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Picture of the Day - No longer standing, Green Lane, Liverpool L18 [2013]

In my youth I regularly visited the gentleperson's establishment of Bishop Eton Parish Centre, known locally as Birch House, a church club. At the time, it seemed like the centre of the universe. Cheap beer, cheap cigarettes, quirky vending machine in the entrance and two hi-reward fruit machines. It also boasted a friendly hostess and a bloody handy lock in.

Lock-ins, for those not in the know, are when an establishment continues to entertain selected patrons after the doors have closed and alcohol sales are required by law to cease due to the time of day or night. Of course, once the doors are closed and the curtains are drawn, there's no telling what goes on in there. Drinking mostly. Occasionally until 4am. 

As well as a patron, I was also a member of staff and frequently had to facilitate the lock-in despite having a job to go to in the morning. However, in those days the clock was weird and 4am was just a time on the clock while sleep was something that happened for six hours between eyes shut and 7am in the morning. Being a member of staff I was also fortunate enough to be able to monitor the usage of the fruit machines and determine when it would pay out, which it often did, in my favour. 

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Picture of the Day - Desk of Hidden Objects, Brierley, South Yorkshire [2008]

The desk of hidden objects
The desk of hidden objects

Randomly admist the photographs I often come across pictures of workspaces. It was often a meme on social media to upload a picture of your workspace for followers to see. In 2008 I was a full-time student, so this was my workspace in the back bedroom in my house in Brierley near Barnsley in South Yorkshire.

How many objects can you see? Can you find the floppy disc? Can you see the Flexicurve? How about the USB vacuum cleaner?

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Picture of the Day - Spot the Cat - Leamington Spa [2011]

Spot the cat
Spot the cat

Often, these days, we take photographs without thinking. What or who is the subject? What is the event I am trying to capture? Where was it taken? Fortunately, most modern fancy pants cameras come with geolocating metadata and record the time the photograph was taken. 

In the past, when timestamps were just a gimmick and geolocation data an unknown concept, we would nip to Fotoprocessing or Max Speilman and get our roll of 24 photos processed. We would then sometimes look through the pictures and try and work out what, why and how we took some of the photos. So when you look through your old photographs you often see pictures like that one above.

These days though, especially if you're a yungun you'll probably flup through your digital pictures deleting those you have no interest in keeping or having people see. I'm not a yungun so, as you will see over the next few posts, I tend to keep all my accidental photos.

Today's photos depicts the downstairs next door neighbour's back garden when I lived in the flat in Leamington Spa (see Loft Thing). You can see how much of a bunch of wurzels they were from the bizarre CD on a string contraption and the decaying plastic garden furniture, the stolen municipal works plastic fencing and the rat box set against an unkempt garden area. I seem to recall that the red fencing was an area where the neighbours kept chickens which would often attract rodents from the adjacent arable fields.

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Picture of the Day - Unknown Bridge - Possibly near Runcorn [2006]

A bridge in an unknown location
A bridge in an unknown location

Taken 14 years ago to the day, a photograph of this unknown bridge in an unknown location. Where is it? What was I doing there? Why did I take the photograph? I know I took it with my Sony Ericsson K750i but there is no geodata or further information other than the date stamp in the corner of the photograph.

A brief glance at LJ around that time reveals I was in the Runcorn area doing some legal house moving stuff. I can only assume that the truck we can see had something on the front but I was too slow to get my camera phone ready. 

It looks like somewhere like Runcorn. How I can tell that from a concrete bridge I don't know. 

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Picture of the Day: Loft Thing - Leamington Spa [2012]

Loft thing, you make my loft sing, you make every thing -  cosy
Loft thing, you make my loft sing, you make every thing - cosy

In 2012 I was living in a flat on the outskirts of lovely Leamington  Spa, a picturesque Georgian town with lots of history and a grid system,  with the then nearly-Mrs-Gnomepants V2.0 . The flat was a post war  construct but had some modern trimmings such as central heating.

The thing with houses and flats is you get used to the sounds they make  the longer you live in them. Sometimes these noises can be unique -  particular to a location, a room or a function. The way a door closes.  The way the water runs through the pipes. The way the floorboard creaks.  How the neighbours sound. Each noise distinctive to the occupant.  Sometimes subtly, other times in-your-face-obvious. The flat in  Leamington Spa was no exception.

A particular sound that could be heard in the Leamington Spa flat was an  almost imperceptable sigh from the attic when the heating switched from  timed hot water only to hotwater and heating. It was like an asthmatic  squirrel living in the attic. I could often hear it and know, safely,  that the heating had come on gone off. Others might not have heard it  though and would often think of my central heating predictions as some  element of my weirdness.

So when the sigh ceased and the radiators started to glow red. I knew  there was something up. Taking to the loft via a rickety ladder I was  able to determine that the mysterious sigh used to come from the motor  in the switch valve which had failed and was forcing the hot water into  the heating system.

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Picture of the day - On the Beach April 2014

Forty years ago, if someone had said your camera can take video pictures, you would have probably have asked how the cassette fitted into the back of the camera. Six years ago, it appears that I was exploring Norfolk and the sleepy town of Sherringham with my camera phone.  Today's picture is a video taken of the roughish North Sea at Sherringham.

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Picture of the Day - Millenial Waste - 2014

Millenial Waste Paper Basket - Great Yarmouth 2014
Millenial Waste Paper Basket - Great Yarmouth 2014

Today's picture was taken in 2014 during a visit to Great Yarmouth. It  depicts a fine example of the Millenial Waste Paper Basket Scheme of the  late 1990s. Since then, I have endevoured to document these post  industrial premillenial relics of well spent public funds during my  travels around the UK.

Set up as part of Tony Blair's New Labour's Millenial celebrations  schemes, those that gave us excellent value for money public investments  such as the Millenium Dome, the Millenial Waste Paper Basket scheme was  a joint enterprise between artisian metal workers, bearded artists and  sandaled environmentalists. The baskets were sited in various locations -  mostly parks, elevated places and coastal regions - with the intention  to encourage the public to throw away their waste food wrappers in handy  recepticals which would then be ritually set on fire.

I believe the intention was to have them ignited on regular occasions  but, due to reallocation of funding to support the post 9/11 Iraq war  and ultimately withdrawal of funding by the Conservatives in 2010, they  have mostly remained dormant since their last ignition during the 2012  Olympic Games.

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After Dinner Mints

A cooked breakfast
A cooked breakfast

Two months into the lock down for me and I'm really craving a nice Full Monty fryup from Super Sausage on the A5 (http://supersausagecafe.co.uk/food-menu). I know I could make my own — providing I can source the ingredients from somewhere — but, like barbecues, having someone cook them for you adds extra flavour. 

Still I can dream. 

What is your Main Breakfast drink

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Do you prefer a cooked or cold breakfast

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A cooked breakfast should have

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Taking it for a spin

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

With all this lovely weather and lock down, I suggested to Mrs Gnomepants v2.0 that we sit next to each other at the dining table in the kitchen for three hours with the laptop open on Google Streetview and "drive" to Cromer virtually. This would mean her sitting next to me sewing while I swear at unseen drivers and listen to terrible music.

We could then have fish fingers and chips (in lieu of Mary Jane's fish & chips), take a walk to the garage (in lieu of visiting the pier) and then do the return journey.

My suggestion was met with derision. 

Shame really. I'd also thought about putting some pink cotton wool on a stick, making doughnuts and teaching the cat how to knock pennies off the table.

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Potassium Hydroxide

I've really lost track of time. I could have sworn it was June. Maybe Wednesday. Saturday? 2024? 6pm on a Tuesday?

Three Saturdays ago, or was it Friday, I can't quite remember, I made a curry as per my last entry. It was bloody good. Sadly I used the last of the garlic, the last of the cumin and the last of the Mohicans so now its doubtful I'll be able to make any more despite having all the curry gravy in the world. I had enough left over though, so I had it for my lunch the next Saturday, or was it Saturday just gone. I can't remember. Feels like Saturday today so maybe it was the other week.

Yesterday, it felt like Saturday. I'm not sure. I seem to remember in times passed there being other days in the week, like Wednesday, Friday, Christmasday and Birthday. It seemed to be a Saturday anyway. So to celebrate I ordered a pizza. Usually I have the leftovers for breakfast the next day, which I'm sure should have been a Sunday, but as it was Saturday again, it made a nice change. 

Then today, Saturday, weird thing, the analogue clocks in the house were all an hour slow when all the digital computer clocks seemed to be correct. I thought the time change happened on the last Sunday in March, but it's Saturday right? March, not February? Or maybe I missed it. 

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