July 2012

Sitting on the top deck of a Bradford bus going up or down a hill, and most of them do, on a day when you can see sun, clouds and the moors all around. The 640 from Five Lanes Ends to town, and the bus from Baildon were both joys yesterday.

As part of the preparation for my exhibition at The Sparrow Bier Cafe, North Parade, Bradford; I have been making a list of all the images and poems I have produced for Christmas cards since the early 80’s. I am missing a few but am fairly sure I have identified all the ones with pylons.

The list will not mean much to strangers but a couple of old fiends may find it interesting.

The poems are identified by the first line, I hardly ever have a title, and rarely finish a first line with a full stop.

Christmas card list

1981 or 82 ? Image black with lorry headlights – poem: Huddled round the gas miser

1982 or 81 ? Image: Valley with church. No poem found, possibly no poem done.

1983 ? Poem: Come, come, return sun of man

Mid 80’s ? Image: candle.

1887 ? Image: jigsaw of many different pictures

Late 80’s or early 90’s ? Images: 2, wings; and cloud fist – poem: Repeating caper

1990 ? Images: 4 different of roses, drawn, and pressed and scanned – poem: (around one flower part) In the depth of winter

1993 Image: 2, flowers on stream and barbed wire star. – poem: In the orchard

Mid 90’s ? Image: snow covered pines – poem: The space of infinity

Mid 90’s ? PYLONS Images: 2: line drawn pylon with equal shaded background; multi shaded floating shape – poem: The grids that cross our lives of torment

Mid 90’s ? PYLONS Image negative horizontal shaded pylon and star – poem: none found.


1998 Image: Digital lines, b&w and colour versions Poem: The festive cost

1999 Not pylons. Image; Waves (drawn with computer) – poem: As we sail

2000 Not pylons. Image: (ink drawing) palm – poem: The holy and the lovely

2001 Image: Valley Parade view (drawn, scanned, then coloured) – poem: May we all follow stars


2002 Image (made of matchsticks, scanned) pylons in landscape. Poem: May the net that binds your breathing

2003 Image: silver origami pylon (scanned) – poem: Heartbeats must come with constant being

2004 Image: woven twigs (scanned) – poem: Deep Route

2005 Image: Green triangles (drawn on computer) – poem: The wire crowns

2006 Image: Reverse polarity photo – poem: The current Wave

2007 Image: pylon sweep multi image (photos, reverse polarity) – poem: The lining power

2008 Image: East Coast main line with gantries (painting) – poem: The fool trains

2009 Image: Branch sculpture in my garden (photo) – poem: Weaving wood

2010 Image: Burnt on plank with soldering iron (scanned) – poem: Before logs were burned

2011 Image: sparrow on wire (painting) – poem: Oh little bird so brown and droll

Steve the roofer did not come on Wednesday or THursday because his van was broken; but they worked both days this weekend. If anyone wants a roofer or stone mason in Bradford I’ll happily pass on details.

Bloody roofers did not bother turning up today, or phone to tell me. Nothing I can do but seeing they need electricity, which means a window open, I can either leave a window open when I go out; or have them not working when they turn up; or bloody well stay at home! FFS

Did do do plenty of work, but I am now going boggy eyed from sitting here doing stuff like this. Managed the posters for Priestley and for Kipling; but building the new website is getting grim.


I am trying to use joomla (a management software) to create and manage the new website, and my new host has an installation program especially for it; so I used that but I cannot see joomla! Turns out I have to have my bradwan URL pointing to the new host to see joomla as installed; but I will not point it there until the site is built. I could upload without pointing, but with a code that I could not enter in the installation. Now I am stuck. I do not know if uploading a different way will screw what’s there. I will leave this machine alone for a while and start again.

Did lots of stuff today including formally applying for permission to do the J.B.Priestley readings at the Pie & Priestley in Lewes (Have I blogged about that?).

Also responded to a good offer from the Lewes Octoberfeast.

Then went to BCB to appear on Act Now (the link should take you to the pod thing for the show until 31st July 2012).

Came home and discovered what I thought was a pikey lurking in me passage, turned out to be Steve the roofer, who was waiting on scaffolders. It really caught me on the hop as I was not expecting him till next week and have no intention of leaving the house empty at night with scaffolding up; and I was going to prep a loft tonight for a job later in the week. Still, the sooner my roof is done the better.

As I am stuck in the house I went looking for beer in the cellar. Found none but did find some Ribena that should have been drunk in 1998, and plenty of home made wine, some of which I am drinking, and it tastes like Fino sherry.

Priestley Cup semi-final report. This mentions the names I did not in yesterday’s blog.

One thing that neither it, nor I, have mentioned is the only six of the match. A Woodlands player hit it, it missed the head of a bald bloke in front of me and a little to the side. The ball hit the concrete just behind him, bounced up, hit the underside of the verandah roof, hit the floor just by me, bounced up and I caught it and threw it to the fielder on the boundary. Exciting stuff.

Joe told me that the play on Saturday had had a lot of lines cut by the director. I do not know if a full version, with less obvious holes in the plot, would have left me happier; or made me leave before the will to live left me.

Meeting mate Martin on Saturday, and having him message me on facebook, has prompted me to link to his splendid Bradford Eye site.

Finally got to see a Bradford league cricket game, and on an afternoon when the sun shone, and at times from a cloudless sky.

Took Joe, who has been a bit down, and tired from being in the play, to see Woodlands play at East Bierley in the semi-final of the Priestley Cup. It was one of the best games I have ever seen.

The ground has a marvellous view of the Calder Vale and the Pennines, the beer was good, and the food was first rate.

We sat in front of the pavilion, in a bit of shade for my sake, on what we discovered later was called moaners terrace. Older people giving forceful opinions. We quite enjoyed it. Sometimes there’s nowt better than a good moan.

Priestly Cup games are 50 overs. Woodlands scored 166 for 9. The last 4 batsmen really going for it. Sarfraz Ahmed hit 2 fours in a row against the sight screen, and was not only clean bowled the next ball but the ball split a stump! The umpire had to get a spare out of his car.

East Bierley’s reply was nip and tuck all the way. They lost two wickets in two balls l.b.w and the bowler claimed the next. He did not get it but did take a third the same way in his next over.

Gavin Hamilton made the only 50 of the match but East Bierley had lost 8 wickets with, I think, 5 overs to go. Hamilton kept taking singles early in the over and leaving the tail-ender to face 5 or 6 balls. I thought Woodlands might bowl them out, but with the last ball of the second to last over the number 9 bat scored a four and won the match.

We were forcibly told early on that Woodlands practiced gamesmanship, and appealed everything to try and bully the umpires. It was not an unbiased view, but they did appeal a fair bit, and loudly; but they made a match of it to the last ball; and this is the first time they have been defeated this season.

We went to the New Inn afterwards, for the second time that day. I knew one of the barmen, John, from our days at Sons of the Desert (County Hospital Tent) Neither of us had been for years but it was good to see him. I also sold a book to Iain after his misses came up to tell me I was wearing my hat wrong!

The day did both me and Joe good. He needed a brake and a change, and when I watch cricket I do not think about anything else apart from what I can see; and working out the maths, especially runs required rates.

Shakespeare made the language of the English. He created more phrases than you can count and more than enough of the world’s best plays.

If he had only written A Winters Tale you could park in Stratford-upon-Avon any day of the week, summer or winter. The first half is a modern episode of Eastenders stretched to over an hour by making characters talk too much; and the second half is Benidorm with Paul Daniels doing Tony Cooper at the end; with the characters talking as much as they did in the first half.

The production I saw today was a very good production. I stayed on till the end because they did so well, and none were paid; and at least some of them have no thought of ever wanting to get paid to act; but no matter how well you polish you cannot polish a turd (as someone once claimed to me that their grandmother always said). The real puzzle is why a company that does only 3 or 4 shows a year did a play that is rarely done (it’s not done because it is shit!).

I am glad I saw it; I will know never to see the play again, and know where lots of now cliched phrases come from; but I cannot help but think there must be Shakespeare plays much better suited to the company, time and place.

Did lots of stuff this week, including that four letter word: work!
I finally got around to getting all the contents from the websites that lived on mate Roger’s hard drive; including 1100 blog entries; at least 800 of which predate this bog. I will try and transfer them just to make a record.

Exhibition poster for Lines of Pleasure - Lines of Power, Sparrow Beir Cafe from 10th Aug

Exhibition poster for Lines of Pleasure – Lines of Power, Sparrow Beir Cafe from 10th Aug

Celebrating St. Laurence Day, patron of pylons,
and the forthcoming book.

Lines of Pleasure
Lines of Power

An exhibition of pylon
art, poetry & sculpture
by Glyn Watkins

Sparrow Bier Cafe North Parade
Bradford BD1 3HZ. From 10.8.12

Glyn will be there talking from 4pm. 10, 11 Aug.

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