December 2012

For the last few years I celebrated old year’s end with Bev, in fact the last one was the last time I remember when we had unedged fun as a couple.

This year I am back to the tradition of going to bed early and leaving midnight to all the once a year drinkers, though strangely I will be doing it at Bev’s, where I am cat sitting.

Happy new year.

I went to my first Bradford City league game for a long time. If either of my long time readers can remember me blogging about the last time please tell me, but I reckon it was B.C. (Before Carping… though the lost blogs may contain the lost secret of what I thought at my last league game.. I bet it was moaning).

City scored two penalties, so I saw 4 soft goals, and 2 penalties.

It was 2-4 at half time and I was going to watch the second half, but decided to add to the 3 pints I had already given room to before arriving at the ground. The queue only ended 7 minutes into the second half, and from where I was watching the queue and the Rochdale goal, outside the gents toilet’s whose smell left no doubt as to where I was stood, I knew that leaving then would allow me to drink better beer and buy food for my food-less house.

At around my 8th pint I was talking to Joe in Wetherspoons (who I have known from when I started with City, 1982?) when a man even older than me came back to the bar, shook me hand, and told me I was a character. I had only tried to tell him about the Pie & Priestley Show as he was order coffees.

I also talked to Manny and Matt earlier in the Sparrow earlier on. Good men and true. I am a little dizzy now.

For over 20 years I have been scratting about trying to find out what happened to the electric locomotive named after J.B. Priestley. The last time I looked was a few years ago and there was no record on-line. There is now. If was renamed Suffolk – Relax Refresh Return by Anglia Railways (ffs! Is that the most most stupid name for a British loco ever?) and is now in storage.


so for the sake of making the record more obvious here is the link

86234 E3155 J B Priestley OM
Suffolk – Relax Refresh Return
Anglia Railways ’one’ 04/2005 Stored at Long Marston

Here is a photo.
J.B. Priestley O.M. 86234 – Euston taken by Sid Young 1984

I had to saw off my mother’s toilet seat this morning before I could fit the one I bought her for Christmas. I then had to go to the shops to buy her hearing aid batteries, before setting off for the long journey home. I am knackered.

I have spent the last week going in pubs and leaving without buying. The latest was the Betjeman Arms today. It always smells of cooking, and today was like a kebab shop, and I did not recognise any of the staff. I went to McGlynn’s Bar instead and had a lovely pint of Brains. If you have more than 30 minutes to wait at Kings Cross or St Pancres it is well worth seeking out.

A few days ago I present the madest of my mother’s Polish careworkers with a frozen pigs trotter. She squealled with delight and gave me a big, smacking kiss. Very nice it was to.

A wish for ‘Christmas peace’ in Karelian and Finnish, according to my mother.

I was cooking for 3 but mother’s careworker has had her rota changed, so the sprouts and chestnuts will be another time, leaving me to finish the roast duck and orange with roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, with a salad.

I cooked lamb mince pies this morning. The were gorgeous. Dried fruit; inc. apricots; grated carrots, precooked lamb mince, treacle and spices.

Probably missed sending at least some e-cards to friends, let alone postal ones, sorry to any loyalty card holder who has missed out. To them, friends, family and all readers: happy Christmas (apart from the ones who have throw stuff at me, left scars, or owe me money… Oh, it’s Christmas: even them!

Planes and trains and cars Can bring us back to where Joy reigned in days of our prime When the trees and skies and the screen Were bright to the child that you were, all joyous with stars. Now blame and pain still tars Darkening days still meant to be joy, into scaffolds of care Yet stars, they do not fade with our passing of time Life can pulse with joy still bursting with green May your good and your bad and your bars Build grids from your hope and your joy So the child within you can climb To where all things seem clear to be  the best you have seen.

Glyn Watkins’ 2012 bradwan Christmas card.

I had broken eggs, cheese and a smoked mackerel that needed using up today, so I made a quiche with some sweated onions and garlic; with a cucumber, lettuce and date salad.

I offered a piece to the carer who came to check on ma at lunchtime. She did not have any idea what quiche was, and turned up her m=nose to begin with but then tried some. She ended up standing very close to me, breathing deeply through her nose and telling me how delicious it was. I think she liked it.

…although the Slade spelling would be So ear it iz getten plaztard evriboties…

I love Slade. Yesterday there was a whole evening of BBC 4 (the marginal tv channel, not the proper radio station) devoted to the British band Slade, a treasure of the nation.

It has been a busy few day. Ma is arguing and story telling, which is her normal, but she has also been listening at times.

I have lost track of what happened on what day. I know I spent 2 hours on buses to get pigs trotters from the only butcher I know near here that does them. My mother loves them and I am going to give a few as Christmas presents to some of the Polish and Bulgarian care workers who look after her (I am dead romantic me). I cooked two yesterday, and today they right hit the spots.

I will be cooking Christmas dinner; duck with orange and chestnuts with par boiled and roasted potatoes; carrots and parsnips; with flaming boiled pudding; and will even try for sweet lamb mince pies.

I have certainly missed people I should have posted a card to. I have also yet to do the webcard, but hopefully that will happen in the next 2 days,

I was awoken at six thirty this morning. My mother had fallen in the bathroom. She had only cracked a rib. She said it herself and was obvious to me and the ambulance crew. She was in pain but still managed to grab a pot and have a piss while I am talking to the the assessor for the ambulance service.

I went with her to East Surrey. At around 8.30 I needed food, more critical because I am a type 1 diabetic. I had already spent 5 mnutes trying to find someone to tell me how to flush the toilet (it has a motion sensor you have to wave at, but no sign, just a long, red cord that looks a bit like a flush cord, how many hours are spent answering flase alarms, and how many unflushed toilets do they have.

This hell pit of a hospital has just declared that no visitors are allowed because of novovirus. I found someone who was seemed to have authority (it is hard to know because of the paucity of badges or uniforms and asked who I could get something to eat.

I was assured the best way was to go through the outside door and around to the shop, and that I would be let back in; and I did ask again as I was leaving.

I was refused entry, leaving my 91 year old mother, with her poor grasp of English, alone.

Norovirus is a killer, but so is mis-diagnosis because of badly answered questions.

It is 22.15 and I am waiting for her to get home. I have no car and no-one else left to ask. She has been diagnosed as having what everyone, including her, said she had. She could have been discharged within an hour, but was not urgent.

I am grateful this is all free, but East Surrey Hospital has never worked, and the rich and powerful scum that decided to close most of Crawley Hospital(and others) and make East Surrey Hospital the sole provider should be hunted down and put into the infectious Bedlam they created.

Anyway she is now home and reasonally fit, and has a small glass of cava in her hand.

The long commute usually involves 3 hours 20 on the Leeds – London train. Today it was 6 hours 55, although my maths may be less good than usual because of travel.

A woman near me was describing it as a journey from hell, on her mobile. It was not, at least not for people not catching flights or with appointments. The buffet and the toilets kept on working, and the one helped me to make full use of the other.

The guard was doing his best, but was a bit clueless, and the fact that a train from Inverness called into Biggleswade station as we were waiting and I could see, and point out to my carriage, that they were getting free water (we got nowt) and everyone could see folk getting of that train, when we were not allowed, was a mark against out train crew.

Met some nice people from exotic places (Ade from near Benin City and Thula from Forest Green) and the info I gleaned from the internet and passed on to anyone who would listen was usually over 10 minutes sooner than the guard managed.

One nice touch was the 2 slim young women who got the old blokes (though not as old as me) they were sat with playing Cluedo, though thinking about it they would probably have played whatever they were asked, still, it was nice to see the young travelling with Cluedo ready for delays.

Sold a book to a financial journalist, in the Betjemin, called Simon Danaher, or something like that, I cannot be sure on account of having washed my hands recently.

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