Wednesday, April 30, 2014

the travellers rest .

Sometimes it simply is not your fault.You dont change, yet change still happens all around you anyway.But,as the I Ching would say :"No Blame".
On  odd occassions (since the demolition of The Rochdale Hamam) I now stop off at St Peter's swimming pool in Burnley for a sauna.Its actually part of the NHS Trust.It's a newish complex.
I cant say I care for the sauna there too much.The facilities are fine enough.Big steam room:Big Swimming Pool:Big Sauna:Big Jacuzzi.But ,typically,the  architects & designers forgot about the most important (yet most intangible ) thing.The sociability of the people who  use a building!
The experience for me there is spoiled by the lack of les Craic.
For me,the best saunas or turkish baths are those where people  sit in a communal area..face to face, and talk.Much like a good pub (minus clothes& alcohol!)
Burnley has none of that.All you get is a long horizontal row of plastic chairs outside the sauna& steam.With your back pressed against  a large glass brick wall that backs off to the swimming pool.You see nothing but a wall facing you.You dont even have  enough room to  stretch your legs.
It's like some  clinical waiting room corridor.No good at all for talking (your more likely to get whiplash than a conversation from such daft  poses......)The seats are squashed so tightly together you couldnt even move them (even if you had somewhere to move them too) .
Its strange how a building design hampers behaviour.Its almost designed to stop people staying too long......
Anyway.On Tuesday night I took this photo from the  car park there.Another example of buildings not being able to talk to one another?
The reason i took the photo is my interest in  "Ghost Signs"
Can you makeout the word  "HOTEL" ?
Yet you cannot  access this building  from the car park.The iron ladder you see runs to a deep,dark narrow canal below.......with no bridge across to it.
Who the hotel was actually meant for,I do not know.The other side of the building is now fast foods On t'other side , it  runs onto a dual carriageway .
Perhaps in the Olden Days  different roads & different buildings might have interested a person to rest their head .... sadly not any more...........

This is a sepia saturday post.
"...dancing, folk traditions or very silly poses..." is the prompt this week.Here you see one of my Aunt Brenda's Essex College photos from the 1920's.I dont recognise Brenda in it.Perhaps she was behind the camera....?
On Monday I attended the funeral of my neighbour of 28 years,Paul (pictured below).
A humanist service.Not a vicar ,priest or wreath in sight.
The service was led by Eileen O'Brien an actress who also lives on our road.
Anybody who is familiar with British telly will recognise her she's been in Coronation Street:East Enders;Brookside;Emmerdale.
The Service was very moving.Standing room only at Park Wood Crem.
No hymns or suchlike.Rather about a dozen or so of Paul's family & friend read out their favourite memories of his life.
(I must say, I would be intrigued if my funeral was like this.i dread to think what might be said!)
The music for the service included the Sandy Denny song Who Knows Where The Time Goes. And Tom Paxton You are Love.

Friday, April 18, 2014

let me know if you want a copy of the album.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Halifax Pubs 10th April 2014

I am being very lazy recently.
Ken Kersley.Mixenden.Halifax.Woodbrook Mixenden Clarences Halifax Percival Whitely College Exley

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I spent the day in Halifax.
 I went to Halifax Sauna at 830am.
Then onto North Bridge Leisure Centre for another big meeting against the Tory Closure of Halifax A&E. here are some photos I took.
Lots of things planned.We are getting input from people who prevented the closure of Lewisham A&E
After the meeting, i walked thru town (passed a Spring Fair enroute) & walked to The Shay Stadium for a spot of football (it was sunny.Had it been raining ,I would have gone straight home!)
I haven't seen Halifax Town play in years.
I was always a Rugby League fan when younger......but i did go watch Town now+again .
Most memorably in 1980 when they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup (United fans take heart! Click the link & see 10 minutes of blue-gloom!)
David Moyes, this how it is done easy.....
I went down The Shay today to watch them play Luton Town. Luton are miles ahead in The Conference.They need just one more win to get back into the Football League.
Halifax can still make the playoffs (Wembley!).Before today, 4 wins on the trot........
Infact ,Halifax have done really well over the last 7 years.They were kicked out of the league for financial reasons, and dropped 6 levels (any lower and they would have been playing in Scotland).They have been promoted 6 times in the past 7 seasons.The words "rise" "phoenix ""from" "ashes" spring to mind.......
It was a good game today.Halifax won 2-0. I was sat behind the dugout. One of the Halifax coaching staff fascinated me.He looks like he should be in a Duran Duran Tribute Band (maybe he is?). When Halifax scored their second goal I'm sure I photographed him doing a Quenelle gesture.towards the home supporters.........
It  strikes me.All the places this gentle author  went today.i.e.Halifax Swimming pool (sauna & free parking for the day!):North Bridge  Centre (A&E Meeting);Halifax Library to borrow a book:Borough Market(egg butty!): Car Park at Eureka (Spring Fair);The Shay Stadium (to watch Halifax Town) they are all funded by Calderdale Council.
I also work for Calderdale Council.
Yet, The Liberal Democrates +Tories are  wishing to destroying it all.......Why?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Forgot to Remember to Forget:{4 tracks from the basement tapes}

This week's sepia saturday theme is around the sky & clouds.This is a photo-of-a-photo i took in a Military Museum in Carlise Castle last year.My Dad was in the Free Polish Air Force.He fought in The Battle Of Arnhem.I look at this image & wonder if he was one of those wee dots....?
Arnhem 1944
"You gotta quit kicking my dog around" Two different accounts of the origins of this song have been published. Alan Lomax published it as "The Hound Dawg Song" in his book, The Folk Songs of North America (1960), and suggests that the song's origins date back to the 1880s. Others have suggested the song was written by James A. Bland. Sources agree earliest recorded version was released by Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers in 1928. "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" "was made famous by Elvis Presley in 1955.This version bears little resemblance to Elvis's rendition"{from:wikipedia} The Act Of Killing is one the most important film I have ever seen.
I watched it on DVD a few days ago.
You really need to view it when you can. The gentle author was blown away.
Its the best surreally political film imaginable. Think : 'Yellow Submarine' combined with 'Apocalypse Now' ( some of the photography is pure Haight-Ashbury)
The 'plot' is far too complicated  to repeat here.
Just one little image.The main man in the movie is called Anwar.He is /was a gangster who personally killed approximately 1,000 people, usually by strangling with wire. He plays himself in this film! Because he was murdering 'Communists' for the Indonesian government & that government is still in power, he & they think him a hero still. ..imagine the Nazi's had won the war...& they had let Josef Mengele direct a musical about his life.... Anwar is given licence to produce & direct reconstructions of the murders he committed!
He loves Elvis Presley Films.A movie theatre in 1965 Indonesia was just across the road from where he executed political prisoners.So In between killing ,he would watch films to relax. Often he would saunter into the murder scenes still in 'Elvis Character' You can read[ here ]what OXFAM thought of the film.And here is the trailer for the movie......
On another level ,all old men do this. Reminiscing is done to convince yourself not others. When I go out drinking with my old schoolmates in Halifax (eg Phil the x-fireman & Ken) We are constantly rehearsing the past! Come to think of it, Anwar looks amazingly like another classmate we meet sometimes.take a bow,Stanley Brown !

The longest recording of the Basement Tapes, and often regarded as one of the highlights from the sessions.
Stan gets a medal!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

'still looking at Angel Meadow.........

Several things I found out  today.For example (Don,did you know?)Nobby Stiles learnt his skills as a kid,playing over the 40,000 graves of Angel Meadow! (growing up as a child the Council  had put goalposts on St Michaels Flags!)
And Lowry , although everybody thinks him a Salford painter.......many of his images  were taken from Angel Meadow ,where he worked as a rent collector.....he would sketch inbetween collecting Debt...........(i bet Mr Wonga dont do that today!)
Me & Cath are in Manchester this weekend.We went to a Talk about Angel Meadow & St Michael's Flags It was part of Manchester Histories Festivalwhich runs for the next 8 days. Today was also the Reopening of Manchester Central Library It would have been rude not to go.Its a bit like the Deck of The Starship Enterprise. A 'Must Visit' the next time your in the city.
I did these images mostly on my new Panasonic compact.I really think my late-great Fuji (RIP) was better...but these are ok...I may get used to this new regime
one 'plus' is that .I do like the "panorama" mode! The display on here doesnt do them justice....if you wish to see much better vision look at 'em  on This slideshow.....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

reassuringly the appearances are within normal limits{x-ray style!}

You may remember this recent post about my x-ray worries?
Today I ,finally,got a letter from the Consultant saying "I have reviewed your chest x-ray from February 2014. Reassuringly the appearances are within normal limits. To ensure there are no further changes,I would like to repeat your x-ray in may 2014..."
Which is fine and pretty much what was said by my Asthma Nurse
.I am not worried any more...& i see my GP next week to discuss [in the nefarious zone..] .
But i still think the consultant could have explained better&quicker.Still ,its reasurring that the NHS [in general] is being so thorough.....
I will also be speaking to my GP about my hernia & diets..Hey ! I am still not  smoking..but ,increasingly, I am vaping which i dont take as being very positive (?).....
I worked in Bradford for 9 years as a teacher in the middle 80's onwards.
I used to drive each day from Hebden Bridge to Bradford to school.Cant say i have many very good memories of the place (which is sad). < I went to Bradford  with Chris this week.It's the first time I have set foot in the place for,what, maybe 2 years?
 If it was to remind me of anything good,it would be my  playing Rugby League once at the massive (100,000 capacity) Odsal Stadium ) .I played 'hooker',and we (Halifax) got thrashed by Bradford Northern!
And seeing Ian Dury there once with Cath & Phil the X-Fireman.....
I got a new compact camera.
Its much cheaper than the my old faithful (R.I.P. Fujifilm exrfinepix f70)
but my new panasonic dmc xs1 does have a few interesting whistles & bells.
I'm still getting used to it but i took it with me on my travels this week to Hebden Bridge,Sowerby Bridge,Burnley[ Sauna],Halifax,Bradford (with Chris) & Halifax (with Ken).These are the results.... all fairly random....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

R.I.P. Tony Benn. x

Your Gentle (albeit ,Modest) Author was interviewed on English Telly on Saturday afternoon.......
trivia-junkies may wish to know that the opening sequence of this clip shows us  walking past Halifax Swimming Pool,where I had just come out  from a two hour sauna session.......... This is a Sepia Saturday post
"......They looked at a selection of material including letters and books belonging to John Dee, as well as the famous oval burn mark on the Audit Room table which is said to be the hoof print of the devil, conjured up one dark Manchester night by Dee's magic arts. ......." Chethams Library News
Outside The New Halifax  Central Library,1983
It's a sign of the times? They are knocking  down Halifax's main Library to build  a Primark
  Now given that over 200  UK libraries were closed down by The Tory government in 2012 alone   I suppose Halifax should be grateful for any replacement (albeit one the size of a broom cupboard).
I remember the current library being built.I took this infra-red photo of the fountains outside it sortly before its opening.
Why are all new buildings so antiseptic? {Like hospitals.....}.but at least this 1983 Halifax Library
 was much bigger the original one, which had been at Belle Vue (between Hanson Lane & Gibbet Street).itself a  rambling  old building with  grounds the size of several Rugby League pitches.
'like an old winter palace...
Such irony , that such opulence should be found   only a spit & a fart from The Gibbet Street Workhouse ...
.But that's another story......
After the original building burnt & was rebuilt in 1885 it was sold to the Halifax Corporation in 1892 and part of it was turned into the Library.
In 1892 a meteorological station was also incorperated .
In 1897 a Museum was  created in another part of the building.
In the Gardens, a tower and crenellated curtain wall was built.In 1953 (a year after I was born) an aviary was built in the gardens,
Personally,I remember the Belle Vue Library very well.IAs a child & young adult i visited often.It was there that both Enid Blyton & Jack Keroac talked to me.It was there I listened.
It had a certain smell.That musty/creaky smell that seems to be trapped in Posh old houses.I remember as a little child arriving at the front entrance and being greeted inside by Giant Stuffed Bears & other animals stood in glass cases.It was like they were stood guard at the bottom of an impressive Staircase (think : Scarlet O'Hara in a ballgown in 'Gone With The Wind'
 The (Halifax)staircase  would take you up to the library on the first floor.
I always got confused in my mind with this house & the one I saw on the Telly in "THE ADDAMS FAMILY".......anyway.........
After Halifax's Library moved away in 1983,the bulding & grounds were sold and used as a business HQ for local fat cat bissynessman.Currently,i understand there are plans to turn the former Ballroom into a venue for Muslim Weddings ( Gibbet Street is the center of our Muslim Community now).
Perhaps this is the reason I love all Libraries.Next to a good graveyard, there is no place better for conjured up Other Lives & different spirits....
Yes, Belle Vue had a rare Atmosphere.But a even rarer one  (And happily still with us) can be found at Chethams Library in Manchester A most magical place.It must be the oldest building in manchester?Right near Victoria Railway Station.Well worth a visit.No doubt the ghosts of Karl Marx and John Dee will entertain you!Just tell'em "Tony sent me"........

Good News ! Manchester Reference Library reopens on the 22nd of this month.Thanks to Andrew Simpson and his  Splendid Blog for the knowledge.
A photo I took of some books=in-chains  in Chethams Library.Here are some more I took in 2011


British Sea Power:Live at Westminster Reference Library ) [n.b.big march against the destruction of the NHS in Halifax on Saturday :I hope to add some image here on Saturday night:Stay Tuned!} Ironic.When I wrote the above post,I didnt know that today's March would end up outside the Library!The buildings you see here will all be knocked down in the next couple of years...

Friday, March 07, 2014

What Jesus did next......

Me & Phil the Ex-Fireman & Ken went to Sowerby Bridge tonight ...
.We went to The Puzzle Hall pub & a good band was playing....... [Issimo: Marc+Abi]

On our way to The Puzzle , we walked past a church.Phil showed us where his son Bryn was the model for  Sowerby Bridge's   Stainglass~ Jesus in St Paul's Methodist Church[ see in  video ]
Bryn lives in Sowerby Bridge.About ten years ago a stranger approached him while he was out walking.The bloke was an Artist .Would Bryn like to pose for him? As Jesus! The result you can see 15ft tall in the church window. Must be rather strange seeing yourself as the Messiah everyday you walk through town........
Rest in Peace old faithful servant. Fuji F70-EXR You have died .Shall we ever see you like again?[especially in relation to the Gigs ].No doubt you shall be replaced.....but by anything better...I doubt!!!!
In the meantime I am just using my Panasonic HD camera .More versatile (eg audio files;HD video) but the quality is more 'cold' [.see today's photos here as an example.........]
  I also have my NIKON D200 for special/pre-planned occasions.but wildly too big to hide in my pocket!

Friday, February 14, 2014

what doesnt make you stronger ,kills you.........

photo taken by Doris.

2014 has not got off to the best of starts for me.hositalized in January with pneumonia,and asthma-breathing difficulties.......
The British NHS is the best health care in the world.(remember,America,my 3 days in hospital:my consultant:my Asthma Nurse:My X-Ray Men;etc are all Free) infact ,even free, we demand 100% 'We pay for it through taxes after all.We have high expectations......
...... 8 days ago I got a phonecall out of the blue from my consultant's secretary.Telling me the X-Rays they took in A&E  on January 3rd showed "A change in the left lung"and could I "undergo a repeat chest x-ray in the second week of February to ensure there is no significant abnormality".The request form i gave to the Hospital's X-Ray Man 7 days ago said on it "LRTI?Left Hilar Prominence" .
Now i was worried.Nobody had sat me down and told me any of this.While in hospital in January two different doctors went out of their way to say my x-rays "were fine".
This Monday I rang up my Consulatant's secretary ( he's called DR.R.P. KARADI by the way).I asked if she had any news of my x-ray results yet.She sounded surprised."Oh ,he's on Annual Leave this week.He wont even look at them for at least 1 to 2 weeks"....
So I have been worried for over a week.self-diagnosing on the internet..researching the joys of Lung Cancer et al(.........while ,no doubt,Dr Karadi reads some thriller on a beach somewhere......)
Thankfully i had a routine visit to my asthma nurse yesterday.I told her the tale.She hacked into the hospital's records & read me the X-Ray Mans report.
It turns out the original x-ray in A&E showed one lung slightly larger than the other,but ,crucially,  no structural abnormalities.The X-Men wondered if i had sat in slightly the wrong position when it was taken.They just wanted a second photo to check.Last week's  2nd X-Ray showed my lungs were symetrical.I was sat wrong orginally......I am ok.
Now my asthma nurse shouldnt really have given me this information.But how long will it be before the Consultant passes this on? (if at all)
When exactly did subjectivity die?
Objectively , they have looked after me wonderfully.But a 30 second informal conversation would have avoided 8 days+ of needless worry for me.
We live in a world of checklists & "targets". It is unfortunate that "hypochondria-prevention"doesnt seem to be a target in this Brave New World..........

This is a Sepia Saturday post.
This week's Theme is "Crowds"........If you look at this photo,& the people in it,notice several souls are savvy enough to turn & notice the camera.........
Brighouse,"The Birthplace of The Selfie"?
The building in question was on Mill Royd Street.
A 5-storey high and 17-windows wide silk-spinning mill in Brighouse..
The mill burned down on 26th October 1903, and fireman Alexander Carmichael was killed on his way to the blaze.
Alexander lived at Back Bonegate, Brighouse. He was killed when he was fell from the fire engine as it sped to the fire...............
Poor  old Alex.,killed not by the fire itself, but by the alarm surrounding it....such is life (& death).

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......