Spaces between Places.
A series of snaps of places I have been, both in daily life and in excertions about. The aim of this set is to make us think about the hidden facets of the places we know so well, to force us to rethink what we knew about that place, and to learn something new about something old, and by extention, what we think and know and learn about ourselves and those we love.
As a sideline, i also happen to enjoy stone work and architecure, of which these are examples.
I hope you find them as facinating as I did. Thank you.
1. York Centre. Reminded my companion and I of Nocturn Alley.
Hello there, we’ve not seen each other in a while I know. I know I have failed with my once a week blog spectacularly but I hope you’ll forgive me eventually.
I have been on jury service for the past 2 months or so, and it has taught me a few things:
To be considerate, in both actions and thoughts
To not judge too quickly, but to trust your instincts
And never ever ever buy a used car if you can help it.
Anyway, I dont think you’ll be seeing me every weds- thurs- whenever i actually post as i did before. I’ve learnt that you can’t force it when its not there. I find myself actually writing longhand, something which i never did before due to lack of confidence in my hands.
I may transcribe some of those entries, but it doesnt seem likely.
In other news, I have been taking some pictures that I;d like to share with you, I’m toying with the idea of calling them ’ Spaces between places’ as they all seem to be alleyways and such. They are mainly to do with architecture and stone work, but may branch out into other interesting things as time goes by.
Also, if you could excuse the grammar/ spelling errors that would be grand; MS word has died on me so I’m typing straight into tumblr.
Peace out my cyber homies (appropriate hand gestures)
Its been a week of reminiscence for me, prompted by several internal and external sources. The external have been passing by people that I’ve known in the streets, sometimes mutual recognition and other times as a one way observation. Who I met isn’t that important, they were all minor players in the history of me, friends of friends or brief work colleagues. These people were single faceted aspects of my life; I knew them in a strict setting, be it school or the workplace.
The internal wellsprings of memory have been recollections of childhood activities, in this instances with both of my older sisters. They differ from the above sources as they are pinpoint memories of events or specific actions, rather then memories of generic interactions. They made me realise that we’ve grown apart as a family. Not that I don’t know we’re isolated emotionally from one another now, but that we were close before.
We live as part of this intricate web of social connections, almost invisible to our conscious perception.
This period of reminiscence has made me think of who I’ll meet in the future, what they’ll mean to me, in both meeting new people and rediscovering already known, like my sisters.
My siblings and I are isolated from one another, by time, distance and personalities and this has led to a certain enmity between us. Nothing too overt, but a subtle current through our relationships. I’m not sure why this is so, maybe because I was the son of another man (though in my heart this seems unlikely). I think it was because they were all relatively grown up when I was born. They were had there defined personalities, even my youngest sister, who was five. Then I came along, usurping their mother’s attention (which for them, was the direct result and indicator of love) for a considerable amount of time.
Its sad, because I know it’s not normal, not by normal standards, yet it’s the only way we can function.
I’m not sure what the theme of this post is, remembrance? Internal relationships? Sibling rivalry?
Perhaps, like my siblings and I, it just is what it is, and we should live with that.
Ps. On a lighter note, I’ve procured some footage from Lucas, my brother in arms, and plan to make some vids on my youtube channel. Look out for those.
Yeah thats not coming for a while i think, if at all.
I do however, have a little moral tale for you.
I did something that shocked me today. I ignored a person asking for change. Completely and utterly blanked their existence from my mind as I walked to the bus stop.
I wouldn’t consider myself an overly charitable person, I give and help for the same reason most of us do, to appease my own sense of guilt, but I never thought I was selfish, with my possessions or my time. By ignoring this woman, I was being selfish, I didn’t want to look her in the eye and tell her that no, I did not want to give her any money, for various reasons, one of them being that I don’t have a lot of it. That, perhaps, wasn’t the most shameful thing to admit, because we all do have to look after ourselves, and no one forces us to do anything regarding charity.
What was more shame inducing was her reply;
‘Thanks love, God bless’ said without a lot of sarcasm. She was used to this treatment, to being ignored, passed on by, not deemed worthy of even a reply.
Not giving change to a homeless person doesn’t make you a bad person, ignoring them dehumanizes them, and that is wrong.
It was that reply that made me stop, turn and walk back to her (which took some time, she was a fast mover).I gave her some change, partly because I wanted to, partly to appease my own feelings of guilt. I apologized for ignoring her, and she repeated her reply, with genuine surprise.
The £1.20 probably isn’t going to be a massive boon to her, but I hope she has a bit more faith in humanity now.
Hello there everybody…what’s wrong? Why are you shocked? Yes, of course I know what day it is-
OH MY GOD ITS ACTUALLY WEDESDAY!!
Comedy aside, I’d like to talk about legacy, what we leave behind, to our offspring.
I wanted to write about this for a while, but never felt I’ve been able to articulate my thoughts well enough, but I had a burst of inspiration while waiting to be called for jury service, in the jury waiting room, which overlooks the very bottom of the Headrow, across to the law sector and such places.
It was in the second floor of the Combined Courts, an imposing and regal building, that looks like a four year old designed it with a set of wooden blocks.
It’s always interesting to see old things from a new perspective, in this case the city. Buildings old and new, ranged together almost level with the eye, sharing a common skyline. This phenomenon extends to other things, including yourself. You often get the true measure of yourself in the faces of others, it’s quite humbling.
But, on to the main topic.
What will we leave behind us when we’re gone? What lessons will future generations gain from our existence? Will they be tried and tested proverbs? My grandfather (mother side) had one he’s particularly fond of:
‘In every soldier’s kitbag is a marshals baton’ – NOTE; A marshals baton is token of office for the commander of an armed force, in this case the RAF.
He was in the RAF regiment during the Second War and it means you can achieve anything if you work hard, something he’s told his generally apathetic grandson on more than one occasion.
Or, will they actions, or lack thereof that will teach us?
My own father taught me how to play chess, the rudiments of guitar playing and building of his own volition, but he taught me many things besides, unknowingly. These lessons were both profound and incredibly bitter but lessons nonetheless.
Alas, this will have to be a two parter, as my mother wants her laptop back, selfish cow.
As pointed out to me by my only reader, I haven’t yet done my mid week blog.
This is due to a shift in the established norm of my life. Since Monday I have been serving as a member of a jury in Leeds Crown Court.
I had been relishing this chance for some time, to see democracy at work and to be a part of something that would effect the world I live in.
For the first two days, I have done nothing but read a book.
Just goes to show that somber dignified affairs have to be taken with a light heart.
I shall post a longer blog next mid week, as I have much to do this night, and I don’t wish to rush it.
I have a discussion topic for you tonight. It can be an external discussion, with others, or an internal one if you prefer.
It was late, close to closing and I was outside the café, getting some air and stacking the chairs, when u was assaulted , physically and verbally, by an elderly man with severe behavioural retardation. He swore and spat almost continuously at everyone and no one, and in my specific instance, threw his food (take out box with two battered sausages and a roll) in my direction and lightly smacked his cane across my legs as I walked past (not light for lack of effort, I imagine he has arthritis also).
I don’t recount this encounter to paint the man as the villain, just to lay the groundwork for the following, indeed I feel no anger or animeity towards him, only a deep and genuine feeling of pity, because soon after throwing his almost untouched food at me, he came back and asked what had happened to it. I was struck my such a profound sense of pity that I was unable to speak for a moment.
My point is this, why is this man allowed out without care or supervision of any kind? Again, I do not say this for any selfish reasons, that he’s an inconvience that we, as able bodied/ minded individuals shouldn’t have to put up with, but because he threw his food at me, and then didn’t know what happened to it. I can’t imagine that he has a lot of food at home, something tells me he has trouble shopping on his own.
I don’t know the extent of this man’s life, I only know what I’ve seen on the two occasions that I’ve encountered him (the first some years ago, in Chapel Allerton, and he was equally belligerent). What I know is that he is alone, unaided and without the mental capacity to function with other humans. What would happen if he smacked the wrong person? Not as understanding as me. I dread to think.
Going back to my question, I think I have the answer. Why is he left alone? Because it is easier, and proably cheaper, to keep him out of care and give him money, as he evidently has some degree of skills, as he is always clothed and appears capable of getting food, albeit he has trouble holding on to it.
What is being done to help people in these situations and is it enough? When do we, as individuals, draw the line of help we are willing to render to one so difficult to help?
Think on it, you may be surprised with the answer.
On an unrelated note, to give some balance to this post, I’ve found a alternative version of the popular Eminem track ‘Stan’, without Dido replaced by a male vocal (just wiki’d, its Elton john haha some music buff I am) and a very nice piano undertones, which shows that two very different artists can come together to create something both new and original, which is outstanding.
On June 24, about 23.2 million tuned in to watch England get there ass handed to them in penalties after dancing a rather remarkable set for 120 mins. On that day, I was one of those millions, sitting with the girlfriend and her relations, baying like a animal at every close call and near miss. I don’t even like football, but theres something about big live matches that get me going.
On the way back from said girlfriends, I heard most of the fellow bus users discussing the match, I felt that urge to join in with them, to discuss the ins and outs, felt that there was a sense of brotherhood, communion between random strangers and myself. I didn’t talk to anyone about anything, other then the obligatory ticket flash nod combo and thank you to the driver. Its just not in my nature, but I appreciated the feeling.
That’s one good thing about football (and there aren’t many in my book), is that it does bring people together, gives common ground and makes you feel part of something big, which most of us seem to crave.
There are of course, negatives to football, outside of the sport itself(they get paid far to much), the racism, the us vs them attitude of the spectators and the well known ‘footie thug’ image that has prevailed since the mid 80’s. They spoil a generally likeable sport, which is sad.
But back to companionship, both intimate and otherwise. I am, by nature, quite a solitary fellow, I can go long periods without human contact and it not effect me (apart from seeing the lovely). I can get along very well with people, I’m not a hermit or anything, but I do tend to avoid large groups of people, unless they are made up of my close friends.
I’ve wondered somewhat from the main topic, for which I apologise. Hell I’m not even sure what my point is with this entry. Does everything need a conclusive end?
As a matter of obligation to the ones I care about, I should talk a little about yesterday.
It was like any other day, I got up, I talked to my family, and there was some communion about the facts of the day, but other then that it was just me and the family, doing what we occasionally do.
There are moments in everyday life that break my heart. Little revelations about the future and the past. I think these moments are more potent then the actual chronological date of my fathers death.
Also, a curious thing that I’ve noticed is that my father and I are quite alike. Not in a physical sense (not that I’ve just noticed that that is), but little things. We both knew/ know how to do a type of knot. Theres a gate he built, and to act as a catch for holding it open, he tired a bit of nylon string around the hand rail, forming a loop. The knot he used I imagine he picked up somewhere along the way in his studies as a carpenter (though I’ll never know, and that nags at me in a sad way), whereas I learnt from a survival manual (the zombies are coming guys). Its that and more little unexpected connections that reminded me that we are linked. That is both a source of comfort and sorrow, rather paradoxically.
I’ve written it before, but I think it ties this off nicely;
A life has been lived, and I am thankful for it.
I’d like to share with you the past few days of my life, and what they have taught me.
Some have been practical lessons:
Always have credit.
Always ask questions
Always, always chain you’re bike up.
Some were more potent lessons, things I’ve learnt about myself and life
Listen to the one’s who love you.
Anger is easier then grief.
Having read that list, I bet you’re wfting like a bitch.
Well, here it is.
On Thursday last, I bought a new bike: a shiny silver beast called Wanda after much dicking around with payment and online deals and such.
By Friday evening, it had been removed from my possession. But that’s the last thing of my trio of woes on that Friday, and I shall return to it (ahh the master of suspence!)
1. An incident at work landed me in some verbal shit regarding payment for some coffee and pasta, which lead to a very spirited disagreement between myself and the manager.
2. A brief and somewhat awkward standoff with my girlfriend about how much we see each other and why. Basically a misunderstanding of wording, but it left a sour taste between us.
3. Bike removed from possession, thinking it had been stolen. They left a note with a phone number, Leeds city council and the names Rob or Lee (come on, ROBBERY am I right?)
The rest of the night passed in a difficult, awkward and generally uncomfortable manner, though me and she had a talk about stuff, and I learnt for the first time that my own anger effects others, and that I need to change myself so I don’t hurt the ones I love the most. A difficult task, but after almost five years, there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for her, (within reason, she’s not having a kidney or anything).
I think that’s the hallmark of a long relationship, wanting to change for the other,. Not in a controlling, wear this tie dump your mates BE WITH ME kind of way.
Anyway, back to it. I call the number on Monday, without much hope, and to my eternal joy, it is actually a council installation that has my bike. I fist pump vigorously for about 5 minutes straight, and then at irregular instances throughout the day. Do you want to know the real mind fucker? I hadn’t actually chained my bike to anything, just unclipped my chain from my bike and re-clipped it without threading it around. I put it down to tiredness and unfamiliarly (I hadn’t rode from some weeks beforehand and my muscle memory is somewhat poor). The street wardens had seen this and taken the bike to their station to keep it safe, and I imagine, to teach me a well deserved lesson. I am currently drafting a thank you/ recommendation letter, just need to figure out who to send it too.
When I came home on Tuesday, triumphant and humbled, my mother had received a letter from the taxman with a bank order for about £1500 in over paid taxes.
My girlfriend had said to me the day before, whilst I was in a fug of anger and bitterness, that my father was watching over me, as departed spirits of loved ones do and that I should have faith in him, perhaps more in death then I did in life. I didn’t believe her (and even went as far as scoffing her internally, I’m genuinely ashamed to admit) but now I’m forced to rethink, if not accept fully, that she may have a point. Part of me wants to believe, another part wants to lay him to rest completely and move on, but I don’t know much about either.
I’m more inclined to believe that life is balance, that good and bad things happen in equal measure, and that the rest is just perception of these twists and turns. Its by no means a definitive belief that I can base my actions on, but its mine nonetheless.
This has been my considerable longer then usual midweek blog, probably to make up for my poor attempt last week.
I’m going to be quite honest with you readers (ok, redader, lets face it, you’re the only one who reads these Hayley) I’ve got nothing.
I’ve been racking my brain cell all day, trying to think of something meaningful to write. I;ve had a few starters; memories, escapism and music, the usage of words but none of them have stuck. I think its because my mind is so occupied with current and past events, that I can’t even escape into thinking, as I usually do.
Its coming up to two years since my father’s death (what the fuck do I call that? Death day seems a bit macabre to use in casual conversation), and this leads me down a different mental pathway, one I’m less inclined to share with people.
Maybe my lack of escapism is a good thing, maybe I need to stop running from my grief and face it head on. I’m not going to lie, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past two years. Running, hiding from what hurts because I don’t want to think about it, don’t want to face reality.
Anyway, I may have something better for you on the 27th.
Oh, I also have Jury service on the 9th of next month, so that should be interesting.
Crappy pseudo Wednesday blog over.