North Will Rise Again

recently my sister wrote me and told me she was looking at a book of memories that my mother had written a few years before she died. she asked me if i had the photos that i’d done when i sent out the memories thing and i couldn’t find them anywhere so i scanned all the photos i had related to my mother’s 1st thirty years 42 of them in total. having done that i thought i’d add a post to my ancestry category which i created once and then never used again. until now. the first one i’ve chosen for this post is one of the oldest. my mother’s mother’s mother martha wood née peters. martha’s portrait speaks for itself i’ve nothing trite to add.

anyway her daughter married the man who is in the top right of this 2nd photograph. unfortunately i never met him as he died before i was born. this picture was taken in 1890 and possibly has some connection with the boer war. by all accounts my grandfather was a very genial man. he spent most evenings in the pub much to the chagrin of my mother as she was growing up and that contributed to her signing the pledge before she was a teenager. sometimes i think about all the money i would have now if i’d done the same. maybe i’d have spent it on something else equally wasteful. and also maybe it wasn’t a waste maybe it kept me sane. one other thought i have about this picture is one about being able to recognise family similarities in a group like this. the 1st time you see a photo like this you can be asked which one do you think is your grandfather. i can’t remember if that happened to me with this photo but i’ve got a feeling that it did. usually you’re going to get this right. i often think about seeing people here and there and thinking maybe they could be family. the further you go back the more you have in common.

and here’s another daughter of the 1st lady. martha wood née peters had twins one of which was my grandmother and then there was her sister emily pictured here with her daughter olive my mother’s cousin and my second cousin. in the dim and distant past i have met both emily and olive. the 1st 2 photos are 19th century photos but this is obviously if you think about it a 20th century photo and it supposedly dates to 1927. it is the 3rd oldest of the 42 by 3 years.

and finally here is the 4th oldest and is the earliest photo i have of my mother though i’m sure there must be some somewhere of her younger than that. this is from 1930 when she was 9 or 10 (depending on the month). this is the failsworth lavender-lady float and she’s the girl in the middle.

ancestry trees

easter 67

now we’ve passed christmas and the next big thing in the religious calendar is easter which this year will be april 20 (sunday). this year easter marks the 37th anniversary of my first experience of travelling abroad when in 1967 i visited spain and morocco with my father.

here are a few of the images from morocco that i have manipulated i’m afraid these are taken from scans of slides and either i could clean the slides or i could spend hours tidying them up in photoshop but i haven’t so forgive the visual noise.

the first is a casual street scene – 3 characters meeting – innocent? or sinister? quien sabe?


below the peluqueria victoria sign (peluqueria is hairdresser) more street life. i think there’s something special about old poster images but the people are cool too


and now here’s me with mrs taylor who my dad and i were staying with – her and her husband mr taylor. we are standing by a very old tree. possibly the oldest tree in central tangier. as you can see i was wearing my school uniform because it was the only clothes i had that were smart and for some reason it was important for me to be smart in tangier. whether that was my idea or my father’s idea i can’t remember. but i’m sure that i caused quite a stir dressed like that when i went with my father and mr taylor to a restaurant one night in the casbah. as we walked through a busy bazaar type shopping area with traders standing outside in the narrow street they passed many appreciative comments my way :-
ah eenglish schoolboy
bobby charlton
england had just won the world cup so they were trying to impress me with their knowledge of english football players


this next one gives a bit of insight into what you might be thinking if you were thinking of buying something – we’ve got some pans and we’ve got some baskets – what more you could want?


mr and mrs taylor used to be our neighbours when we lived in dollar, scotland in the fifties. i think mr taylor’s grandfather had ran the sultan’s mill for him sometime in the 1st half of the 20th century and they had inherited the property and gone out to live there after retiring. at the back of the garden there was the huge wall of the casbah and then on the other side you looked straight across to the gateway to the market. the gateway large enough to contain a table where they sold various breads. while i stayed there i can only remember being totally drawn to the windows where i could watch all this while hidden to the passers-by. i imagine that this fascination was evident to my gentle hosts and i’m sure they felt some sort of gratification at this.


ancestry birds fire wells

something out of nothing

another stabilising post there are reasons why i need to be unprolific at the moment. a chance to exhibit a couple of songs that i demoed some time ago for various reasons such as back up and to the top.

the first is called fey and is a song i wrote about three years ago i was also reading a book called opening the old testament by katharine dell and there are some old testament references. i could just as easily use gilgamesh and probably have sometime in the past. don’t get me started on the rig veda.

then there’s a version of a song of mine called ex nihil abundancia which i’ve done another demo of. this one is a fairly rough and ready live one that i did with laura lambell which we seemed to have created on sunday april 25 2010 at 16.20. it’s nice to know when things happened. this has some elements of south american history but it’s never made obvious which they are you’ll just have to take my word for it. i wrote a song called ladorada around the same time which was likewise.


ex nihil abundancia

i was also going to add another demo of a song called minerva’s song which is about forests and loss a subject we pondered last night with my friends lance cross and ian powell but i’ve decided to hold it for later as i want to try to add a retrospective track or two to fill it out.