January 2013


Forgot to mention that Basil drove us to the 3 Horseshoes, Ironsbottom, for lunch. Good food, the Shere Drop bitter from the Surrey Hills Brewery was some of the best I’ve had fr a long time, but the main reason for blogging is to celebrate the place name of Ironsbottom! It almost certainly started as something like Ian’s Bottom, but a bottom of iron is not impossible, though the bottom line is probably peasants with a rustic sense of humour.

Our mother’s latest hemorrhage

She is not critical, but she did have a bad hemorrhage from her wound this morning. When she called to tell me she was quite cheerful and and talking about dying. Me and Basil got to the hospital as soon as we could. She was pale from blood loss but on on blood and saline drips and in no more danger than usual for a women of her age and conditions.

They will take her to try and stitch or glue the wound. There are reason for not trying to do this earlier, but I cannot help but think cost is the main one.

Still, it gave me and Basil a chance to chat; we cannot remember the last time we actually met.

I had it in my head that my Pie & Priestley Night was next Saturday. My old friend Linda pointed out this morning that it was the weekend after, then regretted telling me on account of the fact I would now slack off!

If you follow the above link it says the show finishes at 02.00, which is crap. I will have been in bed for hours by then. The show will be over by 22.30 at the latest.

I have recruited Linda and Bev as shepherdesses for the Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival Walks. Linda will be at the back making encouraging laggards, and Bev will be stood near enough to be to prod me if I am going on too much. Sorted!

I painted a bit of mum’s kitchen as well.

My brother rang up at noon to warn me that the snow was going to close in. To be fair Guildford my be under 8 foot of the stuff but I saw no more than the lightest dusting on my trip to visit my mother in hospital.

East Surrey are now open to visitors, but with restricted hours, which I got wrong.Ii arrived an hour too early, but the ward sister let me have ten minutes, so so I managed to do the shopping and get a pint before the sun went down; and I still had time to put her church’s number on her mobile, and check that she had enough credit (£20,05).

Mother seemed really perky, though there was blood on that pillow was changed because of bleeding this morning; she banged her head on Tuesday; and she has suffered from low iron levels for decades.

At less than a day’s notice the cheapest rail way to London today was Grand Central. £24 for the 15.37 Bradford Interchange to Kings Cross is a good price. The WiFi usually does not work, so their free WiFi is like me offering you free use of my car, great if I had a car! The beer is also better than East Coast (Withins IPA, or Black Sheep, in bottles) but it feels like a long drag if nobody is there to talk to, or they cannot be arsed talking.

Ma phoned. She has had some hair and dried blood cut off! I did not realise how bad the bleeding from her head wound was.

Fans of Bradford writer J.B.Priestley and pies are in for a treat on the first Saturday in February when the Pie & Priestley Night returns to the New Bradford Playhouse.

The Pie & Priestley Night features pie and peas for those who book in advance, and features the work of J.B.Priestley performed by Bradford based poet, writer and showman Glyn Watkins. Works include When We Are Married; An English Journey; The Good Companions as well as a radio broadcast that made a Bradford meat and potato pie shop famous around the world.

J.B.Priestley did weekly morale boosting short talks on the BBC during the first years of the Second World War. In one of the most famous he talked about coming back to his home town of Bradford in 1940 after it had been bombed.

He had been told that a famous meat and potato pie shop that had a massive, steaming pie in the window had been destroyed. To his delight he found that the shop had been damaged but the pie was still there steaming defiance at: ‘Hitler, Goering and the whole gang of them. It was glorious.’ .

Not only was Priestley born in Bradford but he and his family were involved in the founding of the old Bradford Playhouse. The connection continues as J.B.Priestley’s son Tom has sent his best wishes to both the show and the New Playhouse.

The show also features projected images of Priestley’s Bradford and Playhouse.

Saturday 2nd February. Starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £12 and includes a pie and pea supper (meat & potato or vegetarian option) if bought in advance. Phone the New Bradford Playhouse on 01274 308727.

Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival

The event is the start of the Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival which is aiming to revive what was Bradford’s biggest celebration. Bishop Blaise’s was the patron saint of woolcombers and every seven years his day, 3rd February, was marked by a massive procession around the town; unfortunately there has not been one since 1825! This year is small scale with a view to make it much bigger and happier next year.

The Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival walk (a short journey through some hidden histories of Bradford)

There are two walks one after the others, with a break for refreshment between.

First Walk: Gather at the Sir Titus Salts, Morley Street from 12.30 (the pub is open form 08.00) . Light refreshments should be available for walkers with tickets.
Start 13.00. 1.5 miles to The Sparrow Bier Cafe, North Parade, where refreshments will be provided.

Second Walk. Leaves the Sparrow at 14.30. 1.5 miles to the New Bradford Playhouse for games (including Hat Throwing), refreshments and possibly a short presentation on the Playhouse and walk.

Tickets are £2 from the Playhouse 01274 308727. Includes some refreshments and an ‘info pack’.

People can do either or both parts. Both parts involve steps with and alternative, non-stepped route available. The second part is slightly easier for wheelchair access, with Church Bank being the alternative to the ‘Church steps’.

If the weather is bad the walk will be shortened and more time will be spent inside.

Please support either or both of these. If they both work I will be better set and there is a chance of the St. Blaise Festival coming back to Bradford next year.

Glyn Watins outside the New Bradford Playhouse with his Priestley Pie

Glyn Watins outside the New Bradford Playhouse with his Priestley Pie

Ma is back in hospital after fainting and banging her head when on a shopping trip with Basil. No bones broken and seemingly no immediate danger but I guess she will be in for a while, while they ‘experiment’ with her many drugs to see if they played a part.

Weather permitting I will be visiting her soon but will be back in good time for the Pie & Priestley Show and Bring Back St. Blaise’s Festival.

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