Thursday, 16 April 2015

Highlight of the week.

I'm now used to old peoples 'highlight of the week' being the Gardener coming, but it is for this lovely little dog as well !

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Liebster award 2015

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Sylvie from Little Crop Goth Girl blog….  thank you Sylvie.
The Liebster award is given to fellow bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
3. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have fewer than 200 followers.
5. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.
11 random facts about me.

I was the Chef at the 1980 World Curling Championship in Inverness (Scotland)

I do charity work for Tia Greyhound Rescue.

Me on the right
When I visit my parents and grandparents graves in the dark winter months, I like to ware my Top hat and long coat. It gives other people there a fright!

I was The Judge for the vegetable classes at the last Harewood Horticultural Show in 2000.

Harewood House
I hated school so much that when I left (40 years ago) I never returned even for my exam results, and did not have contact with anyone until last year when a good friend found me on Facebook.

In 1977 where I worked made the (then) world’s biggest Yorkshire pudding.

Me on right again
Rechargeable batteries, never seem to last as long as they should for me.

I used to get into trouble for writing in purple ink.  

I had my picture on Goths Up Trees

In my teen`s I used to grow my hair till it was half way down my back. But now it drives me mad when it gets more than an inch long.

I was the DJ on the last night at The Fforde Greene pub in Leeds; it had been a music venue for over 40 years by then.

The 11 Questions from Sylvie

1.  When and why did you start blogging?
2012, when my first grandson was 3 days old I had an email from *Him* inviting me to follow his Blog. I also wanted to have my company name on line and it seemed a good way to do that. The first 20 or so posts were originality columns I had written for a caravanning newsletter.

2.  With MP3s and internet streaming, do you still buy CDs or DVDs?

3.  How would you describe your style of dress?
Elegant, Smart, or Casual. No Sportswear, No Baseball caps. No trainers.

4.  What religion or philosophy do you ascribe to?
For years I would have said “None Practicing Christian”, but recently I think “None Practicing Pagan” seems more like it. And the music`s better.

5.  What are your favourite TV shows on the air right now?
DCI Banks, Downton Abbey and the quiz Pointless.

6.  What other hobbies do you participate in, besides blogging?
Caravanning, Greyhound rescue and Live Music (Goth)

7.  If you participate in the arts, which ones do you participate in?  Are you a hobbyist or a professional?
I guess you could call my work an art, so Gardening.

8.  If a movie was being made about your life, which actor/actress would play you?
Daniel Radcliffe for the young me and Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean)

9.  Choose one: Coffee or tea?
NO I can`t Coffee in a morning, Tea later

10.  What colours have you dyed your hair?
In my Punk days it was bleached silvery white, more recently I had it sort of purple-ish

11.  Introvert, extrovert, or


I won`t nominate anyone for this as I know a lot do not like these things, but if you wish to join in then please do and comment below.

My 11 Questions

Do you know people who you think are like characters in Harry Potter?

Do you ever take your own drink into clubs because of the prices they charge?

Do you still have, or even ever had and play any vinyl records?

Do you hate Mondays?

Do you think Energy drinks work?

What do you do when you're drunk?

What`s your favourite place?

How many pairs of shoes / boots do you own?

Are you a tidy person?

Do you have a phrase you often use?

Have you ever taken a photo of a `No photos` sign?
I think that does it. Have fun, and thank you all for reading.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Druids Temple North Yorkshire

As part of my Easter break I finally managed to get to The Druids Temple which is about 4 miles out of the market town of Masham, (More famous for the 2 breweries there, Black Sheep and Theakston’s) .

The Druids Temple North Yorkshire
Despite its name is not an ancient place of worship, but was built as a folly by William Danby of Swinton Hall (1752 – 1832), to generate work for the local men who were paid one shilling (5 pence UK) a day.

The Druids Temple North Yorkshire
Regardless of the history I can`t help but think that this would make a great setting / venue for all sorts of events.

The Druids Temple North Yorkshire

The Druids Temple North Yorkshire

The Druids Temple North Yorkshire

The Druids Temple North Yorkshire
A longer description can be found here…

Monday, 30 March 2015

A day of two extremes

We had planned to go to the Spring Fairy Market at Cottingley on Saturday.
Spring Fairy Market at Cottingley
These are such wonderful events full of interesting people and stalls selling homemade crafted items in a magical setting. But at the last minute we were invited to our granddaughter`s second birthday party.

Pic from Fairy Market FB page
Part One, Afternoon
That it wasn`t to be so we took our “made in China, under slave conditions” toys to give to Amy and watched as she joyfully opened her presents. There was a nice buffet and the house filled up with her friends and their families. After we talked about how bad the traffic was my conversation dried up. I was asked “If I bet on the horses?” I said “I have no interest in any sport” and that ended that. A fish out of water, or Goths in Awkward Situations sprang to mind. Later Amy blew out the candles on her cake and we went home.

Pic from Google, it might not have been that one.
Part Two Evening
Also pencilled in on the calendar weeks ago was a gig down in Bradford at The Black Swan, Hands of Industry and supported by Dawn of Elysium. I really wanted to get to this and despite felling rather ‘empty headed’ so after a take away and wash I was on my way.
Emma from Dawn of Elysium
Once in the pub I was greeted by Emma and Charles from ‘Dawn’ I sat with them at their table and at once felt totally at ease and at home, Alex come in said Hi and thanked me for going, and asked how I was? I said “I need this to restore my sanity” We talked about everything and the time just few by. Hands of Industry did their sound check, then it was Dawn of Elysium`s turn. Ten minutes later the band was on stage, the rest of us went to the front. All my favourites were played, Doused in Green, Smoke and Mirrors, and after that one Alec said it was “Time for something slower, what time is it Alastair?” I shouted back “LOST AND FOUND” and it was! One of the best songs ever! in my opinion I love it. Yes I danced, the next song was the last.

Dawn of Elysium
I then had a good long talk with the DJ Mark Musolf who goes as far back as I do in the Leeds music scene. A great guy.

Hands of Industry
Hands of Industry came on and good they were too, but I was still on cloud 9 from Dawn and I had a long drive home so after 3 or 4 songs I left. My ‘batteries fully recharged’

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Skeletal Family + Grassby & Walker at Korks, Otley

Otley is a small Yorkshire Dale`s town about 4 miles away from where I live. Most of the time the most Gothic thing there is The Navvies Monument next to the church, built to commemorate the 23 men who lost their lives building the Bramhope railway tunnel 1846 – 1849 and is a replica of the northern portal.

The Navvies Monument (Pic not mine, from Google)
But on Friday tonight, Korks Wine Bar played host to two of my favourite Goth bands, all but at “Acoustic” levels. The gig was promoted by my old mate John Keenan, the man who brought Goth to Leeds clubs years before it was named Goth!

Rhombus Acoustic
Edward Grassby and Rob Walker were joined by fellow Rhombus member Andy Holmes to start off what was always going to be a great night. As much as I love a full `elec` set this is the second time I`ve been treated to the acoustic version and I do really like it. We got a fair section of their repertoire but of course with Mya missing we did not have In to the Rain, which is my favourite Rhombus song. Still a marvellous set.

The Skeletal Family
The headliners, The Skeletal Family were represented by singer Anne-Marie Hurst and Stan Greenwood on Guitar This made for a lighter more fun set and a really enjoyable one at that, with original material and covers, a great night.

Anne-Marie Hurst

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Police and Gardeners

I originally posted this in January 2012 when I started making my Blog out of the back catalogue of the columns I had written for our caravanning group newsletter so not many people read it. (10) But was reminded of it when I read a great post "a lesson in saving roses" by Goth Gardening
The scene of the crime ?
Last time I finished with the words “That never happened to Alan Titchmarsh!” Here is something else to go in that folder.

Police car from the TV series Heartbeat at Goathland where it`s filmed
I was at one of my larger gardens just off the A59, having my 10 O’ clock break when I saw out of the corner of my eye a man walking up the drive (there are electric gates which were closed. I jumped out of my car and shouted at him “Who are you?” he replied “POLICE, who are you?”  I responded equally “Gardener what’s up?” There were now two of them and I don’t think he was pleased to see me, but he had a lump in his trousers [ he was carrying a gun, which normal English Police don`t do]  they were from Menwith Hill secret military listening base, he told me that they were responding to a personal attack alarm going off. This is when things started to go wrong when I started to explain “No alarm has gone off, “I did set an alarm off about three weeks ago” I just managed to stop myself from saying “Have you just got here” Instead I went on “the house is empty he (The owner) went away in a chauffeur driven car about 8:45. We have cameras and infer-red beams, but I don’t think there are any personal attack alarms” They contacted their HQ who in turn contacted the private security company and they confirmed there was no one inside and it must be a fault. As I said at the beginning that never happens on TV.

Monday, 16 March 2015

The Kast off Kinks at Skipton

This was the first caravanning trip of the year and as usual it was at Skipton Cattle Mart. By chance one of my all-time favourite bands was playing there on Friday night.

Skipton Cattle Mart
We arrived at lunch time and got set up in the front carpark; there was a Farm Machinery sale on, on Saturday morning taking up the back parking area.

Andy, the market manager had told our stewards that any camper who wanted to see any of the night`s shows could have 50% off the ticket price if we showed our camping club card in the ticket office. This meant for 2 tickets it saved us £20, the camping fees were only £14 for 2 nights, so by going in the caravan we sort of made £6!

The Kast off Kinks at Skipton Cattle Mart
We have seen The Kast off Kinks before, the last time in a normal club setting with carpets, comfy seats and a bar. This gig set in a cattle sale ring was a bit different; the sound rig was a bit on small side due to the original one been stuck on the motorway but did the job.

The Kast off Kinks at Skipton Cattle Mart
 Over the past 51 years, The Kinks have had so many hits. They played all my loads of my favourites from You Really Got Me (1964) to Come Dancing (1982) which was last record I played when I DJed the last night at The Fforde Greene pub in Leeds before the music room was made into a pool hall. Sunny Afternoon, Dead-end Street not forgetting Lola
The Kast off Kinks at Skipton Cattle Mart
There was an interval but the bar in a nearby room was packed so I went by to our caravan for some tins I knew the security was so poor I could get it in., but as I was walking back at another door 2 of the band were having a smoke so I went to talk to them. They are really nice people.

The second part was a bit louder and more people danced by the time we got to the last song Louie Louie everyone was stood up dancing.

View from Skipton Cattle Mart
A great night and not far to walk `home` to bed!
Check out it their website 

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