Sunday, April 2

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 1

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

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

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

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

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 

Saturday, January 28

memory is more like art than fact


Our man Dizzy , in the prompt photo for this week's sepia saturday ,seems to be in dreamland.
Which reminded me of  this story of Commandant Darget.The man who photographed dreams.


here is a link to a recording of Ella Fitzgerald playing live in East Berlin  in 1967
The Internet Archive also holds several of Ella's live concerts {here} 
They are copyright free.You can listen/download them there at your leisure. 

Sunday, January 22

the mysterious dancing epidemic of 1518.

[Hebden Bridge Trades Club.]

Reading this today reminded me not a little of Trump,s Inauguration.

 “...............they suggest that hunger and psychological stress were the likely culprit, with a healthy dose of religious belief thrown in: “In times of acute hardship, with physical and mental distress leaving people more than usually suggestible, a fear of St Vitus could rapidly take hold. All it then took was for one or a few emotionally frail people, believing themselves to have been cursed by St.Vitus, to slip into a trance. …..........”  

{Read More:}

Saturday, January 21

caught by the river

Me & Cath went this afternoon to Caught By The River
at   Machpelan Mill in Hebden Bridge .
An  afternoon of poetry   &    short stories.
Splendid .......
......although odd at times.They were  holding a "Laughter   Workshop" in another part of the mill.
It seeped through occasionally. 
Shakespeare competing with a stranger trying to smother Les Dawson with a duvet!
 Only in Hebden Bridge........
A special mention for  Zaffar Kunial
His poetry was top ~notch.
The afternoon's photos (+short video) are here

Saturday, January 14

the day that winnie came to town

 Happy New Year Sepians! This is my first post of 2017
See other posts
my Dad (top right)

 I was sat in the sauna at Halifax swimming pool last Tuesday morning.
We got talking about Polish Immigrants to England.
I told them how my dad was Polish.
How ,during WW2 he was based in Scotland.How he was in the Parachute Regiment  of the Free Polish Air Force.How he flew with the RAF in Battle_of_Arnhem.....
About how he defeated Hitler practically single handed !
(Incidently ,my Uncle Gordon was a pilot in the RAF .He was shot down ,and spent 3 years in a fascist prisoner-of-war camp .So it goes.......)
I said how my   Dad  was demobbed but  couldnt return to Poland because he had abandoned  the Soviet Russian army at the begining of the  war and ,because of this ,was technically classed as a "deserter".So it goes......
In 1945 he & my Scottish mum & brother Zyg first stayed in a resettlement hostel near  "the moor" in Halifax in the building that is now the club for The Halifax Old Crossleyians
Dad,Zyg & Mum.

 In 1946  they got their own  place on Lord Street in Halifax  where I was born in 1952.

I told the blokes in the sauna this because I get fed up of hearing anti-Polish predudice & UKIP lies.To me, Nigel   Farage is  just another  Oswald_Mosley
( children! learn  your history...)
An old bloke in the sauna  box started telling me his story .He had been a  16 year old lad in 1945.
One day ,during that year's  general election campaign ,Winston Churchill came to speak.
Thousands turned  out.They packed the bottom  of Hanson  Lane, right into Georges Square.

At the time , the Bull pub was being constructed.
Exposed steel scaffolding was  all over the shop.
The chap in the sauna was stood right near where Churchill spoke.He could see him   clearly.
During Churchill's speech ,a bloke with only one leg ( a vet fromWW1 ?) moved gingerly along a high scaffold bar and took a seat  halfway along it.
One leg dangling.
 They all began to  listen to the  great war leader & prime minister wannabe 's   speech.
Halfway through Winnies talk ,the Vet shouted .
"Mr Churchill.Tell them about Gallipoli"
 Churchill ignored him and continued.
Then a  second time,louder ,the ex-solider cried
"Mr Churchill .Tell them about Gallipoli "
 Churchill  ignored  him   again .
A third time the man cried out.
But ,this time, Churchill turned and  whispered something to an aide stood next to him.
A few moments later two policeman inched across the scaffold .Somehow they removed  the man away....
He was taken   to Harrison Road Police Station to recieve some  sort of Caution.
So it goes.......
Read more about Churchill's failure at Gallipoli here :
For more background of Churchill's visit to The Calder Valley in 1945   you can read this report fromThe Halifax Courier:
My thanks to Malcolm   Bull's Calderdale Companion for  two photos and  this    extra  text
My dad would have been 100 next month.So it goes........
A pair of bullets that collided in mid air at Gallipoli. Take that!

Monday, January 9

The Human Forest.

Many thanks to photographer Adam Summerscales for kindly giving permission to use the image below  [his website]

Me & Cathy went to Dean Clough  in Halifax this afternoon. Several exhibitions are on.
I was  especially taken  by The Human Forest !
Street Photos by Adam Summerscales.Shot in Sheffield.
As well as being technically great.and having  arresting compositions, I loved how the people in the photos are (mostly ) unaware & uninterested .
They were getting on with their lives........reminding me of what street photography was like before digital  and CCTV arrived. 
.These days we  sense & expect surveillance.We strike a pose whenever a camera pops up.Ironically , the more we are photographed, the less we show of ourselves.
Somehow .Adam's photos catch people unaware and natural. Maybe its the  angle he shoots? Maybe people see only his  mobility scooter ?
you can visit Adam's website  [here] 
and learn more about him   & his   work and  see  the pictures.

Thursday, January 5

a bigger bark

I took this photo on boxing Day outside the Co-Op in Mytholmroyd. Me& Cathy were driving into Halifax. She pointed the image out to me.
......The bird was glancing nervously in their direction , freezing still and then hopping , poking and probing in the rocks for food and glancing back intensely ,fearful and yet free. As they moved closer , it hopped out into the flat , hard sand, dragging one of its wings.
 It's injured , Meg whispered.
 It's an act .They do it to lure predators away from the nest. He took another step toward the bird and it skittered up the sand ,keening loudly , dragging its wing.
 Let me try to explain.Living things , all of them , are tied together. A bird is roped in tension,it's beautiful to watch. It's part of what makes a bird beautiful , he said. She'll fake it until it's a reality if she has to, luring the predator away , at the risk of her own demise.Once it gets near enough she'll keep playing and playing until it's close in and then she'll try and scare it . That's about ninety percent of what you need in the natural world; the one with a bigger bark , a display of power, wins.
Me & Cath will be attending this fine event on Saturday 21st January in the afternoon 1-4 by The River Calder . [Link:Details] It would be nice if you joined us.