Friday, 18 August 2017

To see you... nice...

So Brucie’s gone (probably winning someone a windfall in the Death Raffle, at the Wilkes Head pub, Leek). Amazing to think he first appeared on our TV screens as early as 1939! I remember him on Saturday Night at the London Palladium, when an affable personality, and an oft-repeated catchphrase, could take you a long way in television…

Riverside conversation, Ely...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Ely...

Spent a couple of days at the Lynn Arms in Syderstone, North Norfolk, with Mandy and Aubrey the dog. While I was there I took some photos for the pub’s new website. Then headed south, to see more old friends this evening from my days in Peterborough. It cost me £4.70 to get a shower this morning - the same price as a swim - though that’s still cheaper than a pint of lager in Poundbury.

On the way I stopped off in Ely, and took some pix. I had a pint of lager, overlooking the river, and hit a new high water mark. £5.20! I kept my composure and paid up…

A pint at the Lynn Arms...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Coventry...

I made my way to Coventry via Leek, where I called in at the Wilkes Head pub, to see who has won the latest ‘Death Raffle’. Congratulations to ‘Jamie’, who is £252.00 to the good for predicting the demise of actor Peter Sallis, at the age of 96.

Had a fun-filled weekend with Chas and grandsons Lenzo and Max. This is Max engrossed in one of his favourite books: The Challenge of Islam. He's fascinated by theology, and talks about little else...


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Tadcaster...

Had a stroll along the Wharfe with son Casey, starting from the repaired river bridge; the damage to the bridge, caused by floodwater, had divided the town in two for many months. Drove through the Peak District, taking a few pix on the way, and have now parked up for the night in Leek…

Magpie Mine, Derbyshire...


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Socialising...

Good to see John, Dave and Martin in York last night, for an evening of pleasantly inconsequential conversation. We met up in the Golden Ball, a proper local beerhouse just inside the city wall. When the pub quiz started we repaired to the Black Swan, just around the corner: another little boozer with plenty of character, thankfully unimproved by progress. My spirits are lifted, though the back is still sore. I don’t think I’ll be break-dancing for a while…

Arkengarthdale...





Glen Campbell...

Heard this morning that Glen Campbell has died. Though never a great fan, I particularly remember two of his songs: Witchita Lineman and Galveston, both written by Jimmy Webb, which came out in 1968 and 1969 respectively, years when music meant a great deal to me. The words may not resonate too strongly, but if you can hear the music and the peerless voice of Glen Cambell they’ll leap off the page. Instead of adolescent angst, the lingua franca of most popular songs, both songs have a timeless quality.

We can imagine the lineman, on his own, repairing telephone lines in America’s rural south; he’s yearning for someone so strongly that he can ‘hear’ her over the telephone wires. We can imagine the conscripted soldier, in a lull in the fighting (Jimmy Webb was thinking about Vietnam, apparently), wondering if the woman he loves will still be there when - or if - he gets back home.

The sentiments are sketched, not spelt out - making it easy to identify with the ‘I’ in the songs: the essence, I think, of good song-writing. These are the kind of songs I sing as I drive along; it’s impossible for me to approach Ulverston in Cumbria without breaking into the chorus of Galveston at the top of my voice…

Witchita lineman

I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main road
Searchin' in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin' in the wire, I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

I know I need a small vacation but it don't look like rain
And if it snows that stretch down south won't ever stand the strain
And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line…


Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston,
I still hear your seawinds blowing;
I still see her dark eyes glowing.
She was twenty one, when I left Galveston.
Galveston, oh Galveston,
I still hear your seawaves crashin,
while I watch the cannons flashin'.
I clean my gun, and dream of Galveston.
I still see her standing by the water,
Standing there looking out to sea.
And is she waiting there for me,
On the beach where we used to run?
Galveston, oh Galveston,
I am so afraid of dying,
Before I dry the tears she's crying,
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun,
at Galveston, at Galveston


Rievaulx Abbey...