November 2009

Late this evening I discovered it is the 70th anniversary of the start of the Winter War. The was was between the invading USSR and Finland. My mother’s family lived just a few miles from the border and she was lucky to escape alive. She reckoned she say a Red Army soldier at the end of the field when she locked the door of the famhouse.
Today was cold but dry. Yesterday was cold, wet and dark; and a truly glum day.

Did a post about the Odeon on illey-more, and a few things on the Odeon sites.

Walked to Morrisons in town. It is often cheaper than Lidl, although obviously much further away. It can also have some real bargains on a Monday.

I did some more wood weaving on the pylon for the Christmas card. I am going to try and finish it tomorrow.

After that I found myself giving advice about breach of promise cases, though I had to admit I do not know if such a thing exists, to someone who thought she was going to be getting married. The story only needed a vicar and a man without his trousers to have been a Brian Rix farce. I also gave advice about employing builders to her friend. All this while their various children are playing hide-and-seek or eating marshmallows. I think I was being chatted up at the same time as well.

I have been to a Clean our Odeon event today (anyone saying Anyrhing better than a ‘Clean my house’ day can fleck off and read other people’s blog.

The only protest movements that change anything are one ones with loads of babes involved P.J. O’ROURKE.

There are a lot of right babes involved and active with the Save Our Odeon movement. And none of the blokes are uglier than me!

One of the babes told me that my site had been driving loads of hit to the link above! I am genuinely surprised and delighted by that. For the last few years I have reckoned I could spot a stranger to any of my sites and blogs, by the vast percentage increase in a hit; but either all my locals have been going to view the Odeon, or I am not spotting the number coming into my shop.

I cleaned the word ‘HELP’ on to the dirt of the white tiles by the north tower. Dave Pendleton took a photo, which may appear on a facebook, somewhere.

The next event should be a mulled wine and mince pie out of packets, with poetry and music, on the 12th Dec.

We all went to the Love Apple afterwards. I helped make the next event happened.

I then went to the Whethersppons. Then The Thirsty Scholar, formally the Delius’. It has been cleaned! The people in charge are full of humour. They have 3 real ales, and the mild was spot on. Talked to a Liverpool fan who was supprting Aston Villa in a game on telly. I did take a little piss, especially as he was less Scouse than I am!

Then went to the Westleigh. Beer was good. Nobody wanted to kick my head in, at least not obviously.

I made some naan thin rye, or rather half rye and wheat, bread yesterday. Which is turning out to be a marvel. Very good hot from the oven. Not good when cold, but splitting the crust and bread with a knife, and toasting, makes the best crispbread I have ever had, and the second best crispbread I have ever had with the other half.

The Yorkshire Steam with Mark Neale, at Saltaire Bookshop went very well, but it was an eccentric do. It was a bigger audience than the Midland Lines show we did a few weeks ago, but still small. The shop provided a screen and projector, or rather borrowed them for me to use, and with those on a desk and a stool, and the sofas, it was like giving a talk in a small parlour. If even 6 more had shown up they could not have fitted! They would have had to stand outside.

Nearly all of the pictures, and most of the talk, was Mark’s. I created the slideshow, read half a dozen rail linked poems, and talked some. Mark mostly did trains and local railway history; I did general history and acted as straight man.

I did not sell anything, or get anything apart from good experience, but that was plenty. I urge you to click the link and buy from the shop, or rather visit to buy. There are too few bookshops left.

I have been a little unwell the last two days. An over active alimentary end, but no accidents, temperature or chundering; and not much pain. I have been overdosing on bed medicine and had my first nightmare for years. I was back as a youngster in Crawley getting wound up trying to finish something before dinner (a traditional stress point for us). The radio started playing really loudly, sure to drive my dad to even more anger than usual. I could not turn the radio off, so took it apart, then took all the batteries out. I then woke up to find the radio alarm was on.

I have spent the waking part of today watching old tv clips on youtube. I found just one clip of Poogles Wood. I watched it as a 7 year old but I am sure it was not as scary as this clip. Maybe I blanked out the terror! It has baby napping, impersonating a police office, doors being booted in, countless threats of violence, and a character being vapourised! It finishes with the drinking of a barrel of bilberry wine.

Trumpton on the other hand had less going on than happens outside my front door on most days.

The original Addams Family on the other hand showed me why women with black, straight hair and good cheeks have always affected me. Carolyn Jones. uuuuuuuummmmmmmm.

Right then. As, most likely, a reminder to me sen of what I meant to talk on today )That’s now yesterdaY).

Started a 1/32 scale model of a pylon with sycamore branches . I have photos (Fugi cameras are shit, or rather they are a bit below average, but their finePixViewer is on of the worst pieces of legit software I have tried to use for a very long time.).

Went to Fanny’s in Saltaire to, mostly, plug the next show (Saltaire Bookshop Thursday 26th. Cannot do links, apart from, maybe, to my home page. Had a fascinating conversation with a bloke just a little younger than me, about being on duty at Buckingham Palace as a member of the Duke of Wellington’s in 83. His view of London is still scarred by the experience.

Then went to look for the Bradford Irish Club, formally the IDL Club to check it for a venue. Missed it in passing and had a good pint in Haighy’s. I would post a link, because it is a good pub, but I am guessing mister fingers would not cope with what mistress mind was asking.

Then found the Irish Club. Best pint of the night (Naylor’s Pinnacle) and a spot on room size. Trouble is it is booked for every Thursday (and Walburgsa is a Thurs. next year) by the Tropic Folk Club. I think I will do a Walburgas’ eve show there.

The man in charge, John, was labeling rolls when I walked in, after politely declining the lass under an umbrella looking for business. It was for the rush of the Catholic Players, who are doing 42nd Street at the Bradford Alhambra. I bought a mucky dripping. Ate half and brought theb other half home as a protection against the temptation of donar.

There were a lot of good looking Catholics, or actors who’ll say owt. I am thinking most of my Council Tax rebate will go on a ticket, but not on Thursday, when I am doing a show. Have I said that?

The walk home was the ancient of ways. Wigan Street, down the concave steps, round the back of the carpark where I used to deliberately throw up on the name written on my sham professors car parking bay. The only difference being I did not have a donar, or go the ‘short’ way through the nettles.

The most astonishing thing to happen to me for an age happened this morning. I got a cheque for overpaid Council Tax!!! I have absolutely no clue how they worked that out, but the begger is in the bank, and will pay for one months phone and internet.

Yesterday was the coldest I have felt this autumn. It was actually just over 14 C, which is quite balmy for my house in winter, but still had to wear two pair trousers and two fleeces, and a hat, indoors.

I am doing lots of cooking, trying to warm the house; mostly Finnish dishes. Yesterday I was going to do a pork shank in dough (flour and water); but ending up roasting the shank and making pasties. The pasties were lovely hot but not cold. The shank cost less than £2 at Morrisons and looks set to provide at least five meal. The bones and tendons making wonderful stock.

Today I made maksalaatikko, or liver pudding. It was supposed to be made with pudding rice, and bound together with eggs. I had neither so I used long grain and corn flour.

Basically you boil rice with milk and water and cool. Gently fry a chopped onion in butter. Add minced liver (I chopped); lots of white pepper and marjoram; sultarrners; syrup (used rhubarb jam) and the rice (with egg). Stick in buttered casserole, cover, and put in a oven at Gas 3 for an hour, or until set in the middle.

Very good with a sweet/bitter sauce like cranberry.

A right jaunt of a day. I managed to get Joe into the Three Pigeons in Halifax; which was a real coup.

We started off with no plan, though I had a hankering to see Georgie Spanswick turn on the Ilkley lights.

We ended up on a bus that took us to Huddersfield. We left the town beerless.

On the way to Halifax we got off, because of me, to call in the Grey Horse (mentioned on which ever blog you are reading, when I went to Glyn’s wedding, though have more chance of finding the reference than me.

Joe was unconvinced of the entertainment value of ferrets. Soon changed his tune. When I saw them a mear 8(?) weeks ago they could climb up the wire of the pen, and turn around. Now they are so fat they just slide back dow3n, with their claws rattling the wire.

In Halifax we did the Shears and the Pump Room, as well as the 3 Pigeons; which was the best; especially because of the 3 generations of sound people we happened to talk to (and smart granny’s good looking friend; who fancied Joe).

The 576 bus back from Halifax took a 4 mile detour. The not old or drunk enough lads behind us were making excuses when I was urging them to complain. Joe then claimed I made ever bus trip into a drama,

Back in Bradford we saw Rupert Stroud. I will not tell you where, just incase the woman theat seems to be running the pub did not welsh on the deal. If she did then I will be urging folk to ask for cash up front before they deliver.

I saw my first full rainbows for a very long time yesterday. It was on an Ilkley train, between Shipley and Guiseley and really dramatic. The train climbs and goes round a very wide curve, so I saw it on both sides of the train. After Guiseley there was a mix of heavy rain and dramatic cloudscapes across the valley of the Wharfe,

I Went to Ilkley to chase venues for Walburgas Day (25th Feb.) but felt utterly relaxed, which is unusual for me.

For a mix of reasons I would prefer not to do the show in the Riverside or the Midland, or rather: I would prefer a different kind of venue; which probably means a hire charge, and I still have npt settled on whether to do it in Bradford, Ilkley or elsewhere.

I cannot hire a hall without a loss guarantee or sponsorship. For any chance of a loss guarantee it has to be in the Bradford area, the more deprived the more likelihood of getting it, though there may be none to get, and I am getting known in rich Ilkley.

I got greeted as Our poet laureate in the Midland Hotel! I like the Midland.

Went to the lark-Foley Centre and the main non-conformist church, where I met 3 really nice women I know, one of whom had some really useful advice about small scale funding.

I then went to the Bah Tat, and bumped into Frazer. We had a useful chat about the next Hat Throwing Championship, and the sense of linking it to the Ilkley Summer Festival.

I had a mere 3 and 1/2 pints in the whole day, and enjoyed the day more for it.

I had my ‘restart interview’ when I signed on today. I was concerned that I would be sent on a pointless coarse, but I learned that that does not happen until a year’s claiming. I also learned that any NVQ Level 1 or 2 at Bradford College can be done.

Creative Partnerships are a Government scheme aimed, as far as I can tell, at getting artists, or rather creative practitioners(?), into schools. I do not understand it actually works, but I have at least managed to apply to register with the Yorkshire agency. I was asked: What learning can you gain from this work? I started by saying:

Apart from my general passion for learning, I have specific learning objectives.

I need to learn how to engage with the process of public arts funding. I got a business start-up grant to become a poet; and I have received local council loss guarantees for some shows; but nearly all the art I have created has been driven by desire to make an idea work, usually at my own risk, or with minimal private support. I need more experience of, and in, public arts.

I went to a Fabric event called, something like, Marketing Yourself in the Arts. This was run by Lisa Baxter. It was a challenging event; both for me and Lisa, once I contributed. She may have put her arm around by shoulder, and her check close to mine, as a means of control, or because she liked me. Does not matter for me. I am Wally of Dilbert, a man who pretends to be chocking so someone that that chest press thing, and then spins round to make it a hung, so he gets some physical contact.

I also started off really angry because I did not bring anything to take the free food away in! I do this every time, even if I manage to take at least a half bottle of free wine away internally.

The best advice was from Anyony, from Shepley; who also said I was Andy Capp meets Dilbert. Now that is a judgement I am proud of.

Met the most boring Bradford Park Avenue fan ever in the Vaults. Fair do’s, he left before he started on the same stories for the third time. Dave came in be chance. Talked mostly of the future things to do. He asked me about things I had suggested about next year’s Bradford Fire date (11th May 85). I do find it difficult to write about it, but I am writing. I have said before that I am grateful to have had no counseling for what I saw on the 11th May; it was very little compared: and I judge my own life in a very harsh comparision of my own parents, but I feel I must help make something that makes a difference to those like me.

Today I did some pruning and painted the gate for the widow. I had been told she was a very good cook, and I finally got fed today Every single thing on the plate was well cooked, but there were 9 different things, including noodles and rice, and the powerful smell of fish sauce, I enjoyed the work more than the food.

I also roasted a pheasant for myself in the evening. I had bought it for the last time I was expecting to entertain a lass, and I decided it needed cooking after a year in the freezer. I got it out to cook for Thursday, but just could not face it. It had to be cooked today. I did it with Finnish swede and breadcrumb pudding and wonderful onion and red wine gravy. That was good.

It’s Michelle’s, of my local, birthday. I gave her a rose from my garden last year. This year I gave her 3, one from the earlier pruning, and a card of a photo I took yesterday of a rainbow seeming to come out of the top of the pub. I took it down when the bird was in the oven but didn’t see her. I have just been back down and she kissed me and told me she still had last year’s rose.


Yesterday the Light Up the Odeon</a< was brilliant! I was in the pub beforehand and only met one couple who said they were going. I then got to the Odeon just before 4.30 (the final given time – wt?) with my 12 foot pole, to meet just one family, who were lovely, had glow sticks to spell SAVE ME, and it turned out their granny was one of the Kirkgate 20, people arrested for refusing to leave the old Kirkgate Market when it was about to be knocked down; but with just 6 of us it was looking a bit sparse.

It did really pick up after 5.00 though, at which time a young woman asked me lots of hard questions, and turned out to be a plain clothed policewoman. She was nice, but did warn me there was a match on and warned me of possible trouble. I did say it was against Bournemouth, the least aggressive fans in football!

Once the grand brass trio started we really got going.

With the help of the brass all five carols listed earlier on this wall were sung, and at least 20 people asked me for song sheets so they could join in. There is a photo on here to prove it! And I’m holding me pole!

I used my pole to help hang things up, and kept blowing it in lots of 3, in memory of Bradford’s coat of arms.

Lots and lots of cars hooted as they passed. I met lots of friends old and new friends, and felt proud of the people of my town at the end. We’re not a big city. We are a poor town, but a poor town with so many good people rich in promise. We just need to break the bad habits of lazy and stupid rulers.

Dave Pendleton has posted photos of the City Heroes show on facebook.

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