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Lost in music

5 Jun

Here he sits picking out pleasant tunes on his guitar and being roundly ignored by all and sundry. I suspect he doesn’t care. He seemed oblivious to all the commotion and screaming not fifty yards away.

Two Circles of Hull

1 Jun

So the promised fountains are in business. And instantly turned into some kind of amusement feature for screaming children to put on their cossies and splash around in the jets of foul smelling over chlorinated water. Cue jokes about the great unwashed of Hessle Road or East Hull (take your choice) getting their annual wash… Someday perhaps the novelty of these fountains will wear off but until then Queen Victoria Square, the centre of town, has been turned into a stinking nauseous pit of hell.

Finishing Touches

30 Mar

The public works were due to be finished today but to no-one’s great surprise some bits and bobs are running a tad late. So we’ll have to wait till mid-April for the fancy fountains in Queen Vicky Square; such a shame as I was really, really, really looking forward to them …….

Take up our quarrel with the foe

27 Mar
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
                                              John Keats
As cultured folk you’ll be aware how for millennia the poppy has signified sleep and forgetfulness in European culture. From the poppy we get opium, morphine and all those other lovely “ines” that make us fall through a hole in the carpet when life becomes too much… 
Whoah! whoah! stop all this liberal thinking right now! For the Royal (& sycophantic) British Legion, for hosts of hoopleheads and fellow travellers, for the whole UK indeed (or so it seems) and even for level headed Canada or at least those parts that love to dwell on the horrors of the last century the poppy has become The Symbol Of Remembrance. Well ha! So much for culture. This craze started in the 1920’s as a merchandising scam to sell cloth poppies to help ‘rebuild war torn France’ (a likely story) or perhaps it was inspired by that really bad and militaristic poem  “Flanders Field” (which at least had the idea of poppies meaning sleep). Whatever, it’s too late and the genie is out of the proverbial glass container and you can’t tell anyone that this is cultural illiteracy else they look at you as if you have two heads (which I suppose is two more than they have). 
So it comes about that, two years after the celebration (no better word) of the start of WW1, Hull gets a teeny portion of the crazy poppy themed thing that took over the Tower of London.  It’s an unimpressive, tawdry splash of  red down the side of the Maritime Museum. Puts me in mind of a slit throat or perhaps a some overly enthusiastic menstrual flux. Certainly does not inspire any thoughts of ‘remembrance’ despite it being blessed by vicars and cooed over by the hoi polloi (“Oh isn’t it beautiful!” ‘it’, by the way, is supposed to represent the deaths of thousands of men from high explosives, bullets, poison gas and general military incompetence so … well I just give up!) and idiots in WW1 uniforms standing in front of it like dorks!
Still it attracts folks to town to take piccies (guilty as charged) and of course selfies. Oh the name of this thing? … Weeping Window

Oh! we don’t want to lose you but we think you ought to go

13 Mar

The thing that has been littering  Queen Victoria Square for the best part of three months is due to depart next weekend as the year of glorious culture completes its first quarter (how time flies when you’re having fun, I mean, culture!). It is due to sneak its way back to east Hull some time on Sunday morning so I doubt I’ll be around to see it go nor, to be honest, will I miss it much. This view down Paragon Street shows there’s still work ongoing (hate that word) with plenty of our old friendly orange barriers in evidence and the place looking like a bomb has gone off.

It’s only money

27 Feb

I’ve shown the Maritime Museum more than enough times but not, I think*, this façade above the entrance. The building was originally the offices of the Hull Dock Company and clearly money was not a problem at that time as we have a goodly supply of classical gods and goddesses adorning what I take to be Queen Victoria with her rhythm stick (I might be wrong) and a fine but somewhat faded plaque with the symbols of the then four countries of the United Kingdom. At the time of building (1870’s) the Hull Dock Company had a monopoly but later competition forced down prices and profits and in hindsight spending £90,000 on Italianate offices may not seem like such a good use of resources. Still it makes for a grand museum.

And while I’m here I’ve just come across a new-to-me blog about Hull. 150 facts about Hull has been going for four years and has reached 89 facts, if you are into things of a Hully nature this may interest you.

* As I write this blog I often get the uneasy feeling that I’m repeating myself. So if any of this seems familiar it probably is. Indeed I may have mentioned this feeling before …

The elephant in the room

20 Feb

Hull was and still is to some extent noted for its fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture, though many buildings were demolished in the War and shortly after to make way for 1950’s drabness. Some of the finest remaining buildings are here in Queen Victoria Square.