September 2011


The apples in my mother’s garden are fully ripe, so I know how unripe the ones I made the cider from were. The cider is drinkable, and not bad, but it lacks body and seems weak. Very good with lemonade and more than good enough if you have worked up a sweat, but I guess that it would be better with later apples.

I use different computers in different places. The majority have issues, but not the same ones, so the biggest chunk of my time, after sleeping and scratching, seems to be spent on trying to make computers work faster.

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We buried Ziggy on Tuesday morning and I planted bulbs around the grave on the following morning before another long, and fairly tedious, trip.

His last feed and purr were in the morning. He was on a wool rug Bev had had made in front of the fire in the evening. He started dragging himself towards the cupboard in the corner. Bev knew to clear the cupboard and put him in. I put the rug in with him. He drew his last breath very soon after, having made almost no sound. It was very like my father’s death.

Last photo of Ziggy the quiet cat (at front) a few days before he died. The other car is Charlie the long distance gigolo

Last photo of Ziggy the quiet cat (at front) a few days before he died. The other car is Charlie the long distance gigolo

Ziggy the quiet cat that was always there for Bev quietly stopped being here tonight.

I have had massive internet issues for a few days, and will have them for a few more. It is so bad I cannot even reply to mails; in fact just posting on this is about the only thing I can do.
So as a note I cannot put on the last post: Ziggy appears to be in no pain, and taking him to the vet would be stressful, so a the minute we are keeping at home, and hoping he slips away peacefully.

There has been some strange and murky goings on at the Playhouse. Because I cannot e-mail I properly do not have a full picture, but as it stands I see no evidence of a working future. I am not saying it has no future, but the limited company that has taken it had no visable support, and has done nothing publicly since their shock success to gain any. They have however engendered at least some hostility from the last set of people trying to save it.
I could say all the above more bluntly, but on the other hand the group aiming to save the place lacked organizational ability so it is not black and white, because there is something to be said for a individuals sorting out details that a large group may not be able to. So, on the one hand, there were a lot of people in a group who might have formed a working organization; and on the other there is a two man company that might form a business that attracts support Trouble is that without a group supporting the Playhouse it is just a building not presently fit for any but a small variety of hires.

Bev’s eldest cat is called Ziggy and is at least 17 years old. We have thought he was going to die last week, but he is still with us. He has given absolutely no signs of pain, and I agree with her that she should not pay someone to kill her cat for just the sake of convenience (that’s what ‘putting down’ at the vet’s is).

Bradford Playhouse has a license to trade for 3 months under the control of John Tempest and Rob Walters.

I made the Boots (the chemist) next to my GP at least acknowledge that their current, in shop, procedure may be slightly faulty.

Signed on, discovered the agency making money from self employment coaching claimed not have received the form faxed the last time I signed on. I then answered a questionnaire, which I enjoyed, and which ended with the comment (and she did write down what I actually said) that The whole process is ill thought out, ill written, and ill applied. I do not shoot the messenger.

I did, however, prove to be a bit of a knob when I got on the wrong bus. I thought it would take me to where all the buses to Baildon would leave, rather than the bottom of the street my street is, sort of, off.

I have managed to contribute and answer to a question prompted by the message what I writ in the last blog. You are almost certainly better able to find my last boy than I am in my present (unwrap it and see) state.

It seems a long time since I was blathered, and a long time since I was ill enough to write about it for more than a single blog. I may try and read my own blogs. Bed is nore likely, after drink

I have posted the below on the ilkley-more forum. The Rachel in the first line is Rachel Feldberg, who runs (and is) the Ilkley Literature Festival. The whole debate is about having Simon Armitage poetry carved on stone and left on Ilkley Moor.

——————–
‘Good answer Rachel, well done. I have always admired the way you and your festival punch well above your weight.

This is about public statuary in badly managed parkland. I have never been against public art (and was one of the few who wrote in support of the J.B.Priestley statue in Bradford) but I have also always been opposed to the way that the jewel of Ilkley Moor is lost amongst the piles of coke traded between the many little empires that think they run Bradford and Ilkley. Ilkley Moor is a big brand badly managed, but at least I now know this project will add to the Moor as well as the project.

As to the dig Bertie’s dig about the messenger not controlling the medium. Modern poetry books are appalling because there is no control of the layout by the poet. The only demand is that there be 64 pages because that is what the literature industry arbitrary sets as a book. Poems are set in a single type face and size, with no regard to page breaks, and the fact poets let this happens shows the desperation of modern poetry.

J.L.Carr, my literary hero, designed and set his own books, so it can be done. It does not have to be, the poems I have been paid for were for specific and well defined projects, but any artist should have some mind to the setting and manufacture of the final work. To suggest the writer’s job is done once something is written is a sly and unfair dig. I am not attacking this project, but this project would be far, far better if Simon Armitage did the carving. It would then be a whole and single vision, rather than an interpretation by an unnamed craftsman of a design created from the copy he supplies.

I would also prefer poets that were dead and out of copyright to be carved on the Moor as well, in fact dead and living poets together would be brilliant. Then folk could have a range of words.

I leave the last words to J.B.Priestley, writing about walking on the moor’s (he was a massive fan of Ilkley Moor).

At the same time I find myself remembering lines of verse from Yeats and Housman, de la Mare and Ralph Hodgson, just because in those Bruddersford days such lines used to go buzzing in my mind like fat golden bees. I pondered over these and other poets in my room, carried their more evocative and magical lines with me through the streets, and sometimes shouted them idiotically – startling the sheep – on the windy moorland tracks. I am told the poetry written these days is very fine, but somehow you never catch a youth bellowing lines of it on a hill-top, and indeed I never find anybody wanting to quote it at all. I suppose it is no longer that kind of poetry. But the kind I admired in Nineteen Twelve you could mutter over and over to yourself like a magical rune or could take out and wear like a gaily-coloured scarf.

From Bright Day: J.B.Priestley, Heinemann, 1946′

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