November 2010


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.

Couple of nature notes from yesterday:

I saw my first ever goldfinch in my garden, although they seem to be getting more common around me. I have often heard then, seen them flying over, and feeding on the newish waste ground between the Lister Arms (recently closed but seemingly having things done to it) and the building with the Station (shut and for sale)and Central Divison WMC. The one I saw yesterday flew onto the remains of the lovage canes and tried the seed, once.

Afterwards, walking down Manchester Rd by rowan trees growing in front of the waste ground mentioned above I heard a mistle thrush shouting, then saw a male blackbird flying from the tree, land in a bush, turn round, watch, and fly back. The thrush was obviously protecting its berries. Just 4 trees down though I saw a female blackbird flying into that tree and the thrush went mental. Obviously it was struggling on its own against a determined couple.

The windows at Bev’s house were done by both Bradford Council and, later, Wibsey Windows, so it is hard to say which were the gang of gimcrack, shoddy, slovenly cowboys. I was going to spend 20 minutes sealing the bottom of her front door frame; but then discovered that the bottom side of the door did not touch the frame seal, there was almost a cm gap between the bottom edge and the metal frame bottom, that the seal on the inner frame edge only existed for the middle third, and only a half of the frame bottom had be concreted in. I have laid mortar and bodged the rest. The biggest problem is that the bottom of the frame was wet, and whilst I dried as best I could both the sealent and mortar got very wet after laying.

The work I did is being tested by high and bitter winds, and seem to be a big improvement.

Had a nice dinner of sliced potato on haddock with onion, wine and yogurt sauce, and diced sweet potato fried with garlic and basil.

Looking forward to some cozy telly while the wind howls. It’s good to have company.
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* I had less than one weeks notice about original interview.
Call to interview by letter only, despite a note on my claim stating that there seemed to be issues with my mail delivery.
The letter was dated the same day as the day I last signed on; suggesting that the opportunity to inform me orally was either wasted or deliberately not used.

* At no point was I informed of the name of the new process (More frequent signing).

* I was not informed that I still had to sign on my usual days, the letters were, at best, ambiguous, leaving me with only previous experience, which was that I would be signing as part of the new process. This resulted in me missing a signing day, with the possibility of losing payment.

* My previous Jobseeker’s Agreement was dismissed as totally failing on the basis of what the Jobcentre had recorded; ignoring the regular, fortnightly records I had submitted recording the efforts I had made on my own initiative, including travelling well outside the agreement’s travel to work region.

The original agreement included ‘Primary teacher’, a job I had done previously; despite the fact that from the very beginning I had stated clearly and repeatedly that I would only look for such work if I did a ‘Return To Teaching’ course.

That proviso was was accepted by the original interviewer and subsequently. I meanwhile concentrated on finding work and funding on the other listed jobs, as proved by the submitted records. I also stated repeated that I would seek to register for Return To Teaching if asked to.

At the first of this set of interviews I was told that I could not transfer any of the jobs from the original agreement, I was given little chance to object and no time to think. The alternative jobs were chosen for me.

I tried to raise objection about teaching being disallowed without at least attempting to register for ‘Return To Teaching’. The objection was dismissed and I was told, categorically that I would not get funding.

I subsequently found out that there is funding for the 10 week course sufficient for me to sign-off, and I am eligible. I then registered with RTT.

I have sent a registration form and £80 cheque to a course provider, for a course in Bury, starting in January. I am on a shortlist, but with a reasonable chance of getting a place.

If I do not get a place in January I am virtually certain of a place in the Summer team.

Full days, with an undertow of concern about being ambushed by the Job Centre.

Lead a walk from Baildon to Guiseley. skirting the lake at Tong Park (a place I lead a trip when I was a teacher) and through a golf course. It is the kind of walk I like best in these parts. Woodland, moor edge and naturalized ex-industrial areas. I am not with J.B.Priestley in his sweeping praise of moors; which are often too high, too plain, and too muddy; especially on the popular paths.

Weather has been very fine, with very fine colours on the tress, and some apples still on the trees (we picked up some windfalls).

We had a splendid fish supper at the Springfield Fisheries, Guiseley.

After that Bev went shopping and I went to see Guiseley vs. Crawley Town, in the F.A. Cup. A crowd of 1600, nearly all standing, loads of small children, no terracing and a fine sunset. Crawley won 5-0, and deserved it.

Met up afterwards in Morrisons and I carried stuff.

With the walk up from the station I reckon we walked 7 or 8 miles. We were going to go to a ska night, but settled for a deserved early night instead.

Did more jobs today including grain clearing,draft proofing and freezer moving. I also had my mind settled by talking through the crap from the Job Centre; something that would have caused me much grief if I had brooded on it alone.

PS. Forgot to mention a couple of nice things. Met Dave Jennings, old time City Dent contributor, at the game. We only ever met at Bradford City related stuff, and I never knew he was a Guiseley fan. Also, we saw a green full of seagulls on the golf range which looked like a crop ready to be lifted.

Regardless of what happens with the possible Return to Teaching course, I realised this morning that I have been on a personal Work Experience programme.

I got up before 8.00 this morning (early for me). Vacuumed. Mixed concrete and used it to fill holes. Cleaned paiint off a food processer and food off a fox mixer (both of whcih had been drying for years). I used the mixer to whip up foam from a carpet shampoo, and put it down on the dirtiest bits of some carpets. I went to a cafe for a full English breakfast for my lunch, and to a pub for a pint. I amm now going to stelize wine making stuff, and hopefully start some wine off.

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