June 2009


wordpress note – This should appear for the 30th June, but I am late posting, and I cannot see a way of changing the posting date.

Sat down with Dave Pendleton and this laptop in the City Vaults to write the first draft of City Heroes (The search for Robert Torrance), Bradford Cathedral, 11th November, 2009. Dave has all the stories and could easily talk for 2 hours, and it would be a good talk. I have now learnt enough of the discipline of show writing to give dramatic form to the stories. This will be a powerful drama and a major event.

A very full day, starting at 06.00.

Took the new iPie. Bus – Keighley – Skipton, where I was photographed for the Craven Herald & Pioneer, Met lots of lovely people, but Sarah from the Town Council is the only one I have a name for, cause she gave me her card. I cannot remember the name of the girl at the newspaper who remembered me from seeing me once at a party a dozen years ago, at Ponden Mill, Stanbuty, and remembered the name of the l;lass I was stalking at the time. I used to get asked why I wasn’t married, but I think the women who asked, soon realised just how numb I was.

I also got chased out of the Yorkshire Bad Book Clearance shop. My poster had been taken down. I went in and waited for the old man to finish on his mobile, like he owned the place and was doing it a favour, and asked why my poster had been taken down. He said We don’t put posters up. Alright!?. Seeing I had to wait for him to finish on his phone I said No. You’re a miserable git, and I will not be recommending your shop. Having said all I needed to, I left, and the tosser ran after me, and was shouting at me to come and face him instead of running away. I had the new pie out, and a bus to catch so did not take the chance and trade insults. After I missed me bus and packed the pie I went for beer at the Woolly Sheep, where I told the story on Mr Miserable Bookshop Man. Much more enjoyable than helping a angry twat towards a heart attack.

All personal injury lawyers are parasitic scum. The ones in the house Kipling’s granny lied at could not be bothered to answer my personal request for just £60 to pay for an advert, and told me they were not interested, but only when I went in today, so they are obviously tight as well.

The photographer called me a professional after he had taken photos! I must be getting good at looking more of a twat than I do normally with a foot wide pie in my hands. He took me into the street to get audience reaction, and the first person I got to react was a good looking woman who knew him. I hope he uses that picture. P.J.O”Rourke once wrote: Nothing will change unless there are babes involved. I have had a far few good looking women buy my books, and pay to see me, but being photographed with one is a big career plus.

I discovered stuff about Rudyard Kipling’s grandparent’s gravestone that I sure the Kipling Society do not know, and had a conversation at the Town Council with Sarah and a man with a sense of humour. I will be helping them get the graveyard opened. It is Terry Pratchett’s Johnny and the Dead. Graveyards have votes because they contain the reason we are here (having helped bury realives in Finland I know this is obvious to other countries) but saving one is only ever easy in Britain if someone famous is planted there.

Not sold a ticket yet, but I am enjoying this so much I am not sure I care.

Bus Skipton – Cross Hills, Chat with lad at bus stop about his mate getting a kicking in Colne, and how his mate’s many family and friends now know the lad who did the kicking, from watching the cctv fotage.

Bus Colne. Walked down to the Admiral Lord Rodney in the fiercest sun I have met this year. It was shut! Walked slowly back up the 1 in 1 hill (you walk it with 2 hour old beer boots and then call me a liar!). Went to the Shepherds Arms and had a good chat with the barman, and saw one of the pub dogs run through the bar after managing to jump off the roof garden for the first time.

B=Went back to the Rodney. The barman was called Matt, he was ill, and said I had given him his first laugh of the day when I showed him my pie. It is still a brilliant boozer, but it was better when Richard was there.

Back up the hill with fresh beer boats. The police had closed the high street, probably just cause they could, but one of the Burnley bus driivers gout out of his cab and asked the WPC why. I was tempted to do the same, but as I said to the irish lady also waiting for a Keighley bus I have the smell of beer on me and that will be enough for an arrest. I’m no villain, but I am no lover of the police when they forget who pays them.

Bus Keighley. Went round Roger’s and got fed. There was some comment around the table about my tales being something you could not make up; which is fair enough, but I then heard stories about librarians that made me laugh so loud my nose hurt, and I have intimate experience of librarians remember.

Bus Bradford. Did not talk to anyone, well not much, really. Did not get of at Fanny’s as planned because I realised I do not like it and nobody there will ever come to any show I do.

Still no dole money or payment from the magazine or the elections. I am weirdly unworried.

I do not know if I want to spend my life doing shows, but I do know I would quite happily walk around with a big pie I had baked myself advertising a show of mine. Actually I would happily just walk around with the pie, pretending I was doing a show.

Frustrations piled up Friday, including another exhausting time with the strimmer, a nightmare with the inkjet, non-payment of of Income Support and Bradford Council telling me I was not getting Council Tax Benefit (they spent my money of a glossy leafleted campaign to get people who are intitled but not claiming to claim, then make it almost impossible to claim what should be an automatic entitlement when in receipt if Income Support). On the other had I finally got a cheque for my £80 from the Walburgas show at Bradford Playhouse, but only after threatening the administrators with a complaint to their registering authority.

On the other hand I have made a new tray to carry the big pie on, out of a woven tray that cost £2 from a charity shop and spare carrying straps from holdalls and laptop cases. It is a tenth of the weight of the old one (mad out of mdf and toweling dressing gown cord), looks far better, and works brilliantly well.

I bought a black inkjet refill kit on Friday for £7, but it did not work. The cartridge is obviously too old and no knacked. I spent many hours trying to print tickets, posters and flyers to take to Skipton. I managed to do some, but of poor quality.

I got a rail return to Keighley and Roger drove us to Skipton and parked up at the Cross Keys. They have sold no tickets and had no interest, but that does not surprise me, and I am not panicking (which does surprise me). I only need two groups of more than four and the room will look and sound full, and while I sold no tickets today I had an immense amount of interest.

As I wrote when I went out with the last pie, it is brilliant way of making instant judgments and attracting questions. Miserable, angry people seem to be made more angry by seeing a foot wide pie; stupid people will grin gormlessly, not say anything and retreat when I talk. It is also not something that works in very crowded places, like Skipton market.

On the other hand sitting outside the Narrowboat, with the sun catching the pie and us drinking beer while a steady but not overwhelming stream of people passed was wonderful, as people could stop if they wanted to talk, or be out of range in a few steps.

The best part was that we were sat next to a happy group of young people, who seemed to be on a narrowboat works outing. The nicest were Ceri and and her fine, red headed friend.

Stop at Roger’s on the way back, where the pie broke whilst showing it off. I had already said that I doubted it would last a second trip, and so it proved. It was far too thin, but it tasted nice as a result. 6 year old Amber enjoyed it, though see could not eat all the letters of her name (though there is no m in http://www.bradwan.co.uk).

Today I am catching up. It was relaxed until I found one of the dirty gets just to the front (ie behind and to the side of my back-to-back) pissing in our alley! I also finally lost my temper with trying to run a shdow of my original blog on myspace. I now have a blog on wordpress. I have no idea what it is like, but it was rated well on a couple of sites about blogs.

I have run my own blog at <a href=”http://blog.bradwan.co.uk/blogpage.php”>bradwan blog</a> for a few years. I used to run a shadow blog at myspace, even after it was taken over by the bedsheet stain of Satan, but I am now finding it impossible to use. So here I am.

I will try and set up this page, but at the moment I just need to record the last week from my own blog. I would normally make sure all links and photos are the same on here as my own site, but that may have to wait.

<hr>

<Thursday, June 25th, 2009

John the Baptist

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Quite a lot of this week has been frustrating.  Part of that was due to the strimmer but most is to do with money, and people not doing what they said they would.  That reads better than saying people broke promises, and that is better than calling people liars.

Strimmer

Because the strimmer ran out of petrol so quickly it did not do the 10 minutes recommended for first use, and that, and the poor manual, made it immensely difficult to start the next time I tried it, and I flooded the engine, which involved taking the spark plug out and pulling the starter cord 5 times (not enough) before trying to start it repeatedly, with the choke in all its different positions.  It is a fair weight and I found pulling the start cord such hard work I had to give up.  Today I did it all again and finally got it running well.  I strimmed most of the grass and used the clipper attachment to cut back the bushes from next door that hang over my garden.

I want to use it in my garden once more for practise and to get more used to the physical work (I swear one of my brests is already bigger than the other);

Bradford City, Fallen Heroes Searching for Robert Torrance

Finally met up with Dave to start properly sorting out this show for 11th November in Bradford Cathedral.  It went well and we agreed to meet next week and start writing it on my laptop; this despite the fact he casually mentioned that he had given the Cathedral a title without bothering to ask me.  There was no chance of him not realising just how angry I was.  He claimed he could not exactly remember the title he gave and sensibly suggested it could be a subtitle for anything but the Cathedral’s stuff, but things are still made clumsy by it.

<b>St John the Baptist’s Day in Manchester. Thursday 24th June.

</b>

I went to the first ever meeting National Association for Literature Development.  It says it represents freelance writers.

I took the opportunity to drink beer before and after.  It was a gorgous, sunny day, so I obviously stayed inside the pub, mostly The Briton’s Protection.  A wonderful boozer I have never been to before.  The cellerman is a Bradford City fan, the redheaded barmaid from Sydney is jaw droppingly good looking, and the evening barman knew a lot about whisky,

It was a nice group at the meeting, and there was grapes, strawberries and pretsels, so I had a well balanced dinner.  I asked advice about what happened to me at Crawley (see first paragraph) and prompted a discussion.

It could do me good to join, but it costs £30 a year!  Not much for a professional association, but it is nowhere near being such an association yet, and the fee is a hell of a lot for me.  I think everybody else worked as something other than a writer, and most of them worked for agencies associated with literature.  I think there were only two or three of us who had gone to find more out about freelancing and the help to be had.

I contributed a fair bit, and provoked a good laugh with an emphatic comment about Ilkley Literature Festival.  I will go to the next meeting, which should be this side of the Pennines, and see,

Saw the last of the sun set from the train back and thought about mother’s village burning boats on this day.
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<b>Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Proper mid summer</b>
it is late on the 23rd July, the day be St John the Baptist’s birth day, the old Finnish Midsummer’s Eve, and my mother’s village of Karku’s feast day, when they burnt the boats on the shore of Lake Ladoga.

When I started I hoped I would not post this when i wrote it.  I am having a proper Finnish Midsummer, drinking vodka out of a Finnish wooden vodka measure.  Puska, why not?

Yesterday I did a lot of stuff, including not managing to restart the strimmer, it was hot and very close, I had no alcohol, and I felt dreadful.  Today I woke up feeling good, did more work, it was not as close but even hotter.

Hve new external hard-drive with all the missing stuff on, and met Dave to move the renamed by Dave without asking show at the Cathedral on.  And well on.

I will not be connecting the drive until I am sober enough to do the simple instructions, the strimmer proves I cannot cope with badly translated instruction when stone cold sober.


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<b>Sunday, June 21st, 2009
</b>

Midsummer high

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Downbeat mid-summer’s eve and sunrise, but the day’s turning into a cracker, and it’s not over (so plenty of time for things to happen).

Got to the bus stop on St Enochs Road, the traditional watching place, just 15 minutes before the due time for sundown last night.  Lots of cloud.  I think there may have been more red in the sky earlier on.  I took photos, and this morning as well, but left the lead at the parent’s and have not got around to getting a new one.

A few minutes past the official setting time a couple of 12-13 year old girls climbed the steps my side of the embankment, crossed the road and sat down.  I guess they were there for the same reason I was.  It’s quiet and isolated but people assume you are waiting for a bus, so do not look twice.

I felt odd and out of sorts anyway, so pretended to txt (inadvertently sending Fraser a message more nonsensical than even the ones I get from him) and walked home.

Up at 4.00, after a dream like a tv play set in village fete.  Did not see the sun come up thanks to cloud, then went back to bed.

Got up to listen to Iain Burnside.  He introduced the programme by referring to the soltice.  I sent an e-mail and got a reply.  Reproduced below to save me some typing.  The last time I got my midsummer morn mentioned on radio was on Wogan whilst Pauly Watlers was still alive, that was probably the last occasion Jenny O texted me spontaneously as well.

Thank you Glyn – I’ve just passed this over to Iain and heard him utter
the words ‘that’s lovely’ as I left the studio!  Thanks for thinking of
us, and all best midsummer wishes to you.
Lyndon.

—–Original Message—–
From: Glyn
Sent: 21 June 2009 10:11
To: Iain Burnside
Subject: Bradford solstice

Dear Iain

I watched the sun rise from my traditional spot, the attic window in
inner city Bradford, so splendid to hear Delius on the morning.  From my
attic the sun rises majestically between the tower blocks of Manchester
Road, at least it does when there is not a thick bank of cloud, as there
was this morning.

The potents were mixed this morning.  A police syren suggests trouble in
the coming year, but the local minicab picking a double fair up and
sending out another car out suggests prosperity, and hearing goldfinches
for the first time is a good thing regardless.

Hope you take the downhill to winter without falling off, and at a grand
pace.

Glyn Watkins

http://www.bradwan.co.uk

I had to go out straight after sending the e-mail, but I have listened again and he read the lot out!Whoo-hoo! (it’s about 15 minutes in).

I rushed out to get to White Wells on Ilkley Moor to meet up with Fraser at noon.  He could be a role model for my future development.  If you met the pair of us for the first time you certainly would not pick me out as the most eccentric.

The shortest path to White Wells is up a 1 in 2 path and the sun was shining.  When I got there I went in the bath room, with its fenced off 200 year old plunge pool, dipped my hat in and wiped my head, much needed.

The couple who own it are doing pie and peas for £2.50, and very nice too, and I would like to do an event there, but they do not push the business, and the maximum capacity is 20.  So not economic for a ticketed in-door event, and too much hard work on my own for an outdoor event.

I wanted to get the 13.53 train back and Fraser could not make that.  My battery was nearly flat and sent him Y/N choice and a warning I could not text again, he texted back suggesting a completely different venue,

Went to the Midland and met the new man in charge, and an old bloke who lived in Ilkley when very young, who had just moved back.  Then went to the Bar Tat and had some brilliant beer from the Great Heck Brewery and impressed the elfin barmaid with my Hayseed Dixie connection.  Had 10 minutes chat with Fraser before leaving for the train.

I did a laundry when I got home, and then got the new petrol strimmer started for the first time.  First time I have been in sole charge of an internal combustion engine, and immensely satisfying to something deep inside.  I only put a tiny amount of fuel in so it ran out after doing half the haymeadow lawn, but that was enough for now.

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This is an archived blog posted in 2012

Printed draft flyers and tickets for next show.  Bus Keighley, got pork pie in market. 

Bus Skipton.  Went Craven Herald office, them eager to take photo and story of event.  Got beef pie from butchers on Otley St.

Called in to lawyers based in Kipling’s granny’s house, asked for sponsorship.  To Cross keys to give Caroline posters and tickets to sell (&pound;10 from her, me, or anywhere else in Skipton who’ll sell for nowt; &pound;11 off here when I have done the PayPal button).

Bus Keighley.  Call out Roger.  Cricketers.  Boltmakers, Roger home.  me not moving for an hour, or two.  Talked to Andrew, who was at the Bradford Fire (11th May 1985) but at the opposite end of the ground to where I was.  Am thinking now.  It was good to meet and talk.

Bus.  Man got off at Binley and claimed he had been over charged at &pound;1.60, <em>It should be &pound;1.30!</em> Man in front of me turned round and quiet voice the bloke at front was an idiot.  The next time the b.a.f said that it was &pound;1.30 I told him I was 6 foot 2 and looked like Brad pitt, at which point the man in front of me gave full voice to his opinion.

Saw Rob, ex-Fannys, outside Tramshed, so got off (had K Day rover ticket) and went for pint and chat.

Bus Bradford.  Got talking to a nice couple who asked if the bus went to Wibsey, and who had just seen <em>Dinner Ladies</em> at the Alhambra.

I intended going to Whitby tomorrow to watch the sun set on mid-summer’s eve.  May still, but less certain than it was a half dozen pints ago

2009-06-18
1
Forth and back
Well, I was up before 07.00.  Printed out the account for the dole.  Got a taxi to Three Bridges station.  Train to St Pancras.  A pleasant and refreshing pint in Betjeman’s as soon as it opened.  Train to Leeds, I slept for 30 minutes.  Train and taxi home.  Straight out to sign on.  Bus back.  Designed and printed proof for poster/flyer for Kipling, Curry & Yorkshire.  Went and got a big doner kebab.  Designed and printed tickets for proofing.  Got a call from Marion, who said nice things I can use in a report on the last show.

I have been home for 7 hours and it feels like I have been here a week, and I feel far less tired than I did last night.

2009-06-02
1
Fine view
I have not been able to get onto my own myspace site since just after the laptop upgrade.  It will be me forgetting my password, and having my now unusable <em>yahoo are rubbish</em> e-mail e-ddress as the contact for myspace means if I cannot get on now, I may never.  I am not over fussed, because myspace is rubbish, but I do want another place for this blog.  Mail me with the link at top if you have a suggestion.

I have spent several good hours, over the last several days, sat on my step and looking at my garden, The tomatoes are shooting up, at least 4 different grasses have turned to seed and it all looks well, I appear to have 3 times more potato plants than I planted, and the small pear has set several fruit.  I even have a new resident in the form of a hoverfly that rests on the big pot pond nearest to the house.  I have sketched it but need to colour it to make it worth scanning, then scan it, then post it.  Don’t hold yer breath.

It has been so hot that when I pegged the laundry out early this morning, and the line broke, I just laid most of it on the grass.

The reason I was up early was practice for election day’s work , when I have to be up for 05.00 (though I waking up and going back to sleep is the amin practice), but also to wait delivery of the petrol strimmer, which turns out, after phone calls, to be coming tomorrow, so I could have gone to Skipton and Ilkley today.  though ~I was thus here when the Giro for the first Dole money arrived.  Completely forgot I can cash Giros at my local Post Office until after I had paid it inot my account, which was stupid, as I need cash.  I will be getting just over &pound;63 a week, plus freedom from Poll Tax, I think &pound;14 a week. 

The first job I did in the early morning was to paint my house number on my latest wheelie bin.  It sits at the end of the thunnel to my house, and and a big number shows delivery men (and I have never had a delivery woman) where the missing numbers are.  I spent very little time painting the number, but it looks far better than the one I painted on the bin that got arsoned.

I am having to think hard about the possible Kipling, Curry and Yorkshire Show for Skipton for 6th July (John Lockwood Kipling’s birthdate).  I have an offer of &pound;6.50 per head for the curry, and have been urged to sell at 10 pounds for sake of sales.  I made a guess at numbers as 40, but I want to see it again, and have very little time, especially as I have to write a new script to have much more of Kipling’s dad (with a trip to Bursalem and Rudyard Lake as a desire) and possible apply for a loss guarantee. 

2009-06-04
1
Elected
I worked the elections today, at a Polling Station 20 minutes walk from my house.  They were European and Parish Council elections.  Electoral Services obviously decided they were not very important and so did not offer the usual training day, which was not a good thing.  The ballot paper for the European had twelve parties, had candidates listed as subheading to parties, and was nearly two foot long, the Parish ballot allowed voters to chose two out of three, something I cannot remember at any other Election, and they had their own ballot boxes, so it was a nightmare to sort out, and explain.  Fortunately there were three of us, and the Presiding Officer could speak seven languages, and he needed at least three of them to explain the whole thing.

It was a good day.  By my rough calculation we had over 40 percent turn out, and I did not think we get even 30, so there were not that many dead periods, and the last hour up to the Poll closing at 10 was the busiest one of the day.  The building was nice, and the was a cafe and drinks machine between the Poll and the door so we could use them and see if anyone was heading our way.  The best thing though was the fact the three of us got on.

2009-06-05
1
On signed
I was due to sign on yesterday but had arranged to sign a day late.  This was really the first proper signing, as the Claims Unit decided (as I could have told them) that I have to fill in a B7 Form for my written and performing work, and an additional one for yesterdays work.  It took almost an hour to get signed, the forms taken and new forms issued.  I was strangely relaxed though, probably due to working for 15 hours yesterday.  This despite the fact that I am certain they will miss judge the forms and delay payment.

I wanted to go to Skipton then Ilkley, but I did not get out of the house until noon because of filling the forms and doing accounts to present when signing (the business has lost me &pound;70 since I claimed, though that includes the rail tickets for Crawley, for the show),

So I had already given up on Skipton when I discovered I had left my cash cards at home.  I came back and um’ed and err’ed about going to Ilkley, as I still am about the Skipton show; but did go, and I am glad I did.

I got a fair offer from the Riverside Inn for both <a href="http://priestley.bradwan.co.uk/page.php?page=home">Pie & Priestley</a> and <a href="http://kipling.bradwan.co.uk/page.php?page=home">Curry & Kipling</a>.  The room holds about 40, so just about big enough, but the door to the bar is only closed by a curtain, which is not ideal.  I like the people who run it though.

I then met up with Mike from <a href="http://www.ilkley-more.com/forum/">ilkley-more</a&gt; and Philippa his lovely wife.  We had one of those nice, relaxed but entertaining chats you only only seem to get now and again. 

I then went to Ilkley Playhouse and saw a play by David McGillvray, who I have decided is the worst playwright I have ever paid to see!  Worst than Ayckbourn, worse even than Andrew Leggot!  The fact that the cast managed to inject life into the stinking corpse of a piece, full of festering cliches, modern British sit-com plotting and jokes <a href="http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/T/timeteam/">Time Team</a> could trace back to the Neolithic, and got laughs, shows what a good company they were.  The play’s title has 20 words and starts <em>They Came from Mars…</em>

Afterwards I missed the penultimate train by less than a minute, so went in the Midland and talked to the barman about going to Liverpool, then two strangers.

On the last train I was doing a suduko very slowly when I recognized the loud voice as that of Darren Sligsby.  Him and his mate were coming back from a Yeadon booze-up.  The Tarn is, apparently, now very good.

2009-06-07
1
Kipling’s Yorkshire
A full day, though with extreme temperature swings for the time of year. 

Got an e-mail early on saying that the biography of John Lockwood Kipling claims he spent his honeymoon in Skipton, though none of the Rudyard Kipling biographies I own confirm this, and the official one seems to contradict it.  No matter, it is another link between Rudyard and Skipton, including the possibility he was conceived there.

I had already decided to do

<em><strong>Kipling, Curry & Yorkshire Show</strong> Celebrating Rudyard Kipling and his roots.  At the Cross Keys, Skipton (where his parents honeymooned) 7.30 pm, Monday 6th July (his remarkable father’s birthday)</em>

The e-mail just added to the fire.  Went to Skipton by train, which cost &pound;3.50 more than the bus, but saved over two and a half hours travel time.  I got talking to a happy couple on their way to walk a hangover off on the way to Bolton Abbey.  He took my URL but a small gallon of ale has made me forget their names, though I would probably have forgotten if I had stayed sober.

Skipton had a classic vehicle show in the carpark Roger parked in on my last trip, so I spent an hour there before going to the Cross Keys to discuss business.  I spent most of the time talking to a nice couple (called Geoff and, I think, Melony) who had driven from Wigan in an Austin Metropolitan, a make I recognized from a couple I saw regularly when younger, but never knew the name of.  Turns out they were made, and mostly sold, in the USA.  It looks like a Yank car, with no wheel arches, which made me wonder, as there is no makers name on it.  Later the oldest man in the Cross Keys told me they only had 3 gears, but could do 90 in second, as long as you were going dead straight, if you had to go round a corner at that speed you would probably be dead, so fine for Yanks, who don’t do corners, and fitting with what Geoff had said to somebody else about not being able to go home until most of the other cars had left, on account of a turning circle bigger than the Titanic.

I got the pair of them thinking when I asked been the last two tone (ie.  two colours for top and bottom) was made.  I could remember Mark I Cortina’s with two colours, but not Mark II’s.  The owner of a two tone Anglia I asked was propted to think, but did point out that vinyl roofs seemed to replace two tone paint work, and I had completely forgotten vinyl roofs.  His family then had a chat about the fact you could put your own on, and that could cover a bodge join between two different wrecks, a join made to make money out of two cars with different ends stoved in.

I only stopped to talk to Geoff and Melody because they were parked next to a Reilly one point five, a car I have always loved, and not just because my pottery teacher at Thomas Bennett drove one and often gave lifts.  You know, I cannot remember her name! 

I also saw, and talked to the owners of, a Jowett Flying Fox.  The company was Bradford based, and I knew a fair bit about them, but that was a new one on me.  It was a small car which had a flying fox mascot on the radiator cap that looked like it would cause the whole thing to flip over when going down a steep hill.

To balance that out the ignorant get who owned the Rover.  It was a late 40’s/early 50’s model that had a longship badge like Rover’s had from the 70’s.  I had never seen that badge before and stopped to ask him.  He had glanced at me as I walked up to him, then returned to smoking and talking to the couple parked next to him.  I was not going to butt in, but many minutes later and several changes in subject, and not one of them had acknowledged my existance.  I said <em>It’s nice to meet people who like to talk about their cars</em> and walked away.

Broke jounrney at Keighley on the return and met Roger at the Wetherspoons’.  We always sit outside a pub so he can smoke, which meant I could point out several passing cars that I had seen at Skipton, though not the TR7, which must have come on a trailer.

2009-06-08
1
On the rails
A more than usually exhausting trip to Crawley.  I had a loose stomach, not painful but extremely demanding.  It passed, but if my booked train had been an hour earlier I would have been in trouble.  I managed to do some work, including gardening, before I set off though.

The rape fields by the track to London are just starting to turn yellow and there were masses of other flowers, including cinder embankments around Doncaster turned magneta by an escaped garden flower I do not know the name of.

I was carrying my stock of small Carr books, and things I need for the next show, so had a very heavy weight.  I did not even think about having a beer at St Pancres.  I also had to go out and pay my phone bill as soon as I got to my parents to avoid a fine.

Basil is here as well, on his annual leave.

2009-06-09
1
Digging
Went to Crawley Library to fix a time to see if their projection system will work with the test PDF slideshow I have on my memory stick will work.

On the way I went trough the Hawth with Basil and took photos for the show, mostly of the mine pits.  After I had finished in the Library we went to Weatherspoons and the Swan in West Green.  Much chat about Crawley’s history, and ours.

2009-06-10
1
Chichester

<p align="center"><img src="images/greyfriars2s.jpg" width=500 alt=" Greyfriars drawn by Glyn Watkins, 10.6.2009 " title="Greyfriars drawn by Glyn Watkins, 10.6.2009 "></p>
Went to Chichester with my brother to get images for the show, particularly the Flaxman monument to the poet William Collins, and the shrine site of St.  Richard (whose feast day, on 16th June, Sussex Day is) in the Cathedral; and Greyfriars, aka the Old Guildhall (there should be my drawing above) where William Blake was tried for seditious libel by a soldier he had thrown out of the garden of his house near Bognor Regis (it was claimed he said things about the King.  He was found not guilty).

On the way down I spotted a bird just south of Arundel which Basil indentified as a hen harrier.

I like <a href="http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/">Chichester Cathedral</a> for both its looks and its attitude.  They do not charge an entrance fee, are friendly, and have a prayer session over the tannoy once an hour, which is its job after all.

We had a drink in the badly staffed Weatherspoons opposite the Cathedral (good beer, bad service) where I watched people queuing in lines!  I have never seen this in a pub before.  I wondered if it was tourists.

We then went to Priory Park and enjoyed watching the budgies, which have been there for centuries, and I did the sketch which should be above.

We walked to the Bull, which was a brilliant real ale pub last time I was in Chichester, but is handpump, and customer less now.  We went in the Eastgate.  The pleasant landlady copied the cheap A4 poster West Sussex Libraries Service had done for my show, and put it up, the only one outside Crawley Library! 

We then went on to the Four Chestnuts, a marvelous pub, where we had some heavy but vital talk,

A pleasant and productive day.

2009-06-12
1
Bus un-Weald
The plan was to go to Kipling’s house Batemans, in the East Sussex village of Burwash.  I had a route from <a href="http://www.transportdirect.info">Transport Direct</a> but had to write it out rather than print it, because the ink is out.

I got the train to Haywards Heath, where the helpful bus driver who would never get on Mastermind sold me a bus rover ticket.  Almost an hour later I got of at Snetts Road, north Uckfield, but the driver doubted the connection; at which point a not pretty, not slim and not straight eyed woman insisted I needed to go to the bus station.  Being weak I got back on, the bus pulled out, and the only bus I could get to Burwash passed on the other side of the road.  Even then the woman was arguing it was not my bus.  She got off at the next stop.  The driver apologized, and I swore when I got off the bus.

It was not an easy connection, but missing it was not good.  I made the best i could of the rest of the day though, and had a good time; but no pictures of Batemans for any Kipling show, which was the point.

I got a bus to Lewes and went looking for the <a href="http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/77727">Snowdrop Inn</a>, so I could talk about Sussex having the worst ever avalanche in British history.  A good pub, friendly bloke in charge, two good beers on handpump, goldfish in the garden, and worth seeking out, but do it quick, or it may not be there.

I then went to the Gardeners Arms, talked a bit, learnt that sloe bushes are getting hard to find and where the cheapest rough cider could be found, asked about the big brass coins on the shelf, and was taught how to play <a href="http://www.benward.tv/venues.asp">Toad in the Hole</a>.

Got the bus on to Brighton, where a middle class, middle aged male Brighton media clone tried to send me on a 2 mile walk to the coach station, advice almost as bad as the Uckfield wrong-un; what is worse the high tech digital bus stops nearby only show Brighton buses, not the ones to Crawley, even on the printed lists(we a city dount’,cer know!).  Fortunately there was an East European wanting to get to Crawley at the stop.  I would have had to guess otherwise.

On the bus I heard a bloke talking about Yorkshire to a couple, so I joined them for a chat.  The couple were on the way back to East Grinstead and the Tyke was a Leeds fan stopping with his sister in Smallfield.  It is the wander of OAP bus passes.

As I said, a good day, and a good way of seeing just how odd a county East Sussex is.  Long bus miles on dangerously not quite straight roads, and the roads along the hills of the Weald having nothing but trees and isolated housing on either side.  Often with not even footpaths off the road, let alone other roads.

2009-06-15
1
Show tomorrow
A very tiring few days, but I have done everything needed for tomorrow’s show.  Crawley Library’s computer does now have an Acrobat Reader so I could create a PDF slideshow.  A lot easier than learning how to properly use neo-office, but still 15 hours work over two days.  I have also discovered how to create a thumbnail sheet, so I can create a slideshow cue sheet very easily.

I have taken a lot of photographs around the Hawth and Crawley town centre, including a plaque to a poet called Francis Thompson, previously unknown to me.  The new digital camera, a Fuji, is ok but not as good as the last Samsung, and with a really annoying software package for downloading onto a computer. 

The trouble is that while I am getting better at this, and good may come of it, I have managed only one local press report, and the only marketing done for me was a press release and a few flyers printed in, and only for, the Library.  In the meantime doing this has cost time and money, and means I will almost certainly have to scrub the Skipton show as I have managed to do nothing for it recently (though please mail me with the link at the top if you would come to a show in Skipton on the 6th July).

I also had to blob a second attempt at Batemans with Basil early this morning. 

Still, I will enjoy the show tomorrow, and it will be good, as long as my voice holds out.

2009-06-17
1
Traditional after show petty
Utterly, utterly exhausted today, which contributed to blood sugar issues, which effected my mood.

The <strong>Crawley, Carr & Kipling (not the cakes)</strong> show went very well.  The most important result, and the main reason for trying to do it, was my mother and brother seeing a show of mine.  They loved it, as did all the audience who talked to me, which I think was nearly all of them.

Marion Murphy who I went to Bishop Bell Primary School with came along with her partner, Nick.  it was the first time we had met since probably 1974.  It was really nice to talk about BB, and I reckon Marion is the first person