Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Right Change

I pull up to the bumper of an old Ford Fiesta and reverse a little. Open the car door a smidgen, lean out and check that I'm parked inside the bay line. The offside rear tyre is just touching but it'll be fine.

It's warm for the end of September.

Students back for the new term stroll in sweatshirts and tees towards and from the University.

Toadstools growing at the base of a sycamore tree.

The first pay-station machine is 'not in use' so I walk a hundred yards up the road to the next one. I read the regs and rummage through my pockets for the right change.

Indian summer
the sun and six coins
in my palm

Paul Conneally

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Café Nero - A Fly Stirred In

Café Nero - Humberstone Gate - Leicester
Paul Conneally 2014

Millions of people enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the hundreds of Café Nero outlets across the UK. The company styles itself as a European style coffee shop which is quite appropriate given that it has set up a holding company in Luxembourg, and you can't get more European than that!

The upshot of setting up such a holding company means that Café Nero can by a complex web of borrowing from its own Luxembourg holding company write off any liability for corporation tax in the UK.

This has caused consternation from many people who feel that although perfectly legal it's somehow immoral to not pay what they feel is a fair whack in tax to the state. Starbucks, the American coffee shop giant, has come in for similar scrutiny.

The truth is, like it or not, these companies pay the tax that is legally due from them. They also employ thousands of people and contribute huge amounts in VAT returns, National Insurance contributions from workers and local business tax. While ever the tax system allows this then no right headed business is going to pay more tax than it has to. And why should it?

Well the argument could be that they go out of their way to find any loophole in the tax system that they can that brings them benefit at the expense of the public purse and so compromises the National Health Service, Education, and the wider social fabric of the UK.

You have to decide for yourself where you sit on this argument. Do you yourself pay more tax than you have to? Do you want to? Maybe it's the government that needs to act to change tax laws, close so called loopholes? Perhaps if we looked more closely at how our tax is actually spent, including huge amounts on defence, we might find even more to actively campaign on around tax collection and it's uses.

Personally I have no great love for corporate chains of any kind. I'd much rather buy a cup of coffee and homemade cake from a local independent café or tea shop while I still can.

afternoon tea
a fly stirred in
with the sugar

Paul Conneally
Leicester 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Brutal Beauty - Lee Circle Car Park - Leicester

The brutalist rotunda double helix concrete Lee Circle car park in Leicester, is a beast of a building.

Today, in the late September sun, it purrs more than roars and takes on a kind of beauty that I haven't clocked before.

Only one of its spiral roadways, the Blue route, is now in operation and it is rarely full.

Drivers choose to park the other side of the city centre, nearer or even in, the modern Highcross shopping complex.

lengthening shadows
the pigeon's coo melds
with a car alarm

Paul Conneally

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

the past shows us that difficulty is no excuse for dejection

'the past shows us that difficulty is no excuse for dejection'
Involuntary Painting
Paul Conneally
Leicester 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Concrete Mining Helmets

Concrete Mining Helmets - Snibston Discovery Museum
Photo: Paul Conneally 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Astral Body Of The Earthly Form Finally Separates From It

'the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it'
Involuntary Painting
Paul Connneally
Whitwick 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Macramé For Beginners

World matters make me feel that Macramé for Beginners is ripe for reiteration and so it's begun. 

Last night in the relative quiet of a small town superstore the screens lit up with Mother Goose as she told her tale of weaponry, words, class struggle and religion. 

knots in string 
the sound of artillery 
and prayer 

This session lasted 13 minutes before the electrical department sussed what was on their bank of flat screens and closed down the show. 

Tomorrow's another day. 

Paul Conneally
September 2014

Click here to see the video:

Macramé For Beginners sees Mother Goose meet Marx and Engels.

Macrame For Beginners caused controversy when Conneally managed to install the video without permission on to the master DVD player of a large national electrical retail store.

The piece was seen and heard on a bank of 26 in store for sale TVs for 48 minutes in the busy retail park store before staff realised that it was not the Cartoon Network and turned it off.

Macrame for Beginners is available for installation and public viewing both in outside, gallery and other locations.


Macramé or macramé is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of hitching (full hitch and double half hitches). It has been used by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms to decorate anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Morning Dew

I've never been very clubbable.

This extends to political parties which in a sense are just as much clubs as any other.

Nightclubs, for the most part, aren't clubs because you don't actually have to be a member to gain entrance.

Wear the right shoes, pay your dues and you're in.

morning dew
a cloakroom ticket
stuck to my face

Paul Conneally

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Just Like That

Some call it the 'Vintage' market others the 'Antique' but much of it is more akin to bric-à-brac, a slightly elevated white elephant stall state of affairs.

I say this with affection not spite, for the Friday Loughborough town market, we'll call it vintage, has its own charm and is well worth a visit, a mooch around.

In quiet times, when custom is scarce, it's good to listen in on the stall holders' banter as they joke and do trade deals with each other.

just like that
a toby jug pirate
changes hands

Paul Conneally

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Escape from the coils of the great serpent of illusion

'Escape from the coils of the great serpent of illusion'
Involuntary Painting
Paul Conneally

Monday, September 08, 2014


Involuntary Painting
Paul Conneally 2014


Paul Conneally

from the Loughbohemia series 2014

Sheltered - RIP ROBBO


We pass the old tram shelter
every time we go to the match

Just like us this tram shelter
has never seen a tram in Leicester

Donated to the city in 1934
by hosiery magnate Robert Rowley

It never served its purpose
the tramline never built

Over the years it's been a place
for couples to canoodle

Teenagers to huddle
spray paint messages

Windows smashed it offers
no respite from the wind

Plans have been submitted
to turn it into a coffee bar

Council officers think it's maybe
a good way to make money

More than a disused building
this is a landmark

Leave it be

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Rite Of Passage

his rite of passage
a freezer full
of mother's fruit pies

Verse 3 from the Acorn Bank leg of our Full Bloom Renga.

The a Full Bloom Renga followed the blossom moving through England's orchards from The Mother Orchard at Cothele House in Cornwall to Acorn Bank in Cumbria over a period of three to four weeks.

Full Bloom renga was conceived by artist Anne-Marie Culhane with Paul Conneally, Alec Finlay and Jo Salter for The National Trust, 2010.

Friday, September 05, 2014

The Quick Way - Anne-Marie Culhane and Paul Conneally 2007

The Quick Way - Junicho Renga - Paul Conneally and Anne-Marie Culhane 2007
The Quick Way
A twelve verse Junicho renga in the season of Summer, 16 June 2007 
Barracks Lane Community Garden, Oxford - from the renga archive.

A black bucket
filled with redcurrants
making jelly the quick way

there are many reasons
to celebrate

the magistrate offers
a road safety course
instead of a fine

rail track closed
due to snow

my phone is full
of your messages
which one shall I erase?

on the horns of a dilemma
finding it difficult to rest

bent double
a pair of students seek mushrooms
lit by sunset

we bring my geraniums indoors

in the east end
a line of bulldozers
moves through an allotment

this is my home
I lie flat beneath a vast sky

by the light of the moon
a frog sings
in a puddle

rain drenches
buds and blossoms

Anne-Marie Culhane (master poet)
Paul Conneally (host poet)
Catherine Naysmith
Oonagh Desire
Jo Salter
Dave Jones
Jenny Stanton
Anita Joice
Joseph Conneally
Colin May
Becky Didlick
Gaby Hock

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Paul Conneally
Leicester 2014

A fan on the way to Leicester City versus Arsenal in the Premier League August 2014