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