Category Archives: Keighley

Well, if you ask nicely?

For once, the title of the blog has absolutely zero to do with the video, so dont try to stress your brain cells, lol.

Today was flotation tank day, and in truth, my back really needed it this time around. Sunday, the 4 of us went off up to Skipton, and had one of those canal boat, Christmas Dinner meals. The meal was very good, the service speed a little, err, entertaining, but the seats we were sitting on had all the back support of a brick wall. And yes, when your back is as damaged as mine… The only other entertaining moment was the Sat-Nav system, which insisted on calling Keighley (pronounced Keith-Lee), as ‘Key-Lee’, which of course had me in a total fit of giggles. I think its safe to say that it would probably call Slaithwaite, as spelt, and not Sla-wit, as its pronounced too.

Anyway, with a back that was already ‘grumpy’, I went to work yesterday in the cold, and the rain, and the inevitable happened, it flared up badly. So, halfway through the day, came home, a journey which should take about 75-80 minutes at that time of day. It took 140, and only that short as I gave up on First Buses, and got a taxi home from town!

Thankfully, today, I had the ‘miracle treatment’ booked, the flotation tank. Lets just say back pain wise, if last night was a 10, and this morning about a 7, its now about a 2.5! Yes, that, lack of pressure on the spine is just amazing.

This time around, Donna showed me how to seal the pod properly (assumed I would spot handle first time, and didnt, and someone else showed me through last time), which was simple when shown, but anyway…So, lights out, and yes, that pod really is sound proofed, among other things, never heard a thing once the music stopped, before it started up again.

So, I cleared my mind completely of thought, and imagined being transformed into a ‘beautiful swan’ when I got out again, but no, that never happened. Nor was I turned into an alien, which might have been fun, but anyway… What I did this time, when nice and tranquil, and safe in the womb of the pod, was leave space for Clara to come through in time, but only if she wanted to, under the circumstances. Yes, she took up the offer!

I know it was her, as the second comment she made was about someone fetching her a cigarette, and I’ve never smoked! Well, there was also the fact that she was talking with a very cool, mid west accent, but distinctly noticeable, which is maybe why she never got too many lines in movies, just stuck to dancing. She hung around, saying things about the crazy things that Mr Mayer (of MGM), and Buzby Berkeley got her to do, in the cause of dancing. Lots of toe splashing, and giggling too, but then (I guess after about 15 minutes or so, its hard to tell time in a place like that), the music started back up, and as I told her beforehand, that meant it was time to go. Yes, she did.

I ‘came back’, stunned at what had happened, but thrilled. Lets face it, I wouldnt ask for a cigarette, nor would I naturally have a mid western accent like she did! Of course, I cant get her to answer questions from me under those circumstances, but it was fun sensing things through her ‘eyes’.

Sadly, its going to be mid January before I can follow up on this, as the place is either full, or more likely closed for all the holiday period, or a combination of both. So first appointment I can get, that really works for me is 15th January. I could have got in the week before, but I have the other physio that week, so spreading them out is wiser.

But yes, on that day, is Miss Johnson going to come out to play (and splash toes) again, who knows? But the answer, probably?

OK, video time. 1930 is the oldest date I can find conclusive evidence of Clara dancing in the movies. She may well have danced in 1929, but I havent seen clear evidence as yet. As I’ve said before, 1937 is the last date I have evidence for. This technicolor movie from 1930 features the Goldwyn Girls, of which she was one, but faces arent clear enough to be conclusive that Clara is, or isnt in this. I think I see her there, but cant be sure. But yes, regardless, its something a little different to the normal Berkeley routine

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The moment it started raining

Oh fine, we’ll get to the title in good time, just bear with me. And no, for once, the title is no clue to the video lol!

So, despite a less than inspiring weather forecast, the weather was fair (well reasonably fair) this morning, so I decided to head back to Haworth today, as I’d originally planned, prior to seeing a wet forecast. By now, I’ve done the trip to Bradford so often that I’m not even going to mention that, beyond a feisty wing mirror outside the bus that the driver must have tried to re-position about 20 times. Crazy thing was, he still got into Bradford on time, despite that! I think because the previous bus was late (we caught it up, before the mirror incident), we had no one hardly to pick up.

The most notable point of the journey to Keighley was the section through Bingley. When I was younger, that was the main road, and could be a bottle neck at times. Now, there’s a bypass round the town, so far less traffic on that road. One thing that hasnt changed in over 40 years, despite road improvements, is the traffic jams in Keighley town center. The rail station, to the bus station, which is 400 yards at most, took about 15 minutes! Anyway, after a refreshment break, on to the main goal, Haworth.

When I was young, you used to get a battered looking old Metro bus on that route, which wheezed its way up the steep hill out of Keighley, towards Haworth. Now you get a flash new bus, that tells you what the next stop is, and they are all named after the 3 more famous Bronte sisters, seemingly. Rode a bus named Charlotte on the way there, and an Anne on the way back. Positive there is an Emily too, but wouldnt bank on rest of family, especially the 2 eldest sisters, who died before reaching the age of 13!

On arrival at Haworth, I took my chance at the bottom of the hill named Main Street, and got off the bus. There’s a good reason for that, my first ever ‘real home’ was near the bottom of said street. Now that, and its next door neighbor have been knocked into 1 cottage, which is now seemingly one of these rental places. The fact that its originally 2 cottages is given away by 2 facts, the street jumps a number there, and secondly the old door is still there, though nowadays with plants in the doorway, to stop anyone using it. No, our old door is still there, though it now has 1 of those coded locks on it, presumably so the people renting in out can get in without a key? Well, it may be a new door, not sure, but its the entrance you still use, all the same.

One blessing of visiting Haworth in January, over peak summer, is the lack of visitors! Fine, the fact that the Parsonage shuts to visitors during January might have something to do with that! Yes, you guessed it, just as I reached the top of Main Street, approaching the church, the heavens opened! Maybe someone was crying for my return to the village, who knows? I doubt it, but…? Anyway, I went in the church (where all but Anne are buried), and paid my respects, before heading back down the hill in the rain. Then, for one last time, I stopped outside 51 Main Street, and paid my respects to my first home, maybe for the last time. Thats right, there is no 49 any more!

I then took the ‘short cut’ back down to the bottom of the village, near the railway station, passing the school I would have gone to, had I stayed in the village, which is now a set of apartments, called Haworth Mews. To add to the moment, as I got down by the station, there was a steam train parked in the station, seemingly doing a goods run, probably topping up the souvenir shop, though I didnt investigate. But no, no passenger carriages, and besides I checked the timetable, no trains today, not at this time of year.

I didnt time my return well, because I didnt know the timetable any more, so stood for about 15 minutes in the rain, waiting for a bus to take me back home. Well, 3 buses to get all the way home, strictly! Will I go back? Who knows? Its taken me about 10 years to do so this time, and if it goes that long again, I cant see it happening. In truth, my back, even now, supported by a brace felt the climb, so give it a few more years, and it will probably be beyond me. And believe me, that hill is not wheelchair friendly lol!

But yes, one thing, I can now say, at long last, I’ve got back there as a woman! I stopped living there when I was a young child, but used to return on a regular basis up until the turn of the century, but after that, with no reason to do so, visits have become rare.

I wonder how things would have played out if I’d grown up in Haworth, instead of moving down South, because of my father being in the navy? The truth, we will never know! Even more intriguing thought, suppose that young child, growing up in Haworth had been a girl?

OK, video time. I dont know if I was amazed by the visit today, or if it just felt good to be back in the village? Either way, a Wings song tonight. A live performance from the first US city I spent a long period of time in, and which I’m going back to in May!