Wakefield and the Angel there

IMG_20180817_141419600 Many years ago I used to write for a magazine. I wrote music reviews and it was all I had ever wanted to do in my life. I had always found the more negative review in the NME or my preferred Melody Maker, the more interesting and it is so much easier  and funnier to deride, to condemn rather than praise.

I work in a very different place of work now and the only thing I truly remember and keep thinking about from any course ever was when ages ago,  people at my course had to go up to each other and compliment a stranger on something. As I work in the public sector all the strangers looked the same and wore the same Per Una outfit and I hated what  they were wearing, their bob-cut, their confident smiles and stupid confident faces. It’s almost like I am unconfident or something. My dyspraxia makes me shocking with facial recognition so I was also nervous about saying something bland about an ill-fitting pastel blouse to the same person twice.


I will get to Wakefield in a minute.

Anyway, the premise was that it was awkward to give a compliment to strangers and even harder to take it even from those you know without saying something like ‘My hair’s nice? No, it isn’t, it’s bleached to fuck, touch it and feel it snap like a grasshoppers leg in the Gobi Desert’,  and thus  kids can sometimes  also not delight in a positive comment and feel driven to take a negative nosebomb.


Anyway, I wrote a negative review of a band once and they sent me a negative review of my review  and it really shook me. I realised the power of words and what they meant, not just me being all funny and being paid for it. It was very hard to write objectively after that. The band might have been shit but the drummer’s  mum saw me writing and smiled at me! I could write a bland review praising their musical skills but I am  deaf to actual musical skills- music  appeals to me on a visceral level of love or hate.

So after that, trying to write something without worrying about what

the drummer’s mum might think became an uneasy, elusive and dull read.

I have been to so many lovely places since the last post but a lovely place makes you feel all happy and not wanting an angry outlet, you just revel in the memory of the lovely castle  and try not to think about the kids lunchbox from the nice cafe only consisting of one piece of bread chopped into two because two pieces of economy white bread  for a cheese sandwich would only be a waste when  spending only  five pounds on a kids stupid paper lunch box with a stupid jungle/teddybear narrative.

And why is it always Pom Bears?

pic a

Anyway, Wakefield.


Wakefield driven to through acres of suburban outlets of beds, caravans and urban detritus. Post war, post hope but  definitely pre 1990.  An uneasy aura of Soviet Russia and the charity shops have more kids’  dvds than kids’  books.  There are closing down sales of independent shops featuring strangely contoured M and S trousers on a rail outside with fading neon price tags but then a sudden sheen of a new city boasting the high glass walls of H and M and Pizza Express.

There is a row of small trees pottering down  the street  and I hear such a vivid bird noise I presume they can’t be real. They are. Such joyful overloud chirruping comes from the stunted trees, it sounds like a Disney soundtrack. I see and hear things I want to write down but feel strangely nervous in this alien landscape an hour and a half away from home  and now have forgotten them but know they were an amazing thing to see or write if I could have remembered them. There was something particularly  poignant and fascinating  about a man in a hi-viz jacket…

I am nervously editing as I write, what if, what if…I do not want  to be succumbed to a media hate campaign from Wakefield but am aware this is something that can possibly happen, my views are stunted, stunted , my photos terrible as due to encroaching nervousness and paranoia, all photos are taken swiftly off a bus


I need a wee at the bus station, 2op a wee, I put 2op in, the turnstile does not work- this is the general life of an idiot with dyspraxia- the futility and anger and humiliation of being so thick they can’t cope with a turnstile. I do not have another 20p, I am cursing Wakefield and everyone in it and a man on the other side of the turnstile offers me 20p. I try again. Turnstile says no. He offers me another 20p and and someone who works there says you can only push the third arm of the barrier to get it to work. So it now works, 6op later. Thank you nice man.

So I feel something should have been positively said about Wakefield or at least visciously hilarious but no.IMG_20180817_141307652_HDR

I left Wakefield quickly to go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park but I hated that too as in the cafe I only got half a stuffed pepper for 6.99 and the risotto inside wasn’t risotto, just over-baked stiff rice for £ 6. 99 and I went the wrong way on the sculpture trail and all the sculptures I saw were shit and all the people annoyingly middle-class.

This is why I don’t write anymore.






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