2009-05-01
1
Big dose of the stupids
The toothache came back this morning.  Combined painkillers finally got on top of it in the afternoon, but whilst I was in Argos this morning buying a new coffee machine for the parents I was in some pain, and a bit trippy from the drugs, otherwise I would not have bought two cartridges for the HP Photosmart C4110 without having the cartridge number, especially as Argos will not refund or exchange cartridges.  I assumed a C4105 was in the same model range.  It isn’t, and yes, I did go back with the unopened cartridge, and I am stuck with it, so if you have use for a HP b&w 56 cartridge (with an opened but unused one thrown in) make me an offer.  I am over £35 in the hole on this one.

It has been a strangely relaxing day despite self inflicted stupidity, and 3 shopping trips, two of them very heavy.  Ma is now so well she is getting stroppy and moaning about being told what to do.  I have booked my ticket home.

2009-05-02
1
Anne Robinson, TV’s weakest link
I do not really need to be performing on a stage to get an adrenaline overdose, I just need to move back with my mum and dad.

Last night I cooked a curry for today, and went with ma to Crawley this morning, to go to the bank and do some shopping.

She spent over £40 on clothes and a pair of shoes, checked how much they had in their joint account (enough to be able to buy a good spec Ford Focus for cash) and bought some clip on sunglasses from Bateman’s.

Waiting for the bus back there was an odd woman pushing in, sort of.  On the bus ma talked to another old woman and they played ‘guess my age’.  Ma talked about keeping her mind, and the other woman talked about the worry of senile dementia; at which point I leant over and told her my mother could not get senile dementia because she had been demented all her life.

We got back and had the curry (keema mushroom, with spiniach and cauliflower florets).  I then decided to go to Horsham in search of Arundel Brewery beers (a suggested topic for the article, I did not use, but which tweeked my curiosity).  Ma asked me to get a few things, at which point she discovered she had lost her purse.  Then things got a little stressful, especially when my dad said the kinds of things I expected, and continued saying them loudly, after my quiet instructions, then threats.  I ended up shouting at him the second time he interrupted me whilst I was reporting it as a possible crime to the police ‘help’ desk.

After stopping her bank card, closing her coop credit card account at her request, getting a crime number, and trying to sort out if her address was in the purse with her key (thus meaning I would have to get the insurance company to change the locks), I sat down to wait for her to find the insurance details.  Then the local police called to say she had left the purse in <a href="http://www.visionexpress.com/store-locator/opticians-in-the-south-east/west-sussex/batemans-opticians-crawley/">Batemans</a&gt;.  I went to collect it.

It was a learning experience, and at least she has some idea as to what to do if she loses her purse again, and will not be carrying her address in it ever again.

In the evening I went to see <a href="http://theessink.com/">Hans Theessink</a> play the blues.  In the end I really enjoyed it, but part of that was the extra strong paracetamol eventually getting to work.  Only 4 people, apart from me, stopped for a drink afterwards, and that sums the audience up.  Not unfriendly, and a lot of them knew each other, and Hans got people singing along; but when people ask which key, it suggests serious listening.

2009-05-03
1
Steels on fire
I am home in Bradford, although it might be more accurate to say I was in my holiday home in Bradford.

This morning I did change the linen on my bed I had been sleeping on, and turn the mattress round (a heavy job), opened and served the Cava I bought yesterday on my way to collect ma’s purse, and cut the back lawn.  O reasonable amount of work for a day of rest, but not a proper day’s job.

I booked my ticket a few days ago, and the cheapest was the 19.30 from Kings Cross.  From what I understood from the web the Victoria Line was all shut, and there were no Thameslink Services to St Pancras, so I thought it would be another long journey via the Northern Line, so set out and walked to Three Bridges at 15.00 (dad thanked me for all I had done when I left, in a style he had not used before, and it was a massive step upward).

I felt exhausted on the train to London, but it went straight to St P’s via Elephant & Castle, so I spent 2 hours in Betjeman’s Bar, and sold a <a href="http://www.bradwan.co.uk/page.php?page=my_books">Wayne Jacobs Little Red Head Book</a> to barman Ed.  I talked to a lovely Norwich fan (who had just been relegated) and a decent Sheffield United fan, who had missed out on automatic promotion, and the decent bar staff.  I then got interrupted by a angry red dyed woman, and had her short male friend invade my space.  He ended up talking to me about Borough market and the Labour Party, but luckily for me he had to go for a smoke before his swearing caused me to start something.

Yje train from Kings Cross was one of the wheel on steel ones I get on the Eat Coast Main when I am lucky, or blessed. 

Sun setting from cloud brushed sky, rape field yellow changing as it sets, in a way I had never seen.  Discovering that from my back of carriage seat I could slide myself up and see both sides of the sunset from the front windows.

MY table and the one the other side of the aisle both had young, loud, young women on mobiles.  The one on the other side of the aisle was doing some craft with wool and a picture frame badly.  I would not have got angry, if a bloke had not got on at Peterborough who had booked the seat all her stuff was on.  All her stuff went in the aisle.  The train was full of football fans coming home from matches, but not one of the ones that kept tripping on her bags kicked one of them.  The ‘he was history’ way she talked about her grand dad dying yesterday, was neither here nor there, but she really made me hate her when she got annoyed by a baby crying in the carriage end.

I went for cider and got given a free can on my way back by a Barnsley fan, who had just missed relegation just above Norwich.  I went back to talk to him and his mates later, found out the were Royal Navy (That’s what he said, they’d been to see the Army Vs Navy rugby game at Twickenham!?) and got another free can of Strongbow.  On my way back to my seat I talked to the other obvious set of football fans, and the fact they were Huddersfield Town fans, and almost the least likeable people I met all day, may be a coincidence.

Back at my seat I noticed the bloke on at peterborough was reading Non-League Review, so I deliberately enguaged him in loudish conversation.  The woman knotting wool in way that would have got her a fail mark for a Girl Guide badge, seemed to find it more difficult to knot than when she was talking to a lover and letting people trip over her bags, but I hardly noticed.

The bloke was probably called Paul, and is a West Ham and Bradford Park Avenue fan, so not a man needing to seek more pain.  The were a cushty fan and all, he remembered the Bradford City home game decades ago when I stood in the home end with Hugh Herzig, and reckoned the pub we had a drink in beforehand was the Stanliegh Arms.  He also knows Ronnie, Park Avenue’s care in the community man; the one shouting about things that happened 40 years ago in a way even my dad would be embarrassed about.  Decent bloke.

I also told a woman nearly as old as my mum about her seat and the train.  Before I set off me and ma watched a Benny Hill collection on ITV.  I am sure I saw the Simon Dee piss take when it was first broadcast in the late 60’s.  I doubt I laughed as much as I did today.  The way he introduced a 107 year old man, who then fell down on his way in and was dragged off by his feet, is making me laugh now.

Me teeth have hardly hurt at all today.  If they were hurting bad I would be hating tomorrow being a bank holiday, because it would be an extra day before I could sign on and get free dental treatment, but as things are, I am glad I will have a day of potential full rest.  I still have not had the #80 fro the Playhouse administrators (and I will be getting stroppy about this) but I have had a totally unexpected cheque.  Not enough to pay bills, eat, and get my teeth fixed; but maybe enough for a new, free of sharp edges, mattress.

2009-05-04
1
Bradford home game
I’ve had a proper day’s drinking with Joe.  A day I could not have had in Crawley. 

Spent my share of the first hour talking about what I should be doing next. 

Went to Wetherspoons, then the Fighting Cock, then the Lord Clyde, where I drank a pint more than I should have, and left Joe on his third pint more than he should have, and talking to a really boring bloke.

I nearly slept the clock round this morning, and needed it, and had interesting dreams, including the one where I am sat on the bus with my washing machine full of water and washing, wondering if I could still plug it in the mains, or if the company nolonger allowed that.  They had a notice on the socket saying I could not use it, and I was wondering how I was going to drain it, when I woke up.

I took Joe on the scenic route from the Sir Titus Salts to the Fighting Cock, and he was impressed with my tale I told on the steps that still lead from behind Bradford College down to Thornton Road.  Nearly 30 years ago, in pitch darkness, I was on my way home to Hoxton St in Girlington, turned the first corner of the steps, and sa two caped forms, coppers lerking.  I still do not know why I did not soil my trousers.

2009-05-07
1
Skipton
I have done a lot of catching up this week, but mostly on sleep.

Went out with Joe on a trip to his youth today, with an intention of getting to Skipton, but nothing was decided until we got on a keighley bus and were told a K Day ticket at &pound;3 would get us to Skipton, and back, and let us stop anywhere in between; and at &pound;3.40 less than a rail dayreturn, a bargain and a half.

There was a loud nutter on the bus from Bradford, who stopped me from talking, so a relief for the rest, and a mark for me to aim for!  There was another on the bus back to Bradford and all!

We had a grand time.  Joe lived and worked there near 3 decades ago, and it were a strange journey for him.  I took him to the Narrowboat first, and we met some decent blokes called Andy and Nick, I talked to the chef about a possible Pie & Priestley Night.  We also had <a href+"http://www.greatheckbrewery.co.uk">Great Heck</a> beer for the first time, brewed by a bloke I know.

After that we went to the Albion, Red Lion and Woolly Sheep.  The last was the Red Brick last time he drank there, the first two had been changed so much it made the memories hard to dredge.

Had beer in Keighley on the way back (there is no direct bus) and it was drink too many.  Not a spoiler, but nothing added.

2009-05-09
1

A lot in a few days. 

The toothache came back with a vengeance.  I will now be signing on as soon as possible.  I am already booked to work the next polling day, and signing on could be complicated.

Massive improvement came because I went to meet Anzir in Leeds, and he upgraded this computer to run Mac OSX 10.4.  My hard drive was very full, so rather than me clearing enough space by trashing files, he copied the whole disk onto one of his external hard drives, and did a clean install.

The trouble was the whole thing took so long I only re-installed a few programs and files, leaving the rest for me to collect next week.  I am OK with e-mail, but I do not have my address book, calendar, or access to a number of websites. 

The massive improvement in speed however makes all that a minor matter.  It is exactly like having a new computer, one that does things!  it is also clear though that I will have to get my own external hard drive asap.  If I do not have to pay for dentistry I could afford one, as long as I put off getting a new matress.

2009-05-11
1
24 years
<strong>Those of us left to remember

Should always remember

Those who are not here

To share the wealth

We have gained</strong>

<em>Written years ago from my feelings and memory of the Bradford fire, 11th May 2005</em>

<hr>
I made a claim for <em>Income Based Jobseekers Allowance </em> (The Dole, or Welfare if you are American</em>).  The claim is now made by phone, with a confirmation interview in a few days.  I booked a dental appointment tomorrow, on the assumption the claim will be accepted.  If it is not, and I have to pay, I am going to have real problems.

I did some cleaning cooking, gardening shopping, ironing and a massive laundry, including jackets and 4 pairs of trousers.  The whole lot was so heavy my washing line broke.  Fortunately it was a brilliant, sunny and windy drying day, and the laundry was dry enough not to pick up dirt.  There were thousands of insects flying around and mating whilst I was pegging.  Lots of green and blackfly settled on the clothes, probably at random, but a small flies or wasps I did not recognize were using them to mate.  Black, with big eyed males about 3 mil, and tiny eyed females about a mil longer, bottom to bottom either facing away or with the male at about 90 degrees.

I decided to sit on my sofa, a rare thing, listen to tapes and sew up tears.  I put on <a href="http://www.nancigriffith.com/">Nanci Griffith</a>, a voice I have loved from the 80’s, and I found myself blubbing.  When I stood in the Bradford End watching Valley Parade burn I was already in a fraught mental state, but was moving to firmer ground.  Nanci’s music helped with healing, but hearing her for the first time in a long time short circuited much time lagged insulation.  The Fire, coping with the memory and many painful things I did to myself in the years afterwards.

I do not know if the memories are painful, or other memories are happy, like the first night with Pam, they are just scenes to be seen from windows passing at different times and speeds.  I want to listen to <a href="http://www.nancigriffith.com/discography_albums.php?album=21">Outbound Plane</a> but cannot find either tape, or the CD, and I did not copy across anything from iTunes so I do not have it there.

2009-05-12
1
Decay
I got the x-ray of my teeth I should have had 4 years ago when I first told my dentist that one of my molars hurt now and again.

There is extensive rotting behind the enamel.  A second x-ray was taken to find out if the tooth could be saved.  I will find out on Thursday, and face massive drilling or extraction.

Met Joe at the local cafe and then went to his new Disability Support office at Marchent House, where I used to have a business address.  Nice little set up, and they are sorting out Criminal Record Bureau checks, including one for me as a member.

I later went to visit Calvin and Kim.  Heard the story of them putting up a 22 year old Muslim lad who was scared of his dad.  A right tale, with drama, tattoos and comedy, and a potential married and lived happily ever after ending!

Calvin has turned his back garden into a giant shed cum greenhouse.  I came home with about a hundred broccoli seedlings.  I pricked out about a dozen into a planter, but they were already so closely entwined that I got cold and impatient, put soil in a tray, added lots of water, lifted the rest of the seedlings out of their pot and stirred them into the mud.

I also made my first call to Tamar for a long time, to ask advice about what I should apply to the Arts Council for.  The Arts Council infamously refused Kenneth Branagh funding for a set of Shakespeare outreach projects.  He found other funding and has refused to touch the Arts Council ever since.  Tamar has seen enough of them to point out that they seem to like things they can see their logo on; so while I will not be seeking funding to publish <em>Lines of Power – Lines of Pleasure (The History and Poetry of Pylons)</em> if I researched the book, the market, and developed a show to go with it I would have a show to show, and I have since thought that could be the invite the agents show as well!

<HR>
I woke up at 4 am straight from a dream about having to rewrite a scene I was watching for different ends.  It was the beginning of WWI and involved marching soldiers and Kipling.  I got up thinking I had already had the dream twice before, first as a dream and then a nightmare; but when I got downstairs and ate some carbohydrates I could not figure out if I was dreaming while I thought about dreaming it before.  I have had dreams about dreaming before, but not had one as confusing as this one for a long time.

2009-05-14
1
Nature’s final word?
I arrived at the dentist for my 9.30 appointment, to be told it was an 8.45 appointment.  I was rebooked for tomorrow, and not fined, so I am lucky; and the reminder that I am basically an idiot like the rest now makes me smile.

Went ti Ilkley in the afternoon to ask after doing an <a href="http://www.ilkley-more.com/forum/Ilkley-General-Chat/Message-34049.html"&gt; uncut fringe event</a> event at the Crescent, and see <em>Elephant Man</em> at the Ilkley Playhouse (google yourself, I have a shifting beer cargo on board).  Got a book about managing anger at the St Catherine’s Hospise shop which could have been written for me, or rather my brother.  Went to the Bah Tat and admired Stella’s astonishing boosum, and she can properly manage a pub, I hope she has a partner who values her, and adds value. 

Where was I?  I don’t know but will find out when I read this tomorrow.

Met Oggit in the pub (follow last link and look for the name).  A good bloke, who read my blog, and is after my own heart.  He had to go and throw protien at his children at half 7, and I could have got to the Playhouse and got a ticket, but it were better talking for a bit.

I went to the Crescent and have an offer for per head curry.  I need to think.  The function room is now a pool room, so I am looking at no more than 32 people able to see me in the little dinning room, but it may be worth doing a Curry & Kipling Night their in the middle of Ilkley Literature Festival just to annoy folk.

Saw a coal black rabbit from the train, in the fields after Guisley, for the second year.

Whilst I remember I need to remember to say I should soon not be helping virgin, richard branston is a cont, media pay for beard trims, but I reckon that will not effect any of you 6.  Strangers click the mail me link, and I hope to remember to mail all my friends that I have changed e-ddress, though I cannot do that until I get my address book back from Anzir’s hard drive.

2009-05-15
1
Tooth done
I had the tooth done this morning.  he put a massive filling in the cavity that has been there for at least 4 years and 3 previous dental visits, it was just that the opening was in the gap with the next tooth, and they could not be bothered taking an x-ray despite my testimonies which clearly indicated a possible problem.  The filling may not work, and it it gets painful again, or, I guess, falls out, I am to go back for possible nerve removal. 

Heavy rain this morning reveled that front neighbour Mohammad’s concreting of his quarter of the entrance tunnel meant the water from the leaking gutters was not going down the drain, so I had to spend time hacking a gulley with my slaters hammer.

The bus back from Clayton was an ancient replacement.  There was a young mum with a 3-4 year old boy and a younger daughter in a pram.  She had to fold the pushchair because it was an old bus, and had a real nightmare.  Another girl held the baby.  When the bus got to Bradford I carried the pushchair off for her, and ended up holding the baby while she got it unfolded.  Nice family.  the boy smiled a lot, the daughter just looked at everything without a sound, and the mum was doing a splendid job.

2009-05-16
1
Hurting and Leeds
The teeth are still hurting, a lot.  I will live on painkillers until Wednesday then book another Clayton trip if it has not got better.

Bought a First Day WY ticket to get to the dentist yesterday morning.  It is only &pound;4.  I saved 40p on just the return to Clayton with it, then went to Leeds to see Anzir, and got buses into and back from town. 

Anzir burnt critical information from my old computer onto a DVD.  I now have enough to create a slideshow for Sussex Day, unfortunately the transfered keychain did not work with password protected websites, which would have meant the end of the myspace blog, but I have just fixed that.

I spent a few happy hours in the Grove.  <a href="http://www.pubutopia.com/pubs/L/Leeds/The%20Grove%20Inn/">Donut</a&gt; was out and seemed pleased to see me, and spent several minutes rubbing his muzzled head against my leg.  I also made the pretty builder, and her man, laugh.  I talked to Jo, the new, redheaded barmaid about my book.

On the bus home I sat with a group of student who had been to a gig, players and audience.  The drunkest was called James, and he was entertaining, at least to me, most of his friends seemed well embarrassed. 

2009-05-17
1
Dealing with a big breast
I tidied up the big pile of A4 printer paper and card, and discovered a VIZ 2001 at the bottom of the heap.  February’s picture, of a Roger Melly gameshow involving 3 men and 3 ducks, made me laugh so much my face ached.  <em>is the wrong answer, John.  So you lose 15 points on the billboard and one of our Dolly Ducklings will accompany you to Roger’s pond where it’s your turn to…</em> The audience then shout out the name of the show.  The look on the face of the duck watching its mate been seen to by the last man to get a question wrong makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Did massive shops at Lidl and Nettos, so have essentials like coffee, whiskey and fruit.  Paid &pound;2.60 for the biggest chicken I have seen.  in Lidl.  I cut it up and poached and fried the breasts (the legs are waiting to be cooked and the rest was boiled for stock, and bit to make a curry).  Got one of Bobby Singh’s curries yesterday, and fried the left over rice with green pepper, onion, garlic and grated carrot.  Had it all with a bottle of Chilean Pedro Jimenez.  The whole lot was a treat.

Did some gardening as well as tidying, and found and planted some of the peony roots I brought up from the trip before last to my parents.  I also potted out some more of Calvin’s broccoli, and gave some to the landlord of my local, who must have a roof garden.

I set off to see the play in Ilkley, but discovered I had left my cards at home, and had 4 quid in loss change.  Was too tired to walk home but while I was waiting for a bus I saw ex-Playhouse wardrobe mistress Angela waiting for the free City bus, so I got on that, and we put the Playhouse to rights (I still have not had the &pound;80 they owe me!).  We got off at the same place, and I only saved a third of the walk home, but that third is the steepest, after my own street.

The woman doing <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/presenters/iain_burnside.shtml">Iain Burnside’s</a> show (which seems to be now called : <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00kh2c4">Sunday Morning</a> ) asked for suggestions for musical cities to feature, so I sent the following.

===

Dear Sunday Morning

As a man who has lived most of his life in Bradford I have to offer it up as a suggestion. 

Delius is the obvious hook, and the the chapel his parents worshipped at is now largely given over to the Delius Arts Centre

<a href="http://www.brad.ac.uk/music/">The Tasmin Little Centre</a> gives a big name who would, probably, be more than willing to giggle and play.

Bradford always considered itself an owner of the Halle as well, certainly in its Edwardian heyday, when the world wide wool trade and Yorkshire grit created a truly mutlit-cultural town, where good music was heard, and judged, in bandstand, cafe, chapel, and concert hall.

The biggest draw for a musical program, however, is the writing of J.B.Priestley (the above paragraph is a paraphrase of what he wrote of the hometown of his youth).

Priestley wrote many quotable things about music: a man’s first experience of classic music, and the heights it can lift to, when he goes to hear Brahms No 1 on a whim; the joy of hearing an orchestra tuning up, always much better than the concert; the ranking of the brass bands that played in Lister Park during the summer; and the proper role of Messiah and Elijah in the life of a chapel.

I was a founder member of the J.B.Priestley Society, and created the <a href="http://priestley.bradwan.co.uk/page.php?page=home">Priestley Night</a>, at my own risk, to celebrate the man on his (and my) birthday on 13th Sept.  I still am in touch with with his son, Tom. 

I recently restarted small scale Priestley Nights (the Society decided that we did not need to sell strangers tickets, and it would be better if they ran it without me).  I have piping in the meat and potato pie, and me and an actress friend reading from the mans work. 

He is still in copyright, and you would obviously need permissions, but Tom is always keen to spread his father’s words.

I would love to help with this, and if you want a reader, or talker, I would be well up for it.

Glyn Watkins

2009-05-13
1
Worth in my valley
<em>Oh rare days of worth, rare days of meaning; making worthwhile all the days seemingly made worthless by ends of a different opinion</em>

<strong>Glyn Watkins 13th May 2009</strong>

Wrote a splendid <em>Back to work</em> agreement this morning better than any I had written for me when I was last signing on.  If I remember to I may post the front page at bottom.  It was a splendid interview. 

I am listening to an interview on Radio 3 with a female writer as I write this.  It fits so well with what I feel I will try and give full quotes.

So I am on the dole, and facing the prospect of being better off than I have been for at least 4 years.  I will be able to buy things I want, rather than just the things I have to have to live, and luxuries that cost less than what is in my pocket and the fare home. 

I went to a neighbourhood forum meeting in the early evening.  I have been trying to go to one for at least 3 years, but things always got in the way.  Yasim, from round round the corner, has been on to me to turn up for ages.  She gets things done.

It was a meeting that finished on time (and anyone who has any experience of meetings knows how rare and splendid a thing that is).  I made a genuine and
positive difference to the meeting. 

<strong>The writer was AS Byatt, about whose work I knew jack all, but what she was saying will make a big difference to me.</strong>

There were a lot of people at the meeting, with many new faces.  There was my back and down neighbours (I think he is called Ron).  Yasim, her even more forceful mate, and a clear headed o;d Muslim guy who had to get off to work, so he was forcing the pace. 

I read the agenda, and made notes on the proposal for the groups constitution (the ‘regeneration’ area has been run by Trident, career politicians and bureaucrats with an ocean of government money).  I tell you what though, the fact that Trident reckon they should have <em><strong>30 percent</em></strong> of the possible &pound;5000 grant funding caused talk after the paid people had gone, and I am proud to have fan that, and to have forced suggestions for spending what is left after their cut of the money until the next meeting (and thus got the next meeting agreed in 2, rather than the 10 minutes on the agenda) and thus helped get the meeting finished on time.  I also helped stoke up a group identity.  I asked about what our boundaries were.The chair was waffling, but I cut in and asked if Status Chip Shop belonged to us or Marshfields, which everyone understood.  I also pointed out flaws with the proposed constitution, which was just a copy of an other forum’s, that had been around for years, with the names changed.  That meant that there were time specific things that were nonsensical to our group.  I also picked up on the fair points made by the other clear sighted members.  I am going to bloody well enjoy this!

I then went to me local and drank cheap beer and Teachers, talked to faces I have seen many times and found new common ground, and had Michel take the rip out of me, which suggests I sort of belong. 

Tomorrow I probably lose a tooth, but having looked in the mirror (a rare event) and opened my mouth I have discovered it is a tooth full of filling, like all the rest.  so no great loss, and a few hours of drug numbed pain will be much less than the pain so bad I have to stand stock still and breathe slowly through my nose, that I have had more than once in the last year.

<hr>
<strong>The agreement what I wrote for Jobseekers</strong>

For the last 5 years I have been a self employed poet, writer, performer and show producer (IR assessment and P45 from my last JSA Claim available for photocopying).

I am also a qualified primary school teacher, but have not taught for over 6 years, although I have worked in schools as a storyteller, poet, and running bookmaking workshops.

Writing The last work I did was writing for a magazine called On Track (See Additional information 1) with payment due on, or before, 8.7.2009. 

<em>Commitment</em> Although there will be no news about further possible On Track work until mid June I will be talking to Kate Shaw before I next sign on to ask about getting other writing work, and will pursue such.

Producing and performing I am owed money for a show I produced (See AI 2)

I am looking to produce more shows.  Two out of the last three I have done received loss guarantee support form Bradford Council, the other was a paid event for a group raising money for charity. 

I am committed to do an unpaid show on 16th June (See AI 3) with the verbal promise from Mandy Bright that, if successful, she will endeavour to get me registered on West Sussex County Council’s list of approved performers and storytellers (whose standard fee is &pound;170 a session) provided I have an up to date CRB Check and &pound;5,000,000 public liability insurance.

<em>Commitment</em> I am already seeking a CRB through Disability Support (I am a member) at my own expense.  I will get insurance if the show on the 16th results in offers of further work. 

I still need to gain experience in both producing and performing.  The aim being to create a show that can be sold to different venues and events, and be used to show to agents (see AI 5 page 5); and refine my performing skills. 

Arts Council of England support

I went to an ACE funding seminar last month.  They offer grants to individual artists to, in effect, support career development. 

<em>Commitment</em> I am already seeking advice about applying for such a project grant, to include living costs so as to allow me to sign off, if I have not already done so.  I will report on this at the next signing session.

School work

In terms of ‘guest work I will be trying to get more in schools, but it is a bureaucratic nightmare, which would be made easier if I am accepted on WSCC’s register of storytellers.

In terms of teaching work:

<em>Commitment</em> I will find out about return to teaching courses before the next signing date.

Other

I already receive the ATL (Yorkshire) Limited
 Centre for Enterprise, the literaturetraining, and Bradford’s fabric mailings.  I will continue to Scutinize those for possible work.

2009-05-19
1
The neighs whinny, but the eyes have it.
<a href="http://www.bdb.co.za/shackle/articles/rain_raineth.htm">The rain it rainth every day…</a>

The sun is to be seen, but you will get very wet if you stand out waiting to greet it!

Just after the last blog I was listening to <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr0n">Janice Long</a>’s after midnight show.  She was talking about the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Specials">Specials</a&gt; reunion tour.  She read the below out.  I am posting it mainly because it’s about my history.  I should have remembered they were called the Specials AKA.

<em>I saw the Specials supporting the Clash in 78 or 79, at Crawley Leisure Centre (I think they were still the Coventry Specials).  It was one of the most violent gigs I’ve been too, with punks and skinheads hating each other and pogoing to prove it.  Suicide got bottled off, but the Specials were brilliant.  They would announce a song "for all de skinheads".  start a pogo trash, and just as everyone was jumping and elbowing at full speed, they would go into a reggaa beat, and all the skinheads and punks would stop because they were really confused.</em>

After my South Milford Poet of Fete Show I talked to the woman in charge of the church, where it was.  She said she thought it was worth doing again but with some of the organization changed.  I should have kept in touch, and I am not absolutely sure I have the correct contact.  I sent the contact a mail saying it was probably too late but if the Church fancied it we could do a show with a split take.  I Cc’ed Laura.  Laura ordered that I be refused, but sent me a copy by mistake.

I am disappointed but strangely un-angry.  I wrote to Laura wishing her well, though I did point out the stress of last year was not just down to me, that until the tug-of-war was won by the <a href="http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/11/11117/Black_Bull/South_Milford">Black Bull</a> and they started talking about making it as good as it used to be, a lot of people in the village saw the fete as a middle class incomers thing, and I at least talked to people that her committee never did. 

Had a call from a very young woman from West Sussex County Council’s press office, who is writing the Sussex Day press release.  I am grateful for publicity, but her first effort claimed Kipling was born in Sussex, and the second said Shelley wrote poems about it.  At least she sent me the drafts.

I had my first eye test for 4 or more years this morning.  Absolutely no sign of decay within, which, considering my diabetes, is a blessing.  I can carry on with the same glasses, but will probably get a new pair to take advantage of the free lens dolies get.

Also had a lunchtime drink with a friend.  It was nice to see her, but felt sad afterwards.

2009-05-21
1
Dole Report
Last night I talked to Kate about the things I wrote for her magazine (On Track).  She said she was surprised by how good it was, and how I had almost managed to remove my ego from what I had written. 

A bloke from virgin knocked on my door to tell me about an upgrade, then asked if he could use my loo.  I let him.  He came back seemingly greatly impressed <em>This is a proper man’s house innit!</em>

Today was signing day.  I wrote out proof of my job search.  I think the bloke who ‘interviewed’ me was a bit nonplused, and certainly did not want to add the report to my file.  I am not sure if I will do one for next time, but I may as well stick it on here.  I have tried setting the font so it looks different.

The Writers in Prison I mention at the end actually looks dodgy now I have thought about it.  I do think it is a worthwhile thing to do, but terms and conditions are not good.  There is no holiday pay or pension contribution because the writers ar ‘freelances’, yet the advert says it is a 1 or 2 year contract with 880 hours to be worked as 18.5 hours a week, they say 2 and a half days a week!  That is a contract, and means it is not on a freelance basis.  The gross works out at &pound;15/hour with no living or travel allowance, and the only one I could possibly do that is on offer is Hull.  So travel and b&b would cost me between &pound;80 and a &pound;100 a week.

I would not do the job to make money, but being tied for a year for so little material, and so much constraint, makes no sense
<h3>Dole Report 1</h3>
14.5.09
Fabric mailing read.  Nothing relevant. 
To Ilkley.  Got a quote for a possible Curry & Kipling show at Crescent Hotel. 

15.5.09
To Leeds.  Laptop ungraded and new presentation software installed to allow me to do Sussex Day show with slides.

17.5.09
Sent the Iain Burnside show (Radio 3) a pitch for a Musical Cities feature.
Did web based job search.

18.5.09
Sent e-mails trying to organise a show during the South Milford Fete (I have done the last 2 years, and made money).  No deal.

19.5.09
Had a call from the press officer of West Sussex County Council who was writing a press release for my show.  Spent some of the day correcting her drafts.

20.5.09
Spent hours at the Disability Support office sorting out an Enhanced CRB Check for myself. 
Checked Return to Teaching website. 
Called the editor of On Track magazine.  Long discussion about what I had written for her, and the possibilities of selling such work to others.  I have been invited to a meeting (tba) to talk more about this.
Fabric Mailing.  Nothing
literaturetraining E-bulletin 20/05/09 Possible: Writers in Prison.  One event, and one competition, worth investigating.

21.5.09
Checked http://www.writersinprisonnetwork.com/ .  &pound;13.500 for 18.5 hours.  No travel or accommodation.  3 prisons in Hull only remotely practical possibilities.  888 hours a year (48 weeks?).  &pound;15/h, &pound;280/w.  3 day week?  &pound;25 train, &pound;80 2 nights b&b.

2009-05-22
1
Van the Man
I have just watched <em>So Hard to Beat</em> on BBC iplayer.  It is about Northern Ireland’s pop music, This is not the first time I have referred to my poem <em>You wait until it’s black and white…</em> on here, but I bet I will not load it so I can show it to you, even now!  I wrote it in the city of Derry, in 1993, about being scared to bejayzuz as an 19 year old in a damp Irish cellar bar next to Trafalgar Square, when I reached for my pint or Murphys, thinking I had been forgotten.  I have also written about <a href="http://www.bradwan.co.uk/page.php?page=ulster">Ulster</a&gt;

I finally sorted myself out to buy a new mattress.  Argos sell a double for &pound;79.95 (home delivery only).  I used points from my credit card to buy &pound;100 of Argos vouchers, on credit, for &pound;90.  Went in today to buy it.  Went through the delivery processing, and she casually mentioned the &pound;5.80 delivery charge.  I walked away, but turned to say that there was no mention of the charge.  She said there was, and picked up the catalogue.  The thing is all customers have to have this delivered, so the price is not &pound;79.95, it is &pound;85.75, 7.25% more than the price claimed!

Bobby Singh was looking at something as I walked away from the counter, so I had someone to moan at, and while I was not shouting, my voice may have carried, as I have been told my voice does carry.  I can now afford a digital camera with the vouchers, but I will still have unspent ones and it looks like I will be living with the points of steel mattress a while.

I need to do go on a trip for just change, beer and culture, and not linked to something I am trying to sell or do.  When I get my first virtual Giro I may got for a b&b somewhere. 

I was going to Ilkley to try and find venues, but it took me so long to dig out <a href="http://www.ilkley-more.com/forum/Ilkley-Events/Message-28067.html">this ilkley-more reference</a>, and then add to it, that I did not have the time I thought I needed, Walked to town and back though, and seeing how often I do that, I do wonder why I feel so knackered doing it.

2009-05-23
1
No bat but better vision
A rite grand day, wi local drinking and meeting long time no see’s, especially Dave and Chris of East Bowling and the Gardeners of old.

Just spent a fair time sat on me doorstep, no bats, but a swnswe of belonging.

Am listening to Radio 2 and they have Nick Drake.  It has been a day of cutting past the vain to the vein.  I will find all 3 of Nick Drake’s albums and play at least one, The show is about Island Records, <em>King C</em>

That was a bit of trauma, I may have knacked my sound system, trying to turn up King Crimson to full volume I have done something that even plugging in the dark for eons lamp in, and casting light on confusion, made no better. 

I think I am on the crest of the curl.  I stop now.

2009-05-24
1
You could have had cake
Today I baked a cake, and I cannot remember the last time I did.  I did not have a hangover, but did not do much in the morning, then potted on two tomato plants I bought in Wilkinsons for 75p each and an unnamed fruit plant from Nettos, probably a loganberry.  I then thought <em>I want cake!</em>, so I made one.

It was a sponge cake made by beating egg yolks and sugar, and folding in the beaten whites and flour and baking powder.  It turned out very well.

One thing about the computer upgrade is I can now watch Channel 4 programmes from their site, and I have been watching hours of <em>Time Team</em>, including some ancient ones, where Tony Robinson still has a full head of hair.  It is fascinating seeing how it was when it was archeologists being filmed, rather than TV people doing archeology. 

2009-05-25
1
Banking on holiday
Went to Skipton to try and sort out a <em>Curry, Kipling & Yorkshire Night</em> on the 6th July, the date of John Lockwood Kipling’s birth.  He was Rudyard’s remarkable father, who was born in Pickering.  His parents retired to, and died in, Skipton.

Me and Joe got a bus to Keighley, walked to Roger’s, and he drove us to all to Skipton.  It were busy with the Bank Holiday, but I should have the <em>Narrow Boat </em> and the <em>Cross Keys</em> phoning me with per head quotes, and I could called the <em>Red Lion</em> to talk the the woman who had just popped out.

Joe and Roger were taking the rip a bit, but it was work, if I had not been there I could not ask a price and make judgments, and I talked to other folk.  A couple at the <em>Royal Shepherd</em> asked me about what I was doing, and if I knew the curryhouse next door to them in Greengates called Kiplings (answer is: Yes, but not personally). 

After Roger took us back to Keighley me and Joe went to the Boltmakers, where a young lad recognized me as the pie man, and a bloke I did not recognize thought he knew my face, but was not sure where from.

Went to the <em>Friendley Inn</em>, then got a bus, after talking to a bloke and his loud mother, and went to <em>The Star</em> in Bingley.

2009-05-28
1
Boarding
Since the last blog I have spent more than a day working on the <a href="http://www.bradwan.co.uk">Crawley, Carr & Kipling (not the cakes) show</a>.  I also had a call from my mum today, who told me the show was covered in today’s Crawley Observer.I will post a link on my homepage if it appears on their website.

Also went to my second neighbourhood forum meeting, and went round to the other two loudest and most sensible members, who are near neighbours.  Money has been allocated for nesting boxes and new plants for the tiny grassed area I call <em>Lock-Up Park</em> (on account of it being lock-up garages 30 years ago.  I will be responsible for arranging the boxes and buying the plants (possibly including fruit trees), and will be looking after the new neighbourhood petrol driven strimmer (so that’s my grass cutting made easier).

Went to Ilkley today venue hunting.  I have always liked the Riverside, and am early enough for this year’s Ilkley Literary Festival for them to be able to make me an offer (and for a possible Priestley Night).  I had a fish from the attached chip shop before I went in and the friendly pub cat abandoned the small girls with chips to make friends with me.  I explained to the girls that I was the cat’s best friend while I was eating fish, and they learnt and understood, the eldest even asked if I had already given the cat fish.  I said yes, and she realised she had no chance.

I also discovered that the Clarke-Foley Centre has a proper stage, so If I do not have curry I could easily do a Kipling show there.

I have asked about this on the <a href="http://www.ilkley-more.com/forum/Ilkley-General-Chat/Message-34280.html">ilkley-more site</a> (where you could tell me what you think, or you could use the mail link at top).  I also posted about a pub called the <a href="http://www.ilkley-more.com/forum/Ilkley-General-Chat/Message-34277.html">Midland</a&gt;.  In fact I am going to post the thing here anyway.

<strong>The Midland should have a new man in charge in 3 weeks or so, I like this pub, it is in a brilliant location and it would have been difficult to imagine how it could be run into the ground.

It is now owned by Enterprise Inns.  Now I cannot imagine anyone ever suggesting that Enterprise Inns are a parasitic scum company who strip naive new licensees of their life savings and whose directors should be flayed alive and whose shareholders should lose all their money, but in terms of improving pubs across the country it would be difficult to claim them as a front runner.

Anyway, to get back to the thread, I hope the new guy makes a go of the Midland, keeps at least 3 real ales on, and finds the money for the good clean, brush up and basic repairs the place has desperately needed for at least 5 years.

==

I don’t often LOL, but LOL,LOL,LOL!!!

One wonders where you gleaned this information Branwan?  I would guess it was from *the horses mouth* ie, aka, the new incumbent?

In which of Ilkley’s hostelries did you come across the man with the plan?

I suppose poachers often make the best gamekeepers, good luck to him!</strong>

I also tried to watch the first episode of Springwatch when I got home, but the BBC site would only show the first 20 minutes, but that was enough to discover Bill Oddie is not there any more, so all the things that make it poor if not kept in check by a man with strong opinions and a sense of drama, especially the anthropomorphism, have already made it into just another BBC <em>cute animals</em> bait show (and the lack of any news suggests it is another BBC <em>sack with a gagging cushion</em>.  I have tried saying that on the BBC Springwatch site, but new posters have to be checked before their posts will appear, and I cannot be bothered watching more programmes or looking at the messageboard.

2009-05-31
1
Sun hat
The finest weather of the year so far, though window at times today.

I made a small lean-to coldframe from a large piece of clear perspex someone had dumped, two buddliah canes, two black bin bags, tape and twist-ties.  I have the two tomato plants behind it.

Saw Yasim yesterday and talked through a lot of local stuff.  There is a fruit and veg van comes round and her mother is a big user.  I ended up buying a watermelon as well.  I would not think of doing so without an urdu speaker.  Watermelon is my sure sign of summer.

The Sussex Day Show is moving on, I spent 3 tedious hours scanning the Carr map a piece at a time and assembling the bits with Photoshop Elements 2.  I also have the two possible Kipling shows to sort.

Made a carrot and coconut cake today.  Very good hot, but now it has cooled it seems clear my oven temperature is low.  I do not think it is broken but most of the things I use it for takes long than they should.

from the school I have talked to since the 70’s.  I lost touch with almost everyone I knew when we moved up to Thomas Bennett Comprehensive.

The show worked technically, and while Basil and ma were the only ones reacting, they reacted enough.  Ma also baked Welsh cakes for the occasion, so there were cakes!

My father was very nasty yesterday, and quite nasty this morning, but I kept focused on the show yesterday and did not give a monkey’s this morning, and that was an important stepping stone.  Ma had her first night out for years and loved it, and Basil learnt about turning academic lectures, which he can do very well, into entertaining tlaks.  So the show has been beneficial for my whole family.

So lots of positives, and if you want to stay positive I would stop reading now.

If I think about what this has done for my career and the effort it took, I have to wonder if I should bother doing more.  Today I went into the Library to talk about what I need to be doing to get ‘performing’ work from the County Council, which I am convinced I was offered help with, provided I proved myself with a show at my expense.  That was the lesser, though public, reason for doing the show.  I know I need public liability insurance (cost &pound;100-&pound;200 per annum) to get any such work, but I need to believe I can get work before paying for insurance.  When I asked what I should do next, I was told: <em>I am not your agent!</em>.

I do delude myself, perhaps constantly, and I am genuinely proud of what I did yesterday, but while the ground floor of the Library was full of hand written displays about future events and authors visiting far in the future, I had nothing, not even a ‘Glyn Watkins’ will be giving a free talk celebrating Sussex Day tonight.’  The few things I got, mention in a press release and a few flyers printed on the Library’s inkjet, were less than I have managed myself for any previous show, and I only got those because I nagged, but not as much as I wanted tobecause I did not want to get on the wrong side of, what I thought was, a key door keeper.

I have to keep telling myself that yesterday had a massive and positive impact, and money and the future have never been that important to me.  In a few days, after resting in my my own poverty stricken but peaceful home, I will be happy about what I have done, and I am happier for writing this, but at the exhausted minute it feels like just another a dead end.

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