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.


<Thursday, June 25th, 2009

John the Baptist

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.


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.


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.


<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.

<b>Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Midsummer high

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.

—–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

Glyn Watkins


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.