Ijo Pona is the Harrogate adventure blog written by a Funny Little Man. Andy is a freelance web designer in Harrogate and he is also a well-received sound artist and runs a mastering studio in Yorkshire. The Wire Magazine once described him as "... difficult to dislike." Still at my most enthusiastic and naive.
Funny Little Man – Harrogate
I have had a wonderful past couple of days — and I want to share them with this Blog. My Blog is gradually turning into a “I am feeling ‘X’ because …” Blog, as opposed to “This Is A Blog Post About …” Blog. I am happy the general direction Ijo Pona is taking. It is shaping up to be an alright blog. Ijo Pona is becoming a friend I visit, more than a task to complete. And — to complete this header — I am feeling positive about the future, I am content and I believe I am finding my niche: I am comfortable in my own Beta Male skin.
Please bear in mind I have yet to head to bed and it is approaching 0630 on a Sunday. But, I will start with what happened on Friday night. I was running a bit late for my job at RETRO Bar, where I DJ every Friday, and the equipment was not allowing me to copy my music collection to it — nerves were a bit fraught & I had to rely on new, as yet unprepared, equipment.
I was worried that everything would fail and I would make a prize tit of myself. However, Matt, Eirene & Allan came down in to RETRO and there was fist bumping a plenty and parties started — I was there for ten and they rolled in around eleven — just as I was dubbing. I kept myself to myself and kept on glancing over at my friends seeing if they were okay — they seemed to be having fun.
I have to admit — despite my equipment being a bit underprepared — I killed it behind the decks. Jason Mawer gave me a massive compliment about my DJing again and it filled me with pride — Matt, Allan & Eirene each made a point of saying my set went down well.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, I am always out of my comfort zone when I see myself on CCTV. So when I have to DJ to a crowded bar I have butterflies and a somersaulting stomach. As if it was not bad enough to face my fear of public exposure I did well and then had to engage with people even further by receiving the compliments.
Sure, there were the usual requests — such as “Play some Happy Hardcore, we’re about to leave …”, “Play some Northern Soul!” and “Do you have any Trance” but I had the protection of Mike and Juna behind the bar. These two (I have been working with them for around six weeks) are amazing — they really look after me and have made me feel very welcome.
We shut up shop around 0330 and I had the good fortune to be invited back to Dragondrop HQ which is near where I live — a good friend, Toby, came with us and soon the Stella was flowing. We covered all topics of conversation and I hope I did not make a fool of myself.
Matt & Eirene are the best hosts ever. They even shared a bottle of Champagne with us — the toast was “Friendship.”
Around dawn, Annie-Mo came down after a bad dream about a big snake. She is a four-year-old bundle of cuteness and we all took it in turns to try and cheer her up. Toby’s attempt to try and cheer Annie-Mo up was this joke –
Q — What type of Bee makes Milk?
A — Boobies!
I do not think Annie got the joke but Toby had found my level. My attempt to cheer Annie-Mo up was to show her my tummy — she joined in and there was plenty of giggling — my belly button is an ‘inny’ and her’s is an ‘outy’ — this proved to be a lot of fun although she did ask if there was a baby inside my beer belly.
I fell asleep after seeing Kathryn in the morning around 9 am and woke up at four in the aft. The destination was K-Town and I was there to play a gig. I met Allan in his recording studio, CREAO Studio and we put the final touches together for the set.
We got a lift up there and I was shocked that so many people had turned out despite the bad weather. We nailed the set and then started drinking again — Major Tom’s Mobile Event’s Bar was there and I had a steady supply of good cans.
My highlights of Bedfest 2017 was The Four45’s set, DJ Rory Hoy and the headline act, my mate George. George performs as 601 and has had success at doing that for years — the man headlined Glastonbury 2015 for Pete’s sake!
Arriving back in Harrogate around midnight I dropped our equipment off at the studio again and treated myself to a Madras curry from Adam’s Balti — a place I will frequent again — the curry as excellent and the staff friendly. I walked into it and there was a lad dressed as a Cadbury’s Hero (the chocolate). It was the Bedrace today (hence me playing BedFest) and the theme was “Heroes & Villains” — this lad’s team had raised over £500 by completing the Bed Race dressed as Cadbury’s Heroes: which makes him a hero.
So, I will re-iterate what I said in this post’s header. I am feeling good. I feel, at the age of 36, I have left a lot of my troubles behind. I am more positive about the future than ever before. I feel relevant. I feel needed. I feel accepted. I feel loved.