You Try To Help . . .

I sent this to my wife, said it might help her with her fear of cats.

Back to the drawing board.

And divorce court.

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Within A Dampened Twilight

I love this photograph of Deansgate, Manchester, taken during a heavy rainstorm this August, 2019.

Taken from Deansgate Station, it has been likened to a Lowry painting.

It was taken by Simon Buckley, an artist whose photographs I discovered in his blog Not Quite Light, featuring photographs of the older, northern parts of the city that I love when, well, it was not quite light.

His blog led me to his website, where you can view and purchase copies of his prints:

https://notquitelight.com

22 Miles; 300 Million Gallons

Yesterday, the 1st of August.

Lughnasadh, the beginning of the harvest season.

What will we harvest? Will we reap what we sow? I don’t mean to get all biblical on you.

In Manchester yesterday, some of the older buildings of Dantzic Street here are dwarfed by the omnipresent CIS tower. The blue skies obscured by menacing clouds. The transition point of old and new; the transition point of summer and autumn.

I had 19th Century ancestors that lived on Dantzic Street, though I’m not as knowledgeable about that particular branch to tell you about them. Yet.

I got home to learn about the drama unfolding twenty two miles away in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire. Toddbrook Reservoir looms high above the town, much higher than that Manchester CIS tower. As torrential rain continued to fall, it was discovered that part of the dam wall was damaged. With a 50-50 chance of the water, all 300 million gallons of it, rushing down onto, into, over, the town below, the thousand residents were evacuated.

Whaley Bridge now sits as a ghost town, a ghost town waiting to be either swamped or saved. An unwanted cleansing of biblical proportions.

There I go again.

Today, this second day of August, the battle goes on. RAF helicopters, engineers, volunteers, all working together to try and hold back the tide, aided thankfully by a dry night.

We wait to discover the nature of this harvest.

Through An Unsullied View

My son is easily pleased.

This morning, as we made our way through Manchester city centre, he wanted nothing more than to stop and watch the water fountains in Piccadilly Gardens.

Gardens. If ever there was a misnomer then that’s it. There’s barely anything green about it. Certainly nothing floral.

There is a much maligned concrete wall, dubbed by locals the Berlin Wall. What exactly the design was meant to represent I don’t know. Man seems to have a propensity for turning beauty into ugliness.

There was an attempt to spruce things up a bit last year. The council returfed the area, but with a deadly dovetail of hot weather and a failed sprinkler system, it turned out to be a dry brown mess.

Both a gateway and the city’s heart, Piccadilly Gardens could be Manchester’s showpiece open space.

It is a focal point now, but for not the right reasons. Crime is rising, the homeless are everywhere, punctured by the ragged, stiff-silhouetted users on Spice. A place best avoided at night.

I don’t know what the answer is. Heaven knows the council and the police have tried over the years. I think they are about to try again.

But this morning, this warm, July morning on the cusp of a heatwave, my son, oblivious to its sullied reputation, could see something more.

Water, sunlight, an anachronistic wonder.