Wednesday, January 22, 2014

in a stable condition....

Neil Young:Live in Japan:1976:Heart of Gold.

this week's speia saturday 212 is looking at  snow. It's excess & it's absence..........
One of a Series of photos taken by some of the Anglo Saxon side of my family in the early 20th century in Lake Saranac in up state New York  ..To some extent,I am recycling These previous posts
{Me Thinks our ancestors enjoyed & gleaned more fun out of extremities than we do now?Just a Thought........}
Thankfully ,we have had no snow here yet this winter.Here is a photo Chris took up the road last Winter......
I am getting over my recent illness.Saying that, Im not 100% in as much as I get tired very easily still.
I'm now on stronger steroids for my asthma (flutiform instead of beclometasone) A fairly minor ajustment ,& still ,i feel, only moderate in terms of heavy-duty asthma (?).
I'm still not that sure what i would do differently if it happened again?
it was all so quick.
In the space of 48 hours I went from Hero -to-Zero. New Years's revellery to the back of  an Ambulance with an Oxygen Mask on......
It was   lower respiratory tract infection {pneumonia?} which in turn triggered a bad Asthma attack.........Hey-Hoy .
My asthma is controlled at the moment ,and I only feel a little hoarse as i type this post........... [above:Bob Dylan "see you later Allen Ginsberg".Basement Tapes Outakes.]
Here in Calderdale ,we are in the middle of the weeklong Wyrd Britannia Festival.
The festival rolled into Hebden Bridge Library tonight.
Andy Roberts gave a talk on LSD in Britain & the band Magpahi also played.
Andy is a great advocate of the drug.
I took it several times in the 70s and I fully support his plea for understanding
.A groovy night was had by all!
Roll on John:Blackpool 2013 :Bob Dylan.
those wacky Anglo-Saxon Zimnochs......


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

the 3 ghosts of zimnoch { غزل‎ : an audio post}

"Once More we come like dust adance in air........" (Rumi:Ghazal :1720)
1962 school photo.

Two old men are sitting in a cafe. Gideon says to Dave , "Did you come on the bus?" Dave  replies, "Yeah, but I made it look like an Asthma attack."

As it happens, the story begins only a few hours after the photos in previous post..... taken on New Year's Eve....
At 5am on Friday 3rd January 2014 i was in the middle of a severe asthma attack.Over just 2 days this had developed into something scary.I was afraid.
When I was ten ,an older lad in the swimming pool (Woodside Baths)had put his big hand ontop of my head ,and pushed me down ,my head underwater...& held me there.Maybe he had attention-deficit,because he seemed to forget about me...but his hand didnt........
.I can still remember my childhood panic.The situation returned on Friday 3rd January 2014.Nothing ever really leaves us does it?
That same year (it must have been 1962?)I swallowed a big boiled sweet whole..Had I been alone, perhaps i would have died?Luckily,my big Brother Ziggy was nearby & he manage to get the sweet out.
Heimlich maneuver or a simple kick in the bollocks I cant doesn't really matter in the end.The main thing is it worked.
So i was rushed by ambulance to A&E in Halifax.I stayed  in hospital for 3 days.I was proper poorly.Perhaps not as sexy as a Stroke or a Heart Attack....but serious enough to these old bones..
I'm home now ,still on gardening leave & swallowing a shed load of antibiotics & steroid tablets (where is that damn Heimlich when you need him?)
I,ve been wallowing in my excitement on facebook .i know i tend to get manic & obsessive when something important happens to me.I also dislike the way i insist on turning everything into some sort joke or jolly caper.It's a way of avoiding i suppose
Anyway..........what i tell here for the first time,is 3 linked portraits/vignettes about my stay on the ward .Things that happened in our 4 -man sideward during my weekend in hospital.
Although not directly to do with my illness (you must be sick of hearing about it)Some extremely poignant  things occured.Some  ghosts past ;present & future.arrived.A reunion of sorts.The whole affair seemed like some  planned  Pagent's rehearsal.................
click bar directly below to hear the post /dont forget to turn on your audio:
You know ?I havnt walked out of doors since 1a.m. on the 1st of January 2014.......
3 Little Known Zimnoch Hospital Facts:
1962 was  the last time i ever stayed in hospital (6 weeks in traction with a fractured femur)
1965 in Poland.The only time I ever met my Polish grandmother.just the one occassion, on her hospital deathbed in Białystok
1952.six of the first nine months of my life were spent in hospital in Huddersfield. with Meningitis .

Me in 1960 (?) in a Leven,Fife  garden.From my Auty Brenda's photo album..
This is a Sepia Saturday post.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014

I used to believe that something magical happens on New Year's Eve.I know better now..but still a good night.Thanks X

Thursday, December 19, 2013

what good am I.

The Gentle Author is reading a racy new book called "The Best Of Sepia Saturday" why dont you buy it and feel the pulse!You can purchase it here . Then you can meet 46 Gentle Authors!

I have not been around much of late.This should be my final post of the year,so I will be around visiting all my neglected friends over the next week.
May i wish you all a very Happy Christmas . I hope 2014 is sepiatastic for us all.
This is a sepia saturday post.
The audio is the actual live recording of Bob Dylan at the Winter Gardens Blackpool on November 22nd this year. Me Cathy Margaret & Don where in the audience......
.................What good am I then to others and me
If I’ve had every chance and yet still fail to see
If my hands are tied must I not wonder within
Who tied them and why and where must I have been.....................?

click here to hear this extremely rare,very good quality(from the soundboard),highly illegal  bootleg recording of the performance we saw  :

I'm having something of a gallop through my year in photos.To say I've not been abroad, or had any sort of extended holiday,it's been an interesting year!

[to see all my photos you can view my image website  {here} .]

As this is some sort of a review of 2013,here are 2 videos I took at Hebden Bridge Trades Club this year at my 61st Birthday Gig........the music was provided by British Sea Power a band i have supported here for many years.In my opinion,the best British band of the past ten years.....(I really care little what the accountants & beancounters might say.....)

I am attending this in January.should be fun.

Friday, November 29, 2013

He was long and tall, had plenty of cash, He had a red cadillac and a black moustache~Bob Dylan

This is a Sepia Saturday post.For your theme you can go with swimmers, trophies or rather fine moustaches, or - as always - any interpretation you care to adopt............
I have never had a moustache in my life.The nearest was as one of the Village People on a Stag Do in Benidorm a few years ago'(even then,because of the heat & cheap spanish glue,It kept dropping off...I'd have made a rotten spy,non?)
My Grand Father did tho! The top photo was taken in Poland in 1938(He is pictured with my Granda Ma & Aunty Helca).Taken shortly before my Dad went to Dad never saw him again..........I did  meet  my GrandMa,in 1965, although (literally), it was on her 'death bed'.
.Helca I knew.I spent time  with her a couple of occasions....she was a lovely soul.and kept the most beautiful garden in Bialystok.......
So! Two Zimnoch Moustaches! Can you spot the family likeness?

“The sense that you were given some space on the Internet, and allowed to do anything you wanted to in that space, it's completely gone from these new social sites,” said Scott. “Like prisoners, or livestock, or anybody locked in institution, I am sure the residents of these new places don't even notice the walls anymore.”
Above is a quote from this interesting piece The death and life of great Internet Cities A treatise of sorts on how blogging has declined in the face social sites such as facebook.
I've been blogging since the year've changed my habits here on Bench.I dont write as much;i dont post as much & i certainly comment& interact as much......which is a shame......
The article talks of old blogs in archeological terms..lost civilizations & cities ......and their  need to be excavated [.n.b. i hope to be back up  to speed here again soon!]

Saturday, November 23, 2013

ßoß plays ßlackpool.

Me & Cath went to see Bob Dylan play The Winter Gardens in Blackpool last night.
We stayed overnight in a hotel in St Annes.directly outside the hotel :on the Prom:facing the sea was a statue of the geezer pictured.
He does remind me of His Bobness in his John Wesley Harding period.Can you see the likeness.........? (dont know who the chick with him is.....)
I took along a compact camera &amp a cheap HD pocket camcorder to record some sound
.The results would hardly worry Cecil Blount DeMille.But,hey ! This is a souvenir not a document.
See the slideshow for some a strange way they caputure the grainy obliqueness of Bob (that's my story & I'm stcking to it!)
I captured 80% of the concert on audio.As the clip above suggests, its not brilliant quality.'Might slap it on a cd and try to clean up the sound at some point.
Big Thanks to Don & Margaret who got us the tickets.& a we ate nice Italian meal with them before the gig.Lovely.
The Winter Gardens is a fine old place.Great Sound & great views.
A beautiful night.Ive never seen&heard Bob so well before.The man continues to surprise & delight.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good Luck Jackie Leven

Jackie Leven died { 2 years ago tonight.}Still & Forever Missed X
You know Don.....on so many levels.....I should have taken your suggestion (Bury/the week meMam died). I should have gone spoken to him...........

Thursday, October 31, 2013

a hermit of Hælɨ fæks

[Switch on audio to hear John's Talk]
"There is a story that a Halifax market-woman was riding her horse past the Gibbet as the axe fell and the severed head bounced across the platform and into her lap, where it seized her apron in its teeth and refused to let go....... "[from:]

Picture the scene........Stood sheltering from the heavy rain against the blackened walls of Halifax Minster last Sunday afternoon.
20 or so Souls taking part in one of the Calderdale Heritage Walks.
We listen to John Billingsley tell us the origins & meaning of the name "Halifax".
You can also read about Halifax's Grizzly History here Haunts of the Halifax Slasher A walk through hysteria and violence in a Pennine milltown

One of the cues/prompts for this week is to 'celebrate our ancestral homes ' Hence this  audio of John's voice.
The photo here is of an unknown member of the Scottish branch of my family in Perth.(taken ,presumably outside his house?) .He looks like a hermit,non?
My Family tree has many branches of Half-members.
In the 1960s .I remember Me & my Mum visiting one relative, obscure & reclusive in Perth.
We knocked and we knocked but therelative I never saw  didnt  answer the door.....I think the house in the photo was where we waited & eventually (sadly) walked away........
Now.This photo is much older.(1920's?) But I feel a connection with my own  memory and with the hermit of Hælɨ  fæks.......... .
This is a sepia saturday post.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Everybody had to pay and pay

see more of Today's photos [here]

one photo i took today.
On Sunday.Me & Cathy went on a splendidly wet & breezy Guided Walk around Halifax with local historian & writer John Billingsley.
Check out my next post for an audio of him explaining how Halifax came to get its name.Part history:part folklore & part magic...I think you might find it both interesting & surprising.
Also,John told many tales of Halifax I didnt that the last two people to be executed in Halifax were two of "TheCragg Vale Coiners".
Once dead   ,there bodies were put on display on Beacon Hill (high overlooking the town)As a warning to others.[A bit like Calvery.......]
Even more macarbe, their corpses were held erect within iron cages.The cages were specially adapted so that one arm was elevated (in Nazi Salute-fashion)So that they appeared to be seen pointing out  the part of the town their supposed "crimes" had been committed.......
We returned from our "Ghost Walk" to hear the News of Lou Reeds death.  walk on the wild side indeed! Rossendale Council close Haslingdon Baths in 10 days (like FOREVER)
 I thought today,Friday, would be somber....But all the staff got themselves dressed up in pink St Pepper uniforms to raise funders for breast cancer awareness. A jolly good idea....
.I thought it would be a really sad day .Another public facility closed by Tory Cuts.
But,to be honest the saddest thing for me was, as we arrived in the building ,we saw about 6 young council staff sat in their pink cancer-awareness uniforms & I said something like "Oh,you look like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ...!" And,in unison they said "Who's Sgt.Pepper?"...I felt very old............

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

his famous vanishing elephant stunt........

This Saturday, the 26th October 2013, Sepia Saturday celebrates its' 200th edition and to mark the occasion we are asking everyone who has ever taken part to re-post one of their own favourite contributions from the last four years. We will then gather together all these contributions into a small book which will be available on a non-profit, publish-on-demand basis.
Tommy Cheesebits from Halifax,West Yorkshire,UK
Tommy Cheesebits

This week's sepia saturday see's   the 200th week of posting. To mark the event, we have been asked to select our own  favourite post.(i.e. from the ones me made ourselves) .Of my own posts i have chosen Sepia Saturday #102 "How To Hate The Working Classes"{ Friday, November 25, 2011}
It looked at some photos i found of local Halifax 'Characters''eccentrics',gentlemen of the road;kerouac's with yorkshire 'em what you wish too.
......... I knew of both these gents in my childhood.I used to pretend on Sunday mornings aged 11 to go 9 o'clock Catholic Mass on my own..
Unknow to my parents,I went instead to Peoples Park in Halifax.Often I used to hangout for half an hour ,with this other brand of Saints.........
Mr Donald John.
Since the original post I came across this video of Donald .To quote You Tube ".......... The old 'let's stick a coin to the pavement and film people trying to pick it up' gag. Halifax town centre, early 1980s. Local 'character' Donald John I believe at 57 secs...."Rather Cruels,non?

While Googling "Tommy Cheesebits" I came across the strange tale of Charles Morritt A.K.A.'the Professor'.............
Morritt also knew the famous American escapologist Harry Houdini well. In fact he worked with Houdini for several years and sold him the secret of several tricks. Morritt's disappearing donkey trick was adapted by Houdini to create his famous vanishing elephant stunt. Sadly, after the Halifax court case in 1928 Morritt never worked again; his health and spirits had suffered too badly. He moved with his "wife" to Morecambe, where she set up in a booth as a fortune teller. Charles Morritt died in hospital in 1936.........{Halifax Courier]

Friday, October 18, 2013

sepia costumes......

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
  Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably.
 He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
  The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Lord I Like This Photo of Me taken in Manchester's Northern Quarter the other week.Nothing to do with anything below (is it?) But do i need an excuse or reason ?

"Hey, let's put on a show! The desire to dress up, lark around in public, utter words that you would not normally recognise, is as old as the hills - or at least as old as a string of Judy Garland films. Sepia Saturday 199 celebrates the theatre, be it professional or amateur, serious or comic, situated below a proscenium arch or behind a kitchen table. Dressing up, dressing down, acting daft or acting dreadfully - they all form part of the script for Sepia Saturday.............."
But do we have a choice in our costumes? All The World's A Stage and we spend our lives trying to work out who the Director is......p.s. & where is S/he?
This is slideshow of stills mainly taken from 2 films. A Pace Egg Play in Hebden Bridge :1961
And The Halifax Gala:1960 plus a few other photos from Halifax's past I threw into the mix.......A bit of a hodgepodge of styles & timeperiods.But they were all taken in Hebden Bridge & Halifax.They all are (i think) about performance;forgetting oneself & being caught unexpecting.The all also challenge how we are suposed to remember Them Olden Days......
This is a sepia saturday post
REFERENCE:Pace Egg Plays
Funny really.I always associate Buddy Holly's voice with memories of 1960's Halifax.
If I were to close my eyes while listening to this song my mind would conjure up a picture of old Haley Hill (the road up to Boothtown)
Stood in Evan's Record Shop.All dusty & dark.
(They knocked it down in the 1970's to build a Bleeding  Flyover .....).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

'I left a note on the kitchen table saying: I will not be home at 5pm. You will know why.'~Anne Scargill.

Me & Comrade Mrs Gentle Author went to The Hebden Bridge Trades Club for a fund raiser for The Morning Star Newspaper.
Throughout the night,the ghost of Halifax's most famous Marxist & novelist Ralph Winston Fox  danced on my shoulder.......
We went to see the actress Maxine Peake and Anne Scargill
Also appearing wereThe Eccentronic Research Council,   Red Hippo, with their remarkable Celtic musical interpretations, and poet Graham Alexander, fresh from his success at the Edinburgh Fringe.

You may notice a young bloke in one of the photos? He came to announce that   our new Peoples Assembly holds a meeting in Hebden Bridge Next Wednesday[23rd October}.Details {here}.
Expect reports next week.....
You can read more about The Peoples Assembly here
Coming soon on Radio 4 Maxine Peake plays Anne Scargill in Queen of The Coalfields

Saturday, October 12, 2013

All That Is Solid Melts Into The Air.......

"All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life......"KARL MARX
a photo I took of the Artist Jeremy Deller mending the jukebox .But turning 'round & clocking me!
Among his previous projects was a coast-to-coast road trip across the USA displaying the remains of a car blown up in Iraq {read more...} 

Me & Mrs Gentle Author  went to Manchester today to see the new exhibition at it's Art Gallery called "All That Is Solid Melts Into The Air" {details}
Its on until early January.Try go see,its rather good!
Afterwards, me & "Mrs" went to watch the opening of The Manchester Dashehra Diwali Mela outside The Town Hall.

Me & Cathy go see Maxine Peake at The Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Wednesday .A fund- raiser for "The Morning Star".Details of her band [here]
Elizabeth Southern was one of The Pendle Witches
The voice of the actress Maxine Peake singing with a band she's in (something of a side-project).I hope to put here visuals& audio from her gig in Hebden Bridge on Wednesday night.