Sunday, January 23, 2005

My house faces...

west. This Sunday afternoon I was looking out of the bedroom window and saw high above in the distance an elongated V of birds flying north. Not sure what they were, geese? Ducks? I watched them for some time as the 'v' became bow shaped or broke up in parts and then reformed. On the edge furthest away from me a bird seemed to keep station for the rest as various sections of the line wavered forward and back. It made me lament being out of touch with nature because I wanted to know what they were and where they were going. Were they just flying within the UK from one spot to another? Or were they going further north? From all the nature programmes I've watched I have this idea that as we're still in winter there are no major migrations yet but hey, what do I know? So I followed their flight until they became the thinnest of lines in the cold blue western sky and were gone.

The downside of city life, of living in the fast lane is that I don't do enough looking up or give the the world the consideration it deserves. However the fact that I stood and watched is a good sign because a New Year's resolution is to slow down and appreciate life a little more than I've been able to manage so far.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Salford University...

was bathed in rain today. I was there for an introductory class on stuff. In a courtyard were two stone figures sort of like Mayan totem poles glistening in that fucking fine rain that gets into crevices and down your neck.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

At moment listening to...

an excellent programme on the radio about Charlie Chaplin by the British comedian Mark Steel. Chaplin started his life in extreme poverty, was sent with his family to the workhouse in London and separated from his beloved mother, fortunately reunited later. Joined Fred Karno's vaudeville troupe and toured the US where he met the legendary director Mack Sennett and was recognised as a gifted comic actor. His iconic 'tramp' costume was deliberately chosen for its pathos and spirit. Writer, actor, director and anti-fascist. Incredible man living an incredible life in incredible times.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This morning it...

snowed in Manchester. Big white snowflakes drifting down.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Liverpool...

was mainly sunny today. At around 12 noon the outgoing tide was gathering pace as the water flowed seaward. I stopped about two miles upriver from the Pierhead where the Mersey is possibly at its widest. I reckon it must have been a mile or more over choppy brown water to the other side. About 200 yards out from where I watched on the north bank a green bouy secured with a chain was dragged onto its side by the tide's force. The river was so vast it looked unmoving but a seaward wake from the bouy swirled and plunged like a kite's tail kicking against the river's power. I parked on a raised viewing area so could see sunrays cast bright patches of light onto the water's flecked surface. Marvelous. Wasn't able to do it justice though because traveling back to the office meant being in more of a hurry than I wished.

Away you rolling river...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The new year...

began on a dance floor at the Hebden Bridge Trades Club listening to a funky band. Then off to someone's house, we arrived as the party was winding down. Hebden Bridge is built on the steep sides of an industrial valley between Manchester and Halifax. The front door entered onto the first floor hallway with two further floors above and a ground floor below that looked onto the main road that drives through the town. It seems a common design where a four storey building is divided into two separate houses with the bottom two storeys face one way (onto the lower street) and the top two look the opposite way (onto the upper street). If this makes sense. These particular two houses had been knocked through. Actually, now I think about it this house was more three up and one down. Either way it's a bit knackering negotiating so many stairs when you're pissed.