Friday, 20 November 2015

Soul Circle, Tidal, Marina and Aleaxander D Great

It started with Soul Circle at the Chemic. Walt and I nipped down to see Alan (kit) and John (bass), and catch up with Ann. Soul Circle were on form, and I wished I had driven down, but I have yet to learn the fine art of soft drinks in da pub. This is best done with mental preparation and generally going down nearer to closing time, neither of which I had done. [the picture above comes from a selection of Soul Circle, none of which either Alan or John.]

We bumped into Lynn and Oliver. Lynn was pleased to meet Walt for the first time as she had heard so much about him from his grandmother. Amit, however opined that going for a drink with my very grown-up (only in age!) son was just increasing my own age!

On Friday I attended This Changes Everything at Woodhouse Community Centre. This powerful film was part of the start of the Tidal Conference. Turns out I should have been watching Alexander D Great in Mirfield (which I had in my diary as Saturday night). So I didn't deserve it when Marina, Glenn and Alexander himself turned up for a few tunes and poems at Woodhouse. First time I had heard Marina declaiming, and not surprised to learn she had won several poetry slams.

They went busking in Leeds Centre. I skipped off with them. There I met Emma B doing some art outside the Art Gallery, and also met my old friend Journalist John, who first sat me down and showed me how to make a blog when I campaigning for City of Leeds School to stay just that.
Emma B plus

Next day I took the mother to see some black and white footage of the old suffragette days. Just loving my new regular trips to the Hyde Park cinema.
From there I race off to Mirfield St Paul's for Alexander's last set and Marina's Carnival workshops in St Paul's Church. Here I decide to sign up for some salsa dancing at Inkwell, have a professional photo taken for conferences an' 'at, and take Alexander to the station on my way home.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Bill Viola at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Light Night Fright Night

Victoria and Staveley reflecting with camera
As the Sparrows bandleader, I often get invited to the opening of exhibitions and events at Yorkshire Sculpture Park., but rarely have been able  to attend them. This time I can and now I have new pal, Staveley the Photographer who will appreciate art and I am hoping explain it all to me.

It's a nice day There's a few hundred of us. We listen to the speeches, have a glass of juice and enter the weird world of Bill Viola. Well, it's underground installations, films of disintegrating people dissolving into water and what have you. The first few made me feel quite faint. In a good way.

In the last room we were invited to take a cup of green tea and watch a video that Bill had made, on the one side his mother dying and on the other his child being born, and other such stuff. There were stories on the walls, including how he fell into a pond as a child and remembered seeing the world through water.
Sort of validated for me how accidents are entitled to form and formulate your life theories.
Staveley and I arranged to met for Light Night in Leeds, but then Marina phoned to ask if I would march with her for the Day of the Dead.
And that is how I came to spend Friday evening dressed as a Mexican peasant woman with scary face make-up, bringing up the rear of the Lantern parade. I decided against going out further for reasons of the face make-up, and as my cracked my ribs were still playing up it was just as well.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Nick Sparham aka Harvey managed 40

Nick Sparham aka Harvey managed 40
 This fact deserves a post to all to itself.
Nicky was in my tutor group at Foxwood; he was in my steelband; he was one of the best soprano pan players ever; he was one of top GCSE hopefuls of his year; he took no exams.

He used to babysit for me; he was gay; he and Derek told me in Yr 10 that they would come out in Yr 11. I told them that my support for them was not going to be replicated by the hoi poloi of Seacroft and Foxwood School - this was two and half decades ago - and I advised them both against it, but would stand by them if needed..

Anyway two weeks into term another kid asked me if Nick was gay [probably not the word he used]; proud, but nervous for these two, I said, You will have to ask him yourself. Turned out that they both denied it for the remaining,

It was a tough old world,
but lovely Nick was a survivior, is a survivor, so although I had recently taken my back steps at speed and face first, and was now suffering the mothers and sisters of all bruised ribs, I just had to honour the occasion.

En route, and ever thus, we had to meet Charlotte to return the pan she left in the van. At which point, in the middle of Briggate we bumped into Daisy and Lola, so it seemed only appropriate to take loads of pics.

Then on to M and S for some flowers and down to Lower Briggate for the do. Bit of a trip down Memory lane meeting his mum, uncle and aunt and some ex-students. And it been 19 years ago when Max's late partner, Dave and I saw Nick safely through his 21st at the Jester in Bradford. I do live in hope that he will return to Foxwood Steel. Above is a picture of him from schooldays circa 1990 treading the old boards at Harehills Community Centre.