October 2010

It was decide4d we were going to the Thachray Museum of medicine in Leeds. I was happy to go,especially as I did not have to use my own money to get in.

I had to leave the house without a map, timetable or proper idea of how to get to the place, transport direct could not properly cope with the complication of the journey. I did not moan or got stressed at all! Well hardly at all, not even when we missed a Leeds train at Shipley because the multi-million pound revamp has resulted in it being impossible to find out timers for 2 of the 4 services using the station. And the train was late and crowded.

Bev had to abandon her coffee on the pavement at Leeds because the snotty conductress of the bendy bollocks bus would not let her on with it.

After that it was very good. The museum is too big to see in one go, and I got a little grizzly, but did spend most of the day blood sugar surfing. The only real disappointment for me was the fact that there was no pus in the Blood and Pus gallery.

Back in Leeds we went to a City Varieties charity shop. The staff were doing a jigsaw map of Europe, just to check if it was all there of course. I waded in, and Bev pretended to look at stuff, or so she said. I did not look at the box, and got loads.

We then stood behind a mother at a cashpoint who had never used one before, She asked for help and then held a paper with the PIN infront of her face!

At Leeds Market I bought an end of day meat tray for £10. It turned out to be 10 lbs with lots of different meats. Carrying it back was health.

We then visited the Duck and Drake, and the Grove, where the landlady mocked my trying to tessellate beer mats; and we met Hayseed Dixie fans Holly and Leon.

Today we had boiled beef and carrots, I pulped and juice the rest of the apples, and did other things that impressed Bev, and she discovered she had mice. She is being brave.

This should be the last blog written and posted via the detestable virgin (are shit) media. John A has already pointed out that it is likely to be the detestable BT very soon. I have little doubt about that, I have already been cut off by their Indian call centre and not rung back, but even with all of that I will still be paying at least £10 a month less.

The installation process has been made a nightmare because of a demand to attend a restart interview today, with less than a week’s notice, which they refuse to change. If the equipment is not delivered before soon I have to decide whether to miss delivery or interview. Both could have significant financial consequences.

On top of all that I have still not sorted out either a netbook or a WiFi dongle for this computer, and the system I am getting is via a router. It will have wire connection, but in one of the coldest place in the house; so blogging may suffer,

It has to be said though that blogging has, as BradfordEye has pointed out, suffered anyway. Being in a relationship has something to do with that (though it has been beneficial for career development) but on top of that the fact I have no means of mobile internet access makes the habit of blogging difficult, and twitting and facebooking much more so. The most important reason though must be that I have less need for it at the moment.

The mice are not dead. Yesterday I looked down to find an adult one within inches of my boot end. I am ashamed to say that while I lashed out I did not kill it. I did find a dead one in a trap, but I am fairly sure it was a different one.

I also had a big scare about National Insurance, getting an exemption certificate then a bill. It turns out the bill can be sent out weeks after it is printed! And the certificate, which arrive first, superseded it.

So until next time, whenever that might be, cheers.

I had intended to use the weekend just gone to try and find, fix and firm up at lest one more show in the South. I could do nothing about that, but I did take Bev to stay at my parents again, and it proved to be a very significant few days; probably more than if I had managed to do work.

Instead of having the 3 individuals clashing, and me having to manage myself and the parents, Bev’s presence made things much easier; and not just because both me and my dad did not have to listen to Ma’s stories unaided. My mother is a good storyteller, but she has no interest in the audience. Once she starts it is very hard to stop her; but me and Bev not only managd to change the subject seamlessly, but my dad even managed to say something new! (and it was about him forgetting all the Welsh girlfriends he had; which was a surprize; and offered only after Ma had gone to the kitchen)

On top of that Bev heard stories I never have, and I got some of the old favourites straightened out. The time she got shot at by a Russian plane, whilst washing clothes outside her family home in Karelia, in 1941 probably, she actually wi tnesses a bombing raid by two planes on an airstrip, and the shoting down of one of them; and that means it may be possible to identify the date, and possibly the plane shot down.

The weather was very sunny; though frosty this morning. I spotted a magnificent red admiral butterfly feeding on a brown apple on their front apple tree. I hope it did not get too drunk, because if it did not find somewhere to hibinate within a few hours the frost will have killed it.

One apples: the small, sweet ones me and Bev picked, the one that fell on her head with a THUNK! were a kink that grew at Ma’s family farm; leastways. so she reckoned when she saw amd smelled one.

This blog is getting behind hand, and I am hardly twittering at all. I just do not seem to have the need at the moment. In some ways that is quite nice. I do not driven or stressed about anything at the moment; I am sure that will not last though.

I went to the dentist on Wednesday. I finally have a crown on the black stump of a pre-molar; but I also have what the dentist breezily dismissed as a permanent abcess below the tooth that has been giving me gip for two years. He drilled out and refilled it a fortnight since; and will not give me antibiotics (e never give them. It’s painful root cnal work or removal); this despite the fact he gave me two kinds of antibiotic in April. I am spraying the kind left over from the ear infection onto a pad and putting that over the hole.

What do you do if you are getting National Health dental treatment, but are unsure, or unhappy, with what is being done?

The weather has been very fine, a small part of the reason for my enjoyment. Not done anything to the garden or outside to take advantage though.

I are fairly sure the third mouse killed by the new traps was the last. An adult and two young suggest a pregnant female got in. Just how is a bit of a worry, for later.

Went to Bev’s on Saturday, mostly because we were both feeling ill, but she was worse off than me. By Monday I was feeling awful but Bev was recovered. At least I was ill in a warm house with a telly.

Sunda was a nice day. We went out apple picking with a picker/puller I made out of a bamboo pole, old red tights, and a heart shaped pancake mould.

We collected from 5 trees of 4 varieties on Baildon Common, and there was no sign that anyone else bothered. The 3 green ones are obviously old kinds, and two of them were tart, but the small, green ones were really sweet; and they are all free for the taking! The tree with the red apples could have been grown as an easy intro to tree climbing as well.

We got into conversations, including with a gang of teenage girls, who had probably never seen an apple picked.

Bev managed to break a couple of feet off the pole when I let her have a go, and she said Can you bang them off by hitting the branch? And demonstrated the daftness of the idea.later on though she was holding a branch down as I tried to pull an apple off. It broken off, fell straight down on her head, landed with a THUNK! And bounced several feet into the undergrowth. Her face looked like Wile E Coyote when an ACME anvil falls on his head, and all it needed was a 4 inch bump to grow out of the top of her head and it would have been Merrie Melodies.

We probably collected 3 to 5 kilos of apples, lots have surface markings, but very few have proved to be diseased.

Have a little bit of a cold. as has Bev. We are in our own houses. I reckon I am a bit better, and as I do not have a full-time job I may go and minister.

Have more mice. Have quadrupled the number of traps. They seem to be young spreading out for winter. There has been no evidence I have found of gnawing or eating my food, which strongly suggests they are taking advantage of DIY in at least two neighbour’s houses (not that I am suggesting it will be bodged, but it will be.

Had a very significant diabetic clinic yesterday. It has moved due to reorganization (Bradford health reorganizations are like Bradford city centre reorganizations; they benefit no one apart from the planners), but the reason for the move is that my GP practice owner could not be bothered to do the work any more under the new terms.

I will be moving from Vigin media (are shit in a few weeks. The e-mail e-ddress from these sites will not change, but my blueyonder one will become defunct. I will be mailing to remind.

I set off home this morning, after some hands on debt organizing, with the intention of shopping in Shipley then getting a bus home. I popped into The Junction, and a mere handfull of pints later I decided I had more chance of finding a house if I did not have to try and pay on a bus, so I walked back to Baildon, via a new (to me) short cut which was steeper than the 1 in 1 we walked up on Saturday (Warning: All gradiants in this blog are recorded as the blogger felt them, not as they are recorded on any map.)

The Hat Throwing is on record, as a video, at Hat Throwing on Pickled Egg. It has also been picked up by the Anglian Press Agency. They have no outlet of their own, as far as I can tell, but you may see it mentioned now in all sorts of strange media. Please tell me if you do.

I also wrote and sent stories to the Halifax Courier and the Ilkley Gazette.

It was a very important week. which I sailed through, thanks to experience bring forth fruit, and most especially because of help and the chance to relax in company.

Last week was potentially the most daunting in what passes for my artistic career, but thanks to help and support all three events were successes, and Saturday’s 2nd UK Hat Throwing Championship proved there was potential for what I have created to become big.

Before writing about Saturday I just what to say that yesterday was a lovely Sunday of pottering in Baildon, with me correcting my faulty washing machine instillation (I had not raised any part of the drain hose above the joint to the sink drain, so water from the sink was flowing into the machine when the door was open), a short walk on the moor’s edge, including watching freestyle remote control gliders, and an afternoon pint.

The only annoying thing over the whole weekend was the controller at Baildon Taxi s being deaf or stupid and twice sending a taxi to Shipley Station instead of Baildon. We could both have done without the walk which feels like a one in one at times.


Bev was poorly on Friday and I did the cooking. I had to get up fairly early on Saturday to do an interview with Daragh Corcoran. Their phone connection kept dropping, they could hear me but I could only hear Daragh for about half the interview. It is on at 07.17 (about 1.17 into the programme). I have only just managed to hear it (thanks to my soon to end virgin media (are shit) broadband connection, and it is OK.

I then made Bev breakfast in bed and took her more tablets, but she then got up like a trooper and proved to be one of the key ingredients in a successful event. She ran the tickeing and registering, leaving me free to entrap, encourage and perform.

I Carried the hatstand I had borrowed from the Midland Hotel in Ilkley from Bev’s house to Baildon Station, then down to St. Gemma’s Hospice Shop. There we met with Amanda Hardacre and her family. She interviewed me for a site called The Pickled Egg, the Ilkley Literary Festival official blog site. It was wonderful to be covered, but having her family taking part was the second key ingredient in the success of the day. Son Joe, 12, particularly proved a natural hat thrower (2 scoring throws both indoors and outdoors, the highest ever); and having a family taking part meant people passing did not need much persuading to take part, especially those with children; and everyone who took part loved it.

One other notable thrower was Lisa MacConkey of Washington D.C. The first overseas winner, and the first and only person so far to score a 100 point score with a hat on the very top of the disused weather vane.

There is a report of the 2nd UK Hat Throwing Championship here.

We had pie and peas and a cuppa in White Wells afterward and counted up. £26 will be going to St Gemma’s; making a total of over £70 raised for local charities by the three events.

Afterwards I carried the hatstand back in a triumphal procession to the Midland.

I am on Daragh Corcoran show tomorrow at some time between 7.00 and 10.00.

Yesterday’s show was a job well done. Over £14 was given and I will be giving it all to Ben’s Wish To Walk.

Tomorrow the Hat Throwing will start at White Wells, Ilkley, at 11.00.

Before blogging about tonight’s brilliant show I need to off-load things I have remembered about the previous week.

Did the Brighouse-Elland walk, but drank in Brighouse before setting off, for the first time. This is the second time I visited the Ring O Bells

I saw several butterflies over the last week, including a red admiral in Baildon. I have missed blackberries and elderberries this year, but there are still many unpicked apples in gardens of the lazy.

Tonight’s Curry & Kipling at the Ring O Bells was the best I have done, and the best curry, and a good audience, even the folk talking (including the 16 year old couple) made it better, as I conquered with voice. Bev being there, and taking direction about front of house, meant I did not need to worry about anything not conected with the performance.

I sold £9 of books, got £10 toward expenses, and £30 will be going to the Forget Me Not Trust from the donations.

I got the stinky tooth fixed this morning.

Tomorrow I have another show, this one at the Midland in Ilkley at 7.30.

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