September 2012

Was going to go to Lewes to try and flog Curry & Kipling, and foolishly bought a train ticket on-line; but then I watched this morning’s weather. Two channels virtually guaranteed rain for the area today, with sun tomorrow. Standing in the street with the foot wide pie does not work in the rain; and I baked a new one last night – the old one shattered after 26 months. I chickened out of going, and lost the fare, and it did not shodding rain more than 3 drops until late flecking afternoon!

I am glad I did not go as I was really tired, but hate to see Southern trains richer for no effort. I also ended up still doing a fair bit of work for ma. She has bought a walking aid (after months of waiting for Social Services to provide one). She has now got no step access, but the frontdoor door threshold is awkward for the wheels of the walker. I have rigged up carpet tiles so it does not catch on the way out, and went to B&Q to get a piece of lumber to make a ramp for the outside. I got a piece of off–cut 8 mil MDF for 50p! Making it into a safe and non-slip ramp is proving fiddly work though.

I also got her a large print book from the library to see if she could read it, as her eyes are failing and she cannot read any of her Bible’s. Turned out she could read it without her magnifying glass, so the next step is getting a large print Bible. I also played her a podcast of music from her land of Karelia. She got up and danced to a tune she danced to as a teenager when she won a prize.

Went back to East Surrey Hospital for more examination of my left eye. The news is good, though no different from the last visit, but with added explanation. The bleeding that caused the ‘floater’ was created by the jelly bag of the eye shrinking with age (universal) and detaching from the back of the eye. The floater will stay but probably fade with time. There is risk of retinal detachment (serious) within 3 months of the original injury, but as I cannot be sure when that was I may be out of the danger time already. With that diagnosis came the assessment that my eyes are in truly remarkable shape for diabetic of 45 years standing.

After having to be careful on a blog site because it is your only website; and you want to sell tickets for shows; it’s nice to have a blog I can use for traditional blogging: like typing when I am blathered.

I have had a couple of nice, domestic, days. All the people I know have either almost zero time families, or full time ones. I am more like the former, but not totally, and after many days of working or fixing family stuff or work stuff, these last two days are the first time I have felt free to do ‘chores’ in my own home, because I want to, and not because I would not be able to eat, or flush, if I failed to do them. There was nobody I had to meet and nothing I had to finish.

I used the time to clear the downstairs table so I could start the jigsaw of 50’s packets and tins. I have started that, and it is great.

Today I went out to pick blackberries in Bradford, buy filling for a sponge cake, and visit places I used to live. I got enough berries for a small snack, but they were not even enough for a pie; let alone wine.

I thought about filming the walk, but am glad I did not try. I am not saying that the blokes who were hanging about on All Saints Road, who looked like they had little daily contact with either money or soap, would have talked to me in a loud voice about filming them; but I am glad I did not stimulate a discussion.

To soften the berry disappointment I called in the ‘Fighting Cock’ (splendid pint of Wylam) and then to Haigy’s; where I ate roast pork, cheese, crackers, and nuts; in which pub I found I had travelled back in time to a Bennie Hill show. When I tell you the prettiest woman at the bar had just got a cat, and it was small enough to sit in her hand, you can guess enough to make your own show. I only stayed for 4 pints because I wanted feeding; and I refused a sausage (unlike the lass next to me).

The only down side of the day is that I baked no sponge. I could try now, but I am old enough to know that me 0r the cake would get badly burnt.

PS: After a bit of a chat the pretty woman told me her granddaughter was the Cooke that turned the ‘Devonshire Arms’ into Cookey’s (the one who used to pay for adverts in the local paper so he could be even more publicly angry than he was in his pub). She hated him; and it turned out so did everyone else in Haighy’s who had ever met him.

What ever else I fail in, stimulating conversation is not one of them.

PPS: I think the cat was called Ez.

I think I have finally got a grip of’s changes, and as a result I have made a fair few of my own.

For the first time every I am writing two blogs; this one; and one for Curry & Kipling, which also appears as a ‘new’ site at:, which should be where now takes you as well (if you use as a link you should be taken there). To be sure of getting to this blog you need: .

This year’s Pie & Priestley Night was probably the best show I have done. The Elephant and Castle is a good venue and the pies, cooked by landlord Hew, were splendid; Bev came to Lewes to run front of house (a massive help, and a massive thanks Bev); the audience were lovely and large enough for me to at least break even (I’ve yet to tot up); and I did well, both in terms of the performance and the technicalities.

Amongst the audience were John, editor of the J.B.Priestley Society newsletter, who came to the first P&P Night show I did in 1998 (it was grand to catch up); young Callum, one of oldest mate Tony’s lads; and Anne, who went to school with Priestley’s daughters and knew him! The and all the rest of the audience helped make the night.

Next is my Curry & Kipling Night at the same venue, on 4th Oct. (National Poetry Day).

I have discovered how to create new blogs on, so Curry & Kipling Night will be on a separate site, and will point there, probably next week.

I have not been blogging because nightmares with joomla and changes to wordpress means I cannot create any new web pages, so this is my only web presence, and so it had to be about the Pie & Priestley show and nothing else.

The next blog will be a show report but to this blog is to catch up on news.


I had to go to East Surrey Hospital on Tuesday to have my left eye examined. I have had a permanent, fixed ‘floater’ just off the centre of the vision, in that eye, for a few days. It is really distracting and caused me to stab myself.

It turns out to be caused by internal bleeding and does not seems be too serious. If it stays I will get used to it, but it would worry me if I drove, or had to operate dangerous machinery for a living.

I will have to go back for more tests soon. In the meantime I really need to get two broken tooth fillings looked at.


Her drive and front garden have been blocked paved. It is the biggest change to the house in its 55 year history, and felt really weird after it was done.

Ma is up and down but generally ok.


While I have been away has been turned into very annoying crap. I am struggling to even post, and cannot create new sites, which I could do easily before; so I cannot have show pages.


I have invested an enormous amount of time trying to create a website using a website management system called joomla. I ran the front end of the old website for years, which has left me with just the wrong amount of knowledge. If I had none I would have been satisfied with the very limited options that the joomla tutorials offer: if I knew more I could write the code to do what I wanted: as it is I have bodged beyond breaking.