December 2011

Bev is looking after her grandsons so I have taken the opportunity to have myself a traditional old year’s night, which for me involves going to bed before 11 and sleeping through the fireworks, although being such a light sleeper that can be difficult, on one year the next door neighbours were letting off fireworks so loud I woke up and it took minutes to get back to sleep (although on another year I was lighting fireworks with a plumbers flame gun (what are they called?), though that may have been Guy Fawkes).

Things changed this year, the death of my father being the most obvious. Things will change next year, probably significantly within the family. In the year ending I have not worried so much, and have enjoyed myself more. I have not done much recently as a sole trader or jobbing poet and artist, but that does not seem to worry me. I guess I will continue to do the best I can with what I have, and try and do the same with what I invent. Walburgas 20!2, Saturday 25th Feb. in Clerkenwell Green anyone? I will ask again soon, but it would be good to hear from anyone who would like to come to the show.

I hope all my family, friends and readers have an even better year than the one they have just had.

Janus laid a head between the lands
Of time past grasping and time to fly
May your shuttle fly your light through joyous strands
That leave behind worlds made better by all you try

Christmas turned out well. Basil came for an unexpedted visit the day before we came back. Having Bev there was great. She rode shotgun to keep ma from getting too much face, listened to me, and provided an outside view and opinion for us all.

Ma watched Kung Fu Panda for the first time today, and explained how it was about the fight against communism! Scientists researching the possibility of parallelled universes should come and talk to my mother.

I went for a walk to feed the sparrows that live in the hedge behind Scooby Doo’s burger bar, next to Three Bridges station. They were actually working on the station using a big crane.

I then walked through the Maidenbower estate. I used to walk through the area before it was built on. It was full of centuries old iron slag from the furnaces that where there until the 17th or 18th Century. Like most of the country around it was clay, cold and damp. It still is but it now has houses as well.

I had two dogs really try to bite me, and I think the first may have drawn a little blood, I cannot think of anything else that would have made the scratches on my arm. I thought it was just due to this town being full nasty twats, but then remembered that I had made friends with next door’s slobbery and very intact male dog, and I had not had a bath since.

Thursday’s plan was to call at the Horseshoe and the Betsy Trotwood in Clerkenwell whilst in London to ask if I might do a show there in Feb, That obviously could not happen.

I thought about going yesterday, Friday, but I was just too knackered. Knowing the places I wanted to see would probably be shut today.

So today I set off back to London utterly relaxed. If everything was shut I could do nothing about it. It was a little bit trippy infact, and my blood sugar was not the reason.

Went to London Bridge then Underground to St. Pauls, where I bought a ‘Tape to MP3’ player, so I could put ma’s favourite tapes on her ipod. It was thirty quid, but did have headphones, so it can just replace her walkman, or walker, as she calls it.

The Museum of London was shut and my bladder was making its presence felt. I went into one pub near the Smithfield Tavern, where I was looked at funny and asked if I was alright. I said I would be after beer; and was told they were only doing breakfasts for residents. All it needed was a shotgun and Get off my land! for it to be a slice of old country life.

I then went in the Crown on Clerkenwell Green, because the door was unlock, I guess because they believed nobody would come in. They let me lighten myself but would not serve me until noon, when they discovered they had no real beer, so I had a whiskey.

I then shoved a card under the door of The Horseshoe, and I could feel it had gone under the mat but could not pull it back; then through the letterbox of the Betsy. A walk proved every other pub was shut, apart from the Wetherspoons on Farringdon Road, where I had some lovely Robinsons and a burger.

Then bus to Kings Cross/St Pancras where I had a pint and a nice chat in the Betjeman.

Everything was busier than Bradford, but almost as quiet as a morgue. I noticed lots of stuff in places I had seen times before.

Got back more sober than I can remember on a Christmas eve, though I have made up. Ma was giddy and would not go to bed until she had opened her pressies (as they did in her Finnish childhood).

Things are now quiet and nice. Hope you have a good Christmas. I will post the card on facebook tomorrow.


This morning I saw the sky south of where the sun was coming up go red then blue from a bedroom in Baildon.

I saw the sun disappear behind clouds as it was setting, then the sky go from blue, through steel, to black between Doncaster and just south of Stevenage.

The trip was booked months ago.

Yesterday my ma phoned me in the middle of a Christmas shopping (inc. free trotters from Kings Buthchers on New Hey Road) trip.

She said I was expected to go with her to her doctors at 17.00. My ticket meant I would not be there until 18.15 at the earliest.

Yesterday I also had the evil receptionist at the Park Lane General Medical piss-take (BD5) tell me that it was: …time you took responsibility for you own health. I have blogged about this practice before. They stopped doing diabetic clinics because they could not make enough money from them. Patients can only book an appointment within the next 14 days. The receptionists and the numb nut at Boots next door say I cannot get a repeat prescription without an annual review. So I am being threaten with being killed by lack of insulin by a business that has surrendered input to my diabetes; which employ receptionists that would get the sack from any Jobcentre for lack of customer care.

As a exact comparison my mother’s medical practice phoned me twice yesterday to try and fix an appointment for a time I might be able to get there for. My GP’s only call me when I have officially complained.

All my trains were late today, and despite running, my taxi (driven by a bloke whose first home in the UK was a street away from my second home in Bradford) dropped me at ma’s doctors just as her neighbour: Veebica (who I had called yesterday, bless her) was escorting her to her car.

Good news! Mother has probably just been over doing it. I had assumed that from her doctors call yesterday, but I could not be sure. I will use this as moral blackmail. She fecking well walked to the doctor’s yesterday with a pain in her chest, then phoned me tired and in a panic. I would have paid whatever it cost to get down for an emergency, but the Spanish doctor just needed someone who can understand her Karelain accent; and Veebica the Danish neighbour can.

Yesterday I went to my doctor’s after ma’s call because I am down to my last few blood testing strips. I could not book an appointment within 14 days until I knew how ill my mother was. I got aggressive patronisation from a woman who does not know her job. It’s my fault for not trying to change doctors.

Best thing is my mother is ok, and I only spent an extra pound on a taxi. The fear and running adds to the story; and I may be able to make changes for the better in lives. Maybe even my own.

I am a little light headed.

Yesterday went to Ilkley by train to drop cards off at Ilkely Pets and the Midland Hotel, got a lift from Roger to Keighley, where we popped into the Cricketers, and I went ot the Boltmakers. After a bit of a rushed trip home I got taken for a curry at the Kashmir, and to see Steeleye Span.

It was a good night, and Steeleye Span are great musicians, but it was strange. I was so tired I kept having to close my eyes to listen properly; it was meant to be a big Rainbow Morris group do but only 5 and me got their hand down; I like the group well enough but am not a fan; the audience was old and very still; and the first half they played their 1974 heavy metal album; ‘Now We are Six”, and the drum and bass were so loud it was like a folk d&b. The two big hits as an encore were good and got folk going, but only two stood up to cheer at the end.

I have probably got enough cards printed the old, old hewlet packard I lent out. I usually get things done last minute anyway, and it is rare for Christmas cards to get posted before the last posting day, but this year seemed strangley difficult. Some folk who usually get a card card will not this year. Oh dear, I will be relying on facebook!

Regular readers will I know I have not had a happy relationship with my printers, and I labelled the Hewlett Parkard I had before the the worst I ever had. Well is is not now.

The Kodak ESP 3250 is the worst printer I have ever had and one of the smelliest pieces of shit I have ever bought

The cartridges are cheap but the last black cartridge probably did not last a hundred pages, nearly all of it plain type. I am getting desperate to print my Christmas cards so I have just installed a brand new black cartridge and it is telling me the bloody thing is empty! The sodding software that came with it was not fit for use and had to be upgraded twice, and now it is refusing to print anything because it does not recognise a full cartridge.

At least I have something to take my mind off how shit New Enterprise Allowance is.

Getting a poem read out on the BBC is no mean feat, this year’s Christmas card is good, and I have done some decent things lately; but I have to say it seems like a lot of ‘so what?’ with the days are getting darker, although the fact that they are getting darkermay have something to do with it.

Took my mother to Wetherspoons for dinner yesterday and cooked slow roast lamb, leeks with chestnuts and Yorkshire puddings for her today, both big hits. I also went out on Friday to get a train to Horley, to get a half lamb shoulder from what is now the nearest butcher to my mother. On the way I explained what to do, to an old lady collecting an internet bought ticket from a machine, for the first time, She was going to Harrogate and I explained how to get from St Pancras to Kings Cross.

Good show on Radio Leeds. I reckon I was called because Georgie Spanswick was called in at short notice. I like Georgie and made her laugh the last time I spoke to her on air 3 years ago. My bit is about an hour 8 minutes in.

BBC Radio Leeds podcast, valid till noon 16 Dec 11

Georgie read the new Christmas poem out, described the picture and laughed a bit at what I had to say.

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