February 2015


This time last year I set off from Crawley to do a little, Walburgas eve, show at the Jerusalem Tavern.

My mum was watching telly and crocheting. She said goodbye, hugged me and told me she loved me and me and my brother were always in her prayers. My last sight of her she was of her crocheting.

When I took her her coffee and pills the next morning she was gone.

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Bradford City have managed to promote themselves to the Premier Twatdom League with their ticket policy for sale of F.A. Cup quarter Final tickets. Season ticket holders only for a few days, but no limit to numbers, and only £15 (less than some non-league clubs charge for home games).

The result is that thousands of season ticket holders have no ticket, and a spiv was offering tickets for £135 on eBay less than an hour after City sold out!

I may yet get a ticket, but in some ways it’s probably best I don’t. I am running out of time to sort the family home, and not getting a FA Cup ticket will mean I give up the idea of seeing the League games either side. So time and money saved.

The first couple of pictures are of one of the only two sources of heat in my 1957 childhood home (the other was a coal fire!).

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The next two things are from the final loft clearance. The chest was well over 25kg, and I’ve called the feather mattress Jabba the Hut Junior.

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I dropped the mattress first, to cushion the drop, then had to pull the loft ladder up after me because the chest would not fit with the ladder there (I cannot imagine how the hell my mother got it up in the loft). To lower the chest I used a length of old rope, which broke.

All seemed fine. Then I discovered a cracked floorboard, pushed in an inch!

This morning I fixed it! Screwed in a big wood screw, used a jemmy on that to leaver the board up, then took the screw out and screwed the back plate from the electric fire over the crack.

The mortgage application has to be moved back.

Spent a lot of the Sunderland game singing loudly, and sang again later at the Record Cafe with mates, all of us a bit happy after beating another Premiership team, and getting to the F.A Cup quarter finals!

We then went to Mamma Mia’s for good spaghetti. I was in bed by 10!

I had no hangover yesterday, and had nothing to drink on the latest long commute.

I had meant to do some clearing, sorting and phoning when I got in. I was so tired I was in bed before 7 pm.

Today the mortgage application inched forward, but I am still in limbo. I broke furniture with my boot, a satisfying thing to do. I something wish I could have knocked things down for a living.

F.A. Cup. Sell-out crowd. One poor Northern town is going to be happier soon. Even a draw would please Sunderland because they reckon they’d have more chance of beating us at their place. Bradford City would be happy with the money another game would make them.

I had another meeting with my financial advisor this week. He found me a possible buy-to-let mortgage to buy out my brother’s share of our family home, from a broker. The interest is eye-watering, I had to find an up front fee of many hundreds of pounds (with £100 being non-refundable) and now have to wait some days for decision.

So we are coming up to the first anniversary of mum’s passing, and the estate is still not divided, and I will have to pay Council Tax on the house soon.

This week BBC Radio 3 are broadcasting Simon Rattle’s, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, playing all of Sibelius’ symphonies. I like Sibelius, and not just because I am half Finnish, and this is the first time in years that I wish I was at the concert. The next concert is tonight at 19.30, and they are all on ‘listen again’ for 30 days. Click the link and scroll down to ‘Sibelius Symphonies.

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