Saturday, March 31, 2007

Here's a trick and half!!

Oh so painfully familiar.....

I visited the dentist this week, now they're maybe not using stuff like this these days (my genial, black clad goth dentist Paul kept his instruments of torture tastefully hidden) but it graphically illustrates how I felt!!

NewcastleGateshead Food Festival

I got an email yesterday about the upcoming Food Festival, this is the webpage for full details if you're interested in lashing out on a (probably) overpriced dinner. Though the Food Heroes Tasting Market at the Haymarket on Friday 13th, 10 till 5, sounds like it might be worth a visit. I still think Chris' idea for an alternative "Big Mouths of the Tyne Festival" was better!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Triumph for Northumbria University

It's true.....a Northumbria University student will be representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Eat your heart out Oxford and Cambridge!
From the Uni newsletter, "Insight"......
"David Ducasse, who is in the final year of the Performance degree, is a member of the four-piece band Scooch who were chosen by viewers of BBC1’s Making Your Mind Up to represent the UK at the 52nd annual Eurovision Song Contest. They will perform their song Flying the Flag (For You) at the contest, which is being held in Finland in May. Scooch enjoyed chart success in the late 1990’s and reformed especially for the competition. David is pictured second from the left."
So put your seats in the upright position, fasten your safety belts and prepare for takeoff ladies and gentlemen....

And I'm not sure whether I should even suggest this as a possibility.....but dammit, I will! How about a Eurovision Family Do on Saturday 12th May, Euro food contributions mandatory from all participating parties, fancy dress optional? (bearing in mind there's an in-built damage limitation plan, my TV is a paltry 21in and there ain't no surround sound!)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Time waster....

Take 5 minutes out and discover the depths of your personality here. Above is the picture it drew for me and the full report is here

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Some edited highlights from last night....

John has just sent me these from last night, click on the top image and the next one should appear with any luck.....time for a zizz, my brain hurts!


No it is more pictures of merriment at our annual jaunt to the Centre of Britain Hotel. Here we see Richard in the early stages of acting out Mary Queen of Scots after one too many glasses of not even ask about my failed attempt at humming Stairway to Heaven...and we all now know what Janet does in her spare time given the impressive modelling with Play doh!!!

Roll on next year unless anyone is up for the Alston to Haltwhistle challenge in the summer?

The next themed nosh evening....

Nick, in a moment of madness, kindly offered Argyle St as the venue for the next family feeding to be agreed depending on respective social calendars. The original idea for "Tapas" as the theme has been shelved for practical reasons (tendency to oiliness when reheated) but we need to come up with an alternative. A few suggestions "on the table" for discussion
  • Creole/Cajun
  • German
  • Thai
  • Eastern European
  • Scandanavian
  • Greek
....or dare I suggest "Geordie"?

PS Can't believe I even managed to THINK about food after last night/this morning up at the Centre of Britain!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yet another....

This is more of a reminder to me than anything else!

Might be worth checking out....

Another find.....

When we start getting serious about this family history lark again this website could be worth a's mainly about lead miners/mining but an exploratory search turned up plenty of Clementsons in the right areas.

Your cup of tea.....

Ringtons tea advert from late 60' out for the shot of the van making it's way out to Whitley Bay lighthouse, blink and you might miss it! Personally, I think their standards have sadly Ringtons man wears jeans and has ditched the homburg (they're still using the standard issue basket though!)

Another local history website

Yes, they have one.....even if it doesn't seem particularly active! Ma might be interested in some of the sound clips they have on their website, there's the enthralling tale of the rivalry between the 2 cinemas, the Westgate and the Gem, that'll keep you awake at nights! They also produce a DVD of a talk with pictures on the Border Reivers that might be interesting, details here. Annual membership is a paltry £5....think I may invest.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Fall of the House of Blue Peter

What is the world coming there no-one we can trust?
"Blue Peter normally stands as the benchmark in wholesome children's entertainment. The revelation that it faked the winner of one of its own competitions is the latest in a series of incidents which have made the headlines over the programme's long history."
Listen to the news story here and watch the abject apologies here and here
The full details of their catalogue of sins and tawdry news stories are in the shared fond memories of a happy childhood are hereby and henceforth officially declared shattered!

Another possible night on the tiles

Whitley Bay Playhouse


Thursday 31 May - 7.30pm

Stunning flamenco from some of Andalusia's finest award-winning artists. Jaleo's blistering display of explosive footwork, haunting singing and virtuoso guitar, stamped with their own charismatic raw energy and emotion, brings the authentic heart of Spain to the Playhouse. Tickets: £13.00 Full, £12.00 Easecard, £11.00 Concs

Faulty Owls

Whitley Bay Theatre Company presents:

Fawlty Towers

Thursday 28 - Saturday 30 June - 7.30pm

Welcome back to Fawlty Towers! Not a sentence heard by many guests at the infamous hotel run by Basil Fawlty. But Whitley Bay Theatre Company is delighted - truly - to welcome you back to their latest production of four new Fawlty Towers episodes. Last year was such a hit that, bowing to popular demand, they have created this hilarious follow-up. Not to be missed. EARLY BIRD SPECIAL OFFER!Tickets: £9.00 Full, £7.00 Concs, £4.00 Season Ticket£6.50 Book before 1 June 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Haltwhistle weekend, a good weather suggestion...

An alternative to the traditional early afternoon stroll round Haltwhistle when even the Coop could be closed....maybe we could take in a bit of Roman history? I think the last time I visited Vindolanda they were just sinking the first exploratory trenches, though I suspect they've got a bit further by now! Given that the weather is less than torrential, how about we check out the progress?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday night is culture night!

Shakespeare said..... (stick it out, there's a punch line!)

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier.
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide,
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards the childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything

But Robert Conquest gives us the concise version.....

First you get puking and mewling
Then very pissed off with your schooling
Then fucks and then fights
Then judging chaps' rights
Then sitting in slippers--then drooling."

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Just thought I would add a link to our first stop on our forthcoming whistle stop tour of Haltwhistle the Mile Castle Inn ( where we are meeting at 1.30 (ish) for a light lunch. This will be followed no doubt by the fun filled tour of the Town (those wishing to be clever may wish to look at this link and comment on the loss of trees in the area including a stop at the recently damaged postbox (see below). Our accomodation as always is the Centre of Britain Hotel see the site for reminder of accomodation ( I am afraid it is Richard and Janet's turn for the attic this year if Janet and I are not barred for our rowdy behaviour last time.

No one can say we do not know how to live!!!

See you all soon.

John T

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Whitley Bay video find

Check out more at.....

New terrorist cell?

Copied and pasted from the BBC website today.....

"Post box damaged in 'explosion'
Police and Royal Mail officials are investigating after an explosive device damaged a post box in Northumberland.
Northumbria Police said officers were alerted when a member of the public reported an "explosion" inside the box in Haltwhistle on Friday morning.
A spokeswoman said officers found the front metal plate had been blown off by the blast.
She said no-one was hurt in the incident and that a "device" had been recovered from the scene."

Not sure about all those 'apostrophes'!

This weeks 'blast from the past'

This one's probably for John (the new job requiring extra-marital driving) and posssibly Chris and Nick (blocking the highways and byeways with a bloody caravan, we'll avoid the issue of Richard and a great big fire engine and just hope he gets enough kip on night shift!)....all they lack are dapper hats, chiselled jaws and groomed moustaches.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

PS to previous posting

I'm adding a "Brief Guide to Northumberland Family History" found at the Northumberland Archive site to the SHARED box on the right hand side.

Family History

It must be spring.....suddenly I feel like delving into our collective past! John suggested ages ago that we should maybe use the blog to post things of historical family interest...personally I think it's a great idea and it doesn't even have to be just the Armstrongs either (I'm sure the 'outlaws' have just as many interesting tales to tell!) I've done a bit of frenzied downloading and some research into sources available locally...and there's a whole lot more than there was a couple of years ago. For example, the Northumberland Record Office has moved in the last few months....they now have a 'state of the art' (their words!) new centre at Woodhorn....have to admit it looks pretty good and well worth a visit....see pic above....they apparently have 4 miles worth of shelved archives covering the whole of the county. Anyone fancy a daytrip to check out the facilities? I'm going to be checking out the the local studies centre at North Shields library tomorrow....the last time I went I was looking for stuff on the coast generally, not family history info. Will find out what they have while I'm there.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sweet and Sour Potatoes

1 Tsp Black Mustard Seeds
! Tsp Cumin Seeds
6 Medium Potatoes (Cubed)
2 Tsp Ground Copriander
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
2 Tsp Salt
4 Tsp Soft Brown Sugar
1/2 Pint Water
3 oz Tomato Puree 3 Tbsp Vinegar

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and cumin seeds and fry till they pop.
Reduce the heat and add potatoes.
Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Cover and cook over a low heat until potatoes are tender (about 20-25 minutes) and a large amount of thick sauce remains in pan.
Serve sprinkled with Fresh Coriander

Saturday, March 03, 2007

No title.....just strange!

Prepare for a weekly onslaught of the weird and wonderful....I've happened upon another goldmine!


In the old days we made our OWN entertainment....

Click on the image for full instructions for making your very own "Magic Hat". Look, you know you want to, I won't tell, honest!.....Now where did I put that piece of felt?.........

500 film clips in 7 minutes....

So, how many can you identify?

Friday, March 02, 2007

We've got more bells and whistles.....

....than a Paraguayan marching band. I've added another gizmo to the right hand side. It's a means of sharing files, documents, music, pictures, excel name it! For starters (pun intended) I've put a pdf of a load of Middle Eastern recipes on there. Just click on the file to download, save, print......and cook!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Nah....maybe just one more!

Sarah told me about this one.....apparently it's become a bit of a cult classic on the interwebs(I'm sure I've seen that first soloist on the Metro!) Wonder if they do dance classes? Please welcome to the stage.....the Benwell Ravin Crew!!!

Last one for tonight.....promise!

A last experiment in sound.....the original "War of the Worlds" starring Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air. Tremendous stuff!

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And while I was at it.....

....I did the loving sister thing (pandering to the afflicted more like!) and searched for the saintly DAVID. Interesting (?) fact....on a site that hosts literally millions of audio files our granite-jawed hero only appears once or twice. Somewhere deep in this half hour american breakfast show from the early 80's (just after "The Lumberjack Song" by the Monty Python Team, an interesting juxtaposition) he attempts to wake the nation with "Hot Love".....and it's enough to put you off your full english!

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Yet another experiment....can tha hear me mother?

powered by ODEO I should really be washing dishes, but I bet they'll still be there tomorrow!

Another clever way to display pictures

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