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Square Wheels

06 Feb

An impromptu trip out is always a pleasure, especially when it leads to a blog post.  My latest jaunt to Nottingham started happily enough, I made sure I was there about two hours earlier than needed,  just to have a walk around and soak up the day without needing to rush.  I’ve grudgingly admitted before that there is something a little bit romantic about towns and cities if viewed in the right way and even my latest book didn’t get a look in when a chance encounter with inspiration struck.

When out pottering, I like to use all my senses to appreciate something, a touch of old stone, a deep breath welcoming various cooked food smells to my nostrils, the sounds of cutlery and all that, lends me the feeling of being anonymous, almost out of time.  I get to see the magic of the day, as everybody else passes by oblivious, heads deep in their coats trying to avoid the biting wind.

Meeting at the Old Market Square is always a pleasurable pastime, being the hub, hive and plughole around which everyone seem to gravitate and swirl making it ideal for letting the thoughts gather and recede, leaving me to potter slowly along putting the good ones in a bucket whilst getting – to ridiculously stretch a metaphor(?) way too far – grains of revelation between my toes.

Standing like a rock letting the tide of people flow around me, I took in the usual scene of the square.  Apart from the massive great wheel everything was as it always is but like usual I chose to try to see it as something new.  Cities breathe and have their own rhythms and like our own bodies we tend to take them for granted but I love cityscapes at once coursing with life but in a subtly peaceful and pleasant way.

With the soundtrack of Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees courtesy of a busker,  I stopped and braved the cold – despite an inviting pub being located 180 degrees to my rear – to film a snippet of an unexpectedly, yet pleasantly quiet ‘rush hour’.  The recognition of the song and the immediacy of everything going on around me was an unforeseen window of beauty into the average day.  All that was missing were the tolling bells which inevitably chimed just seconds after I stopped recording but I couldn’t have everything coalesce to form a perfect snippet of Nottingham life, that would never do!

Nobody was on that big bright wheel which slowly and mutely) span as a silent accompaniment to the city.   I like that time of the evening with shops slowly closing, people winding down and heading home already forgetting the rubbish bits of their day and me, well I was to be shortly heading for some Caribbean food and wonderful company.

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50 Comments

Posted by on 06/02/2015 in Life

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

50 responses to “Square Wheels

  1. Alastair Savage

    06/02/2015 at 21:59

    What was the pub called? We need to know – I get a vicarious pleasure out of all this stuff, you know.

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    • Ste J

      06/02/2015 at 22:05

      It’s The Joseph Else, predictably it’s a Wetherspoons pub as a good percentage seem to be these days. I appreciate your thirst for the minute details.

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  2. gargoylebruce

    06/02/2015 at 22:32

    I’m glad you mentioned what time it was in the video. Mad Martha recalls the utter weirdness of her first experience of a northern hemisphere winter in York, puzzling over why the hell there were so manny people out and about at 8pm on a Sunday in the freezing cold. Until she realised it was actually two in the afternoon. On a Thursday. About a week before Christmas.

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    • Ste J

      07/02/2015 at 17:10

      Thursday’s seem to be notorious for late night shopping, being the only one in our town but sadly the blight of Sunday shopping goes on everywhere these days. Having said that it’d be nice if shops shut at one, that way sanity might ensue and not all this Black Friday malarkey that seems more and more frequent.

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      • gargoylebruce

        07/02/2015 at 22:23

        One worries about the workers with these longer shopping hours.

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        • Ste J

          09/02/2015 at 13:19

          I am one of those workers at the moment sadly, it is not particularly fun.

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          • gargoylebruce

            10/02/2015 at 00:35

            I hope they pay you good penalty rates. Or is working on a Sunday not worthy of penalty rates these days?

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            • Ste J

              13/02/2015 at 20:08

              Its standard pay sadly, which explains why I wander around in a haze thinking about books.

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              • gargoylebruce

                14/02/2015 at 00:28

                Well fair enough too. If they’re not going to pay you extra, they should not presume to claim a higher percentage of your thoughts.

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  3. Aquileana

    07/02/2015 at 02:05

    Great writing Ste!… ⭐
    I particularly liked the moment when that song by Radiohead cleared up everything, somehow giving you A whole picture, one you can even recognized in order to “form a perfect snippet of Nottingham life!”. A memorable moment, indeed!. Sending you all my best wishes!. Aquileana 😀

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    • Ste J

      07/02/2015 at 17:52

      It is wonderful to get that clarity that lacks in our everyday experiences most of the time, it always helps with a soundtrack as well.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Sherri

    07/02/2015 at 12:31

    I love the way you capture the hustle and bustle of city life, yet with the sense of a winding down, a thread of lonliness weaving through as everyone goes about their own business, all going somewhere, yet also relishing that ‘being alone’ for those few moments, the capture of your senses being truly alive. Love it. Friends and Caribbean food…what a great way to end the day 🙂

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    • Ste J

      07/02/2015 at 17:07

      To think that we all experience it most days, yet don’t often think of it, rushing about as we are. We see but we do not observe, to paraphrase everyone’s favourite old skool drug addict Sherlock Holmes. The food and company were great and long may those meetings continue.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. Claire 'Word by Word'

    07/02/2015 at 16:53

    Very atmospheric, your words transported me right there.

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    • Ste J

      07/02/2015 at 17:12

      Thank you, these sorts of posts are always a challenge, in that I always seem to publish them and then worry I wasn’t focused enough on the points I wanted to make. If only I could have given you the taste of the Caribbean food as well!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. readingwithrhythm

    07/02/2015 at 21:11

    Thanks for the little tour! Of Nottingham, and your poetic nature!

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:20

      Always a pleasure, sadly I don’t have the talent to describe the smells as well as your good self.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  7. Cody McCullough

    07/02/2015 at 23:57

    Nottingham looks like a cool place. Hopefully one day I’ll have a chance to check it out.

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:18

      Yes, come over and enjoy all the delights, I will do a jig for £10 as well, bargain!

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  8. Christy Birmingham

    08/02/2015 at 16:58

    Ah, you brought us along with you, complete with a video clip. When I pass the buskers here sometimes I stop and take a deep breath and think about how short life really is… Your post reminds me of that type of moment.

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:25

      I like that, bringing you along without getting you cold and giving you jet lag. It is great to get those existential feelings randomly in crowds. I usually just wander past buskers but perhaps they do deserve a decent amount of my time. I predict much aimless wandering as well as wondering around.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. Letizia

    08/02/2015 at 23:04

    Love the sounds of a city, so unique to each one. I was transported.

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:18

      I’m glad you were, it is a nice city, lots of good history and of course near me, so you could say it is the best city around, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. Tom Gething

    09/02/2015 at 00:16

    How strange to have an empty Ferris wheel rotating in the center. Is it temporary or permanent?

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:17

      It temporary, I think these things tend to be quiet unless it is somewhere like London, being the evening as well on a fairly quiet and windy night I think the thrill of it was somewhat diminished.

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  11. writersideup

    09/02/2015 at 08:35

    Thanks for this pleasant snippet into what sounds like a wonderful day/eve for you, Ste J 🙂 And what I enjoyed the most was, at the end of your little Nottingham video, there was a link to the video review you did for House of Leaves 🙂 LOVE that ’cause now I feel like I know you better 🙂 I wonder if I’ll ever get up the guts to do something like that, though I don’t know what I’d do it for since I don’t do actual book reviews! lol Love your posts 🙂

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    • Ste J

      09/02/2015 at 13:15

      I have another vlog n here as well for Books Burn Badly which was filmed outside in the freezing cold. I am glad you liked it, I only did that one as I felt I should do something special for my 200th post as I missed post 100. Perhaps you could film something and just voice over to start with, anything is good, insight and observation into something you find mundane but is new to a lot of us. I am hoping to do a few more volgs this year as well.

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      • writersideup

        09/02/2015 at 18:03

        There MAY come a time I consider doing it, only because I do like that it breaks down the internet barrier in the way that it brings the writer/blogger to life, a big step beyond photos, which is also a big step closer than only words. I have to get the “words” part under control and sharpened first 🙂 lol

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        • Ste J

          13/02/2015 at 20:22

          It is a big step but as ever with the WordPress community, everybody will be supportive and encouraging, not to mention curious! You are doing great with th words, so keep it up and build that confidence!

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          • writersideup

            14/02/2015 at 00:08

            You’re such a sweetheart, Ste J 🙂 Thank you oxox

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  12. Theanne aka magnoliamoonpie

    09/02/2015 at 16:44

    There’s nothing quite as interesting as observing a city wake up and go to sleep 🙂

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    • Ste J

      13/02/2015 at 20:07

      It is fascinating, I tend not to be around for the waking up bit lol but to see it all closing gives me a nice melancholy feeling.

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  13. vsvevg

    09/02/2015 at 22:53

    Great post Ste J. almost felt like I was there, the soundtrack helped 🙂 Also made me think of a book! Devil in the White City. Write on!

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    • Ste J

      13/02/2015 at 20:06

      I haven’t come across that book and it may seem silly but it always niggles me when I haven’t heard of a book. I am glad i could bring you into a little bit of my world, it always makes me happy to show people around my neck of the woods, or forest as I do live in Robin Hood country.

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  14. angela

    12/02/2015 at 03:37

    Appreciated this very much as you shared your city the way I wish to experience when visiting a new one – earbuds playing something a bit contemplative while still being able to hear what goes on around me. Your words helped to bring other senses in – a nice blog travelogue, so to speak.
    PS -I too watched your review – thank you for saving me from reading that book (I remember when it came out – still worked in a book store, but was not too sure if it was all gimmick). How lovely to see and hear you – a touch of reality beyond the avatars!

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    • Ste J

      13/02/2015 at 20:16

      I wished to bring people in, in an immersive way with a combination of sight, sound and word, if I could have had a scratch ‘n’ sniff accompaniment as well I would have! I wasn’t expecting to write the post as waiting in the Old Market Square is just the usual thing people do but the combination of factors coalescing made it almost intoxicating to be there. it is nice when life surprises like that.

      I do need to do a few more vlogs to give myself confidence and to mix it up but I tend to either think of too many things before hand and so write it, rather than read from a script or I forget all the things I wanted to say whilst filming. I need a balance but it is nice to show a little bit more of me to you guys, I feel like I am engaging more.

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  15. quirkybooks

    13/02/2015 at 17:36

    Have I read the comment right, Caribbean food in a Wetherspoons’? I love the big wheel and the atmoshere. Being quirky, like lights, camera, action and noise, ha! Was waiting to hear your voice!

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    • Ste J

      13/02/2015 at 20:00

      No it was a place called Turtle Bay, we did have a pint in Spoons first but fancied something a bit different in the food department. The cocktails were pretty good in Turtle Bay as well. I am sure you will hear my voice soon, I do keep meaning to do some vlogs.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • quirkybooks

        13/02/2015 at 21:42

        It’s sounds like a place they would have in Newquay, but it is in Nottingham?

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        • Ste J

          13/02/2015 at 21:46

          It certainly is, even 250 miles from the coast we get the best things.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • quirkybooks

            13/02/2015 at 21:50

            Wow! Amazing. I know you are mega busy at the moment, I just wonder if had seen any of my Quirky Love video series and what you thought. They are different to my usually quirky videos?

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            • Ste J

              13/02/2015 at 21:53

              I haven’t been around Wp for ages but i am hoping to catch up over the weekend so will venture over and then let you know.

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • quirkybooks

                13/02/2015 at 22:01

                No problems. I know you are subscribed to my channel, so not sure if you had a notification about them. I am covering some controversial topics, but you probably wouldn’t have expected anything less from me, ha! Enjoy your weekend.

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  16. quirkybooks

    13/02/2015 at 17:36

    I can’t spell atmosphere either – Ha!

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  17. RoSy

    19/02/2015 at 02:39

    I like the video touch that you added to this post.
    Nice that you got to be out & about with friends.

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    • Ste J

      19/02/2015 at 08:57

      It has been a while since I posted any type of video and who knows it may lead up to something with my face in it at some point. Friends do keep one from losing all sense of sanity haha.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  18. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    03/03/2015 at 14:02

    I love being taken along on a stroll in a distant land where I have never been and most likely never have an opportunity to visit. That’s why I enjoy my blog buddies so much. Thank you Ste, your snippet was perfection and I especially loved at the very end when the song became clear on the high note. It was like angels saying goodnight to the city. I know I’m being fanciful, but it was absolutely perfect. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      03/03/2015 at 21:12

      The song was a pleasant surprised and made up for the bells not tolling. It was a perfect moment and I sometimes wonder how many perfect moments we miss, blogging makes the sharing of things more special. To take you somewhere new is always a pleasure and I do wish to go somewhere new myself so we can explore together. I like that, angels saying goodnight, it gives the whole scene added depth.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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