Stay At Home

When I did my Gloomscapes series two years ago, I never imagined we would soon be in the midst of our own dystopia. I expected some things, of course, with Brexit and Trump and the wave of right-wingery on one side and climate change on the other, but I never expected a pandemic. And now here we are.

Following the advice of staying at home and social distancing is for me, pretty much, just living my life as I do. I stay indoors and don’t go anywhere anyway, unless I take a trip for my photography and I don’t socialise. So I thought I would post some currently appropriate shots of my home. I put no quality in these, I basically just snapped them and uploaded to my computer.

I’m very much about Kindle books, as I blogged about before, so these physical books are from the time before eBooks started or titles that are not available in digital format. I’ve got some Game of Thrones characters figures, funko pops of Captain Marvel and Black Widow, a tiny model space shuttle and cats!

This is an older photo, as you can see more effort was put in it. This pile represents so many of my interests: Anne of Green Gables, Agatha Christie, history, maps, Star Trek, A Song of Ice and Fire and Sherlock Holmes!

Jaime Lannister with a catapult pencil sharpener from Chester and a tiny globe. The doll with the red braids is, of course, Anne Shirley.

The dog is called Snoopy and I’ve had him since 2003. Obviously I’m a cat person but Snoppy is special.

I’ve posted some of my Polaroids before, here they are again.

International Women’s Day 2020

Like last year, I am doing a mixed content post.

The Photograph

I tried to imitate the Rosie the Riveter poster using my Captain Marvel doll and a yellow card paper.

TV Quotes

Chrisjen Avasarala from The Expanse, responding to mansplainers:

Or you can have the pure female rage from the Game of Thrones:

What of my wrath, Lord Stark?

Cersei Lannister

The Book

It’s really a short story: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Based on author’s real life experience, it’s a tale of a woman, who is after the birth of her baby taken by her husband to a countryside mansion for a prescribed “rest cure”. He doesn’t let her do anything, as she must only rest and she is slowly driven insane by the yellow wallpaper on the walls of her room. I call it the Madwoman in the Attic Origin Story and it’s available for free on Gutenberg here.

The Music

Lizzo’s album Cuz I Love You – enjoy!

A Love Letter

As I say every year, Valentine’s Day is nothing to me. I chose singledom. But it can’t be denied that it offers very aesthetically pleasing opportunities for photography. Or art in general. And stories and poems and songs and important essays about relationships–it’s certainly good for creativity. For better or worse.

You can always be your own valentine if there’s no one else. At least then you don’t have to share any chocolate.

Love yourself.

Foggy

I saw fog descended so I quickly grabbed my camera to take a few shots from the window, before it got too dark.

I wished I was somewhere more romantic, like Manchester is great and all, but if you can’t capture a fog on the edge of the woods or around a haunted castle, what are you even doing with a fog?

I also happened to be watching the 2011 version of Wuthering Heights, make of it what you will. Beautiful visually but not heavy on dialogue.

2019 Recap

Last year’s Recap turned out to be quite a good post, so let’s do it again!

January, a foggy walk to the tram stop in the morning. Taken with my smartphone, this shot has not been edited and was not taken in black and white. I like my gloomy pics.

April, Heaton Park. Ferns and out of focus ducks. You know me and ducks.

August, PIccadilly Gardens in Manchester. My favourite type of shot, sun through the trees, with added pigeons basking on the street light. Pigeons became a new feature on my blog this year.

September, a weird photo of the fence around a new car park behind my house, with, again, out focus animal, my neighbour’s cat. Autumn this year has been really good on the blog, if I say so myself (and if I don’t, who will?), hence my choice of a Recap pic.

Much of my 2019 can be summed up in one word–Yorkshire! I’ve had four trips to places in Yorkshire (Leeds, York, Hebden Bridge and Haworth), which provided a good chunk of the blog this year. Aside from Yorkshire, I also enjoyed visiting Chester and Marple.

And I finally made tribute posts for my favourite author Agatha Christie and my favourite fictional character, Anne Shirley.

I’ve been to two anti-Brexit marches in autumn, one here in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference, the other in London. Yes, I know we lost, but that’s not the point here. I’m glad I went and don’t regret a single second and would do it all over again. Strangely enough, it wasn’t looking so bad at first. Brexit was delayed three times. Then came the election. You know the result of that. I don’t know why it happened that way, how the Tories won such a majority, all I know is that I feel crushed–and I’m not the only one. (This also proves that any year-end reviews should not be done at the beginning of December, because so much can still take place.)

Elsewhere in pop culture, Game of Thrones came to an end (unpopular opinion, I was okay with the ending… but I’m not posting any spoilers here) and Marvel Cinematic Universe reached its milestone with Avengers Endgame, which became the highest grossing movie of all time! And Amazon Prime blessed us with the hilarious and brilliant Good Omens. The song of the year seems to be Old Town Road and I’m sure you agree with me that it’s a banger.

At the end of August, Extinction Rebellion organised a Northern Rebellion here in Manchester, where they took over Deansgate for the weekend. Half of the road was closed to the traffic and they set up stalls and stuff–and it was beautiful. It made me wish more than anything for a car-less Deansgate (the street has a lot of restaurants and there is also a giant Waterstones store). Apparently the city council said it could be done, if they found a different route for buses that pass that way.

Also, like, not to be that person, but I knew about Extinction Rebellion before it was cool. As you can see, my post of their sticker is from November 2018, when most people only heard of them in 2019. Ha!

Speaking of climate activism, I cannot not mention Greta Thunberg. She has so much courage, I couldn’t do what she does, I couldn’t put myself out there, especially not at such a young age. Keep going, Greta!

So here we are, end of the year and end of the decade. What will the roaring twenties bring?

I wish everyone happy and prosperous new year.

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, York

As it’s the end of the year, let me sneak in one more post from York. It turned out to be quite a productive trip for my photography, despite the wrong settings on my camera.

I give you Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, the shortest street in York.

I was originally going to make these pictures part of the Diagon-Alley-like post, but somehow they didn’t fit. Now I know why. Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate deserves its own entry.

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish everybody a very merry Christmas.

Or, if you don’t want to be merry for whatever reason, I wish you a quiet and peaceful Christmas.

And if you don’t want any Christmas at all, have a good time off work, filled with whatever activity you want.

And if you have to work at Christmas, I wish you a lot of energy to get you through the day and not too many idiots to deal with.