Tuesday, April 18, 2017

life size: full size anatomical skeleton

C'è un medico in casa?
I nearly kicked myself as I was driving through Sowerby Bridge today.
Could it be  the onset of election fever?
Driving past a mid terrace house, a van was unloading boxes & furniture 
A family was moving into the house .
Just as I passed, a young lass,maybe 9 years of age, was carrying a life size anatomical skeleton ( bigger ,of course,than she was ..) through the open front door.
What are the chances of that happening? 
You could easily go through your entire life & never see such a thing! I didnt have any  time  to find my camera. 
This May well rank as one of the best photos I never took.....
Peter Hitchins (writing in The Daily Mail)

Below ,Mathew Parris  in  Friday's TIMES

Thursday, April 13, 2017


This week's sepia saturday prompt photo is of a sister & brother looking happily,lovingly at one another.
I took from this that the two  kids didnt really  care that the photographer was there or not. (S)he was incidental and  accidental .
They would have  looked  that   way anyway......
With this thought in mind .My offering for this week's post
is  below.
A photo of my Mum.Aged about 3-4? 
It's taken in a bus shelter on Portobello seafront in Edinburgh.1930-ish?
. The elderly lady is My Mum's Aunt Nellie.

I remember Aunt Nellie well from my own young  childhood.She was ,obviously much older/smaller & wrinkly then! She was  nearly 100 when she finally died.
I even stayed in her house in Joppa .We used to visit her when i was roughly to same age as Mum  in this photo.I remember travelling upon a   steam train  ( The Flying Scotsman?) directly from Halifax Railway Station to Joppa Station ( pre-Beeching )
    My bedroom   in Joppa  had a  big brass bed! If i stood on tip toes & looked outside  I could (if  I stretched!)  view a tiny corner of the sea ,' just visible from the  top  right hand corner of the  window
    There was lots of "family politics" floating about on the horizon...... .Even by the late 50's/early 60's.
    Aunty Nellie lived alone in that house near the sea.
    Her sister Aunty Margaret lived with my Aunt Brenda 100 yards away on the other side of the busy main road into the city.
    They never visited /talked to each other for  perhaps 20   years......
    (How strange  to be so close , yet so invisible........)
    We stayed at Nellie's and visited Margaret for Tea. Nellie of course never joined us.
     I still dont know the cause of the feud.They didnt have blogs then.Who Knows.......
    My Mum as a child was  passed around various family members ( Her own Mum dead in childbirth & her dad at sea and remarried)
    .My Mum showed me this photo a few years before she died.
    Here  we  see  her and Nellie.
    She said they had not been "allowed" to meet at the time......
    But evidently they did! but in secret .
    (I never thought to ask who the photographer was. )
    What is even more poignant , Nellie looks very much like my Mum did  in her final years.......
    Make of that what you will.
    Your guess is really as good  as mine.although I cant help thinking that that Me ,brother Zyg my Dad & Mum staying at Nellie's &  not at Margaret 's was meant as a "statement".......
    Meanwhile.Things are still shit for me.
    Various worries currently.
    It really pisses me off how people seem to think me laid -back . I'm not really .I keep it  too myself generally ( apart from to the world!)     😎😎😍😎
    We even got a letter recently criticising us for posting a photo of us smiling on New Year's Eve. We must not be "that bothered" ,obviously!
    Photos hide more that they reveal. Although that is ,i    believe ,a bloody good haircut wot i got today !!
    Not bad for a bloke who is 65 on July 30th........!
    Anyway.The best bit of news I,ve had this  week is that "The Blitz" Tearooms in the Square in Hebden Bridge is closing down!
    (tripadvisor link)
    Bloody Appalling place IMHO.
    Perhaps they may now open a Tea Rooms in Syria instead?
    'Never did like the concept. Fake Nostalgia. Now, had  they served Spam& Powdered Eggs & dressed the waitresses in stripy Concentration Camp threads..well,maybe it would have worked..
    but,as it was, the place just reeked  of Brexit & Nigel Farages socks and farts.......
    Saturday update: we went to an Art Exhibition in Hebden Bridge at north light studio.I saw a very regal (royal) family hiding behind screen ,spying on us.........

    Friday, April 07, 2017

    jesus in a basket

    we   are   all playing  at dying......
    My son Chris took this photo of me hanging-out in the Republblica Grimy region of Italy. Even i can get a little cross sometimes.Although (notice) i was still  vain enough to take my glasses off for a "photo opportunity".
    a big ciao to all my visitors & "friends" in "Italy"

    e 'altamente probabile che ........

    La famiglia di mia moglie che vivono nella Repubblica Grimy  ,  sono così crudele stupido e prevedibile che la prima cosa che farà è andare e tradurre questo testo "Google Translate"! fica tristi

    n.b.   for those who dont know the region ,  a  rough guide to The Repubblica Grimy can be found [ here]

    Sunday, April 02, 2017

    i died laughing when i read this on twitter.......

    A Polish Radiologist living inLondon who  i follow of twitter.
    I love her Anger.I love her intelligence .
     You can follow her too,if you have a mind.......

    Saturday, April 01, 2017

    all my pictures r falling from the wall i placed them yesterday ......

    Chris took this photo in Italy a few years ago. He was travelling around with Mick & was  Spring in the mountains of Abruzzo.{They later travelled down the spine of Italy to the beaches of Sicily }In Chris's photo here , it was cold enough to still ski:but warm enough to begin thinking about getting a tan....!

    This is a sepia saturday 
    click [here] to see others. 

    I took the prompt to be about the beach &   it's  possible  substitutes or alternatives..
    Neil Young's "on the beach" pops into my head ( hence the title) 
    It's a very dark & sombre album.
    I'm in a similar place myself, at the moment.
    I havnt been away & relaxed for some time now.

    I keep getting obsessive dreams that I am swimming in the ocean.
    Perhaps I am in  need of  Mr Jung not Mr Young? !
    Me ,Cath Don & Margaret saw& heard Bashti  Bunyan sing in the Bridgewater in Manchester once.
     Her voice always   soothes   me.....
      Vashti Bunyan ( after the goldrush) :Janine Nichols & Kevin Hearn ( expecting to fly) : 2010 .Hal Willner's Neil Young Project: Queen Elizabeth Theatre.Vancouver. 

    me & my Mam on Portobello Prom ,near Edinburgh ,when I was a nipper.
    The late 50's?

    a photograph by Francesca Woodman: via:
    "ever since I left the city you"

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    the thickman of europe

    The irony is that I  have never been a big fan of Europe.Under different circumstances: at a different time,I would probably have voted "out"too. But not at this time:with these people.
    They are going to fuck us royally.
    Maternity Right: Sickness Benefits .Pay  etal etc
    You Stupid  Fuckers.........

    Saturday, March 25, 2017

    museum of childhood......

    ".....It means a fallow field in winter 
    When frost is on the land
     when the fox is on the run down by the riverside 
    where the furrow meets the sun 
    where the furrow hugs the riverbank 
    and nothing can be done...."

    Another Jackie Leven song ."Museum of Childhood".Live: 

    what me mam taught me (reprise)

     This is slightly redacted , replenished  &   republished version of a post I first published in July 2013. See the original [here:]

    I dont know how my image for this week's Sepia Saturday. fits the Theme.......It's a group of people.They share a common purpose (unknown).It's not not prescriptive,you can imagine your own narrative around it.I find it hopeful in a strange sense.I also cant help thinking it compliments Mike Garry's words ......................
    I dont know anything about the image itself, other than it was taken in 1967.In South Parade Halifax.
    When his Mum died two months ago, Michael Garry's family asked him to write this poem for her funeral .He also read it on stage at The Hebden Bridge Picture House on Sunday 30th June.(which i recorded for you here). Michael is from Fallowfield in Manchester.

    {In The Interest of Balance, here is some beautiful writing to celebrate a Father.}
     thanks again to Bob Piper for  your help.( he kindly donated free tickets for me & Cathy).
    John Cooper Clarke was as funny as fuck! A grand night.
    'above poetryis  by Robert Montgomery. See some of his other stuff [here:]

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    me mam

    "Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.
    Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation."

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    O-ku Nsu-kun No-ko

    So!  It's 1946.And  Louis Armstrong is found looking  at himself in the  mirror ..............and this is   the  week's sepia saturday   prompt photo.........Say "Cheese"!

    [Some of what follows  is a sort of  Open Letter to one of the main  protagonists in a rather messy ,current, personal drama.But it has universal truths too.........]
    What i am saying  here  ( to quote a line from the movie "The Sixth Sense")  is that "I See   Dead People....."!
    Which, sort of , of brings me onto what I will clumsily  attempt to explain in this post.
    Namely , my rather particular relationship to the viewing of photographs.
    Maybe i see photo differently to others ?
    (remember!) I See Dead  People............
    For me, snapshots can be a portel to The Other.( i know this must  read like a load of pretentous bollocks  ,but maybe you can get my drift  here ...?)
     I wasnt there, but to my way of thinking ,if someone took the trouble to point a camera in the first place, then they must have intended to share & communicate.Surely? I mean, why  photograph a secret?
    I  find myself   "reading between the lines........" although the lines are in body ,not in text.......
    I could never understand the idea of privacy in picture (let alone copyright) .It's a  THING , its not the actual event.
    (Look   my  protagonist, I not saying  I'm 'right' :I'm just telling you the way  it is for me . This may not be the same thing!)
     Looking is sharing,right? It's not excluding? A photo is something you create   to try and make another person  understand?
    Look.I share on this blog a photo of my dead Grandmother.I am happy to do this ( yes, I mean "happy").It makes her life still  real somehow.It make her Still Significant.Still Important.Still powerful How could this process possibly diminish her?
    Exiled abroad and  never having  a British passport marked my dad down as a Soviet deserter . Simply, he was afraid to go home.
    The  only photo he came to Scotland with was on his passport.
    For 20+ years his only contact from home & family  came via letters .Sometimes these  contained  the odd photo.
    Home was reduced to a series of these 2nd hand 'souvenirs'
    Births ,Marriages and (increasingly) Deaths came his way  in snapshots.
    He saw his mother's ( my grandmother) death -a month later-via this photo of her in her coffin, with his sister sat looking on, in the flesh.
    He got did the  endless procession of a family trudging  through the snow into the cemetry.........
    So.What I  try  to say here is that I come to your photographs differently.
    My family didnt have any  luxury of notion of secrecy.
    Photography ,albeit out of neccessity ,was inclusive.

    At the same time,.my Mum's fractured family  revealed itself  mysteriously to me in similar fashion..........
    .From afar,my maternal grandfather beggered -off to North America ( with a different family) at the turn of the century.
    Gold Digging!Literally, it seems..a tad late ,the 'Rush'must have been over by then?
    What little I know of him/them  was learned from such pictures...........A Rum Crew!Although not that disimilar in posture and bravado to any modern day British ex-pats in ,say,Benidorm
    *One of many of my Aunty Brenda's North American photos :*
    see others
    Infact my maternal grandfather only left me himself in photographs.
    He was a sailor.He learned of my birth in 1952 but never saw me in the flesh.
    .He died that same year. 
    This is a photo of his grave in Malta.
    I have never visited.I never wished too.What would be the point? This photo is more than enough.

    When a western man loses his best friend many days are spent in years 
    And without belief he knows his empty grief is a name for his own fears 
    Oh, the eyes are still.
     Oh, but even sleeping 
    My dearest friend till we meet again and ever, we'll be blowing 
    Maybe weep awhile for those below; until then I'll keep on going
     But oh, the heart, the hurt keeps on keepin' on, on and on 
     Let them alone for those down there speak our sorrow 
    While we can't share the joke together, yeah, we keep on going 
    My dearest friend till we meet again
     O-ku Nsu-kun No-ko The dead are weeping for the dead