I'm just a WYSIWYG kind of guy … who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Well … Blogging and Vlogging curtailed yet again !! The reason being, I’ve been admitted to hospital … I’ve been attending a creative writing course for the last few week, only a couple of hours per week, and when I got home at lunchtime this last Thursday, my dear wife informed me that my cardio consultant (a professor no less !) Had rung and said after reviewing my blood test from last Thursday, I was to get myself down to the hospital asap, where a bed was made up and ready for me !

Well, no time to take off my coat and hat or even have a cup of tea !! The Nursing Sister was waiting and ushered me into a bed, 15 mins later the ‘Prof’ arrived, quizzed me and said that I would be in for at least 10 days because I had SEPSIS !!!!. … So … intravenous antibiotics, scans and rest for the next 10 days.

Talk about queue jumping !! … I wrote a little poem which reflects on how I see these magnificent nurses in the NHS.


They’re run off their feet from the start to the finish of their shifts. Day after Day Night after night Angels without wings.

They do a thousand things for those in their care                               From bedpans to comfort Day after day night after night Angels without wings

Underpaid and overworked Still they carry a smile Day after day night after night As they traverse the shiny blue mile (or whatever the colour of the ward floor is !!) Angels without wings

When I wake from my pain and see in their eyes The look that eases my ills, I see their wings, Silver and Proud, And thank God ! FOR THE ANGELS WITH WINGS.

Like I’ve said before, I’m not an expert in writing poetry, I just write from my heart about whatever stirs my soul … and the nurses and doctors of the Northern General Hospital stir my soul with the spoon of gratitude…. THANK YOU N.H.S.

Just a short one today, fellow bloggers. As the title suggests, I’m going to try and embed my latest Vlog into this Blog whilst using the new all singing, all dancing block system … I tried using the block system several days ago but to be as honest as only a first grade technophobe can be… I gave up! Well … I’m not the brightest button in the tin when it comes to technology ! Anyway, I’ve taken the bull by the horns and this is my attempt to get to grips with the block system and embedding a video. (Before my lengthy layoff to dally in the world of vlogging, one couldn’t put a video into a vlog without forking out for an upgrade !!) But, it appears you can now. So here it is, for your delight and delectation, my 45th steelcityman video …..

There you have it… hope it didn’t put you off looking at more of what I’ve done on You tube.

      I don’t know why I wrote that title, ‘Crying Time’, by the late great Ray Charles, but it was going through my head as I thought, “Let’s do a Blog this morning.” Ray Charles is one of my musical heroes, along with Nina Simone and a whole host of others in the jazz/blues genre. ( and just to be eclectic, I love opera and Pink Floyd !!) Anyway, the title suits the weather this morning, it’s coming down in stair rods and bringing loads of snow/sleet with it.  It’s enough to make you cry, and the faraway look in your eyes? … It must be a longing for the dry half of Spring and (hopefully) sunny Summer.

      To the point of this Blog.  Wishing to hone my literary skills, or at least Gain some, I recently enrolled on a CREATIVE WRITING course with a local community charity. The three sessions were ‘Taster’ sessions,  during which I wrote my life story in three foolscap sheets of paper.  At the end of the three sessions, it left me thirsting for more of the same and I was disappointed it had to end. I asked the tutor if any longer courses were in the pipeline but she replied, “Not to my knowledge.”     ‘Ah! well, I thought, I enjoyed what we were given.’

About a week later I received an E-mail from the tutor telling me an eight-week course was starting on such and such a date, would I be interested? I was over the moon when I found out that the third session would embrace my favourite writing topic, POETRY!!  It’s this topic I wish to explore in this Blog, including some of my own work.  Here is a poem inspired by one of my Army tours in Northern Ireland, a market town close to the border with the Republic in South Armagh. I was stationed at the Keady police station (then the R.U.C )  I’m not publishing it because it’s good, I’m publishing it because it’s me …….



My turn in the Sanga

This wet Winter’s night.

A young trooper, alone

With a gun, and my fright.

My job was quite simple,

To observe and protect

My comrades in arms

From the I.R.A. threat

  I hated that Sanga!

 I could see through the slit

Down Keady’s main street,

And right,  up the hill,

Where streetlights and darkness

And my fears did meet.

                                                               I hated that Sanga!

The ample young woman across the way

Who, with the bedroom light on, took off her kit,

Tempting a young face to peer long enough

To get a bullet, in his head, right through the slit.

Then howls of derision from a gang of drunk youths

As they sped past in a car hurling bricks and abuse

 I hated that Sanga!

Nothing happened that night, tho’ oft’  times it did!

The thud of a bullet on sandbag or brick,

Narrowly missing my trusty Tin-Lid.

Sometimes it was spittle, SPLAT ! in my face

As a group of young women walked past my place.

In the Sanga, cold and shook up — Wanting my home.


It must be obvious to an accomplished wordsmith, a real writer, that I am not an expert on poetry. I don’t know much at all about the construction of poems, the ‘proper’ way to write poetry. For me, I often just feel ‘stirred’, or enough emotionally involved in some thing or event, to write about my feelings about whatever ‘stirred’ me. Much of my own poetry is political in nature because I feel very  … passionate about my political standpoint. I get angry, I write … I feel good, I write and that’s me. Regarding other people’s poetry, I have my heroes and I have ones I can not fathom. I suppose I’m like an uneducated drinker of wine, ‘I know nothing much about wine, I just like what I like.’

      My two poetic heroes are MAYA ANGELOU … What a woman, admired by me for her role in the political arena, the fight for civil rights and fighting for the women of the world as well as being a poet that can stir my soul. The world is a much duller place without her. R.I.P.  The other poetic hero is  RUDYARD KIPLING. Although he has come up against much criticism as a poet, I love his work. Of particular interest to me are his poems about the British soldier. Not very PC in this modern … enlightened ?? age, but he reflects the attitudes and values of the British Empire at the time and does so quite well. During his epic GUNGA DINN,  you can fair smell the gunpowder and hear the noise of battle as you read… well, I can!

At the risk of writing an overlong post, there is one more poem I would like to share with you. It is quite well known but has a secret that fascinated me as I learned more about the poet himself … THE LIFE THAT I HAVE by Leo Marks  (1920-2001).

Leo Marks was a cryptographer during WWII and although he didn’t quite make the cut for working at Bletchley Park, He worked in secret for the S.O.E, compiling codes mainly for the agents in France and the resistance. He invented the concept of using poetry as the all-important ‘KEY’ for the codes, The ONE TIME PAD. The agents memorised a couple of poems and used them as the KEY to decipher the messages. However, the Germans proved quite good at cracking the codes because they had a load of poetry anthologies and simply, through a process of trial and error, went through all the poems until they found the poem that was the KEY. Leo Marks started using his own ‘ORIGINAL’ poetry not found in any anthologies, including THE LIFE THAT I HAVE, which was written after the death of his girlfriend in an air crash in Canada.

He gave the poem to Violette Szabo a female French agent who was captured, tortured and murdered by the Gestapo. She never divulged the secret of the poetic code.    So, here is a poem that had been weaponised, it fought the Nazis, was inspired by a Canadian Tragedy, written by a British intelligence officer and smuggled over the channel into the hands of a French woman who gave her life for her country ……….


The life that I have

Is all that I have

And the life that I have

is yours

The love that I have

For the life that I have

Is yours and yours and yours

A sleep I shall have

A rest I shall have

Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years

In the long green grass

Will be yours and yours and yours.

LEO MARKS  (1920-2001)

I hope you enjoyed reading my witterings and in particular my choice of poetry. Like I said I’m not an expert but I do enjoy writing my own poetry and reading/listening to that of other people. If you can spare a minute, please let me know what you think, of both my writing and that of Leo Marks  …….. Until the next Bloggeroony.. TTFN.

      Well, after all this time, and just a few reblogs of ELLEN HAWLEY’s   great works, I’m back AGAIN with a renewed commitment to the SteelCityMan Blog.  I’ll just say that if you haven’t yet had the great pleasure of reading what Ellen writes, then you are in for a treat if you follow the above link to her page…and…follow you must !!     I’ve been away for so long, I didn’t realise that WordPress have made so many changes. In fact I’ve been away for so long I half expected my account to be closed as I have been concentrating on my VLOGGING journey for the last two years and sadly neglected the old Steelcityman Bloggeroony … I’ll include my latest Vlog, in the Blog, at the end of this phase of the comeback. I’m not sure about the ‘BLOCK’ system that’s appeared…It’s New and scares me a little !! …I don’t seem to be able to incorporate my little interior spinning cogs in the post now, they were put in on my very first post, as an exercise in Blogging 101, years ago, but I’ll give it a go and look at the preview later …( Ah they’re in, I’ve reverted to the ‘Classical editor)…… RIGHT …… I’ll post a link to my latest Vlog;  Walk a mile in my shoes # 20     A whimsical look at the local dialect of my home city, SHEFFIELD in South Yorkshire. This is version #2 of ‘SHEFFIELDISH’, the previous episode gaining well over 13,000 views to date. If you enjoy it, Give me a thumbs up, leave a comment and please subscribe to my channel on Youtube.  


cogsinwallIt Has proved quite an expensive venture, has Vlogging, spending cash on cameras ( now standing at 3 … A Canon 750d (DSLR), a Panasonic Lumix G7 (a compact 4/3rds system) and a Canon Powershot Gx7 MK III ) and of course the attendant lenses, tripods, Flashguns, studio lights, backdrops and empty bank balance to go with it all !!! Still, it’s all in a good cause, though a Cecil B Demille I will never be. If the technology had been around 50 years ago then I would have aspired to be a filmmaker as opposed to a run of the mill small Youtuber. I enjoy making the 15-minute films for Youtube. The only two problems I have are (a): my health, which restricts me getting out and about, and (b); I don’t have a place to set up my studio and leave it set up. As it stands I have to carry the lights and all my gear to where I’m filming and afterwards take it all down and carry it back to where I store it. Living where I do, in a one bedroomed flat, there is just not the room. I have to use the public lounge areas upstairs. Anyway enough wittering on about that.

blue-and-yellow-round-star-print-textile-113885.jpgA lot has happened in the political arena since I last posted on a regular basis, with the two main topics being the UK has left the European Union, which in my humble opinion is the single worst thing to happen to my country since the Black Death, I really fear for the National Health Service, workers rights, health and safety at work,  The dreaded Universal credit (which is responsible for thousands of premature deaths through poverty and debt).  In the same depressive vein is the fact that the potential saviour of the British working class, Jeremy Corbyn, the Socialist leader of the Labour Party, suffered the most crushing defeat in modern-day politics at the last General Election and, I feel, we have at least another 15 years of black-hearted Tory rule before the labour party will recover. That is of course unless the misguided masses realise what a catastrophe the Tories are making of this country because the working class used the election to speed up Brexit !!! I was gutted, I don’t mind saying, and it seems to be the end of the Socialist dream here in the UK. I think I will hibernate for a long time and just come out to Blog and Vlog.Take care you all……cogsinwall

Another great read from Ellen … worth sharing I thought.

Notes from the U.K.

Almost everyone in the English-speaking world (she asserted on the basis of no evidence whatsoever) grew up on stories about Robin Hood, that dashing outlaw of Sherwood Forest who fought the Sheriff of Nottingham and assorted other medieval baddies, who stole from the rich to give to the poor, and who did it all while looking fabulous in green tights and a nifty little hat with a feather. 

Yeah, that Robin. You’ve met him in movies, in comic books, in novels. His arrow never missed its target, his tights never bagged at the knee, and his merry men never got cold or hungry or even wet, living out there in the forest. 

Was he a real person?

Hmm. Probably not–or at least there’s no evidence that he was. The giveaway is those tights that never bagged or sagged. Who thought that was possible? 

But let’s take a quick run…

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Ellen Hawley…Ive said it before and Ill say it again .. “She is one hell of a writer” … a fascinating delve into the history of ‘Bonfire Night’…Well worth a read … I love how Ellen weaves Humour around the macabre

Notes from the U.K.

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Night, when people across most of Britain (we’ll get into the most part eventually) light bonfires and burn a long-dead Catholic plotter in effigy.

The only time I went to a Guy Fawkes Night bonfire, all we burned were some potatoes (and we did’t burn them well enough, if memory serves), but we did at least light a fair-size fire. In other places, they go all out, shooting off fireworks, tossing the effigy into the fire, and (according to what I read) chanting bloodthirsty rhymes. (I’m not really sure if anyone chants it on the spot, but I’ve heard people quote a line or two, so the rhymes do circulate.)

All this dates back to 1605, when a plot to overthrow James I (of England) and VI (of Scotland; same person; same name; it must’ve been confusing for him) failed.

James was the son…

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    cogsinwall TRYING  a PODCAST now !!!        Is there no end to this man’s foolish search to master  technology ??? I mean, a blog (neglected recently), a Vlog (reason for neglected Blog ) and now a PODCAST ??? I must be mad, loosing my marbles at 69 … well, 69 on the 5th of August. Trying to master the technology of Media and Communication at my time of life seems a silly thing to do, after all I’ve only just managed to trust a calculator, never mind a blog/vlog/pod and the software to go with them . The calculator I’ve just learned to trust ( I say that tongue in cheek ) is used solely for simple maths. There are a myriad other functions that may as well be used for Quantum physics and string theory calculations … which I will NEVER use !!! Only the numeric keypads and the +, -, division and multiplication signs … (SEE !! I can’t even find the right signs on a simple computer …  when I’m talking about a calculator … ) Did I really say, simple ???  . Well, now you have an insight into how a Bona Fide ‘TECHNOPHOBE’ struggles in the modern world of gadgets, software and electronic  ‘stuff’ … Hence the title of this post … ‘NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING’ … with reference  to the 1959 poem by STEVIE SMITH ….



      The Blogging bit I am quite ‘au fe’ with, well, I still make plenty of ‘technical’ mistakes so I suppose i’m not entirely ‘au fe’ with it all … I know if I upgrade and start paying a yearly subscription, then I would benefit from a more ‘complete’ experience of WordPress, but being a pensioner, every penny counts so I make do and mend with the free version. 

It’s really the same with the Vlogging experience … I’ve mastered enough of the technology to make and post videos on You tube even though the ‘How I did it last time’ thing will NOT stick in my head and so I have to hunt for the solution again and try and remember how I did it the last time…I know, it’s a sad state of affairs, but you’ve got to use what you’ve got left in the tank, or do nothing at all.  I certainly love the vlogging and it gives me a buzz to see them published and have them commented on by like minded people and fellow vloggers. I think I’m getting better at it….The only down side to vlogging is, for me, the relative inability, due to my physical ailments, to get to outside locations in order to add a more interesting dimension to the films, … some days I can but most days I can’t and when I can It’s usually raining !!! What’s the phrase ? “Catch 22” ….  The equipment for vlogging can be quite expensive too, what with a decent camera, lights, audio equipment, a fast computer (what’s one of those ??? ) and expensive software for editing. I use as much of the free stuff as I can which brings to mind, when talking about quality, the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”


I don’t know why  I decided to go into the podcast lark. I’d been listening to Poddies for years, mainly BBC magazine podcasts such as radio 5 live and science and astronomy podcasts, never thinking about doing one of my own until I saw/heard other You tubers doing podcasts on You tube … new idea, new technology …. WALLOP !!!! fell straight into the trap and thought about doing it myself as an extension to my vlog and blog … how simple can it be ???  Just talking into a mic !!! I didn’t reckon with the fact I was, a Bona fide TECHNOPHOBE !!!                                   I managed to get the first episode up on You tube yesterday, after quite a struggle with audio software that just kept laughing at me, that’s what it felt like anyway. I really did struggle with it. Anyway it got published after doing everything the LONG WAY ROUND ! and it’s on You tube now (the steelcityman podcast.. episode 1)


So, you can see where the poem comes in  .. Not Waving But Drowning .. I’ve been drowning in a sea of technology and new experiences. As I get older, I’m finding it more difficult to retain the technical information required to perform these complex tasks, more difficult to keep myself motivated and at times, I feel like giving up, or at least having a rest from the vlog/blog/pod creating cycle … but, I know if I do have a rest from it, it will be even more difficult to get back into the swing of it again…so…I’ll keep on keeping on, keep on trucking and keep on vlogging/blogging/podding.

Thanks for staying the distance and reading the witterings of this old man,

      If you have a God, may you walk in His/Her light….If you haven’t , may you live your life in peace and happiness. 

A reblog of a follow up, by Martin Upfold, ‘Bi-Polar me -discrimination, describes Martin’s recent efforts in the hunt for employment … visit his blog and give him a read … well worth it…


It’s been at least 3 months or so since I last blogged. My last blog was about how I was discriminated by a potential employer. That situation has still left a bitter taste in my mouth.

However despite this I have accomplished the seemingly impossible-

I got a job.

It’s tedious, repetitive and laborious but it has meant I have come off benefits and I have something I have not had in the six years since I was last in a job- my personal pride and self respect through an earned wage.

But here is the rub. I have not told my employer about my situation with my mental health. Usually I am very honest about my bipolar and how it affects myself, my family and our situation. I sincerely hope that my lack of clarity does not come to bite me in the arse.

Thing to remember is simply…

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I’m being overtaken in this amazing world of multi media … Blogging, Vlogging and the occasional Flogging (of dead horses !!!) … a synonym for ‘lack of motivation’ … I think … Anyway, the BLOG is being overtaken by the VLOG. Much as I enjoy the written word, and all the colour (English spelling) that words bring into one’s life, and I will NEVER stop reading other wordsmith’s contributions to the BLOGGOSPHERE … NEVER !!! , (I could never stop reading the words of bloggers like …  CAROL.A.HAND , and …. ELLEN HAWLEY ) I am finding that I am being drawn away from writing my own words in this BLOG, by the seductive medium of the ‘Short Film’, the You tube phenomenon or VLOG.

The people who are responsible for this ‘Drawing Away’ from the written word, apart from an easily influenced ‘ME’ …. are in the first instance, CASEY NEISTAT , who was the very first vlogger/film maker I saw on You Tube, he had a great influence on me and I aspired to be like him. It wasn’t long before I realised that Casey was in fact a millionaire, with a load of very expensive equipment, an amazing studio and, well, everything I hadn’t got and could never have. BUT, that didn’t stop me learning from him … The next influence on my desire to VLOG my life on You tube was a energetic young man, not in New York or L.A but in Rotherham, just round the corner from where I live. His name … HARRISON FLETCHER …. He started as a very young You tuber, now a film maker to boot, very accomplished, skillfull, charming and fast becoming … NAY!! has become, my mentor/idol and the one I aspire to be like … Check out his new documentary, ‘The 70 year old Vlogger’  which features me, steelcityman, along with a young vlogger and a media professional. (leave a comment and tell me what you think about it. ) Better still, follow the link and tell Harrison Fletcher what you think about the documentary.


Anyway readers, if you are still awake ! …. Whereas in the first instance I found Blogging very rewarding, rising to the challenge of new (to me) technology, especially when I began attracting followers who subscribed to my BLOG, after doing the BLOGGING 101 course, the numbers following me started to slow down and became static. Not a very motivational ‘happening” (excuse the old ‘Hippy’ language) … I began to spend more time reading other Blogger’s words of wisdom, outrage and humour than compiling my own … That’s about the time I discovered VLOGGING … and how expensive it could be, and time consuming and energy sapping ( at least for someone of my age !!) … but … I enjoyed it tremendously. I found I could put more of ME into the films I made..just by being ME.. In the BLOGS I wrote, I wrote the same way I always had done since being at school, with great gusto and not a lot of skill, but with a VLOG, I found I could put more of ME into the work and express myself a whole lot more … That’s when the VLOG started to overtake the BLOG, and as a BLOGGER I suddenly found myself looking at the rear of the VLOGGER as he overtook me and began to pull ahead.

So, that’s where I stand at the moment, playing second fiddle to the Vlog … I hope it all made sense to you…I think it does for me !! Maybe I WILL concentrate  my efforts on the VLOGGING, I now have 104 subscriptions to my ‘steelcityman’ channel and I’m publishing 9 vlogs per month, plus there is a Weekly PODCAST in the offing when I can decide (and save up for ) which kind of  new mic and  audio mixer deck to get … My wish list gets longer by the day !!!

That’s all for now folks, thanks for reading my scribblings, and,


like Arnie says, …….”I’ll be back”


      It feels like ages since I put pen to paper .. metaphorically speaking … and it feels even longer since my fingers danced the ‘light fantastic’ over the keyboard … well, maybe ‘dancing the light fantastic’ is a bit much, as I’m quite heavy handed actually … lol… cogsinwallAnyway discerning readers, what I’m trying to say is that it has been too long  since I produced some original words in the ‘steelcityman’ Blog. The only thing I’ve done recently is to ‘RE-BLOG’ other people’s work. Not that it is is a bad thing to do, re-blogging, I only reblog other people’s words when those words stir within me, some strong emotion and an urge to shout ‘Hear Hear’ whilst applauding …  or is it Here Here ??….Hear, hear vs. here, here – Grammarist …(I was right first time !!!)

      The last post by my friend and fellow blogger, Martin Upfold, is a good example of an article which stirred me enough to re-blog it, concerning  discrimination against people with mental health issues… give it a read if you missed it and check out Martin’s blog on how it affects him, his family and the people around him. It’s a fascinating read. 

The thing is, with the talent around on WordPress blogs, it is so easy to re-blog other people’s words. A couple spring to mind instantly for me … the first is a wonderful woman from the U.S.A , who has such a strong grasp on life with her philosophy  and modus operandi … CAROL .A. HAND … a wordsmith of the finest order, a teacher, storyteller and poet. If any blogger deserves an accolade from anyone, it is CAROL.A.HAND .  Her Blog is entitled ‘ VOICES FROM THE MARGINS’ … please give Carol’s blog a read, but be warned !!!! , you may be with her for some time ….

Another Excellent writer, blogger and all round first class wordsmith with a killer sense of humour (she’ll probably point out that Humour is spelt wrongly, same as my spelling of colour !!!) … Yes you guessed it, she is an American too !!! Her Monica is ELLEN HAWLEY, she resides in Cornwall and has us Brits well and truly taped !! Tcogsinwallhe blog site is entitled ‘NOTES FROM THE UK’  BE PREPARED TO BE ENTERTAINED….Again, if you visit her site, beware, you may be there some time !!!

A personal favourite post of mine is ‘Bell ringer’s injuries’.… larf ??? I nearly wet myself !!!. 

  I sincerely hope the two wonderful women I have mentioned in my inane whitterings don’t mind the accolades I have given them … nor Martin either…but there you are, I’m just writing what I feel. I hope you feel the same after visiting their blogs.

eyeballeyeballPoor  health is still plaguing me and putting  the brakes on anything I try to do lately … not that I’m complaining, well I suppose I am really, being limited by illness is a real shit package and of course, the real problem is that I’m still 23 years old in my head !!! The main problem, along with several other complaints, is Heart Faliure. Anyone carrying that around with then will know what I mean. It also limits me in what I can do regarding the VLOG on my You tube channel  … more and more I’m having to film indoors or in the proximity of the back garden because I don’t have the energy or strength to walk any distance in outdoor locations … still, the challenge there is to make interesting content without using more exotic locations … I like a challenge … lol.

I must admit, I really enjoy getting to grips with the technology  and equipment needed to produce vlogs as opposed to blogs. I’m hoping to start two more You tube channels in the near future … one will be a review channel for vlogging equipmentcogsinwall, not the usual High End, expensive equipment loved and coveted by all Vloggers..(we can’t all be as wealthy as CASEY NEISTAT !!!! ) … No, I’ll be reviewing the cheaper alternatives (which I use !!). Can’t afford a £600 mic ??? I’ll review a £25 mic … get the picture ?? It will be a technical review channel for … POOR TECHNOPHOBES !!! 

The other channel will be a PODCAST … just me waffling, no video just a background with my voice and a few sound effects. Should be fun…I’m looking forward to it … ONWARDS AND UPWARDS !!! ……..

 This is Patrick ..AKA… the steelcityman bidding you a very good night from the ….. 20140916_100002

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