December 2011


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.

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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.

Happy Christmas

The below was put together in a bit of a rush (see below). I may change the design but not the picture and probably not the verse.

Bradwan 2011 Christmas card first draft
This year’s card was partly inspired by the sparrows that have started visiting my window ledge, partly by the newly opened Sparrow Beer Cafe in Bradford, but mostly because I like sparrow, especially the fact that if I make sparrow noises near a flock of them some will stop and stare, as will passing people.

I painted the picture on the evening of 6th Dec. and folded the origami star the next morning. It is made of two stars together, one made from a stamp book cover the other from a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer wrapper. The poem was done over a week but finished in a rush when invited to be on the Radio Leeds lunchtime show on 9th Dec.

Yesterday was another of the usual looong trips. London Kings Cross direct from Bradford, on Grand Central. Tube Oxford Circus then walk to The Society Club Soho to talk about the possible Walburgas Day show. Then East Croydon Three Bridges.

I need to check costs and write them on here to remind me. I used an Oyster card so had to get off to buy a ticket at East Croydon. A pain, but cross London costs are so high that you are driven to do daft stuff.

After Halifax I talked to a lass who had just taken redundancy from Lloyds, was off to see her husband in the City, and was hoping to discover she had an artistic streak. Hope she finds one.

Saw a small herd of deer south of Newark. I think roe. It was a good viewing day, there are still autumn clolours on a lot of trees and the light was good.

Forgot to take a London map but found everything I needed and discovered more; including a hardware store that carried the biggest range of door handles I have seen, and a great new and posh off-licence in Wardour St (so new I cannot find it on google, but it is where Oddbins used to be), where I had a chat with one customer about gin, and a couple about how to make damson vodka. The gin man works for a gin company (and used to work for Gordons) and the couple wanted a damson vodka that had sold out.

Finished and copied the Christmas picture, including a new origami star. It was good enough for a dance of triumph. It was an alcohol free day so I did not drink to celebrate, though without any cava in the house I did not have anything good enough.

Finally started painting and drawing the illustration for this year’s Christmas card. It will be done in time. I also have the first shoot of a poem, although there is no guarantee that it will grow to anything worth having, and not need something completely different in a hurry.

Got talking to a 17 year old on the last bus of the day. They were on their mobile telling someone they had had offers from Surrey and South Bank universities. I offered knowledge of Guildford, then moved up the bus when they said they wanted to do nursing, and I blossomed when I discovered their specialism was going to be pediatrics.

It was good to talk to a young person so focused on what they want to do. Apart from anything else I learnt a bit about what life is like for young folk going to university; I also managed to tell stories of my life in hospital, and give my opinions about the importance of fear and loathing in childcare; as well as the truth that nurses with children can do so much more than help them get better physically.

I have been doing loads of D.I.Y lately, and even did some on my own house today. I painted the skylight with wood preserver. I was also sketching out the bradwan Christmas card, so did not bother looking for gloves, so my hands still smell funny, or funnier, than normal 8 hours later.

I have worked out a mixed media picture for the Christmas card, and have got bits of a poem, but have not left myself long to paint it and the rest.

I have started putting birdseed on my bedroom window sill. Have had magies and sparrows, but not to any patten. The magpies seem to be a gang of 3 or 4, the sparrows 5 or 6. Trouble is that I am only guessing that it is one gang of each.

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