I’ve felt constrained of late about writing a journal. This was until the future ownership of Moores Furniture Group was sorted. I am a trustee of the pension scheme. The constraint was that I often get asked ‘what’s going on?’ at Moores and with the pension scheme. It felt very disingenuous to even discuss the subject let alone say ‘everything is fine’ whilst the company’s ownership was being changed.
My former employer has changed from being owned by Masco Corporation to Hilco, a Private Equity company. Not a very exciting development but the employees' pension scheme has got, in effect, a new sponsor. As a trustee this change was subject to some discussions and in five weeks I ended up in London twice, Manchester once and Leeds three times. It involved too many emails to be bothered to count and a few conference calls. To give you a comparison then being a trustee usually involves going to Leeds twice a year and a lot of reading in between. The outcome was acceptable to all the parties involved and we move on. However, it was interesting to engage the grey matter on the types of thing I used to do.
In other serious news then my in-laws relocated to a residential home in Pocklington. This has entailed the selling of their home. Anna has been very busy with all that entails. I am on first name terms with the folk at the tip with the carloads of surplus pieces of timber from the garage and old tins of paint that a lifetime accumulates. (There is a good argument for my family to maintain my health to avoid the house emptying that will be needed when they cart me off.
On Facebook I am back to producing a few more ‘York In 30 Second’ videos, please take a look. I’ve added one on cats and the Solar System so far! Yes, I know – not much of a sales pitch.
Music continues to be a pre-occupation with a trip to London to see Nile Rodgers (he, of Chic) at the present Mrs Ives’ behest. Quite something to get 20,000 people to stand up for two hours dancing to classic 1980’s disco. I was even throwing a few shapes (in the dark you’ll be relieved to hear). This concert was after seeing Brandy Clark in Manchester with the Favourite Youngest Daughter. Brandy is working her way up to large venues as she tours with three albums now under her belt. However it has been a long road for a lady now into her forties to get to this level of celebrity.
This progress brought to mind one of the albums that I recently reviewed for The Americana Music Show. Randomly from a list I picked a group of talented bluegrass musicians from Boulder, Colorado called The Railsplitters. It is a great album (Jump In) with beautiful songs sang by a vocalist with a voice not dissimilar to Lily Allen’s. As they try and grow their audience they have ended up at Selby Town Hall on February 9th. It seems quite unreal that this is on their path to stardom but good luck and I can’t wait.
I have written about the podcasts that I listen to and have been a devotee of Nothing But The Blues for over six years. It was a pleasure to pop across to Market Weighton to meet up with the presenter, Steve Jessney, and to see two studios – his home den where he pre-records the show and then go to the radio station (Vixen 101) to see another show going out live (where they played me a Soul classic on request).
Prince Charles when pressed on who was his favourite ‘pop stars’ volunteered The Three Degrees. They performed at his 30th Birthday Party in 1978. So with this connection I was irresistibly drawn to follow, lead singer, 70 year old Sheila Ferguson on Twitter (cough) She is one of many artists who spend a disproportionate amount of the day seeking and re-Tweeting abuse for Donald Trump on the ‘echo chamber’ of Twitter. For all I know, it may a useful deployment of her time as all that lies ahead, at her age, are jigsaws, Strictly Come Dancing and Werther’s Originals. However, after her umpteenth re-Tweet of something derogatory she then Tweeted that there was such negativity in the world at the moment. I pointed out that she was generating it! Being a wise old bird she noted my advice. As you can see, I am now her mentor.