Posts Tagged ‘memories’


Today I’m sat at home feeling sorry for myself as I battle a cold and a cat that insists on biting me just when I’m least expecting it.

In addition I can’t remember f you feed a cold and starve the flu or if it’s the other way round. I really need to google it but will this just confuse me even more?

Yesterday I was back in uni and made good progress with my research reading about coding and doing some too.

I like to get in early so around 1am I went for a walk round Bradford city centre, a place I have grown up with and have many fond memories of.
I always remember Bradford as a vibrant, bustling city, full of life and difference reflected in the people, the shops, the conversations, pretty much everything you can think of.

Back when I was a child and a teenager Bradford was somewhere to go where you could lose yourself for a couple of hours in the shops, pubs, cafes and markets and come away wanting to go back.

It had a dip in the 90s as the author Bill Bryson described in his book Notes from a Small Island, a very good book if you get the chance to read it. I remember reading about Bill’s description of Bradford and how distraught I felt at some American coming to my home town and write about it in such a derogatory way.

Now I understand what he meant and why he wrote about Bradford in such a way.

Instead of heading for the Broadway Centre which is still relatively new and as such is modern, clean and busy, I headed for Kirkgate Market a leftover of the brutalist architecture of the 60s and 70s. This building evokes many memories of the wrong kind for people from the older generations because of the way Kirkgate Market came about.

My own personal recollection of events is that the Bradford Council at the time decided to pull down the old Victorian market that had stood on the space for many, many years and replace it with a concrete monolith.

As with many Victorian buildings the old market was full of charm, grandeur, splendour and was a truly great asset to the people of Bradford.

But it was costly to maintain so the decision was made to knock it down and replace it with something more modern and efficient but with no redeeming features.

The people of Bradford were not happy. The council did not care.

And so yesterday I walked in Kirkgate Market again past all the pound shops that now seem to have taken over Bradford and through the other side without feeling any emotional connection to it as I have done with many other buildings. It’s just a relic from the 70s that should never have been built in the first place for me and other towns and cities have kept their Victorian buildings that now serve as a jewel in the crown for their city centres.

And so I left Kirkgate and headed up towards Joh St Market and past endless rows of mobile phone shops, betting shops and pound shops frequented by cheap tracksuits…

And then round and down the other side and more of the same expect that To Let signs appeared far to frequently interrupting the mobile phone shops and pound shops.

One image did stand out in my mind though as I walked down Darley St past the old Marks & Spencer’s premises. Two old down and outs sat on the steps sharing a can of lager but still smiling and happy with their arms round each other despite the cards that life had dealt them they still had each other and could still find happiness amidst desolation and despair. I found it a very heart warming scene and wish I had taken a photo of them…

I went into the Broadway centre for my shopping and things did change, modern buildings, contemporary shops but still no less busy and still tracksuits going around popping in and out of shops, eating chips and doughnuts and making the best of life.

And that seems to sum up Bradford or me. It has never been a city with its own identity but one trying to compete with Leeds or Manchester or any other big city rather than looking to its roots and making the best of what it has to offer and its historically important heritage.

And because of this trying to be something it isn’t mentality Bradford has become something it shouldn’t be, run down and like the ghost town in parts that Bill Bryson went through.

Parts of Bradford are bouncing back and regenerating and showing that there is still some life left in Bradford but I fear it may be some years before I see the Bradford I remember so well from my childhood, bustling with people all enjoying themselves and living life to the full. But I hope I do see it in my lifetime.


anticipation builds
excitement intense
grains of sand
pass through hands
nothing left
but faded faces


regret nothing, live
what is gone
cannot be undone
distant memories
still haunt you
stop them taking
over your mind
the past cannot
be altered
the present can
be created
live your life anew
with no regrets
 


playing out on the street
on a summers day
sun high in the sky
games of tig, kerbie, hide and seek
no-one had a care or a worry
life was simple
till the pop man came round
alpine was our favourite
for a second the streets swarmed
with children running home
desperate to get the empty pop bottles
and get the 1p back on them
so they could get more pop
and another sugar rush
to get them through the afternoon


he watches intently
from the comfort
of the leather sofa
as his mother carefully erases
the memory of another
meal prepared and eaten
pots, pans, plates
knives, forks and spoons
all reflect back at her
a beauty now long gone
she passes them to his father
who with several sharp tugs
wipes clean what has been
replacing it with the drabness
of the present
reminding them both
that nothing last forever


a mind stained
by memories of the past
of families, friendships, relationships
arguments, breakups, reconciliations
friends here and now, been and gone
some here forever
others never seen again
lovers we have had
some so close you become one
others remain untouched
except in your mind
places you have been
sunsets and sunrises seen
through all four seasons
before merging into one
hills you climbed forever, never ending
bottomless valleys you never reached
books you have read
a million different words in your head
and you only remember one
films seen through aging eyes
of places and people
you will never know but you think you do
waking up in the morning listening to birds
staring at the ceiling all night
waiting for sleep to take over
landscapes been and gone
homes and factories built and demolished
to make way for a new future
running over moors in the dark
getting drunk in the park
the stain of memories
that last forever
until you become
a stain in the earth
and slowly, quietly
begin to fade away…


from the first light of the flickering filament
to the soiling of that clean white nappy
playing with toys, learning the rules of life
that scary first day with other frightened kids
and the years of listening and learning that follow
to end up cast into a world of love and hate
hunting for jobs to help me build a life
drinking in haunts to help me forget i live
meeting my first and only true love
repopulating the planet with my seed
watching them grow into miniature versions of me
as they repeat the process of life that i have been through
we grow old together and head towards
the unavoidable fate that besets all humanity
leaving behind all that we know and love
these are the memories of life i have accumulated
refuse festering in the dustbin of my mind


I said goodbye to this tall, slender, memory

From my past that had from nowhere

Come back into my life, rekindling teenage desires

Unexpected but welcome, a distraction from daily life

 

And now this vessel of pure white skin, topped with

Fair, blonde hair, cascading down towards mother earth

Covering pure, delicate bone. So light yet so strong

Stood before me, so close, I could smell her lipstick

On my tongue as we stood burning each others image

 

Into the deepness of our memories, ready to be

Recalled when we awoke in the early hours of a

Summers morning, the sun peering over the horizon

Getting ready to wake up unsuspecting men and women.

 

Her fingers left mine, hanging nowhere, just there

As we said goodbye forever, knowing this would be the

Last time we saw each other, touched each other, tasted each other…

 

I turned and touched a single, lonely bead of sweat

Resting on the pillow before it melted into soft fabric

Gone forever, never coming back

The smell of lavender hanging in the air

Reminding me of the night before…

 

I gather the bead of sweat, so soft, so light, so clear

On the tip of my forefinger, look at it taking in

The colours of the world bouncing away in all directions

Before I place it gently on the tip of my tongue

And take a last taste of you, my last memory of you

As I say goodbye to you, forever


Today was quite a special day with the inaugural Horton Park, parkrun. I have many memories of Horton Park living near it in my youth from around the age of 14 to 24. Like anybody else I have good and bad memories, but most of my memories from Horton Park are good. It was interesting going back to the park. It’s in a lot better condition than I remember it, although some of the buildings like the bandstand have now gone. But all in all the park was just as I remember it, fond memories.

And it makes a great place for a parkrun. The course is challenging with half of it being uphill and the other half downhill. The start is uphill too before turning to the right and downhill back towards the finish before going uphill right to the top. You have to make sure you have enough energy left to get up the uphill, you do 3 ½ laps of the course although on the last downhill you can afford to give it a little bit more. I managed 30:43 which for the type of course is very good for me. This included my sprint finish which I am going to have to do every time I run this course now!

I was wearing some new shoes too, Brooks Ghost 7. I have been having deep muscle massage on my legs and the guy who’s doing it, Peter May, told me I was wearing the wrong type of shoes. Many years ago I went to a shop called Sportshoes Unlimited and had gait analysis done. I was told I needed to wear support shoes for running and have done so everysince. However Peter took one look at my legs and told me that I should be wearing neutral, cushioned shoes not support ones.

And the problem I thought was my Achilles wasn’t that, but a very tight right calf possibly caused by wearing the wrong shoes! Peter has sorted my calf out and I am running freer and better than ever. But I had already bought some new support shoes from a shop called Up and Running in Huddersfield. I took them back yesterday and they did a gait analysis on me and I am indeed a neutral runner. So I came away with a pair of Brooks Ghost 7’s and they performed superbly today. I felt so comfortable and at ease running in them, that I didn’t even notice I was wearing them. I’m quite sure the work Peter has done on my legs and my new Brooks have helped me to such a good time.

But what I was most happy about today was the fact that I could run after Thursdays club run. This was tough for me and took a lot out of me, but my recovery time is improving all the time and today was proof of that. And after the parkrun I still feel as good as before. This is boosting my confidence no end and my legs are feeling stronger than ever. This will be tested tomorrow when I go out on a training run over moorland. I’ve got a route in mind that will really test my abilities and allow me to see where I am in relation to the races I’ve entered.


This came from my writing workshop last night

I carry my wallet, new, still smelling of fresh leather

Inside it carries my money, crumpled and torn, pulling faces at each other

Cards, lots of cards, nearly enough for a pack

I carry coins, £1’s and 50p’s

Some are shiny and new, others dull with age

Some are heavy and strong, others strangely light and dainty…

I carry three stones, all blue speckled with gold

Two look like a mathematical triangle, ready for their angles to be calculated

The other is dull and square and sits there

Watching, listening, smelling, taking it all in…

I carry a vest on my back, unwashed for weeks

Smelling of me in various stages of life

It fits perfectly, moulded to the shape of my sweaty body

I carry images in my mind, from places I’ve been too, people I’ve seen

Ready to be recollected to test how accurate my memory is…

Smells carry up my nose and enter my mind

So that I close my eyes and imagine I’m somewhere, anywhere but here

The sound of birds vibrates in my ear

A sound I have carried from childhood and will carry till the day I die…

I kneel and touch the ground, it is cold and hard

Like someone I knew a long time ago…

But I don’t carry you anymore like I use to

A stone weight around my neck, dragging me to the floor

Nor do I carry the rain that pours from my eyes

Drowning out my memories of you…forever!

I don’t carry a penknife, my heart was hollowed out years ago…

My mind, still sharp from the memories…

I don’t carry pictures of anyone, all my pictures are stored deep in mymind

Nor do I have a map, I’ve walked these moors many times before

And they know me well now and show me the way home

I don’t carry a book with words and pictures in of places I’ll never see…

I don’t carry a watch, I watch time past by as it soars down the moors from on high

Flowing into the swiftly moving stream, getting its breath back

Before it starts again, taking me on its currents

To wherever it desires…