Sunday, 21 May 2017

Photography Project 365, Week 20

This year I'm attempting Project 365, taking a photo (or two) a day every day, 365 days of the year.

Week 19

GCSEs 2017

This week is the start of the Teen's GCSEs - a whole month, broken by a week of half term, of exams. Luckily, I get her exam nerves and The Teen, who sat her first three GCSEs last year, is calm tranquility herself so I think we'll get through it, though I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the foreseeable future.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Wakefield

A trip to town past Queen Elizabeth Grammar School looking sensational in the sunshine. Just around the corner is Lightwaves which was a council run pool and sports centre but when it was shut  (due to lack of funding) a community trust fought to keep it open as a leisure and community centre. Lightwaves is home to lots of local sports teams and clubs, a network of art clubs, JobZone offering support for the unemployed, and Young Lives, a support group for young people.  

Street Photography Wakefield

Victoria Gate Shopping Centre Leeds

A trip to Leeds. This week has involved a lot of searching for the perfect Prom Dress for the Teen so I went on a recce to Leeds. The newly opened Victoria Gate shopping centre looked stunning and deserted, apart from a few members of staff, which is quite intimidating if you're just having a browse, it was like being a lone fish finger in a shark pool. I didn't stop.

I did find several candidates for the perfect Prom Dress and we went back to Leeds this weekend, to find out if any appealed to the Teen. Tune in next week to find out.

Chimney skyline

The sun has been playing hide and seek in the clouds this week, and the clouds have been many and stormy.

Sunsets and chimneys

But it has made for some stunning sunsets including this one on Wednesday, a day of some celebration. It was The Man's birthday and Twin1 got the results for her final year dissertation at uni, a First! :)

Google Street View car

A new 'retail park' is in the process of opening just down the street from me and I went to have a look at the first few shops that have opened. Google obviously had the same idea and very soon you will find me on Street View.

Meanwhile, the 'retail park' is being surrounded by new housing. I've lived in the area long enough (over 20 years) to say with some conviction that I can remember when around here used to be all fields but new builds have spread like a rash. As needed as new housing is none of it seems very affordable for people really in need of a home.

New housing

Begging person Wakefield

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Why I'm Voting Labour

Well, why would I not vote for this Labour party?

According to the Labour manifesto, the majority of Labour's policies are policies that I believe in. Their election promises, ones that I want to be kept. I want a political party that works 'For the Many, Not the Few.'

I want to see an end to Tory austerity; to the selling off of the NHS, to the shutting down of local services, the erosion of worker's rights, and what amounts to little more than the persecution of the sick, the poor and the needy in our society.

I don't want 80 ill people dying each week because they've been declared fit for work. I don't want our nurses having to feed their families from food banks. I don't want fracking, and I don't want fox hunting. Then again who would? 

Apart from the Tories obviously .

Last week I went to a Jeremy Corbyn rally in York. I have, like the rest of the world, seen the relentless press stories about his ineffectuality, his inability to lead and his dangerously socialist *rolls eyes* views. 

I'm also aware that the newspapers that peddle these stories are owned by a handful of billionaires from overseas several of whom are, allegedly, tax avoiders and all of whom have a vested interest in keeping the Tories in power. 

I thought it was probably best to check him out for myself. Turns out a huge amount of people thought the same and continue to do so at each and every event he is at as the campaigning rolls on. St Helen's Square in York was packed with people spilling into the surrounding streets, but this wasn't a rent-a-mob hand-selected audience like Theresa May's chosen rally crowd. They weren't bussed in Labour activist hordes stage managed as set dressing. These people were all kinds of people, young old and in between, from all walks of life motivated by the desire for change and genuinely hoping that Corbyn is the man to deliver it.

Jeremy Corbyn Rally York

Jeremy Corbyn Rally York

Rachael Maskell and Jeremy Corbyn
York MP Rachael Maskell and Jeremy Corbyn in York

Corbyn is not, in truth, a fantastic orator. He's not much of a snappy dresser, he doesn't have the slick sheen or the smooth soundbites of a fully trained media man. There's no hyperbole, no grandstanding, but he clearly, and passionately, believes in what he's saying and he says it well. He's calm, measured, and used as we are to most politician's promises disappearing quicker than a dossier from the Home Office, his promises sound like they're promises genuinely made that he's determined to keep.

It's even more important to me that Corbyn motivates the general electorate to vote for a Labour candidate and a Labour government. I live in a constituency that has returned a Labour MP to the Houses of Parliament in every election since 1932, but our current MP,  Mary Creagh, is in danger of losing the 2,613 majority that won her the seat in the last election. Mainly because she voted with her conscience and against triggering Article 50 despite the majority of her constituency (though I wasn't one of them) voting leave in the EU referendum. This has been seen by some (though not by me) as a betrayal and led to angry letters to the local newspaper calling for her resignation.

The Tories have put Anthony Calvert up against her. He's stood for election (and lost) twice before but obviously hopes he will be third time lucky and win the constituency that has, for this election at least, become a marginal. 

It chills my heart that he might win because some voters will be motivated by anger or revenge, stemming from that travesty of a referendum and the divisiveness that referendum left in it's wake. No doubt they will be the same people who believe, like they believed during the Referendum, everything they're told by the billionaire press barons who are even more out of touch with the reality of what living in the UK means than Theresa May. And Theresa May thinks fox hunting is a good idea and Jeremy Hunt is doing a good job with the NHS

As for living in a Tory constituency? I might have to move.

If you don't know who to vote for, don't listen to the press, the tv, the media pundits or even the polls. Find out for yourself who is offering what in this election. Read the Labour Party manifesto, the Lib Dems, the the Green Party manifestoes. Hell, even read the Conservatives, when they get round to thinking of one. And don't forget to vote ...... unless, of course, you're voting Tory.

For the Many, Not the Few

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Photography Project 365, Week 19

This year I'm attempting Project 365, taking a photo a day every day for 365 days of the year

Week 19

SATS message from teacher

This week has been all about the dreaded SATS but The Boy's teacher set some excellent homework for over the weekend. By Sunday night he's ticked off every single one and had a whale of a time doing it too. It's possibly the first homework that he's completed with enthusiasm during his entire time at school.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Review: JW Anderson Curates Disobedient Bodies at The Hepworth, Wakefield.

Disobedient Bodies exhibition The Hepworth Wakefield
An iconic 1980's Jean Paul Gaultier cone dress with, in the background, Henry Moore's Reclining Figure (1936) 

It's taken a while for me to get to The Hepworth's latest exhibition, a collaboration with fashion designer Jonathan Anderson that has been running since March, but finally last week the planets aligned just long enough to give me a free afternoon so I went and spent it looking at 'Disobedient Bodies.'

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Photography Project 365, Week 18

I am attempting Project 365, taking a photo a day every day for 365 days a year.

Week 18

Drink Me Teapot, Asda

I fell in love with a teapot, but it is a very special teapot inspired by  Alice in Wonderland and only £7 in Asda.
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