxton Locks, UK [2017]

Canal boat, Foxton Locks, Leicestershire, 2017

Before lock down there was a nice American themed grill house restaurant at Foxton Locks called Texas Steakhouse. Seemed totally out of the way being in the middle of nowhere in particular but it looked popular. Well it appears that it is now closed and is called Hoggets which styles itself on serving wanky posh nosh like a teaspoon of baked beans on a ryebread cracker garnished with a nettle – for £20.

Nice walks along the canal there though.

Picture of the Day: The Man Who Lives in the Middle of the M62 [2007]

As seen on this day in 2007. The farm in the middle of the M62. A place so famous, award winning artist John Shuttleworth recorded a song about it.

However, contrary to popular belief, the farmer didn’t refuse to sell or give up the land to make way for the M62, that is a pile of bullocks. Instead it was the geography and contour of the land which saved the farm, Stott Hall Farm, from development.

Picture of the Day – Oven Door Bakery, Liverpool [2006]

Guarded by Cerberus

As some long term readers will remember, in the early noughties, I was living in Liverpool while working at the Liverpool University in their Computer Department. Happy times.

Back then I was spending roughly about £5 a day in lunches then moan about not having any money at the end of the month, despite the fact that I was earning a lot more then comparitively than I have over the past fifteen years. Go figure.

Anyway, if the Student Union shop, the Spar or the nearby Tesco had run out of sandwiches and it was too late to go to the nearby pub or to Kimos, or you were unable to scavenge some disgarded crumbs or crusts from your work colleagues lunch, or perhaps the grey mould sandwich which had remained unclaimed in the staff room fridge for two weeks had finally been claimed, you would probably reluctantly play a kind of salmonella sandwich Russian roulette with the Oven Door Bakery.

Therein, extras from TVs Prisoner: Cell Block H and Mutant Wars would spend the day crafting rudementary breakfast, brunch and lunch feasts which they would sell for the bargain price of £1.50. Treats included cheap sausage (the type that is 99% fat and gristle) and bacon rolls, mystery meat mush in mayo subs and oh-my-god-whats-that-smell between bread like substance with suspicious sweetcorn.

Rumour has it that John Lennon, of Beatles fame, used to eat there regularly while he was working as a delivery driver and that the song I am the Walrus was actually an account of a time when he delivered eggs there. trufax.

Picture of the Day: Down Tools – Swaffam, UK [2017]

I try not to take arty photographs because snobbery. Anyone can point a camera, hold it correctly, frame the view and press the button. They can even apply filters if they want. Its not exactly difficult like smooth shadework, mixing oil colours or sculpting from clay. But every so often I see something that shows Run Down Britain and out comes the David Bailey in me. 

Here we are in Swaffam in Norfolk in 2017. I took this to convert into an amusing post-ironic-postcard to send to an arty friend of mine. It is clear that the vans have not moved in many years. I wonder what the drivers were thinking as they parked them up for the last time.

Picture of the Day: Little Steam Engine, Kirklees Light Railway, Yorkshire [2007]

The Littlest Chuffer

Can you see the little steam engine? Look how shiney its brasses are. Look at the red buffer bar and the green and black livery on the engine. Can you hear the hiss of the steam coming out of the engine?

“All aboard” cries the station master and the carriage doors are closed noisily. Can you hear the carriage doors closing?

Peeeeeep — the station master blows his whistle. Can you hear the whistle blowing? Chuff chuff chuff — that is the sound that little steam engines make. Toot Toot goes the engine’s whistle. De-clack de-clack — is the sound the wheels make as they go along on the track. Can you hear it?

Perhaps, when lock down is over, you might travel to Denby Dale just outside Huddersfield and visit the Kirklees Light Railway and see the little steam engine.

Picture of the Day: Winch – Porth Ysgo, North Wales [2019]

100 years ago the coast around the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales was a hive of industry. Parts of the area was dotted with manganese mines and associated shipping docks and winch houses. It’s hard to imagine what it was like as these days it is an area of serenity and eerie beauty peppered with these industrial remains.

The winch you see in today’s picture would have brought manganse ore from the mines in buckets and then down to the waiting boat below the cliffs behind the photographer. Although the photographer, me, wasn’t born when this was a working winch and when I took the photograph, there was no ship waiting.

The building you can just see to the right was probably the office of the foreman who would have kept an eye on the winch workings incase of a problem. Now abandoned to the elements, spiders and sheep, it’s quite a draughty building now but the view hasn’t changed.