QTEK 9100's PicturesPages
Nothing much ado today. Not even a cat to be ignored by as most of today was taken up by travel or activities associated with moving from one hotel to another. Out of our temporary Yokohama home to move to our new temporary Kyoto home. Travel this time was courtesy of the Bullet Train or the Shinkansen as they call it here. In fact if you use the term Bullet Train then you just get blank looks. To be honest the train is OK and anything you would expect from a fast train service in any country, but at 40,000Yen which is 260GBP for an hour and a halfís journey, I think I would like a little bit more, but perhaps I am being picky. However if we had chosen to use our rail pass (that wasnít cheap either, not sure if that was a wise purchase) it would have take about 5 hours. Needless to say that the Shinkansen has us over a barrel. One trip to Hiroshima from here will be impossible without it, and who wants to take 5 hours to get back to Tokyo when you know then next thing youíll do is sit on a plane for 11 hours plus. Anyway, canít complain to be honest, itís what travelling is all about. Learning how not to do it, but having fun trying... to get it right.
Ah I nearly forgot in all of that complaining, this is the view from the hotel in Kusatsu, well this is what the view is like in silhouette.
I have always wanted to get live action shots but with my very poor camermanship I can never do it with a one shot 35mm, so I have to rely on the Sports facility of the QTEK 9100. It takes one shot a second as long as you hold the shutter... well button. Quite hard to do as the viewfinder you have is the screen that freezes to take the picture so waving the camera phone in the air is the order of the day. This is an archive picture from 2006 when we were at Tatton Park. Why this picture now? Well I had a self levelling floor to lay and a kitchen to put back together. There was hope that I'd go down to Ossington Court which sounds better than is it. It's an empty block og flats and has been empty for years. I heard that Ian Simpson was going to renovate it but by the sounds of it the demands of the council made it unprofitable so the last I heard it was going to be demolished with a date of the 17th of March 2008. That date being in the past I suspect it's only a matter of time until it goes so I'd better hurry up. I don't know why I would like to take a pic of it but I drive past it on the M60 so many times it does make you wonder what's round it; and the fact that every window is broken perhaps panders to my love of the run down just like the Duke of Lancaster I suspect.
In Stockport just at the back of a Mill on Water St just next to the huge Tescos is this plaque dedicated to the memory of those who worked in the mill and died in the First World War, it's very similar to this plaque except for the fact that this building still stands whereas the other one has been replaced by a car park. Also this plaque seems bright and bold and well looked after. Don't get me wrong, I don't usually hang about the back of mills on a Sunday, this is just where John Lloyd's Kitchens are and on our second visit here I was it and decide that on the third visit I'd get a pic of it and so here it is.
It was an interesting day but the only picture I got was bad, Perhaps at some point I can go back to the places I saw today to capture the pictures I saw this morning.
Today started with a 20 mile bike ride. Denton->Manchester->Cheadle->Stokport->Denton. The sun was out and the traffic wasn't which was good. It was cold but it was one of those wintry sunny days where the sun spreads a gold hue on everything. The first missed picture was of the Islamic Academy on Upper Brook Street which is situated right next to a church that is crumbling or being knocked down. The image would have been good (I hope) with the sun passing through a stained glass window only because there was no roof on the church. Further down is a new building I haven't seen before which I assume is part of the hospital. It used to be a Happy Eater and sits on the angle between Upper Brook Street and Plymouth Grove. It wouldn't have been much of a pic without the sun glinting from the top of the building. Of course I was more bothered about peddling especially since I'd only completed 7 miles of the full 20 or 21.3 as I finally completed.
Later in the day this is where this picture came in. I have taken a picture of a police call box before which was at Crich's Tram Museum but I don't seem to have put it on here. It's a great day out and I would recommend it. There's so much to see and you don't have to be a train spotter to appreciate it which is similar to the Manchester Museum of Transport where you don't have to be a bus spotter to enjoy it. Anyway this police call box is at MOSI, whether it is a permanent fixture or not I don't know but we were off for the BodyWorlds exhibit which is Dr Gunther von Hagens exhibit of of corpses that have been put through his process of plastination in effect bodies that do not decay with their organs exposed to varying degrees supposedly to educate the layman about how the body works. To me they look too much like plasticine/plastic models of people. Perhaps it wasn't meant for me because there was nothing new here, the basic gist was smoking is bad, drinking is bad, disease does bad things to you and all three can kill you so all I can think is that's it's just pure Voyeurism or perhaps that's the wrong word, but there's a perverse interest to witness what feels like it shouldn't be witnessed which is a sliced up or open corpse, it's just been dressed up as education.
The other two interesting pictures today are of the Etape Hotel in Salford which is an weird block that looks part like a hospital and part like some strange mad European (Dutch I think) building with it's strange coloured outside panels of green blue and grey. Finally with all the building that's going on, on the East side of the Mancunian Way there's a University building in a state of part deconstruction which will probably be gone next time I have a chance to whip my camera out perhaps the reason why I like this is because you get a view into the building, able to see the rooms and offices as they were left, opened up in the same way as Dr Gunther von Hagens corpses perhaps, it's just that the buildings seem more interesting to me, maybe it's the fact that they describe more about people than their individual fragile selves.
Just down from Oldcastle is Oliver Plunkett's church. This isn't a picture or it but it's a picture just outside in the graveyard and the best picture of the bunch with the snowdrops in the foreground. We turned up to find the whole place closed until March which is strange for a ruin I thought. We then ran into a bloke mending a fence and had a chat. He was kind enough to allow us across the field to get to the church so long as we didn't stray into the gardens; which look like a nice place to go when the sun comes out. No doubt the other pictures will make an appearance on slow weekends.
Built in 1791 this mock lighthouse served as a viewing platform for the hunt or the races. It's a pity but there is no access the the public now, or at least when we went there. It appears to be a telecoms tower now which seems a waste. I'm sure there would be a cheaper and easier way to put a telecoms tower up on the outskirts of Oldcastle.
After a long long drive to Bettystown to see the sea. We drove to Bettystown and saw the sea and it was cold and wet. There was little else to do apart from take a picture of this sculpture and have a go in the arcade which was surprisingly large despite the small size of the town. So 20EUR later we left the arcade and moved on.
Nothing special here. A trip to Athlone from Oldcastle was the plan to see what was there and to be honest there's nothing much. The river was nice and swollen but apart from that there's a closed castle a shopping centre and more churches than you can shake a stick at.
Despite not being a religious person I always find myself taking pictures of churches and today is no different. This is the church just near the main bridge. Nothing special there.
Back to archive pics again. I did mean to take a picture of a mosaic in Manchester but in the morning it was raining so much I just wanted to get off my bike at work and then when the sun was out I was busy working. Never mind.
Here's how close we were to the Seville Football ground and when they beat Valencia despite the fact that we were over the other side of the hotel and I had earplugs in I could hear the cheers.
This is a picture from the top of the hotel which had a fantastic view despite not being that close to anything of interest (unless you count Seville's ground and a huge shopping centre). What I didn't see in this picture when I took it was the moon in the top middle... unless that's a spotlight of course! I seem to remember this was the Valencia match and Seville trounced Valencia completely.
I am sure there has been lots written about this, in fact I know there has, but this is Manchester's attempt at Father Christmas on the Town Hall. It used to be an inflatable thing that hung to the clock tower, but this year they have decided to choose something that looks a little like Zippy from Rainbow.
It's been a wet and cold few days in Manchester so to be quite honest I wasn't that much interested in hanging about Manchester. Just this quick pic, a dalliance with the excessively busy shops and then home and nothing to report apart from that. I didn't even look too much at the skating in Piccadilly because it was raining. They say it might snow tomorrow which is better than rain at least.