My dad is a farmer, a damn good one at that. He has reached the end of his full-time obligations and he is joining Mum in retirement. I wish them the best of British on that.
Part of dad’s contract meant that he got a house with the job - a perk, if you would, of working in agriculture. We have never owned any land, my dad is a contracted farm manager. So, when he retires he has to move on. I have every faith that a house would have been found for him and mum by the estate. But, they have bought a property further North.
Part of this is that I came to the farm this Sunday to help clear out what had been collected by me (and on my behalf) at Home Farm - there was a lot of stuff and some weird memories came back as a result.
The highlight of it was an old menu from the Furlong & Furkin and a Chairman Mao cigarette lighter that plays “The East Is Red” when you light it up. I now have a few boxes from my old room scattered about my own place on Dragon Parade, from the farm.
What will I miss from Home Farm? Will I miss it? “If these walls could talk” is a valid worry for someone with my illness - let’s hope I don’t leave any ghosts behind :)
I will miss the Bird-Life and the surrounding trees to the farm. The farm was located in Dark Walk Woods, Near Ripon. There was an abundance of birdlife that my parents fostered. They were always tending the birdfeeders and reaped dividends for doing so.
They were often visited by Woodpeckers and all sorts of LBJs (that I can’t name). I fell into Field Recording (probably as a direct result of the sleepless nights at home farm listening to the dawn chorus) and found a lot of solace listening to the various visitors to the garden.
There was a down side to the house; it was so damn cold. Freezing. Let’s hope that moving house will help with my folk’s health. It was unheallthily cold in Winter and if it was not for the log burner we would have had problems …
I had a troubled time at home farm but I don’t think I would have recovered to the point I am at today, so speedily, if it had not been for the calm and peace at the farm for my extended stays there.
It was a retreat.
Yes, Harrogate is not a bustling metropolis - but the quiet of Home Farm was palpable. It was a constant. It was welcome. It will be missed.
Granted, there is an instant nostalgia of leaving a place you know you will never go back to again, especially if it rings with any emotional significance. But it is a location that has witnessed such turbulance this emotion is a difficult one to describe - all I can do is remove my head from my ar*e and wish my parents “Good luck & thanks for all of the fish.” If I was trying to classify the emotion it would be “Dankbarnostalgiezuentkommen.”
I have had a small hand in the start of Harrogate Community Radio - a station that began broadcasting August 1st 2019 online. To tune in head HERE.
Harrogate Community Radio is a grass-roots movement to give people in the local community a voice. To give everyone who feels under-represented a voice for change. The original ethos behind the Harrogate Community Radio movement is to unite the separate music scenes in Harrogate and bring about an umbrella for local producers, musicians, hosts and talent.
We feel there is a lack of opportunity in the local area for local grass-roots acts to get a foot hold — this is, where I hope we will come in; acting as a springboard to future, greater careers. We are a local media outlet led by the local community. A democratic outlet for local groups and bodies to have a voice.
We had an upset yesterday. Bill or Ted has passed on and gone to join the other one (the one that didn’t die yesterday) in the aquarium in the sky.
In 2012 I popped to Stottards on Commercial Street and came home with two Goldfish. Kathryn took to them. We christened them Bill & Ted.
Around a year later one of the gold fish jumped out of his tank when we were asleep (could have been Bill, could have been Ted) and we found him (her?) on the kitchen floor when we woke up. We named that one Bill (again). We were sure it was Ted who survived, they both looked the same but Ted was a fighter.
Six years later and the Goldfish of indeterminate identity has made his last journey. But, in life he was a noisy bugger - always blowing bubbles and banging against the side of the tank. When I would tap the side of the tank he would come and nuzzle on the other side of the glass. Kathryn would ask him if he want some food, out-loud, and he would excitedly bob at the corner of his tank - he was a cute fish.
When it was feeding time he would do a wobbly thing that made us know he was hungry. People say Goldfish have a two second memory but I reckon they have advanced cognitive powers. I mean, I how do they test a gold fish’s memory? Flash Cards?
Even if they do have flash cards to debunk the myth of a two second gold fish memory then the fish would be left there thinking that they are not going to stand for that crap much longer. “Oh, not that card again.”
So, farewell, Ted and Bill - you were there when we needed you.
Congratulations on another Earth Cycle, Kathryn - god knows you have had to work hard to get here. The people you grace with your presence are all the richer for knowing you and I am humbled to be your partner.
Today Kathryn is knee-deep in her thirties. She has risen to the challenge and I am proud of her.
Meeting up with my wife at Bias on Cold Bath Road, we went to Tilly Peppers and we were greeted like we had been not left it the eight months since we had last been - the proprieter instantly recognised us and is was great to be back.
We both ate a massive slice of cake and drank coffee - the staff put a birthday candle on Kathryn’s cake and said it was on the house. I went to settle the bill and I was told that somebody had settled the complete bill for us - quite who this mysterious benefactor was I am unsure but I am very grateful. It kind of reaffirmed that nice things happen for a reason - my wife is one of them.
After Tilly Pepper’s, we went to St Wilfred’s on the Duchy. The occasion was that there was the Museum of The Moon on display.
Mesuring 7m in diameter, the moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface - at 1:500,000. This means that 1cm of the lit sperical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.
The soundtrack accompanying the moon was composed by Dan Jones - I admit I could not really make it out due to children running around screaming - but the sculpture was great and we made the most of our time awake.
We then went to Leeds.
Temple of Boom was the venue we went to. there was a heap of band on for not much money at all. It was a great gig and the highlight was the group Corrupt Moral Alter, from Liverpool.
Yes, the music was more for Kathryn - but - then it was her birthday treat. I really got something from the event though. The headline act were Noisem. But, I really thought the bands before them were something special.
So, we are tucked up safe in our small flat in the Dragons. Kathryn is so tired she has not even had the chance to open any of the gifts she received. It was a good day.
You know about The Parish News? It is my main radio show - it gets broadcast on Resonance EXTRA, the arts station in London. But, have you heard about Roots Conversation?
Roots Conversation is the dub reggae radio show presented by me and Allan, as Guerrilla Dub System, and DJ Scooby from the Sound of Wonder radio show. It is a right laugh. We get to play all of the music that we dig as artists and the music that has inspired us to make our own tunes. In fact, you can listen to the episode we recorded on Thursday night here -
As you read previously in the Blog - things have been a bit upset here. Grannys funeral was last week and we went up there as a family to lay her to rest.
I won’t go in to the details but it was a good service and by the end of it we were smiling again, catching up. Here is a photo I took from the three day break. The rest will be shared wit kin and kept private.
The Summer Solstice marks my great friend Allan’s birthday - this year he was closer to sixty than fifty - yes, there is a bit of an age gap but mentally we are both around 19 years old so that doesn’t matter much.
The day of the Solstice was spent trying to whip my iTunes catalogue in to shape - with the recent announcement of iTunes being made redundant I may be seen as p*ssing in the wind.
However, iTunes was about cultivating a collection. Big online streaming sites were all about the greed. You had instant access to all of the music yet chose to listen to the same stuff.
itunes took looking after.
Maybe it was one final hurrah until the software is rendered obsolete, but I got something from it.
The evening was spent at a party in Creao Studio. Creao is Allan’s recording studio and has been the scene of quite a few adventures. We partied hard, we partied well.
Allan fell asleep and I recorded my radio show - here it is:
So, yes, I am worried abot the state of Apple’s music app. I am worried that it will turn in to an app for streaming rather than curation. Steve Jobs screwed over the Artists through the creation of mass-marketed downloads. Maybe now he is trying to post-humously screw over the customer?
I’m sad but acceptant that I will not see my Gran for a very long time. I could wax lyrical about Summerlands and the like. But, I am coming to the round to the fact Granny Dornoch lost her battle yesterday afternoon and she is now at peace.
She had a very tough life and a tough passing - she raged against the light until the end and cheered everyone up for knowing her.
She leaves a brother, two daughters & a son - and a gaggle of grand-children & great-grandchildren, who were all completely devoted to her.
She was such a loving person who made you feel like you were the only person who she wanted to see. She was loved. And, she loved.
I have deleted Ijo Pona as it existed and started afresh.
Ijo Pona is dead! Long live Ijo Pona!
The older version of this site was a Wordpress build - it became very heavy and not at all responsive. All rather cumbersome. So, I elected to start afresh - there will be less rants about white socks and the cricket in this Blog. The site you are looking at now is built using Blot. It seems quite elegant although there are a few bugs from my Wordpress build that I need to iron out before I launch in to this whole heartedly.
Plus, it is a blog run on my Dropbox!
First Impressions Of Blot
I like it. I like it a lot. It is a lot cleaner and a lot more lightweight. Responsive and quick to load on mobiles.
The back end is a joy to write with - the “Kitchen Sink” editor of Wordpress (and Gutenberg to that point) were not to my taste. The whole build of Ijo Pona (when it was a Wordpress site) was not what I wanted - I wanted something sharp and clean. So, I chose Blot. It doesn’t have an interface.
Easy to install and easy to set up - it is a bit utilitarian (if Brutalism was utilitarian) but I like it. Yes, there is not the choice associated with Wordpress - but then I am not after choice - I just want to write short blog posts.
Hopefully I will not regret making this choice.
The blog posts are all written up in Markdown on a text editor on my Mac. I then drop them in to the associated Dropbox folder and then I am good to go. This means I will always have a copy of my Blog posts when to hand.
I gave considerable thought to running a Anchor blog - but I guess that Indie-blogging is yet to get a foothold over here in Harrogate. However, I will make a stand for it and try my hardest to keep blogging independantly and in Dropbox.
There was the option to import all of my old Wordpress posts in to Blot, using a script written by David Mirfield. But I chose not to - I have been going through a rough time over the past while and I did not want the bad posts about that reverberating and haunting me further down the line.
So, onwards and upwards! I look forward to sharing my adventures with you.
Last night was such good fun. And, now I am the richer for friendship and I have bagged myself a print of a fantastic painting by John McClenaghen! I will try and gloss over the dismal failure we all face at the hands of Pound-Shop-Mosley and his Yahboo politics. Today only, I will be quiet and I am not going to rise to defend all of the people who he threatens, but, I will Lactose the Intolerant if I get the chance. We voted; I will leave it at that.
After exercising my constitutional right, I hot-footed it to 17 Cold Bath Road for 7pm. The shop I visited was Bias. Bias Harrogate is a woman-led independent clothes shop & I help out every now and then with a bit of design and I sometimes help with their website. So, if you want to see their website please visit www.bias.store.
I was not there for the elegant clothing, I was there because there was an Art Event on the night. Four leading artists, who all have a local connection, have donated a piece of their artwork for a friend, Rachel, and the Bias Team to raise funds for Saint Michael’s Hospice. Tony Brummell Smith has donated a signed limited edition print of ‘Al Ponte Antico’ which hangs in the Hotel Venice in that fabulous town. Alan Coulson has donated the signed artist’s proof of his great portrait of ‘Honest Thomas,’ which featured in the National Portrait Gallery BP Portrait Award exhibition in 2017. John McClenaghen kindly donated “Field Diffraction” and Kitty North donated “Moonlit Night.”
The main event took place on Thursday 23 May at a ticket only Private Viewing, taking place from 7pm and 9pm. There were nibbles, beer art and friends — it was a hearty do. The paintings are still showing in Bias and there is the opportunity to buy them by bidding — If you are aesthetically curious head to Bias and check out the Art. It’ll make your day & all proceeds go to Saint Michael’s Hospice.
Kathryn joined us after looking after a hound (Milly) and I had to break it to her that I had bought a print of a painting by one of the artists featured in the Event. Thankfully, she loved it! Thankfully, the beer had not worked it’s magic yet and it was not one of the main pictures being sold off — but — a smaller print. Separate from the main, featured images yet still raising money for Saint Michael’s Hospice. I really got a good look at the works on display. Including the ‘main attractions’ there were several prints commissioned by Maiden Bridge Art Gallery to mark the Millennium. The print I purchased was a millennium print called “Flying Colours August” by featured artist John McClenaghen.
You might want to see the artwork on display at bias. To whet your appetite — please head over to the Bias Harrogate blog HERE and you will be able to see pictures of the pictures. It was a really good evening — normally I feel like a fish out of water in the company of polite society … normally I drink too much and start cracking inappropriate jokes. However, I always get such a warm welcome at Bias that they put me completely at my ease. And, I am sure you will receive just as warm welcome when you visit to see the artworks.
What Did I Make To The Urban Animals Gig In Leeds?
Yay, date night! But, it almost never happened. In this blog post, I hope to say a bit about the event at the Brudenell that me and Kathryn attended and then I will get on to why it nearly never happened. I will work in retrospect from the headliners to the opening acts in terms of what I, personally, made to them. Then I will head backwards through the day and you may see why I am blogging in the early hours.
I would like to stipulate that I was awestruck by all of the acts — they were phenomenal. Best gig I have been to this year. But, why …
Okay, I will start with the headliner, Melanie Ó Dubhshláine. The blurb on the flyer described Melanie as presenting “.. a suite of short musical works themed around the different wild animals to be found in the Leeds urban area.” I loved this. The musicality of Melanie and guest musicians shone through — plus, pop songs about hedgehogs are great in anyone’s books.
It was quite structured and I am not the intended audience — but for a gig going punter who does not own The Rita’s “Thousands of Dead Gods” I reckon they would like it. However, I am a massive The Rita fan and I found the headline act from tonight very pop — but, not in a bad way; they were making avant-pop and looping field recordings — I was amazed at the dexterity of the pianist on stage and the finesse of the field recording was amazing — they really managed to get the humanised impression of the animal’s personality in the music. For the deer track there was a bouncing, free melody. The hedgehog sounded ‘fun’ — the fox was menacing and the owl was … well, mesmeric. Accompanied by drone footage from an owl-eye view of Leeds the owl track was my favourite track.
The artists before Melanie were Phil & Layla’s latest incarnation, Hawthonn. I had seen them previously as XETB but this was the first time i saw them onstage in full gig-mode. I really enjoyed it!
They started with a Pagan Curse / Blessing (depends on which side of the fence you sit … 🙂 ) and invoked old gods to assist in electronic excellence. It was amazing and I hope Kathryn loved it too. There was a touch of appreciated theatrics in that there were a pair of black (my glasses need an upgrade) candles lit on the table that their equipment was perched on. Layla’s voice was mesmeric — she has a piercing yet homely, lullaby pitch that makes it sound like your Mum is singing about death and decay. A touch of “we’re all going to die and decompose but let’s have a go at making a stand against that very thing”.
We got to hang out with Phil and Layla after their set — it was good to see them again.
The very first support act was NikNak — she was playing when we turned up, this was my favourite act of the night — not only because she was gifted but because it was so fresh. I have never seen a turntablist until tonight. Yes I have seen hip-hop DJs — but not one using 1210’s to control field recordings. I loved her set and it is something I hope to have a go at in the future, I loved NikNak’s set due to the fact she inspired me.
It looked like she had a pair of 1210s and — upon asking her about her setup after her set — she was controlling Serato on her Laptop — not a hop-and-a-skip from my Traktor set up.
But the highlight of the night was bumping in to an old mate called Nick. Back in 2010, Nick arrived in Harrogate in bad shape — he was down on his health and I fattened him up and released him back in to the wild. He was there tonight with his amazing wife, Becky. We talked too much & I hope we did not annoy anyone in the crowd — by the end of the first act we found our niche and got most of the talk out of the way in a private bar.
We have both come on no end, thanks to good the good women in our lives.
However, I nearly did not make it to the gig. I ran out of medication on Thursday morning. This came as a shock when I went for my evening dose on Thursday evening — it was not until 6pm Friday that I managed to get medicine. I was crawling up the walls for most of it but thankfully Kathryn was on hand with hugs and tea.
This mix up in my medication meant i nearly missed giving a demo of the riso press — more on that to come, I hope.
So, what did I gain from today: don’t forget to top up on your medicine, push yourself to do things out of your comfort zone and friendships that last for long silences are worth hanging on to. Thanks for reading.
Summing up on a Monday evening — it was quite a great w/e. The first big weekend of the summer 2019. All the good things happened and then Monday spat in its face. So, I am taking time out of my Monday to remind me of the good things that happened on the weekend.
Friday was a bit of a rush — I had to hot-foot it down to Bilton WMC for a good friend’s Birthday party. She was probably the fist person I had a conversation with when I first came to Harrogate and she is a bit of a treasure. I am now good friends with her partner, Allan & he had asked me to play a DJ set before the band came on. No problem. So, I thought. I came with 45 minutes worth of music because that is the length of time I had been asked to play.
The DJ scheduled for the slot after me must have had to rush off due to a family emergency or something — he disappeared. I just hope that everything is okay with him and his family. However, it did kind of drop me in it. I had a few dub albums on the system I had with me (Traktor) — but I was having to repeat tracks. Still, people seemed to enjoy what I was playing and there was a bit of dancing. My forty five minute set was stretched to two and a half hours — but, I loved every minute of it.
Then the band came on. Drop Leg Steppers. They were awesome. They really were good and everyone enjoyed their set.
I hope the birthday girl enjoyed herself — I know me and Kathryn did.
Saturday saw me not wanting to get up — but — I had to, I was a man with something to do and that something to do was to run a workshop as Stinky. I have a Risograph printer in Allan’s studio — I call the venture Stinky’s Riso Press. I make prints for artists and I run workshops — it is a really fun thing to do.
I ran a workshop on Saturday with a man called Stuart — he took to it like a duck to water and made two incredible prints — here are the photos from it. Here are some highlights of the day -
Sunday. Me and Kathryn were picked up by Dad to head out to the farm. We used this as a launchpad to go and visit their new house. My parents are moving house further North. It will be a fresh start for them as it is the first time they have bought a house for themselves — they are quite excited yet I think they are a bit nervous too.
I had my camera with me at their new house but the CF Card broke on Sunday night, making the photos irretrievable, or so I thought. I was quite annoyed with that as there were some good shot of the house. However, thanks to the lads at Bass & Bligh I managed to retrieve the photos from the CF Card. Here are some of the highlights of the day — there are a mixture of Home Farm & Hackforth. The rest of the images are HERE.
When we got back to the farm it really was a glorious evening — I managed to get a few phone photos. I put my phone photos on www.hiandyb.co.uk — not the worlds best website, but a website I am running from my phone. Not the biggest of weekends — but then, not the youngest of knees. I figure my nights spent drinking cheap cider and then waking up in a skip are long gone. However, Kathryn and me were surrounded by loved ones. We had a good time. A great time. Summer 2019 is shaping up rosey.
Easter Sunday kicked off at 4am. Nothing too new in my books — I can be an early riser, but that depends on what time I went to bed the night before (in this case it was 5pm). We caught the bus out to Ripon and we were picked up by my Dad. Heading out to the farm we heard of the terrorism in Sri Lanka.
My parents have a soft-spot for Sri Lanka after they had the best time ever on that island — they are willing to vouch to anyone on how open, honest, hard-working and kind the locals are. This has been a bit of shock to my parents — they are good people themselves and it is hard to see them come to terms with these acts of a minority.
My cousin Tillie (+ her kids), my sister and my Brother and his wife (+ their kids). were all there.
We ate like well-fed kings thanks to Mum’s handiwork. I had my camera (Nikon D700) and took these photos. Here is a brief pass of three of the images from the link …
How was your February? Mine was mint! I had a Birthday — turned 38 — and I got up to a whole heap of stuff. All the Funs were had.
I am branching out in business and I will shortly acquire a new Riso Printer. What is Riso? A Riso is a ‘mechanical screen-printing device’ (one suggestion) or it is a movement that is sweeping the Nation. Either way, the site for it is www.stinkysrisopress.co.uk and it is shaping up into something good.
I have an artist on my label, Focused Silence, being featured on the Wiretapper CD. The Wiretapper CD is the free CD that is given away with The Wire Magazine — it is a great honour to be included in it even in a small way. The artist is LIYILEI and she is an incredibly gifted woman who lives in London. Check the link HERE to read more about her.
In further label news, an artist, Downtrend Shapes Renewal, was played on National Radio in Spain — it really is shaping up to be a good year for the label — I have now got a CD publisher and — couple that with the Riso — will soon be self-sufficient.
Kathryn has gained another Doggo Client, Bertie, and all is well there.
Yesterday we called over to Home Farm to see my parents. Dad turns another year older today and is due to retire in a few weeks. Michael and his family were there, including munchkins.
I am unsure how he feels about the younger members of the family being posted on the web, so I will run this blog post past him and I will not include any photos of them. Needless to say, there was a lot of cake and play — it was a wholesome time.
I have found that my Vaporiser is a good excuse to leave proceedings. I get a bit flustered around drama and — with infants — there is a cacophony. So, I slink out with the excuse of “not wanting to create bad habits” and de-stress. It must be a good three years that I have knock ciggies on the head. I have noticed an improvement in running-up-the-stairs time, but then it is longevity that I am aiming for.
So, we are getting into March and things are looking rosy — the sun was out for most of February although March’s weather can do one. K’thanx Bye!
First of all, please let me start this blog post by wishing you — the reader of my blog — a very festive and fun-filled Christmas. We have spent ours up at the Farm, near Ripon with my Brother and his family, my sister and my folks — it has been a a good Chrimbletide. We feasted, we gifted we made merry.
It was the first time I got to meet my nephew Ben — only two weeks old, bless him. He has the lung-capacity of a three year old and a scream that can pierce an eardrum at thirty yards. I would post a photo of him up here, but I do not have mum and dad’s consent so I will stick to saying he is bouncing and healthy.
Gifts were exchanged — we had a haul; I received a CD from Kathryn and I have been given a pork-pie stand, hand-whittled by my brother. I really like it. It is not as if he works in a sheltered workshop or anything, he has more degrees than a boiling kettle, but it is a good past-time that he has, whittling.
Mum and dad got me an Office chair for my flat — I have been using an adapted rocking chair (it is a table chair with runners on) for the past few months and my back is aching — silly idea in the first place, but I just can’t get rid of stuff.
The highlight of the day was, undoubtedly, my eldest niece receiving her own copy of her “Special Book.” Sarah calls the Screwfix catalogue her “special book” and sometimes my brother has to read it to her to get her to sleep. She was over the moon when she peeled back the gloss wrapping paper to reveal the branded Screwfix catalogue. She did not want to open another present, just sat there reading the thing — it was a sight.
Christmas Dinner was Turkey with all of the trimmings. Christmas pud and an Aldi delight as a second pudding — that was okay. Beer of choice at the meal was Founders Brewing Co. All Day IPA. My favourite of the modest selection that we picked up from Morrisons on the way to the farm.
Kathryn is sat watching a few trashy programmes on the telly and the rest of the house have retired for the evening. It is a scene of rural bliss. We have had a good time catching up and we will miss the Christmases at Home Farm. This is the last Christmas that my Mum & Dad will spend here. Dad will be retiring in the coming year and having to move house. There are twenty years of memories in the pores of this house — not all good. It is good we have managed to spend some time together as a unit to look back on in our dotage.
Wow! That took a melancholic turn — I am unsure why. Maybe it is because I need my sleeps, maybe it is because I saw the baton pass to another generation to maintain festive fun — but that got dark, so I had better sign off.