So last night I was in my old bedroom at my mum and dads. Weird thing was the gerbils I used to keep were still there even though nobody thought to water or feed them in the past 20 odd years. Anyway, while I’m fussing with the poor malnurished blighters an aeroplane flies over head out side. I look out of the window and see a little parachute dart being thrown out of the plane. It opens and falls onto the bit of the garden where the conservatory is now but never used to be.
My neighbour is always getting his cock out at the back of my house. So I went and filmed it so I can prove it to you unbelievers.
I grew up in Liverpool, UK.
Now Liverpool, as you might already know, has a large Irish community and where there are large Irish communities you also find large Irish families. So it comes as no surprise that in Liverpool, a good deal of the populace claim some sort of Irish decent.
However, Liverpool is not Dublin. It is not even in the Republic of Ireland. It’s English and, yes, very cosmopolitan. So you’ll get all manner of people there, Chinese, Asian, African, Dutch, Polish, French, Spanish, Portugese, American…If the ships came from there to Liverpool, you can guarantee that there will be some form of community there.
So it bemuses me how, every year, the Irish clubs and bars of fair old Liverpool city centre suddenly seemed to fill with people all claiming some link, no matter how tenuous, to Ireland. From “Oh my dad’s Uncles second cousin twice removed was Irish” to “I once sat next to a man who was drinking Guinness”, some how people seemed to claim some Irish decent.
Why was this? Ok, apart from the way the Irish seem to know how to chuck a party and they know how to drink and have a good time I could see no reason why so many people were so keen to acknowledge this Irish thing.
Then I moved to Yorkshire…..
Now I’m not familiar with any large Irish community in Barnsley. Nor have I heard anyone with an Irish accent. Fair enough, the Barnsley accent is an infectious one (I now catch mesen talking like a chuffin miner sometimes ‘appen) but still. And yet, had my trip into town today been my first ever visit to Barnsley, I would probably have been of the wrong opinion that there was a large Irish presence in the region.
How daft I would have been.
Of course, the true nature of St Patricks day is more insidious. As with all holiday celebrations they are a good way to generate revenue and profit. Take the large holidays such as Christmas. It is marketed as a festival of consumerism. Buy this, give that. Big is best.And so on and so forth.
Likewise smaller scale festivals such as Halloween and St Valentines day are marketed by the novelty and card publishing industries as a bit of fun “Give us your money for this bag of sweets/bunch of flowers/card etc or you will be seen as a social pariah”
And so, not to be out done, possibly the largest well known Irish based global industry use their heritage to encourage those free of purse, to splash out on drunken revellry and cavorting. Don’t call it St Patricks day….call it Guinness day as that is what it is. A day marketed by Guinness for the promotion of and marketing of Irish stout.
And while you’re at it, think as you sup your pint of Irish stout, why it is you never see any other type of stout for sale in bars. Is it because few breweries make stout these days? Well, partially, but it is mainly because Guinness rule the roost with their marketing prowess and brand identity. And so, in the UK at least, where we once had Murphy’s, Beamish and Samuel Smiths we are left with one choice of stout. Irish stout. Until recently, brewed under licence just outside Warrington. Which is in Cheshire, ironically. Where there are a lot of people who once watched Father Ted.
If you know me you’ll know, despite internal ragings, I have the patience of a saint. I haven’t given it back yet because he hasn’t asked for it, but none the less, I have their patience. So perhaps this is why what I am about to relate to you happens to me with alarming frequency.
I’ve noticed it happen a lot lately. It happens in a variety of places be it in shops, offices or on the street. It doesn’t appear to happen to anyone else but I’m sure it does. What is it? Well, it hasn’t got a name. It is more of an occurrence than a thing.
Let’s say I’m queuing for a cup of coffee. There are 4 people in front of me. Each of the 4 get served speedily and without issue. But then it’s my turn.
stegzy – Hello please may I ha….
Barista #1 – Oh sorry love hang on
Barista #2 – ‘ere Barista #1, was it beans on the jacket potato or was it tuna?
Barista #1 – Oh you daft bugger, it was tuna and gravy with meaty chunks, did you get the gravel out of the fridge?
Barista #2 – No but I left the intricate lace work doillies in the sink
Barista #1 –moving away from the counter to go behind the scenes won’t be a minute love
An age passes
Barista #1 – Sorry love what was it?
stegzy – Please may I have a coffee?
Barista #1 – yes hang on
Barista #1 goes through motions of making coffee
Barista #2 comes out from back room
Barista #2 – I can’t find the Rabbit and beef in jelly
Barista #1 – They’re under the sink
Barista #2 – Can you show me?
Exunt Barista #1 & Barista #2
Two minutes pass
Barista #1 returning from back room Sorry love, what was it?
stegzy – I’ve forgotten
The same happens in shops, petrol stations and bars. Different staff. Totally unrelated incidents. Similar events. What’s worse is, while all this is going on there is a queue of people growing behind me tutting and sighing at me. As if it is MY fault. Of course, long term Flisters will know that it is, of course, my fault. Everything is my fault. Germany invading Poland? That was me. Twin towers? Me too. Krakatoa? Yup….my fault.
Anyway, as if this wasn’t some sort of global shop keeping conspiracy, the same happens when I’m driving. I’ll queue at a give way sign. The cars in front have no problem getting out of the junction. Some go straight out. But when it gets to me, it’s like all the travellers in the world have to use that road. Worse, some don’t use their indicators. Or when one direction clears, everyone coming from the other direction decides they want to come past or turn right into the road I’m turning right out of.
Then, there’s the drivers that go reeeeeeeeeeeeeally slow. They pull out in front of you from some give way junction because they are clearly in a hurry, but then proceed to stick to 20 mph when you can’t over take them, and when it’s over take time, the fuckers speed up….I mean what’s going on there?!
It’s hard not to think it is just me. It’s harder not to think that this is all some sort of conspiracy against me. So because of this difficulty….that is what it must be. It is a global conspiracy. Against me. A global penance for everything being MY fault.
Barnsley is stuck in a time bubble. I used to think it was a 10 year time bubble but today it was proven to me that the bubble reaches much further back into the midsts of time.
Today it was the 1970’s and the midst of the winter of discontent. How did I deduce this? Well for not the first time that I’ve been here, a good portion of the town centre was stricken with a power cut. I have lived here since 2006. In that time I have been in ten power cuts that I know of. I suspect there have been more judging by alarm clocks mysteriously not going off in the morning, waking up or coming home to flashing digital clocks and the occasional mysterious call from my house alarm which tells me that the power has been lost.
For an hour today the power was off. Theories went from the reasonable idea that the mayor had not put enough 50p’s into the meter to the completely ridiculous suggestion that contractors working on the new Barnsley College building had some how severed a cable. At first it was like “Oh, the power has gone off!”. But then the enquiry desk was besieged by people complaining that we had turned the power off deliberately or that we had displeased the Gods of Electricity somehow (possibly through lack of sacrificial offering). As the hour drew on and the crowds with the flaming torches and pitch forks became restless, our prayers were answered when, possibly because someone at the power station had wound up the clockwork mouse, the power came back on.
Then, at that point, almost in celebration of the return of the mystical energy, a brass band started up outside (yes, srsly dudes) and festivities began, the crowds dissipated and the mysterious omnipotent and all powerful Gods of South Yorkshire Energy were appeased.
It was, however, during this lull in 21st century emulation, that, as what happens during such times of civic failure, I was struck with a St Paulian revelation. I really am losing patience with impatient, self centred, self important people who are too busy/inept/incapable/specific to use the small measure of grey matter they actually store in their skull boxes and actually think/wipe their own arse for themselves. Really, I cannot do this for the rest of my life. What’s worse is it appears that these very people usually end up in very well paid jobs. Why? Am I doing life wrong? Should I become socially inept as well as deskilled in computer technology to further my career aspirations?
It makes me think. Is the Queen a gormless ineducated moron that, aside from being able to afford the entourage of support workers, does not know ones arse from ones royal elbow? Is Bill Gates a complete and utter chump who doesn’t know the difference between turning on a monitor and turning on a base unit of a PC? Whatever the answer, I’m sure if I become as socially inept as they then a wil be a fukin amzainly ritch baztad.
I went here as a kid nearly every weekend. I suspect Luxuryflatitis. After all the site is in a highly desirable area of Southport. Arsonists should be burnt at the stake IMO.
Today I rushed into uni after pottering about doing little jobs. I had a meeting with the people I’ve been doing 4 films for.
On the way back I stopped off at Halfords to buy a new foot pump. I looked at the digital and electric ones but couldn’t justify paying more than £10 for a load of hot air. I came away with a bargain £9 single barrel analoge foot pump. It appears that my front drivers side tyre has a slow puncture.
With the sun being glorious I decided to finish off looking for that cache I looked for yesterday. You might remember I had incompatible coordinates. Well today I discovered that I actually do have a converter built into the Geocache software. Doh!
I had a good mooch around Howell Wood. Now is it called Howell Wood because there are lots of howls from owls with towels or is it because it is a corruption of Ho’well wood, or Holy Well Wood? I doubt anyone knows. Regardless it was a lovely wood. Kinggravy would love it. Very few people about if at all anyone. Most people, it seems, just come to walk the dog or to fish for carp at the little lake they have there. Though I would be a bit worried about flashing my bits in this area.
I managed to locate the it was in a plastic box wrapped in two plastic Morrisons bags. I signed my name and buggered off home.
On my return the house was empty of people. Mrs Gnomepants obviously enjoying her new found independence in her red car. Just as I was updating my Geocache logs in the tranquility of the garden this side of the lane with no name, G, he of the human dog genus, arrived asking if I knew what an orchid looked like. I said I did and he took me to his front garden to look at some plants he has growing on his lawn.
G – Does thar think tha’ is an o’kid?
stegzy – No it’s not, its a blue flower, we have some over there.
G – Ah wor thinkun ah myt ‘av’ sum new kind o’ rare flower. Save me cuttin’ lawn like.
stegzy – Well I don’t think it’s an orchid. Look we have loads here. I think you’re safe to cut the lawn
Hunger got the better of me. So I left G with his mower and thought about dinner. Should I cook enough for two? Or do I just cook for myself? I thought it diligent of me to call the wife. Turns out her new car has an alternator problem and she had broken down. Why hadn’t she called me? Well her phone then decided to lose the network and that was that. By the time I spoke to her she was bound for Rlindz’ gaff. I had cold sausage 😀
So yes, a nice day mooching about in the woods. I took some more pictures and I’m thinking this one as my desktop 😀
On my road in Brierley is a lovely Georgian hall with a horrid 1960s extension that, until recently, was used by the council as offices.
In Barnsley Council’s unfettered intelligence, towards the end of last year, the offices and hall were vacated and put on the market. It was very sad as the hall is lovely (apart from the horrid extension) and rumours abound that developers were rubbing their hands together at the prospect of more land to build houses on.
However the hall, being a historic one, is listed and demolishing it would prove to be expensive and controversial. When I saw the boards going over the windows I said “Well it won’t be long until that burns to the ground will it?”
True enough, this morning on my way into uni I espied 2 fire appliances in attendance and policemen busily closing off the road. Yep. Some horrid bastard scally has set fire to it. Gone is the historic flooring; gone will be the lovely panelling and gone is any chance of the council meeting the reserve placed on it when it goes to auction next week. Call me cynical but I wouldn’t be surprised if now the whole thing gets razed to the ground and a lovely featureless warren of cloned houses get built on the land.
Thank fuck I’m not going to be here when the village gets ruined.
It’s kicking off in the Lane with no name (Lwnn). For those who don’t remember the Lane with no name is the lane that runs along the back of Gnomepants manor and connects the other 4 houses to the outside world without having to use the front steps which nobody uses which are steep. In times past it was also used as access for brewery vehicles to the Village Club but they don’t use it any more as they have better vehicles these days.
In the cold light of day, last nights inferno seems like a small conflagration. But on inspecting the photographic evidence I collected this morning, it is clear that the blaze was of hellish proportions.
What was that?
Fireworks dear go back to sleep
Are you sure?
So I got out of bed, put on my jeans and slippers and went into the lane-with-no-name. Flames, at least 10 foot high were licking the trees on the boundary of the Brierley Social Club and Mr Pritchards garden. Behind which 3 or 4 cars were parked! All of which were on fire and going POP with frightening regularity.
“What can you see?”
“Call the fire brigade!”
4am in the morning. The fire brigade are there now, the lane blocked at the top by a car, their access not thwarted because of the nature of hoses.
This is the fourth fire in as many weeks. Looks like Brierley has an arsonist.