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Friday, June 21, 2013

slow train coming......

Les Gentle Authors are returned! Our Photos are here


Photo taken  1:30 pm this afternoon.....Chris in Carlisle Turkish Baths.A good trip! The architecture is rather cool.Early  William Morris meets Late  Genghis Khan............
I went to Sowerby Bridge Library on Saturday night.Thanks to James for organising another good gig there.
video i took of Trembling Bells:Saturday night .
View My Trembling Photos HERE

Friday, May 10, 2013

singing at the spaw

Smells & Chemistry is my interpretation on this week's Sepia Saturday When i go Harrogate Turkish Baths I will also go & fill up an empty Pop Bottle full of Harrogate Sulphur water I use on it my skin (great for Athlete's Foot & suchlike !) also once when in Italian Mountains,Me & Chris both had Sulphur Baths
I found out this week that a Sulphur Spring exists only 3 miles from home.I must visit & fill-up.
Local children in their Sunday Best “taking the water” in 1911
In medieval times and earlier, winter was a very difficult time for local inhabitants. The long season of cold and darkness, with limited food, caused hardship and ill health. Consequently, people looked forward to the onset of spring with warmer weather and more food. It was the custom in early spring for people to gather at the spa to drink the water and cleanse themselves of their winter ailments, and to give them strength to face the coming year. Whether or not the water had a medicinal effect is debatable, but the waters were a way of celebrating the passage of winter and the beginning of spring – and there are anecdotes from a number of local octogenarians of the curative and restorative properties of the Spaw waters, attributing their long standing to regular draughts of Spa water!In the 19th century this event usually occurred on the first Sunday in May and was called “Spaw Sunday”. It was said that on this day the water at Cragg Spa took on “an especial different taste”. Local children in their Sunday Best “taking the water” in 1911 All you needed was a medicine bottle, filled with the spa water, liquorice was added (to make it more palatable for drinking) then the mixture was thoroughly shaken and – if you didn’t want to look like a cissy! – swigged down in one. The sulphurous water from the spa was deemed to be excellent for making tea, although some recommended a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to take the edge off the “bad eggs smell”. As time passed these gatherings became quite popular, and attracted tourists and early socialists as well as local people. At the beginning of the 20th century the Independent Labour Party saw an opportunity to play an important part in the “spaw” celebrations locally, and the early religious orators gave way to those of a political nature. In 1906, a report on a pilgrimage to the Cragg Spa and then onto Blackstone Edge, noted that numbers at the event were becoming fewer and only 500 people went onto the White House where the Hebden Bridge band was playing.The Second World War ended “Spaw Sunday “celebrations at Cragg Spa.........{source:}
 Below the old stone bridge almost forgotten Water gurgles quietly from subterranean fault
The surface air scented with sulphurous stink.
 Contrasting with earthy woodland and river mix The nose turns towards the Spa lending it’s name to nearby cottage row and farm.
 Celebrated in past times with ‘Spaw Sunday’ Religious and Political gatherings drew crowds in hundreds After the confinement of winter, a time of Cleansing Parents and children dressed for the occasion ‘Taking the Waters’ with a little Spanish to stop the Retch “Get it down, it’ll do you good”
 Black Crow and Gray Heron watch from a distance Speeding Dipper stitches the torn river with a bubbling silver thread Brown Trout pushes against the flow avoiding the throng {Graham Ramsden}



Blessing the spa with a rosemary bough.
Hold your nose. It's tradition................... "Welcome to the world's shortest pilgrimage" announced James, the vicar, as the procession prepared to set off from the church of St John the Baptist in the Wilderness. This gathering was part of the 'Spaw Sunday' celebrations, ('spaw' being the dialect word for 'spa'.) ...."{The Guardian:Calderdale Religion}

Singing at The Spa.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

we came to the pyramids all embedded in ice

 
Bob Dylan - Isis

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This is a Sepia Saturday  post.
I may have mentioned it before...the fact that my Aunty Brenda was born in Canada. My Grandfather( with his 2nd wife/ my grandmother would later become #3!)  moved there in the early 1900's "looking for gold" :"gold panning" Whatever........I will give you more detail when i understand this more myself........{ I have a postcard from Canada as evidence}. Later my Grandfather must have moved South, hence these photos from Saranac Lake in upstate New York. shown here are 3 of photos my family took at the Winter Carnival there.
The rest you can see in This Album.
My Polish surname is derived ,I believe, from the word "zimny" meaning Cold,standoffish,bleak,stiff......you get the Drift? Not a lot of 'personal stuff' (AKA "Real") on here at the moment.Winter is a dreamtime,non? I always dream in a more vivid fashion in winter.......no doubt my hiberation will end eventually!
***
In late January 2003 Me & Cathy went to see The Flaming Lips at The Academy in Manchester.On the Bill,supporting them,was an unknown (to me) band called British Sea Power.I dunno...for whatever reason I took a shine to those young lads.I have seen them several times since & championed  them here on this blog.A really unusual combo.
Live they are raw&loud.On recordings they are a melody...they are all over the place.Maybe that's the reason I like them...?
Their hobbies (when not reeling&arocking) are Bird -Watching (the  Ornithological kind not the Jimmy Savile kind!) & the poems of John Betjeman! .Turns out they are closet Sepians too! Witness their most recent promotional video! Marvel at all these sepian images!How cool is that Guys&Girls,now then now then..... (jingle-jangle)...
A body is found in the frozen North Dakota woods. The cops say the dead Japanese woman was looking for the $1m she saw buried in the film Fargo. But the story didn't end there.....{read}

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Yes, I'm sick of these scented flower petals.

Dave Shorrocks .

My Sepia Saturday post this week is off-theme I guess.It's about dogs......which mine aint.Now,  it  had been about "pets" I would be a least halfway there.Let me explain...........At the end of November I wrote this post [How To Hate The Working Classes] In it I wrote about a few of Halifax's eccentrics. I briefly mentioned a guy who dressed up as a Roundhead Soldier..& used to ride around The Pennine Moors on his horse.I know not why.I remember once,driving along Blackstone Edge in thick fog..and suddenly he appeared silently (from shrubs & grassland) like an extra from The Twilight Zone.
Well! Last weekend I found a photo of him on facebook.I got into a long facebook conversation with Karl Williams who knew my "Roundhead Soldier" ;was a close friend of his for over 10 years.He suggested we meet up for a pint or three.He would give me the lowdown on his friend Dave Shorrocks [AKA Captain Helliwell.AKA Reverend Padgett.] plus bring along a couple of photos.We meet Up in A Halifax Pub next Wednesday at 7pm.Hopefully I will have more information after that.
Karl Williams
Here is a flavour of what Karl has already said.:
He "rode a Shire horse whilst wearing full armour..... committed suicide 10 years ago - decapitation by train wheels..... a very sad loss of one of the areas eccentrics........
"Met him one day on Heights Road, he warned me of the raping and pillaging happening in Heptonstall(it was the umpteenth anniversary) we had a lovely chat and he rode of towards Midgley.I saw him a couple more times when I was riding around the moors we would stop and admire the others horse, he was a real eccentric... very sad loss!"
Another friend (Tony Sharpe) wrote me "His horse was called Oliver. In his guise as Reverend Padgett at Shibden once, he was ranting about all the Popery. I said "Dave, all this potpourri?" He said "Yes, I'm sick of these scented flower petals."
Hopefully I May Have Some Photos & Tales of Captain Helliwell next week.In other news,Jah Wobble plays Hebden Bridge Trades Club again at the end of March.A Must-see for me.I will also be going back to Italy that month.A busy Spring!
You May Wish To See My Previous Photographs of Signore Wobble Here
Claus Friehe
Another connection between Sepia Saturday & facebook this week was regarding the groom in the photo in This post from November It was of wedding I attended at The Guild Hall in The City of London.The groom (who i named in the post )was Claus Friehe.he must have goggled his name and found my post.He contacted me this week on facebook & we are back in touch after 40 years.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Road to Sheranozy

1994.Me & Chris on The Road to my Dad's Village in Poland.I love this photo.I always imagined Chris was shyly holding the whole Globe under his arm...........
Uncle Lenny has this new album   out at the end of the month.(And probably a new hat too!)My Dear ßenchers I really am not very well this week... I even cancelled a night out in Halifax last night with Phil The Ex-Fireman & Ken! Totally out of sorts.Cold:Chest:Not Sleeping.......I feel older than Len...........his music fits the bill perfectly!


here are my 2008 photos of Unky playing The Opera House in Manchester.I stood in front of Jarvis Cocker as we went into the auditorium!How Cool was I !
This is a Sepia Saturday post.The Theme this week  is "Hats"As a bonus ,here is me & Chris outside a Mall near Northampton,Massachusetts in 2005.


la vita holiday workshops

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm gonna meet John & the angel band.............


Slight Lap-top problems at the moment...I can go on for short spirts, but longer stuff like reading other blogs & comments is  difficult ....Stay tuned....I normally read & return comment from previous posts...but from the 24 comments  left on my last post I only got to #6 & it crashed repeatedly......I will get get around visiting you all soon.Computers really drive me nuts sometimes!i type this expecting to vanish at any second!
Me & John last night at the last ever "Rochdale hamam Xmas curry".
I felt a wee bit sad last night.I have been going to The Rochdale Turkish Baths on a Friday night for 30 years.It closes in April.They knock my history down to make a Car Park! See my photos from both last night & the past 30 years here
P.S.I Think This Photo Of Me & John is the reverse Of last week's one of Alex & Martin! Non?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"a city with my name on, i will enter in disguise"~ Jackie Leven.

Jackie Leven playing Hebden Bridge Trades Club,August  2010.Phil The -Ex-Fireman lends an ear ,far left of the photo.
Jackie Leven [wikipedia] died from Prostrate Cancer on Monday night at 8pm.
[In a Shivering Blaze by Jackie Leven]
Usually ,media announcements of death leave me cold.To mourn a passing you must,i think, have some physical connection.Only friends & family have the right of grief.
Look .I like Bob Dylan.I have seen him play often.But when he dies i doubt if I should really care.I have never  had a wish meet him.[I suspect he's as mad as a bucket of frogs]
I will mourn Bob's back catalogue.I will mourn the fact that it indicates my own mortality.But, Bob's Pulse itself doesn't really  touch me individually .
Jackie is different.in the late 70s in my grotty East London ;Acid-Soaked bedsit, i had developed a fairly eclectic taste in music.[I talked about this period of my life in this old post ].The likes of Nick Drake,The Only Ones, & a couple of LPs by a punkish band called Doll By Doll  graced my turntable... I knew little about Doll by Doll:never saw them play. +Eventually I forgot..........
In the middle 80's i was introduced to a cd by Jackie.I was attracted by the Leven /Fife connection.My Mum had lived as a child in Leven.It was only later I realised Jackie was the Voice of Doll by Doll....so it goes...
My first Jackie Leven cd had contributions from the likes of Robert Bly & the whole Mens Movement thing.
At this time I was having all sorts of Stress & Depression Problems with my teaching career . Jackie helped me find my balls again.
[Defending Ancient Springs by Jackie Leven]
From then on I was hooked.I saw him play live 5 times at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club & once at The Bury Met.It was at Bury in 2008,with Cathy,Don& Margaret, I saw Jackie play the week between my Mum Dying &  My Burying Her.
Unknown to Jackie, he told a wildly funny story about him trying to scatter his own Mum's ashes.In a very counter-intuitive way, I laughed for the only time that week...it really helped me to cope with my own loss.
I only took up 2 minutes of Jackie's Life.
Twice I talked to him in The Hebden Bridge Trades.Once ,just a simple "Good Gig Jackie".The other time, we talked about how Jackie had had a "dodgy curry in Bradford" the night before...and his fear of having to leave the stage midstream to go to the bog..........(a conversation held appropriately ,during the Interval,in The Trades Club toilets)
God Speed Dear Jackie.I Love You but,for fuck sake, say well away from that  Jimmy Savile! X
----------------------------------
Der Tagesspiegel:Obituary
*a 2nd,amusing,Obituary in The Independent
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Jackie with Princess Di.She was the patron of the CORE TRUST that he help set up for addiction.She was one person who encouraged him to return to singing+performing  after he got his throat cut.

 Below another of my photos of dear sweet Jackie in Hebden Bridge...........

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Julian! Eat Up Your Greens!

"Koichi Andoh - who came from Japan to work as a chicken sexer in Hebden Bridge in 1935 ..........." 

Me & Cath went for a meal to Greens Vegetarian Cafe In Hebden Bridge on Friday night (And very nice too) .Who Should walk in after us butJulian Cope:[wikipedia] !He walked in with half a dozen mean looking leather-geezers .All Tats & leather (his band?).......They looked like they had been eating raw meat for a decade.I thought the guys deserved a break.
He was playing Hebden Bridge Trades Club later that evening. [The gig was sold out within 24 hours of tickets going on sale .I had no chance,]
I don't know an excessive amount about his music, but it would have been interesting to see him had i got a ticket.

What is doubly strange about my relationship with Mr Cope is that we were in the same year at C.F.Mott Teacher Training College in Liverpool. I remember seeing him a lot at College but we never really moved in the same circles .He did English.I did Sociology & Special Educational Needs.
I wanted to rush over and reminisce about our none -existent friendship ,but it hardly seemed the place........
We seem destined to continue eating on separate tables.
Never Mind! I nabbed the above blurry photo as a memento.............

Above,Julian .Below (restoring a  certain Zimnochian balance),one of Chris's Videos from this September.

After Greens, Me & Cathy went to the monthly Story Telling at The Stubbing Wharfe Pub A Ghost-Themed Evening. Very Nice.Being Halloween, lots of ghost stories & things that go bump  in the night...Cath introduced me to Ursula one of the organisers of Story-Telling in Hebden Bridge.Cath said Ursula used to be in Emmerdale.Ursula said they had "killed her off 5 years ago".
It told her "she was looking good on it......."
[Ursula Holden Gill:wikipedia]

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Traitor Doge,The Blind Doge,The Prophetic Doge.


I own a lovely book called "Venetian Legends And Ghost Stories" by Alberto Toso Fei. One of my favorite tales in it is The Traitor Doge,The Blind Doge,The Prophetic Doge.
Essentially, Its a scary story about 3 ghosts who share the same patch of Venetian Canal Bank for eternity.......But it's a funny story because although all ghosts ,they are eternally unaware of each others existence ! So every time they bump into each they scare themselves! [Imagine the irony, being a ghost who is scared of other ghosts!]
I am thinking a lot about ghosts myself this week.My old,loyal longtime readers will be aware that I am a regular user of The Rochdale hamam.I have been going to it since 1984.The old place is falling to bits.Things dont work too good these days.It's due to be knocked down early next year.A wee bit of my history will disappear.......
Someone visiting it for the first time today will only see a sparsely populated tatty building.To Modern eyes it looks,I'm sure, unimpressive.But to my eyes, it is rich in memories & ghosts.
I invited  Ken there yesterday for the first time.In his innocence, Ken said .."A Lot Of Bloody Doors In Here......."
Now ,although Ken is not a Ghost, he represents another strand of my life over 40 years around Halifax.I am one of those people who tend to compartmentalize my friends+situations.Things seem to be seeping through more now.
Anyway.Yesterday.I thought it would be fun to mix two distinct parts of my history together.
It was.


..a few photos from my week..i look a bit ropey & trippy because I have had a bad back & am on (for the first time ever!) painkillers [Naproxen]......

Last night, having a Whitworth Curry,Cappo Martin showed us his Photos from his recent Charity visit to Nepal on behalf of Comic Relief .Also, thanks for the online album [one photo above].I have to say that your own photos are as good (better, infact) than the "official" ones!Martin,you are far too modest!

While making this post I got The Above facebook message from Veronica in Buenos Aires. The beautiful South American branch of my family will be the subject of my next post.