November 2010


Crawley means Crow’s clearing/settlement, so it seems fitting to watch crows in Crawley High Street. They were a set, but not really a group (a murder?) as they seemed to be picking riches just for themselves, and getting very uncomfortable if you looked at them; so almost nothing like the town named after them then.

Went to a Thomas Bennett reunion at the Tilgate. The best they had was Fosters, but I still drank loads and had a rite good time.

Met up with and regonized Kevin and Caroline (nee Price) Cunningham, who have come up from Plymouth. He still plays the trumpet and dj’s; like he did when I took my pet brick on a string lead to the disco at the St. John’s hut in the mid 70’s.

Also Stephen MacColcloclolane, who remembered me from my first year at Bishop Bell (a bishop of blessed memory, the school now has a toss name because of a darlek head renaming it to prove she was in charge). Steven remembered me getting digestive biscuits at milk time, because of my diabetes. This proved to be the thing that most that remembered me remembered; probably. A fair number told me I had not changed. Not sure about that. Looking like you looked when you were five is probably not something Gok would cheer.

It was a lovely night, but it will become better if folk get in touch, especially the editor of Farming Weeekly.

Walking ‘home’ was good. It was a journey that usually passed through pain in my
youth. Now it was a sharp winter’s night from warmth to warmth, with the warmth of knowing I have a beautiful girlfriend to glow over me.

My mother was doing her, wake up in the small hours and go downstairs to do, prayers when I got home. Just adding to another average day for me.

I have mostly been helping the aged; shopping, cooking, hair cutting, gardening and listening.

Despite a tiring night I decided not to have a sleep on Megabus, so as not to traumatize with my monumental snores and worse. However there was a gobshitting, middle-class mockney wanker talking on his mobile very loud for the whole journey. I was too tired to go and talk at him, so increased the coach discomfort by retreating to sleep.

Watched a big flock of goldtits from the top of East Midland parkway carpark. They do seem to be getting quite common, but are both cute and good looking, so there will be few complaints

Forgot to mention that yesterday I made piccalilli for the first time, using Bev’s microwave and cheap veg, mostly bought in Shipley market. The recipe is from a Cockney Cookbook which was a birthday present from Bev (along with Welsh, Finnish and Yorkshire cookbooks). and is one of the most useful I have owned. It has simply, old fashioned stuff with modern measures and methods; and has lots of ways of saving money to put towards gin and beer.

The piccalilli will be ready to try in 3 weeks.
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Lots of different things over the last few days with Bev. Saw her grandson Sam playing for Bingley Juniors (he did well, and scored a goal); her granddaughter and family stayed Saturday night. We also did some sorting. The only down side was that a few were poorly, including Bev today.

Yesterday we went to the launch of Dave Pendleton’s book about Bradford City before the wars. It was a nice event and I met up with a lot of people I hardly ever see since I stopped going to City regularly, but there were some odd things; including John Dewhirst, who introduced Dave, saying that the booked showed that the formation of Bradford Park Avenue was a disaster for Bradford, a city that never had a chance of supporting two professional football teams. The odd thing was that I was the first one ever to write that, in the City Gent a decade or more ago, and John damned what I said, and I think did so libelously, in the next issue (and Dave was the then editor), it is neither here nor there now, and hearing my words repeated shows folk and change there minds given time.

The other odd thing was that the junior game was more enjoyable to watch than any City game I have seen for years, and it cost nowt.

Went down to Shipley and came back with 15.75 kg of shopping, including a ham shank (with which I made my best ever crackling, and a grand rest of dinner) and a bottle of Cava (with which we added to celebration).

Today’s big news is obviously the feature in Wetherspoon News (see last blog) but that is on top of other stuff.

The linked, and potentially much more important, letter from the PA of Tim Martin (founder and head of Wetherspoon) thanking me for the letter I sent asking if he would be interested in supporting or helping me do more shows in Wetherspoon’s. My letter is on the agenda for the next marketing meeting.

I am also now on New Dealat the dole office. If I was not on a shortlist for a Return To Teaching course in Bury next year it would be a process. As it is it could still be difficult. There is funding but it appears to be only payable after finishing the course, so 10 weeks of living off savings and air, possibly. Still, it adds to the challenge.
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I am in Wetherspoons News (Nov/Dec). Quarter page report about Pie & Priestley with photo.

Not checked the website, will add link later if I am on. Thanks to Joe O for alert.

If anyone wants a NETGEAR Cable/DSL Web Safe Router Gateway (still undisturbed in its box) mail me.

The only journey today was to my own dustbin; and I am the better for it.

The primary aim of the day was to find the WiFi dongle I recently bought. It came with Window’s only software, and it took a while to get Mac drivers via e-mail and open and install them.

I did not start by making a wild mess by wild looking (my usual practice) but did general tidying. I did find the dongle (and configured it) but also found much else, including a large, fancy, chess set and two demijohns of home made wine (for my American and Finnish cousins: a demijohn is a glass bottle holding a gallon, which is 8 pints, which is about 4.5 litres). The demijohn I tasted was brilliant. Dry, golden and better than cheap plonk; I am guessing it is the carrot blogged about a year or so ago.

On the down side the bank of floor only yielded £1.47, and today’s Lloyds credit card statement had a £12 late payment fine. It was my fault. I was trying to pay in full as usual, but could not because of the Dole, so ended up paying only part, and late.

I have to mention (or mention again) the fact that I made a flexible door seal for the bottom of Bev’s Mission Impossible Drafts door, with two narrow, self cut, strips of gaffer tape stuck either side of the front edge of the metal threshold and joined above with lest than a few square mm showing, no bubbles, and of a height to just bend and seal as the door opens and closes. I was too busy to do a dance of triumph then, and have only just remembered it now. It is not a long term solution, but the hall is at least a degree warmer for it.

I have just opened an e-mail from cousin Sirpa saying she and her sister will be visiting next year. I hope I can get away. I am sure there are people who would not want a free biological google guide showing them round with a constant stream of info and story, but if any of them are my family they do not have an escape button.

I was checking my facebook page and found this video of a cat drinking from its own head.

I got the bread-bin sized bus from Baildon to Bradford via Wrose. Going down to Shipley I could see mist being produced on the roofs of streets of houses, and then Airedale covered with a blanket of fog. Once below the fog line it proved to be mist rather than fog. On the way from Shipley we climbed into clear air and bright sun again, with Bradford Dale to the right, filled with vapour.

Me and Bev saw the mist forming late yesterday afternoon when we went for a walk along Baildon Bank edge. There are some spectacular views, but we had to come back to the main road and missed the path back to the edge, so could not see west, up Airedale. We did, however, see a tunnel of red in a cloud break from the sun setting behind below it, and a false sun on a bar of cloud across the top of the break.

I am paying for virgin (are shit) media for another fortnight, and the internet has just gone down again. I should phone and complain. I am certain I will get annoyed with BT, and their call centre has already proved to be bad, but they are still 20% faster than virgin’s cable, making their advert claim utterly false. They can only provide the fastest internet connection along cables that are maintained and up-graded properly. They never have with mine.

Ma has fallen out of bed and cracked a rib. She is home and OK, and will happily tell anyone about how no opne in the hospital could believe she was 89.

The stupidest thing I have done since the last blog is key in the wrong secruity code into my mobile enough times to lock it. It was this morning, and I was sober. Nobody calls me anyway, but if you were thinking of it, do not.

The best thing was probably sing duets accompaniments to Neal Diamond on BBC tv last night.

Yesterday we went to Haworth for a Rainbow Morris dance up and down the High Street as part of scroggling the holly, which was made up last year by a bloke who dresses like a beadle, and is known as Mr Bumble. It including a march of pixies and elves, led by Rainbow.

The rain stopped just as we got out of the car, and the rest of the weather was lovely. In fact it was a grand day out, I joined in abusing the wanker who owns the carpark at the top of Haworth, who clamps anyone who parks outside the lines and then charges them £75. Everone in Haworth hates him.

Bev did not put on a vest and thermals before going out, and her temperature dropped as soon as they finished the last dance, but I did me best to warm her up.

We were only back for a short while before going out again to see a Snowgoose page to stage at Bradford Playhouse. We went to see a play by Joe O. The plays are meant to aid the writer not the audience, but it was a fiver in, buying the tickets was farcical. and the seats were the most uncomfortable I have ever paid to sit on. Joe’s play had too much in, but had potential; two others were fine as exam pieces for someone testing to write for a soap opera and I find it difficult remembering the difference (they were all script in hand with the same actors); and one was utter shite, with 4 mutually exclusive drafts squeezed into 10 minutes.

Today we walked to Aldi. I wanted to go because they are advertizing 40% gin at £8.75. Turns out to be only a 50 cl. bottle though. so no cheaper than Morrisons.

On the way down we stopped at Baildon’s war memorial; which is a gate with names in acloves, and a cottage. There reefs were being laid at 3 pm. as we passed in a taxi; no notice had been put up to announce it. There were small wooden crosses with poppies, including one enscribe wiuth pen to a local lad killed last year. Bev knows the family, not well, but 90 years ago everyone here would have known a family with a mother mourning at least one son; and as the plaque in the alcoves suggest, some mothr’s mourned many.

Note: the below was posted the following morning due to multi provider failure.

My times, they are a changing; but the odd thing is that the biggest seeming change, after meeting the loveliest of my life, is having to use ,y computer in the ‘just warm enough for’ livingroom; instead of the ‘too warm to shiver’ bedroom. That should change once I get this WiFi thing wifiing, but at moment it leaves me a bit adrift. On the other hand my WiFi coverage will not reach Baildon even if I could get things to work.

This is an early morning, with gin, blog; but seems less than normally drunken. I wonder what influence is at work here?

Met Joe in the Bradford Wetherspoons tonight. He was sat with a lass, called Alison, who remembered me; and her partner, Asdor, seemed familiar. She lived near me a decade or more ago, and we both knew a user of a man, and probably met in a pub. She is now a supply teacher, and it were like a reintroduction to the glass edge of teaching.

Me and Joe called in the Venue on our ways home. Malt whisky at £1.80. Learnt that the Listers Arms has been bought by solicitors, so the building will go from a place where everyone is telling lies and making false claims to a solicitors.

Must mention the bus to Shipley on Wednesday. I missed one to Bev’s mum’s (I helped shift stuff, i I have not mentioned it already) so got on the next Shipley bus. It was a 10 c.c. bread bin, 660, which I thought I had been on before. I guessed wrong. It went all the way up Barkerend Road, past one previous home, four previous schools, and at least ten previous, and now dead, boozers. After that it went through places I did not know existed. I thought I knew all the grim council estates, having worked as a supply teacher, and on the bins, but I was proved wrong. It took an hour to Shipley (18 minutes by direct bus) and I enjoyed it. It was a sunny but cold day, with fine views as we went up the hills to estates at 6 mph.It it had been night I may have had to kill myself, on account of being cast adrift in utter darkness in the midst of a fog of unknowing.
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PS Just ran into the rain on account of hearing banging like a door being kicked in. Got wet. It is probably a bit pathetic, but shows willing, or drunkeness.

to self: BT v virgin.

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