Tuesday, November 23, 2010


There's something very satisfying - to me, at any rate - about this as an image, in its near abstraction.   Of course, if I think about it in purely representational terms, it's just another in an occasional series of photos documenting the decline of 36 Union Street - on this occasion, the basin in the second floor bathroom which, although technically clean, is cracked and rusted and discolored beyond measure.   The true contest, however, is a floor higher up - and focuses on the question of whether or not the ceiling on the stairs (badly stained with rusty blotches and streaks in one place, cracking and starting to bulge downwards in another) will give way before I vacate my office (an office of which, I might add, I'm inordinately fond, especially since I bought it a heater) - it's just that its surroundings are what we'd call in England decidedly manky,   The dictionary isn't much help on "manky" - there's one on line optimistic suggestion that it comes from the Italian "mancare," to lack - but even though its use dates back at least to the 1950s, no one seems really clear of its origins.   It's a very useful word, all the same ...

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