About When I Was Visited By A Night Hag

It is currently 3am and I am trying to clear my head – I can catch up on sleep another time; sleep is really the last thing I want right now, yet I really need it. I was visited by a Night Hag tonight….

I thought, there are two ways I could play this – I could blog about it from a personal perspective or I could write the about history of night hags and their phenomenology. I thought I would give both a go.

Ijo Pona - John Henry Fuseli The Nightmare
Me & Kathryn a few hours ago

My Personal Experience

I fell asleep with the hynagogic hallucinations of debating with Andrew Jones MP – in my waking dream he paid a visit to try and gain a photo opportunity, as he does. I was pleading with Andrew Jones MP to stop his voting habits of penalising the poor for having a bad run of luck. I was telling Jones MP about my friends who have died as a result of DWP Sanctions and he was not showing any compassion, mocking every fatality as if it was a personal victory.

Then, just an hour after nodding off – getting angry and angrier with Jones, I woke up panting – not able to breathe and completely disorientated. I was really confused as to where I was when I woke and then it took me a good ten minutes to settle, just as long for the fight or flight response to settle down – even after fifteen minutes, adrenaline was coursing through my body and I am hardly calming down.

What is a Night Hag

The above text is what I believe to be a personal account of what it is like to be visited by a night hag, a dæmon from Olde Times who personifies sleep paralysis.

In Scandinavian folklore, sleep paralysis is caused by a Mare, a supernatural creature related to incubi and succubi. The mare is a damned woman, who is cursed and her body is carried mysteriously during sleep and without her noticing. In this state, she visits villagers to sit on their rib cages while they are asleep, causing them to experience nightmares.

The Swedish film Marianne examines the folklore surrounding sleep paralysis.

Either way – when I was visited by a night hag it was bloody horrific.

Well, I Failed The #365BlogChallenge

Well I have failed the challenge I set myself last December – I had hoped to Blog everyday through 2021 but I could not find the time to research, write up and publish the posts. I could not Blog everyday. #365BlogChallenge is over for this year but never say never on a fresh attempt…

Why did I fail?

I set out to improve my situation through blogging – I thought that the act of living a well documented creative life would spur me on to do more creative things. I thought that if I was documenting my creativity, here on Ijo Pona, it would spur me on to create for the sake of creating. But, it just made me create for the sake of documenting the end result. And, Art is a process. It is a journey that people go on to become more connected to themselves and their environments.

I was documenting the end result and that was poisonous.

I also failed because I live a pretty boring life in lock down – who the hell would want to read a blog post about a trip to the super-market. The banality of the posts I was producing was a bit embarrassing. I was not reading the posts.

I was not reading the posts – and, after all, this blog is for me, myself and nobody else. It is a hell of a ego trip to think you can create a public to report to. Other than my family checking in, I doubt many people wanted to find out about my May Day Mix.

I started the #365BlogChallenge to try and make myself a better writer, better at getting my point across. But, this was a one-sided conversation. I was not engaging with anyone – it was quantity over quality. I was writing for the sake of writing and the results were Bobbins.

So, I will continue the Blog in a few weeks, when I have something interesting to say – w/e round ups and Points of Interest. Things of note and notes of things – not the ego trip that this blog had morphed in to.

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May Mix


Weird Wins: Series One

I have started a new podcast series called Weird Wins. I get to speak to inspirational people about their driving passion. The things that makes them tick.

I spoke to Allan about his love of Music Mentorship – how he has helped loads of people get a foot hold in the music industry. How he is running Creao Studio and how he has played across countless stages. You can listen to that here:

I also spoke with a good lad called Elliot. I know Elliot form a course I tried to do… ooooh decades ago; well, Elliot went on to study at degree level and he was talking about his passion for Disco and Soul. How shaping the vibe of what a crowd hears, and their sound track, can make or break people’s lives, essentially. Do you want to listen to that?

This dove-tailed nicely with what Andy Dennis had to say about his passion for The Beatles. Everyone I know has heard about Andy Dennis’ work with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). It may have seen a bit frivolous, a bit wasteful to speak with Andy about his passion for a band when he has so much to give about his time in Africa. But, in essence, I wanted to give the man a break; “Do you remember that really harrowing experience you went through? Well, let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about pop music.”

The final episode of the series is a chat with Matt WP. Matt explained his journey in photography. It is a gem. Matt speaks at length about how photography and has shaped the way he sees the world and how it helps him with things in his work life and his day-to-day life, too. I admit I was ill prepared for the chat, but, Matt made a charming guest.

For more about the Pod. See www.backhouse.link/ww and you will go to the page on my work website talking you through the project. I have put a bit of thought in to this and I am pleased with Series 1 of Weird Wins.

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I Am Looking Forward To Shaking Someone’s Hand Again

It’s a funny thing to shake someone’s hand.

In the future, of course, there are no handshakes. Star Trek, Star Wars, even Spaceballs… no one shakes hands.

And handshakes haven’t been the standard default for as long as we think – they were codified by the Quakers five hundred years ago, because they were thought to be more egalitarian than tipping a hat or bowing.

Today, of course, a handshake is often seen as a threat more than a disarming form of intimacy and equality thanks to Coronavirus.

In addition to being a vector for disease transmission, handshakes reward a certain sort of powerful personality and penalize people who might be disabled or uninterested in that sort of interaction. And judging people by the strength of their grip doesn’t make much sense anymore.

Until a year or so ago, demurring a proffered hand (how antiquated to use ‘demurring’ and ‘proffered’ in the same sentence) was seen as odd and a bit insulting. Today, it comes across as generous.

Add to this the fact that in a video call, there’s no way to shake hands. Hat tipping (or perhaps an informal Vulcan salute or simply a smile and a wave) might be making a comeback.

So, Live Long & Prosper!


Roots Conversation Reaches Episode #100!

I have been a part of Roots Conversation – the roots reggae podcast for a good few years now. We reached Episode #100 tonight. I am currently sat in Creao Studio listening to Scooby and Allan record their show – their show is turning in to a bit of a car crash, really.

But, Roots Conversation has reached Episode #100 and I am more than happy with the progress it is making. I hope we can keep it up for a further #100 Episodes. It is a right laught to record. I make the playlist for the show along with suggestions from Scoob, Allan and Kathryn. We are making it as part of Guerrilla Dub System.

We have been recording our spoken links using VOIP during the the pandemic. It was difficult – it was very difficult. It was not made easy that we all like a beer and we were not the most professional.

However, the Pandemic is easing off and we are making it up to Creao Studio in Harrogate for the past four shows. It is good to see each other again, despite the social distancing; I have missed the retards. Here is the show. When it is published, the embed will be live, it goes live around midnight on Friday morning….

Here is to the next 100 shows guys…

Ijo Pona - Roots Conversation
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Sound Of Wonder Is Ace

My mate Scooby hosts the Sound Of Wonder. The Sound Of Wonder is a podcast that gets broadcast on community radio in Harrogate and the USA.

If you want to find out more then head to www.soundofwonder.co.uk

Stewart admits he butchers the links and he has not a hope of getting them correct – we are past Episode 250, now. But they are amazing. They have a very small and a very small listenership. I am one of them and I am also the producer.

Scoob’s good lady-wife has taken to recording the links recently. Despite the massive advancements in technology, a local recording is far better than VOIP with good mics.

The Sound of Wonder is clocking up milestones. I am glad to be part of it. Good work, Scooby. And, thanks….

Ijo Pona - skull
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Terrible Week // Rest to Roots

Terrible week. I had to bow out of Roots Conversation and it was broadcast tonight.

Popped To Hackforth

Popped to Hackforth today – it is where my folks live; they have a new housemate in the form of my sister. Alison is between houses having put a deposit on her firs house.

The lease was up on where she rented and we saw her for the first time since Xmas 2019.

It is a lot different since then.

But, the Swallows returned as we sat in my parent’s garden chatting.

It was honest.