Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day.

May you be doing something very special with your mama, or be thinking of her – if she is far away, or has flown off with the birdies to the stars.

My mama liked a trip out to Betty’s at Ilkley and a walk round Bolton Abbey. Or a trip over to Haworth and a visit to the EWM. She liked her cardies – you know those lambs wool ones, and pleated skirts.

She was a peasant, who brought her textiles skills with her and worked at Salts Mill, Jerome’s and then latterly at home for Haworth Burlers and Menders. Bill would bring rolls of worsted wool (Pieces) for her to check for imperfections and then to correct them.

I don’t know if there are still burlers and menders out there, somewhere, but if you wear a good suit, think of the hands it passed through to come to you from a perfect piece of fabric.

It was always great to go shopping with her. She was particular. It was like going out with Coco Chanel – or I imagined it so. With a formal education, she would have probably made a nifty fashion or textiles buyer.

She taught me to knit anything, in any pattern or style. And to sew, anything.

She also taught me how to make gibanica .

My mama loved children, they were always welcome. She absolutely loved and adored her grandson…and me, although I didn’t always appreciate it. We had our differences, we were from different eras, different worlds. If you had a Yu mama, you would appreciate all their worries and concerns.

But I miss my mama. I also know she is really happy playing on the mountain and plain now with her brothers and sisters. Free of war, free of pain, free of cancer. Young, tall, slender and athletic, in her own-made clothes, running around the rocks, bare foot, staying out in to the night and going home under the stars.

She always used to say to me – we come from the stars. We each have a star that follows us from inception to death. We are never alone, the stars are with us. We each have three angels, one on each shoulder, and one on your head. You know who your angels are, talk to them and they will guide you.

You are never alone…



Between Me and Art – Part Two

Grammar school – and two art classrooms. I took up O Level Art later than my other ones. My work was a mix of still life and surreal. I liked this combination. I liked pastels, charcoal, acrylic and poster paint and ink.

My art teachers liked my work. One art teacher gave me materials. He knew we were hard up. I still have the end bits of those pastels and paints. The class was dominated by girls, some boys. The girls were mostly middle class – producing album cover art for bands they liked, mostly prog rock.

I was indie/punk. The others didn’t get my work. The teachers did. I worked from my feelings.

My mother taught me to knit. Everything and anything you could wear – jumpers, cardies, socks, footsies, gloves, hats. We did a lot of it. I wore a lot of hand-knits. I got in to mohair – it worked well with the punk image. I am also allergic to lanolin!

This phase saw a lot of making and a step in to sewing – clothes and soft furnishings. Again I was taught by those around me.

School finished and I decided I wanted to get a job. And off I went to the tax office sandwiched between Salts Mill and Jerome’s Mill. Both mills redundant by then. A working life in textiles wasn’t going to be our future.


Image    Salts Diner

Somewhere to hang out – a haven in a heartless world

Somewhere cool. Where you can hang out. There’s a grand piano, books, coffee, cocktails, jazz, the latin sound, other music too.

Relaxed. Easy. Meet with friends, talk, laugh. Talk about the good old days, the rotten now days and make plans for tomorrow.

Gather in groups, have celebrations. Tables of food, wine, candle light. A place where everyone is welcome, not just a select few.

Where artists feel comfortable to mingle, parents can bring children without judgement, old folk can sit comfortably.

All united by love of music, literature, food, drink, art. All together under one cosmopolitan roof.

Where am I? In places I have been, and where I would like to go. A sense of community based on the love of  the arts and culture.





And then I discovered this place, I’ve not been to before, it’s in New York.