Garbage… but it’s history

One day I was walking down the well trodden street that leads from my place to the park, when I spotted it. It lay there, on the ground, as if it had been there for days or weeks–but it hadn’t. It wasn’t there the day before.

I took a picture of it, because that’s what I do, you know, and also, my brother is a huge Lord of the Rings fan. Later that day, I sent the pic to him.

He joked that it was such a waste throwing it away. I, of course, remarked that littering never ceases to irritate me, considering there are bins nearby.

Then I looked at my pic closer. The cup has an Odeon cinema logo but, as Paul pointed out, the movies were out two decades ago. I thought it might have been an advert for some other type of media, a video game perhaps, as there’s the new series on Amazon Prime set in Middle Earth, so I thought “The Ultimate Quest” referred to something else of this universe (I don’t keep up with LOTR stuff, not one of my fandoms). But no, the image on the cup is definitely related to the last film of the trilogy, The Return of the King. But that was released in 2003. Also Paul was able to notice that the Pepsi logo is old. I never know what the Pepsi logo looks like, I buy Coca-Cola.

So, what is a nineteen-year-old cup doing on the pavement? And how come someone kept a paper cup from a cinema for nineteen years in the first place? It’s quite well preserved, albeit squashed. On one side it had marks from a bike, but that bike would have run over it once it was already on the street. It seemed to me someone was doing a big clear-out. But if they were doing a big clear-out, wouldn’t they have put the cup in the binbag with the rest of the rubbish?

WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY, I NEED ANSWERS!

The next day I walked that street again (I always do, since I go to the park most days) and the cup was still there. The location of the cup is near the point where a wall of one house meets the backyard of another house. The backyard has recently been filled with old, broken furniture. I think I might have cracked it.

There’s obviously some renovating going on in one of the houses and the cup must have got stuck somewhere in the furniture. As the furniture was being dumped to the backyard, the cup, being much lighter, landed further away.

I also wonder if the cinema goer kept the cup because they were a fan of LOTR. I can imagine a kid, perhaps twelve or thirteen years old making it part of their little LOTR collection. Maybe their parent/s couldn’t afford to buy them any merchandise. So they cherished the cinema cup with the image of the film, because it was the only thing they had.

Later, when they grew up and started earning their own money, they would buy whatever else they wanted. The family moved out and the cinema cup was left behind, long forgotten.

Until the renovators came.

What a relic. Might not be worth much, but it’s history.

Roses on the Beach

Pic is from my trip to Crosby in June.

Something very gothic romance about it.

I think of a young man in 19th century, perhaps a newly qualified lawyer with good prospects, coming to Liverpool to meet the woman he loves, who is to arrive on a ship from America. He buys a bouquet of roses, of course, for roses are her favourite flowers. The ship docks, the passengers disembark, but his beloved is not among them. Heartbroken, the young lawyer suspects she fell in love with another man. He dumps the flowers on the sandy beach and swears never to love again. To escape his disappointment, he leaves for an expedition to West Africa, where he meets his death.

The young lady, his beloved, has in truth not fallen in love with anyone else. She never boarded the ship. Her best friend has had an accident and the young lady rushed to be by her side, as this friend was like a sister to her. She wrote a letter to the young lawyer, explaining she would make the voyage as soon as her friend recovered. How was she to know the young man never read her letter, for he had left before he could have received it?

When she finally arrives to England, she hears of her young man’s death in West Africa and cries many a tear. She vows never to love again, converts to Catholicism and becomes a nun.

Luckily, there’s another version of this story, where the young lawyer has a sister, who tells him he’s being an idiot and that he should trust his beloved–if she was not on the ship, there was probably a good reason and no doubt soon some news would come. Which it does. He reads the letter and it makes him love his beloved even more. “Isn’t she just the best, look how she cares about her friend!” he gushes to his sister. The sister wears her biggest told-you-so face.

Some weeks later, the lovely lady at last arrives on another ship, he waits for her with a fresh bouquet of roses. They get married and live happily ever after.

Photographs curling in the heat

Well, I’m pleased to report that both me and my cat Pepper got through it unscathed.

By which I mean the extreme heat the UK experienced on Monday and Tuesday; that’s 18th and 19th July 2022. Tuesday the temperature reached 39°C here in Manchester, in some places it went to over 40°C, for the first time in history.

The photos I have hung on a string of lights started curling.

I contemplated going into the office on Tuesday, as it has air-con, but then I decided to stick with working from home, as I was worried about Pepper and wanted to keep an eye on her, besides, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to even get into the office–the tram lines might have started melting or something. Pepper stayed in my bedroom for the whole day, I kept checking on her every now and then and each time she gave me a look that said: “why you make me suffer like this?” like it was my fault. Cats…

As for me, I was more stressed about the thought of the heatwave than the actual heatwave. In the end, the trick was a wet towel on my head.

What a relief today’s very pleasant 21°C was!

But I’m afraid we’re in for heatwaves and extreme weather like this for the foreseeable future…


I thought this would fit this week’s Weekly Posts Wednesday Challenge – Extreme.

Husband Creche… Why???

One day I was walking down a street in Manchester city centre and spotted this sign outside of a pub.

Why do people like this primitive type of humour?

I fail to see what’s so funny about comparing a husband to a child. A child at least needs looking after. A grown adult doesn’t. Pocket money! Does he not earn his own money? Why should women put up with this?

How is being single worse than this???

This is why LGBTQ+ people go “are the straights okay?” And they’re right.

The sexism is, of course, another issue. Don’t women go to pubs?

Stupid on every level.

Carts, they said

When I saw this week’s Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge, I knew I had to take part.

The topic is “carts” and don’t you know it’s exactly the kind of stupid thing I like to take pictures of (in fact they’ve already featured on this blog). Though I like wheelbarrows better, I have more pics of carts. I see many abandoned shopping carts, or trolleys as they call them here, in my neighbourhood. I live near a Tesco superstore… but not all the carts I come across are from there.

Escaping to the park. Just like many of us.

Hiding in an alleyway. He’s up to some shenanigans, I bet.

This one got rusty, poor fellow.

I always use shopping baskets when I shop, never trolleys (I don’t think I’ve ever pushed a shopping trolley in the nineteens years I’ve lived in the UK). I’m a single girl, besides I don’t know if I’d be able to operate those things. I’d probably run someone down.

Security Signs

When I saw the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge was Security, I knew I had just the right stuff for it!

One of the things I like to take pictures of is signs. They often have to do with security–fire exits and similar. Here are some I picked for today’s post:

Don’t fall into the water!

This one is a standard. From the back of my local Tesco.

This one is in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre. That poor figure inside the triangles has been through everything.

This one is in Shibden Hall in Halifax, the door leads to the backyard.

This last one is the only one taken with a DSLR camera, not smartphone like the others, and you can find it in Abney Park in Cheadle, near Stockport.

Really, what have poor horses or motorcycles done to you?

Mask drying on the radiator

That’s it. That’s the picture.

After I just washed it.

Wearing a mask is annoying. It’s not something you’d choose to do by yourself. Unless you’re, like, Spider-Man or something. It also makes your glasses fog up. Such a drag.

But, it does have a few advantages. It helps protect you from covid, it helps you protect others from covid, in many places there is a legal requirement to wear one (unless you’re exempt), and, when the cold days come, it keeps the lower part of your face warm.

Also, when you’re doing your supermarket shopping, and they play music at the said supermarket, you can lip sync to the song–and nobody can tell.

It was Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. Come on, it’s a tune!

The Materialising Of A Prompt

This is the story about how a writing prompt–or more precisely, a trio of writing prompts–came alive.

One of the blogs I follow is The New, Unofficial, On-Line Writers Guild. It’s relevant to my writing blog, not this one, but anyway, this blog publishes a fictional story every week, plus three prompts. These can be responded to in the usual style of prompts of WordPress. In a post a couple of months ago, the prompts went like this:

  • 1. outside Halifax
  • 2. no god worth worrying about
  • 3. selling truth

I looked at the prompts and instantly, they formed a whole sentence in my mind:

There is no god worth worrying about selling truth outside Halifax.

Okay, it looks like a sentence, you think, but it is a tiny bit nonsensical. And what about it came alive?

Well, not only was it a line in my head, it was a situation I was able to picture quite clearly, and one that I was sure I’d actually seen in real life, with my own eyes. How?

Like this:

Halifax is a town in Yorkshire, or in Nova Scotia, or wherever else, but here in UK it is also a bank. As banks usually do, they have branches in most town centres. So, that is the easily imaginable “outside Halifax” part. As for the god not worth worrying about selling truth, well, street Jesus freaks of all sorts are not an unusual sight here in Manchester. Strictly speaking, they’re probably not selling anything, not in the normal sense, in exchange for money, but they must want something from you, otherwise why would they stand there, shouting their preachings?

I knew I would be able to snap a pic that would encapsulate the three prompts in an ideal form. It was only a matter of time, and luck. And time and luck it was, while out on my lunch break about two weeks ago. Here is the photo:

They’re also standing where the tram lines divide, which, I like to think, adds a dramatic effect. And, of course, in true Manchester fashion, it’s raining.

The lake of fire probably won’t last long around here.

I’m not religious myself, but I showed this to a colleague who is a Christian, and she said the writing on the banner is untrue, because Jesus spreads love, not fear. He is all about forgiveness, not punishment. It certainly seems like the wrong message, even to a heathen like me.

It’s really… not worth worrying about. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the truth. What would some dude with an umbrella standing in the middle of Manchester know about it, anyway?

So that’s it, that is the story about how a trio of writing prompts came alive. Thank you for reading.