The Compostual Existentialist

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Ryan Aire – Musician & Artist

Here is another one of the films I worked on at Uni.

This is a short documentary about Ryan Aire, a Yorkshire chap with a penchant for Cream, art and budgerigars.

Ryan Aire – A life from stegzy gnomepants on Vimeo.

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The Old Grey Stegzy Gnomepants Test

So following the untimely passing of one of my fellow students, I have been digging around my old archive to see what stuff I have from the time.

One of my favourite all time things was when I directed and produced a “Live” broadcast as part of my Media Production Degree. The first we heard of it was when our lecturer, Alf, told us the previous day we were to be filming and mixing a “Live” performance of the Music students. I had always wanted to produce a music video and my this was my chance. However, before you judge, there are some things you should know:-

  • The whole thing was unprepared.
  • The musicians had never performed with each other as a group before.
  • The musicians had only 3 days or so to practice.
  • The sound mixing came from the Sound Technology students who also didn’t appear to be prepared (as you will hear from the video)
  • I started to get into the swing of it by the third set.

Anyway, as you will see, there are some talented people out there. I just wish I knew who they all were! If you know, feel free to post a link to the video on your Facebook.

Bands from stegzy gnomepants on Vimeo.


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Goodbye Santor

This afternoon I packed the last few items into the van and waved goodbye to Santor aka Gnomepants Manor.

It was sad to see it retreating into the distance through the wing mirrors and slightly weird to watch familiar sights of Brierley pass by for the last time. Weird because when I moved there, I felt unwelcome, lonely and out of place. As I left, I felt sad because there was so much I could have done and yet so much that I could not have done had I stayed. At least I stand to get £13,000 as my share of the sale. Clair invited me in to say goodbye to the cats but as I was with my dad I didn’t want to keep him waiting and I didn’t want to feel sad that I probably won’t see Yoda or Mrs Mop again.

So as I left Yorkshire, for possibly the last time, and into the North West the clouds burst and in some twisted bit of serendipity, it pissed it down with rain.

So much has happened since 2006, so much is still to happen. I just hope that 2010 gets better for all of us.


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Landscape

If I fell through a hole in time and travelled back 45 years. If I then looked out of my bedroom window across the field behind the lane with no name and beyond the field behind the field behind the lane with no name, not only would I have upset Mrs Edson’s daughter, but I would have seen the winch wheel of a pit stack.

Long but because I am nice I posted it here as well as on blogspot


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>Landscape

>

If I fell through a hole in time and travelled back 25 years. If I then looked out of my bedroom window across the field behind the lane with no name and beyond the field behind the field behind the lane with no name, not only would I have upset Mrs Edson’s daughter, but I would have seen the winch wheel of a pit stack.

As pinched from BAPIPHad I then gone downstairs and beyond the rear door of San Tor, tootled down the lane with no name and onto the corner of Church Street and Common Road I would probably have been able to see one of the largest collieries in the UK stretching out in the distance before me. There would have been power stations, winch houses, the constant drone of colliery activity and the like.

I would probably have seen a constant pedestrian traffic of orange overalls walking down the hill into Grimethorpe wherein those wearing the overalls would probably have stepped into a cage and travelled deep below the ground for a day of mining. In fact, had I gone to any number of places around the neighbourhood I would have seen similar sights of industrial activity. Trains and lorries laden with coal bound for the steel mills and power stations that peppered the vista.

People at a market I would have seen people milling about; doing their daily business with smiles upon their faces asking after neighbours and discussing Morecambe and Wise or some such. These same people would have been unaware of the devastation they would face over the next fifteen years or so. When their livelihoods were taken away from them by a government leader bent on revenge for the winter of discontent. A way to quell the voices of discontent and the socialism which threatened their brave new world.

Spin forward through time once more and where there was employment, there is but social decay in the shape of unemployment, bigotry and drug use. Houses that once were grand now look tatty and unkempt. Parades of shops that once boasted green grocers, fishmongers and butchers now stand boarded up and empty or populated by takeaways and offices of antidrug and employment building social enterprise groups. The contrast is vast.

2863774968_178f84e4be Travel to Liverpool 30 years ago and similar sights would have been seen, instead of coal miners you would have seen dock workers. Sheffield and Doncaster, steel workers. Newcastle, ship builders. The Midlands, motor industry.  An industrial past so memorable yet so long gone.  All gone. Thanks to the brave new world instigated by the Thatcher and perpetuated by the Blair governments.

Sure, industry would have struggled to compete with low cost foreign imports. It was a natural shift from production to service industries. However the speed in which the transition took place was so swift that few were prepared for the following years. This wasn’t 100 years ago, this was twenty to thirty years ago. Heck, even during my education traditional jobs such as butcher, baker, factory worker and the like were still discussed. Now, most of these jobs don’t exist.

Who to blame? The governments? They were the ones that set this passage in motion. The people? Reluctant to pay more for goods produced on home ground they would prefer cheaper imports to paying to maintain other peoples lives. Nobody? A natural transition that occurred as predicted by Marx? I can only speculate.

But what is clear is that since the industry was taken away very little has been put in place since. Sure Liverpool’s main industry now is education and tourism. Sheffield’s it could be argued is sport and culture. But places like the Midlands and Barnsley remain places difficult to find work in. Even the brief respite of call centres which have since been outsourced overseas only provided negligible difference.

As the population continues to grow unsustainably. The economy will continue to falter. Socialist ideals such as national health care and education  now too expensive at current prices will require more and more funding. The future is bleak, the future is most certainly not orange. Taxes need to increase. With increases in taxes, salaries will need to be increased. As salaries increase so will the drain on GDP. Inflation increases, held off artificially by government backing supermarkets and industry will surge and rocket, things will be bad.

Let’s think about a pie. Mmmmm pie. It is a nice pie. We all want a slice of this pie but some want bigger slices than others because they think they deserve a bigger slice. So to cater for the demand on pie we bake a bigger pie. But then people say that they want a piece of the pie that is comparative to the slice they think they deserve. The circle continues.

But let us go back to South Yorkshire and look around.

Think of the seaside town that is no longer popular with tourists. The once grand and splendid arcades now shuttered or populated by pound shops. The streets of dilapidated guest and boarding houses now multi occupancy dwellings inhabited by ne’er-do-wells, the down at heel and misguided immigrants. Pensioners wander the streets or sit outside once proud homes dreaming of times past when the new housing estate was once the local lido. Think of how this once popular place was alive with people happy and at peace now degraded, it’s heart ripped out by cheap foreign holidays. Then consider this seaside town land locked. You might now be imagining somewhere similar to Grimethorpe, Goldsthorpe, Mexborough and the like. Once proud pit villages populated by hard working proud people with facilities to cater for them provided by the pit owners.

Take the pit away and these places become that landlocked seaside town. The streets once burgeoning with shops now boast 1001 curries, kebabs and tanning salons. The schools once constructed in an age when architects considered the art of the building design instead of functionality now empty, burnt out or demolished. The churches whose congregations once boasted over 200 parishioners per service, now guarded by razor wire and awful looking grills to protect the already damaged stained glass windows. The pit itself, long cleared away, the ancillary buildings few of which remain are but depots for reclamation yards or meeting places for drug addicts and the destitute.

This is the brave new post war post industrial England. Sure there are sleepy villages, vibrant cities and bustling market towns in well to do areas, but for every Harrogate, there are many more Grimethorpes. These deprived areas like a rot will take a lot more than money, social schemes and the like to treat. With the decline goes pride, with pride lost there is little but apathy, with apathy comes decay. The wealthy international companies know this and they feast on the decay with their burger shops, their big name brand supermarkets, their "you must buy this because you need it" attitudes. Sucking the communities dry of the wealth which is then sent south or overseas and not reinvested in the local communities. We really only have ourselves to blame.


Cross posted to my Livejournal.


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A Lovely day out in Langsett

>

It was such a lovely day today I thought I’d nip out for a walk in the delightful countryside that South Yorkshire has to offer. My destination of choice was the delightful Langsett Reservoir near Barnsley/Sheffield.

 

Langset near Barnsley in South Yorkshire
Langset near Barnsley in South Yorkshire

 

The sun was out, the sky was blue. I didn’t have a care and I wasn’t blue. It wasn’t raining. Raining in my heart.

 

Langsett Reservoir is owned by Yorkshire water and there are many permissive paths. But me not being someone to stick to the boring old main track decided to follow my nose and take a well trod side path to see where it went. And I’m bloody glad that I did.

 

Tree!

After crossing a very busy road I was soon walking through a lovely peaceful forest. Not a soul about. Lots of little birdies and squirrels foraging about. Nature can be so inspiring sometimes.

 

Part of me had decided that I had to do this today because I have gotten a bit fat lately. This is partly down to having a lot of stress from finishing this bloody Media degree of mine.

 

Another part of me wanted to take photographs because out side the hustle and bustle of urban life, the countryside is the only place left that I feel like I am not intruding or being strange when I brandish my camera.

 

 

Waterfall

There was a stream running through the forest. I couldn’t see it because it was hidden under lots of undergrowth but I could hear it. As I rounded a corner I could see a bridge. I crossed this and discovered a lovely peaceful little glade where I could sit for a while and reflect on my future.

 

 

Following the stream

After a while some walkers approached from the other direction. We exchanged greetings (why is it that in the countryside people always say “hello” but in cities the same people would just ignore you?) and they told me that they were enjoying their walk especially as they had not seen anyone else all day.

 

 

More trees! The path split once more. A higher one that crossed the top of a cliff face and a lower one that only went a short distance toward a wall. I took the higher one which led me through another bit of forest and onto a landscape that could have placed me in any of the wooly wild locations in England.

 

 

 

Scree!Nothing but trees, rolling hills, sheep and scree. Not a soul around. Perfect for reflection and soul searching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken walls

Stepping over a dead sheep I realised that I was miles away from anywhere. Worse, I had very little battery left in my mobile phone. Fortunately I had thought to check the map before I left just to give me a rough idea of which direction I should head to return to my car. I had been walking by this time, for over an hour.

 

 

IMAG0057[1]The sun was beating my face and the path depressingly headed up a very steep hill. Beneath me I could see a river winding its way from the peak district bound for the sea.

At the top of the hill I could see a farm house. I was reluctant to pass through the field of bunny rabbits as it kind of looked like private property. Closer inspection revealed that this was a completely abandoned farm holding. With cattle sheds, sheep dips and live stock holdings. Nobody lived there now except for the many many startled rabbits. Even so, I walked through gingerly for fear of waking a dead farmer zombie or being accosted by some inbred family of mutants bent on making me their father. But in reality I was many miles away from Grimethorpe so this was unlikely to happen.

 

IMAG0058[1]

Once through the farm I headed up the path which in turn headed up the most demonic gradient I’ve seen outside of Scotland. The winding path lead me to a lone standing stone. The view from around there was amazing. I could see the windmills out near Penistone. I could see the hills and forests for miles. I truely was in the middle of nowhere. But what worried me most was the fact that I did not have much battery left in my phone and in the distance, angry black clouds floated in the sky like water filled bin bags.

 

Wind turbines against the black clouds of doom

 

IMAG0060[1] I’d just taken this picture of a vividly green tree when the unthinkable happened. My battery died. Miles from anywhere, no phone. No people. “Stuff it!” I thought and I carried on walking.

 

I wasn’t too worried as I was so chilled out and calm. I also knew that following the path would take me straight back to my car. It took me a good hour further to walk there.

 

I sat in my car just in time for PM on Radio 4. The roar of civilisation zooming past me in trucks, cars and on motorcycles. Nothing to bring you back to earth than Norbert Dentrassangle hurtling past noisly at 60mph.

 

A good day. 🙂


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>Empee Empee

>

Jeff Ennis goes this year. He used to live next door to Mrs Edson you know.

I live in Barnsley East. I’ve never been canvassed by an MP and shoving your tatty bit of paper through my letterbox just makes the cats and the recycle bin happy.

Currently the potential MPs for my area are (in no particular order) –

 

jb John Brown – Lib Dem: Beardy gent

Former lecturer, former manager of a plastics company.

Been about a bit. Lived in places such as St Helens, Congleton, Barnsley, Sheffield, Doncaster and Loughborough.

Has a degree in Metallurgy.

 


 

cavenvinesCaven Vines – UKIP: Shifty looking beardy gent

Seems to be based in Rotherham which isn’t all that far from Barnsley East but still.

Has a bee in his bonnet about immigrants, muslims and Britain being British.

Says “We need representation by MPs who are not afraid to speak out for what the people of Britain want” – Well I want a new car and £10000 please 😀

 

 

 

 

 


  

barnsleyeast5 Colin Porter – BNP: Odious sounding shouty pointy man

Other than a leaflet buried on some nationalist website and a couple of news clippings about him being all shouty and pointy. The only  other reference I could find about this gent is this Youtube video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cPDF6IDxz4

Curious really. Considering he’s putting himself forward for election. Furthermore, he seems to be stuck on issues that have no weight on the global or national scheme of things. I’m sure people living in Warrington would be furious to know that truck drivers are driving along B roads in Barnsley…..

 

 


  

main-1607 James Hockney – Conservatives: Slimey looking toff

 

This guy seems to have a career covering the south. Cambridgeshire, Ely and the like. Apart from kindly “helping to get a Learner Centre up and running in South Yorkshire”. I doubt he’s even looked at Barnsley except on a map.

Oh wait…it appears he went to a brewery….in a different part of Barnsley. Bless him.

 

 


 

dugher Michael Dugher – Labour: The ungoogleable man.

 

Seems like this chap has been floating round the country like an unflushed turd. I doubt he even lives in Barnsley…or for that matter knows where it is.

However he does seem to already have some parliamentary connections so even if he doesn’t get the job he can still make tea and advise on whatever it is he advises on.

 

 


 

 

This, it seems, is the motley band of chaps that want my vote. Now apart from virtually no web presence, these guys seem to think that they can tell me what they stand for  by telepathy…or maybe some sort of osmosis or something. However, because I’ve lived my life wrong, I am unable to receive messages through the ether due to my fat head being somehow defective.

So, like last time there was an election my offer still stands. It even applies to the horrid shouty pointy man. Let us go for a pint at the Three Horseshoes and discuss why I should vote for you because unless you do…I won’t have any idea why it is I should give you my vote.