Wednesday, 23 May 2007

So Machu

Our six-months of trekking Hull's wild streets, being chased by ramblers, buying thermals in our 30s and hanging out in Millets far more than is healthy comes to an end. Tomorrow we go to Machu Pichu, and this blog will be inactive until early June. Take care y'all, and see you soon

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Ok. Enough. Now. Stop.

The parents of Madeline McCann have made a DVD of their tragically missing daughter, blasting out Simple Minds' excrutiatingly Don't You Forget About Me as the camera scans in on her slightly damaged eye. Madeline has become a marketing tool. You can buy the DVD. Buy the single. Get an endorsement from Beckham or Ronaldo. I agree - if there's a way to bring your daughter back then do it. But not only did they leave her alone, but now they are playing Simple Minds at us. My sympathy is running incredibly low.
But Andrew Collins says all this far better on his blog ...

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Bikes, trains and automobiles

For reasons far too ridiculous to mention, I have been relying on public transport to get from Hull to Louth on a daily basis for the last week. Not an easy commute. Today's combined journies took an astonishing six-and-a-half hours, by bike (over the Humber), train (Barton to Grimsby) and Speed Cabs (my workmate) the rest of the way. However, this is allowing for some ad-hoc Lincolnshire spying. And it reveals there are some areas to avoid. New Holland for one. A downmarket Goole, its the kind of place that would make Elvis Costello think twice about writing New Amsterdam, mainly cos its hard to rhyme "double Dutch" with "skag-riddled dock whore". Then there's "Great" Grimsby itself. Europe's food town. I snapped tonight's main picture outside Grimsby Magistrates Court, which is on Grime Street. Well, London's got its Beak Street ... Everywhere there's grown men on kids BMXs and signs proclaiming FISH! in 2000 point Arial.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

High Force

Another photo from Teeside, stood in front of a giant carved sheep.
Listening: The Pot Head Pixies - Gong; Send Away The Tigers - Manics; Bjork - Volta

Long Gone

One of the less glamorous aspects of travelling 4,500 foot up a mountain has bean the need to spend far too much time in Millets, asking for thermal underwear. Sadly, our attempts to stay (relatively) stylish in long underwear have been thwarted cos Millets don't sell it. So we had to resort to blue rinse thermals from TJ Hughes. Beautifully modelled by me here, hopefully to serve as a deterrent to anyone scrambling up Machu Pichhu without sufficient layers.

Across the border

In preparation for our trip to Peru, now just 10 days away, we took a weekend stay in the heart of Swaledale to practice hill-walking, dealing with strange climates and weird cultures so far removed from our own in Hull. The weirdest culture of all is that most people appear to walk around with sticks, that they sometimes wave at you for invading their land. We also learnt the golden rule which is to treat most ramblers with caution, as they have cold, dead eyes, and are nowhere near as jovial as Ewen Macoll's song I'm A Rambler. That aside, we saw some stunning sights from our hotel in Low Dale, even if the roads to it are all subsiding and following crazy contours. On Saturday, we went up to Teesdale for an encounter with High Force, Britain's tallest waterfall, and the amazing implausible swing bridge that divides the Penine Way from the Coast-to-Coast walk. And today was spent in Reeth, before a scenic drive was cruelly interrupted by Catterick, and the bizarrely named Gaza Barracks.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Chips with gravey

On the left, one of the ancient graves we discovered in the heart of Hull's industrial melee, Sculcoates, on Saturday. By the way, these references and visits to graveyards do not reveal some new found gothic glee, but are forming my final creative writing piece for my degree course. Although I have been listening to a lot of Grinderman of late. On the right, a 19th century grave in Western Cemetery, complete with slightly ghostly image above Matilda Catharine's name ...

Old fossils

The day when little purple funk relic Prince announced his plans to do a farewell tour with a staggering 21 dates at the Millennium Dome (and after gig parties as well, I'll hasten, the cheeky minx) and another old relic, king Herod (worse tunes, bit on the prog rock side) is exhumed. I love Prince, and will definitely be making it to at least one of the gigs, especially since he has refound the funk since he was last on these shores. This camera pic on the superb Word website suggests the little purple one is showing a little bit too much, ahem, purple, by not wearing trousers. Perhaps I've just got a dirty mind?
Listening: Marc Riley's superb 6Music show Brain Surgery

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Training Day

What better way to mark an anniversary than a 10-mile training walk through the mean streets of Hull? Our blister inducing walk took in the old cemeteries in Castle Street and the spooky 18th century Bank Side one, where the graves have been eradicated by trees, vandals, smelting factories and the road to B and Q. The sun came out as we reached East Park and we lolled about under beautiful trees. Went past the lottery-winning New Cleveland and found it reassuringly tawdry. And swung past swing bridges dividing east and west on streets deserted.
Listening: Grinderman


Me and Dee have been going out a year and its going smashingly!

Friday, 4 May 2007

Election blues

Was prompted to vote yesterday by the fact we officially ran out of money - there's nothing like impending poverty to get you across and make a vote for change. And it seemed to work; cos upon my return from the polling station we found £3 in cash under the sofa ("there's money in chairs," as Tracey Emin's gran used to say). There was no end of campaign literature posted through Club Loz's letterbox, together with the usual Kleenexe and Pizza nonsense. But weirdly, on the "wrong" side of Prinny Ave where Dee lives, she received just one leaflet - for the BNP. Another very fine reason to get out there and vote. Heard a great interview between Jim Naughty, Labour Party chairman Hazel Blears and Nick Robinson on radio 4 on the drive into work, with the continually ridiculous Blears insisting Labour can take the positives out of a dismal election showing, in the face of point-after-point being made by Robbo and Nochts. Same old, same old.
Listening: Elliot Smith - New Moon
Countdown: Two weeks, six days til South America.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Bridge to Babylon

Three snaps from tonight's journey home from work; where I bike from south to north from sleepy Barton (once home to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre bloke Robert Elmer Kleeson - it says on Wikipedia) across the mighty Humber to the aggressive, bonkers, thoroughly charming once you get to know her, Hull. Babylon is a newsagent, in case you were wondering. Just thought this picture summed up the schizoid nature of my days - avoiding pheasants and rabbits in deepest Lincs, leafing through eight different Tractor mags (Old Tractor, Psychedelic Tractor, Platonic Tractor etct etc) at lunchtime, then back to Hull for idiots stepping in front of my bike and through the red light district I used to call my home (Anlaby Road, to those in know). All done to a soundtrack of Neil Young (Live At Massey Hall - hey, Neil can make even tuning up seem amazing - it even gets a round of applause) and the wonderful Vetiver's I Know No Pardon.