November 2012

Just watched this on BBC 4. If you know John Grierson’s Drifters you about British documentary films. This film had few words and ranks with Grierson’s; especially as it had nothing of the things that makes television documentary so bad now.

Really nice commute today. Got the bus to Shipley so I could get a corn fed Yorkshire chicken for my mother at John Kearns; an hour people watching at Leeds, or rather half of the passing people watching; and then sat with a nice young couple on the train who were on their way to Thailand for a holiday. She lives in Guiseley and he is an ex-Royal Marine, and started the conversation by asking me about the copy of Vintage Roadscene I was reading. We all had a lovely chat about all sorts. I learned quite a lot, and had a bit of information to offer as well.

I did not work the election, which was a bogus, worthless and costly con, but which I would have worked if I had not been asked for photo i.d. at the last possible compulsory training session. I had worked the previous 5 or 6 elections and they never had i.d. checks. Bradford’s Elections Unit have lost a lot of good staff and are struggling, so lets have an i.d. check to make life even more complicated for everybody. The people working in the polling stations cannot check the identity of voters, yet some twat thinks they should have their identity checked!

I also sized up two small paying jobs in the week, although the one involving plumbing may cost a fair bit seeing I will have to take the valve out and then to the plumbers merchants to be certain of a match for the new one, which could take 3 hours! When I replumbed my house the old blokes in the merchants would look at a photo and know what size was needed; the young folk in them now give the impression they could guess water was wet.

I have had to pull the plug on the Christmas show. Catering was a bit of an issue (and the mugging earlier this week shows what happens when the catering is not sorted properly) but I also have a massive amount of work for the Bringing St. Blaise Back Festival that has ti be done in the next few weeks, leaving very little time to produce a new show.

Lots going on in the little world of Glyn, including a show which will be moved or shot in the head. The gist of the stressful stuff, however, is of no matter for this place.

Met 3 mates from a past time of good. One gave me a freeby; one exchanged joy and family news; one tried to mug me for £20 he thinks I owe him from a previous show, I gave a tenner, and if he mentions it again I will tell him what I really think.

I also met Jak, the best drummer I have ever been friends with. He was outside smoking and urging me to do more to push my art, then 3 gorgeous young Dutch women came past and told him his kareoke singing was brilliant, and he should go on X-factor. Fair do’s, he has always been easy on the eye, and has hardly aged, but what he said they said. I did not hear him sing, but did hear a big black bloke doing OLd man river as well as Paul Robeson, and almost as good as Jules Bledsoe, the first man to sing it on stage.

All of this came about because I went to my first Bradford City game for well over a year; a F.A. Cup reply agin Northampton. The ground was, I guess, 1/10th full, I shared the row of 50 with one other bloke at the other end. The game was not bad, but I was resting my eyelids a lot. When City did summet I jumped up, but I was less involved than I was watching reserve games in the 80’s, with only slightly more atmosphere.

I left with 4 minutes to go, heard City score a penalty to go into the lead, but was too far away to hear Northampton equalise at 92 minutes. Extra time finished 3-3, City coming back from 2-3 and and winning on penalties.

I went on a bit of a pub crawl. Not something I have done in Bradford for a very long time. The walking has clearly kept the blood alcohol lower than usual, and testing proves the blood sugar is even better. laking is almost as good for you as beer.

Today I d a lot of things I had not done for ages, including a walk from Harden. I have photos of the area from the time when photos had to be taken with film that had to be sent away to be developed, a process that took money and days. It is a good area for short but hilly walks, and you’re never more than 40 from a pub, if you know where you and it are.

The bus went past the War Memorial in Bradford at 10.45, there was a big crowd; the one in Allerton at 11.02 which had 3 random people; and stopped in Wilsden as the village held a service on the main street. I am glad there are still places that will stop traffic for more important things. The bus driver was fine, and the only desent was from an old woman driving an expensive 4×4 who demanded he move so she could get out. The bitch would have been born in the 40’s or 50’s so can have no excuse for not knowing why the bus was stopped.

I did take my hat off at 11.00 and thought.

I got off at Harden walked through the St. Ives estate, Bingley, It was a gorgeous day.

St. Ives is a jewel of Bradford, and houses (or housed, I do not trust Bradford Council to keep anything open) the world’s leading institute for grass and turf research.

I then walked past pylons

and a bush covered in sulphur yellow lichen

Lichen covered bush on lane to Heathers Glen Farm


Down the steep road down to Keighley

went in the Boltmakers and finished in the Cricketers.

Outside the Crickers, Keighley

I am a very lazy man but I am not indolent. Life long diabetes means I have to get out of bed; and while I love my bed as well as the next man I generally have no wish to spend my life in it.

Having said that I have, again, spent much of the last few days in bed, and Tuesday, the day after returning from nursing my mother, I was totally coshed. My brain seemed OK (or as OK as it can be) and I dealt with a small crisis for my mother over the phone (but even that only kept me awake while I was doing it) but all my glands and organs seemed to have decided on collective action, which was sleep. They even let my brain busy itself with dreaming in the meantime.

This morning it was a fine, and late, judgement as to whether my mother was well enough for me to leave her and return ‘home’; but after half an hour of testimony about her childhood Christmas’ in Karelia (which will feature in my next show) and 10 minutes of her special pleading that she would be sensible and look after herself, I set off.

Best commute for a long time, with clear sky all the way.

I helped an older than me lady on the train to St Pancras; gave advice about Wales and Scotland to charming AC fan from Milano: Terasa; had chats on the train to Leeds; and took some photos.

View east from 11.05 Kings Cross-Leeds train north of Retford

View east from 11.05 Kings Cross-Leeds train north of Retford

The Parcel Yard is still hideously expensive, I had to give up buying a Rail magazine and put all of the £3.95 saved towards the cost of a pint! I will drink there again, but only in special circumstances (weekday mornings when I am flush and have less than an hour to wait for my train.

East Coast Main Line is now selling Marston’s Pedigree in cans, and while it never was my favourite beer they seem to have changed the recipe, and if you buy two it is a lot cheaper than the Parcel Yard

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