Visited my mum in Wakefield today, (as opposed to our usual Saturday visit,) as today is Mothering Sunday. Took her some gifts including a new watch with a nice clear analogue face that's easy to read. We went to Sainsbury's supermarket to get her shopping, then back at her house and had a little chat about days gone by.
Mum will be ninety years old this coming August. She was just twenty when I was born in 1948 and those seventy years since then have flown by. I asked her how old I was when my parents and I moved from my grandmother's home at Marriot's Buildings in Wakefield to a brand new council house two storey flat, at 28 Conistone Crescent on Eastmoor Estate. (I sometimes get confused as to whether I was three or four years old at that time.) Mum confirmed that she and my father had been given the keys to number 28 on my third birthday, December 18th, which would be in 1951. Astonishing then that I have such vivid memories of living at my grandmother's house prior to our move to Eastmoor.
Marriot's Buildings, now long demolished, was a relic of Yorkshire's early industrial age. Built by Thomas Marriot, a wealthy Mill owner, to house some of his poorer employees, it was a somewhat grim edifice. Dark and sooty brick terraces built around a cobbled courtyard, each dwelling possessing dingy cellars and dusty attics, no hot water, no bathrooms, no toilets. Its back yard sited on the edge of an equally ancient printing factory just off Lawefield Lane. I remember my infancy there vividly. Playing out in the back yard with neighbouring children, peering through the windows of the printing works and marvelling at the machinery grinding away within. Those years from birth to three years old are, (amazingly,) fixed indelibly in my mind.
When we moved, not long after my third birthday, to Eastmoor Estate, it felt like we'd moved into the future. A shiny new kitchen and white bathroom with hot running water, an inside toilet and, miracles of miracles, a bedroom of my own. The new flat, when we took up residence there, smelled of newly sawn woodwork and fresh, bright emulsion paint, a smell that, even today, I can conjure up in some part of my mind that deals with olfactory sensations. I was only an infant, but deep inside, whatever form constitutes our material existence, I somehow felt timeless and acutely aware of my surroundings. I felt, bizarrely, as if I had been alive forever.
These thoughts could be seen, by some, as illusory or fantastical. However, such
conclusions would be wrong. These memories of mine are extremely real, profound, and accurate. Whether brought about via science's mysteries or by mysticism itself, they are the facts of my early life and I treasure each bright revelation that they accord me, even today after so many years.
But, enough of such ancient ponderings...
Have this evening sorted out the correct bunch of DAT tapes to take to Fairview studio tomorrow to transfer to the studio's mastering computer for my old friend John Spence to eventually bring his mastering skills to bear on. Also printed out the track lists for the two albums we're preparing to release in the near future. These lists are needed to put the tracks in the correct order for each album.
Also, in the last few days, I've completed the brief interview with Mojo Magazine for their 'Work In Progress' feature. My official and highly regarded photographer Martin Bostock came to take photographs of me in my studio on Friday for use in the article.
The photographs, as usual from Martin, are excellent!
One worrying development is a newly occurring pain in my left hand, more specifically in the middle finger and knuckles of the left hand. This discomfort is making it difficult to play the guitar. My agility is definitely impaired and I'm concerned that it might not be something that I can easily override.
When I've got tomorrow's mastering session out of the way, I'll need to make an appointment with my GP to check it out. I have to admit that this latest health development is very much concerning me.
As some wag once said...getting old is not for cissies...