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.


My philosophy is that we are all on a journey together. We walk different paths. Sometimes the paths are close to each other and we walk some distance together before the paths diverge. Other times the paths continue on together for what seems like a long time. While walking these paths we make friends with our fellow walkers. They become life time companions. Others diverge, people we once knew that move on to other things maybe even a few we lose touch with. Some walkers on these paths reach the goal before others and they exit through the gift shop, picking up their celestial commemorative photos on the way. Some enjoy the walk so much that they buy another ticket and the path of life for them begins again.

Three things happened this weekend that kind of reminded me of how fluid friends are. The first was my parents. They are both in their seventies. My mum’s phone kept ringing throughout my stay in Liverpool. It was either this person or that person. When the phone wasn’t ringing, it would be a neighbour popping down the road for a quick chat or a friend just passing to say hello. I realised I no longer have this experience. I have not had this experience since 2006 and even then it was waning.

The second occurred because of a breakdown in communication. My paranoia rose and in the short space of a moment I went from a feeling of fondness to a feeling of slight betrayal about that person. The feelings of slight betrayal grew into a feeling of loneliness, because yes, even after 2 years in the midlands, I am still to foster new friendships to the same levels of those friends I left behind in Liverpool and Yorkshire. But the next thing to happen made those feelings feel selfish and insignificant

Steve Haigh 1985 - 2012The third thing that happened was I had a message through Facebook from someone off the course I was on at Barnsley UCB. The message told me that another one of my friends, , had died suddenly in their sleep. He was 26. This kind of knocked me for six and today I conversed with the friend who messaged me about how quickly we all drifted apart.

I believe that Facebook (and for that matter, the internet) gives us a false feeling of connection. We meet many people through our lives. Each person influences us in some fashion and we develop our own personality from the sum of the people we interact with, both those we get along with and those we don’t. I won’t dwell on those we don’t get along with. In fact I’ll just say “Life is too short for grudges no matter what a person has done”. I think that’s the core of what some bloke said two thousand years ago. But they nailed him to a tree and I don’t fancy that fate so I won’t dwell as I said.

Sure the internet has helped us touch others we might never meet and, conversely, it has helped us to keep touching the same and those we may be never able to touch again because of geographical constraints. Like this blog. You, my dear reader, you I have touched many times. In polite company I might be arrested I have reached out over the web waves and through your screen, there I reach through the glass of your monitor and caress the back of your mind with tenderness, showing my appreciation and love for you all in my own special way. We click. We share our experiences. We share the path together for some time.

Crucially the point is how well do you know people. Apart from your closer family and friends, when was the last time you met that person on your Facebook? Have you even met them? When did they last touch you? Did you tell the police? When was the last time you were in the same town or geographical region as them? Did you even look them up? Would you look them up? Even if it was just for a five minute hello and catch up? What would you do if they stopped posting on Facebook, Twitter or Livejournal? Would you contact them to check they were alright?

I did an experiment this year. Back in the early noughties I was a prominent presence in the Thirty something chat rooms on Freeserve. People loved to chat with me. I loved to chat with people. Sadly, for personal reasons, I had to stop going into the chat rooms. Within 9 months I had a letter from one of the people who regularly visited the chatrooms. I wasn’t particularly close to them but they wrote to show their concern at not seeing me online for so long. This year I stopped liking and posting on Facebook. Nobody messaged me. Nobody enquired about my health. Ok granted, a good deal of people on my Facebook know people I know and no doubt I suspect they thought if anything was wrong they would know through them. In away, Steve’s death reinforced this fact. I would probably never have known had it not been for another friend pointing out the announcement on Facebook. Have we really all drifted apart? Or is it just my feeling of isolation that brings this to me?

So I now ask you to look again at your Facebook, Twitter and LJ accounts and friends lists. If there is someone on there who has truly touched you in some way or other tell the police, and you haven’t heard from them for a while, message them. Let them know you think of them still. Don’t delete them. Don’t ignore them and hope they message you. And I’m not saying just like a post of theirs or comment vacuously on some posting of theirs. Make an effort. Email them. Message them directly. Say hi. Ask them how they are. Ask them a question. Tell them I told you to do it. Who knows, maybe I’ll get some messages too. The people we meet on our journey along life’s paths are gifts and guides to us. Cherish each and every person you meet. Listen to them. Talk to them. Share your message so they too can touch and impart a piece of you onto others. Without getting arrested.


Took myself away this weekend as respite from the awful exam.

While away I resisted the urge for Chineefoo and yummies but not for geocaching. Found a few caches, saw the Rollright stones which are obviously a former kraal for cattle, bits of which have been moved about by some ancient errant farmer in days past. None of that floaty vagina bollocks here I’m sorry. Yeah I get stone henge and I get other ancient monuments but sorry, to me I just don’t get the same vibe with the Rollrights. Call me cynical, call me misguided, but to me they are nothing more than the remains of a former cattle haven. Or maybe a barrow that never got finished. We’ll never know.

Fortune for choosing the right weekend to go away did not become apparent until this afternoon. After a day in the rain walking round shops trying to convince the owners that the Civic was open, I took myself into Uni with the intent to do some CV writing and job searching. Alas this was not to be. I was greeted by an awful stench and three whopping great industrial vacuum cleaners, of the type that suck up water.

It transpires that on Friday the skeleton staff were shocked to notice that little pools of water were forming in the carpet. As they were flapping and wondering what to do the pools became ponds and the ponds became a giant lake.


Shiney Carpet!



Wet books!




Wet wet wet

Glad I was off. It would have been a very soggy Friday.

Car goes in for an MOT tomorrow. I have no money. I need a job. No change there. Or, for that matter, down the side of the couch.


Exam was tough, went well for the most part I think but then I always go to pieces in exams. I never seem to remember anything.

Weekend was lovely. Nice walks in the May sunshine looking at the hawthorn in full bloom and the nice cooling breeze making what probably would have made the outdoors horridly hot and sweaty into a beautiful English spring day.

Seeing lots of big houses in the middle of nowhere strikes me with the same question it always does. What is it that the people that live in them actually do for a living? I mean Warwickshire is not exactly renown for its bustling cities (The nearest “big” city is Coventry and that is actually in the West Midlands county. There are few big employers locally and they can’t all be shop keepers and post mistresses.

It’s interesting looking at North Warwickshire as a whole. Agriculturally there are loads of farms but very few farm shops. The villages that have shops appear to be commuter dormitories with very little in the way of sustainable businesses. There are pubs in the middle of nowhere which seem to do a roaring trade in food but wet sales, I imagine, don’t amount to much. Even village shops seem to be in low supply, the people that live in these villages seem to prefer to travel the 20 mile round trip to their local supermarket than to shop local and post offices seem to also be in low supply. Is this what country life has become? Shops and pubs now converted into luxury country retreats for those with “specialist” jobs?

I think I might have the subject of the documentary for my third year here…….

In other news I some how appear to have volunteered myself to help the local Arts Centre here in Barnsley promote itself. My time though is at a premium so it is likely that such work will be brief. The clock is ticking. It doesn’t appear that people are racing. Now is the time not to become complacent. Time to be proactive. After getting my Warcraft characters up a level.

Goths are nice middle class kids

So G P Taylor came to Barnsley Library to launch his new collaborative book Out of the Shadows which has been written by kids from Dearne High in Barnsley. I managed to squeeze 3 minutes of interview from him……

You can listen to my interview with GP Taylor here (approx 3mb dialup fans)


Unprepared : A post

Sometimes I thrive on being unprepared for situations. I like to think on my feet. I find that the adrenaline helps me think sharper, but not necessarily clearer. Though since being on adrenaline suppressants I’m not always as sharp as I used to be. A case in point occurred on Monday of this week.

When Stegzy met Parky (with photos)


Most of the ICT support staff (75% of us) are off work either on holiday or with some virulent lurgy. Me? Well I called into the LRC in the UCB to be told I can start when I get my starter pack (which should have arrived on Saturday). Chaos. So here I am in the helpdesk in NEW (there’s nothing new about it love) college, 25% of the ICT support people, fending off phone calls and avoiding students. Imagine had I called in today to say “I’m not coming in dude!”. Wow!

Home life is active. The weekend was spent shopping, eating and trying to track down a restaurant I’d spotted while travelling at warp speed through Darfield. This week I’m probably going Most likely definitely going to be attempting to get my course work out of the way. It’s already mounting up!

Incidently you’ll notice I’ve been doing a lot of friends only posts of late. This is purely to avoid prying work like eyes snooping about. The other day I was stood outside UCB enjoying the air when someone walked past and said “You look rather angry on your Facebook Picture”. Me? Angry? Must be some mistake.

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