Sunday, June 29, 2008

Priory Theatre 2008/09 programme

Click on the image for a more readable version. Season ticket for 5 plays (pantomime not included), same seat/same night of the week, is a paltry £30!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A trio of alternative orchestras

Penguin Cafe Orchestra


Vienna Vegetable Orchestra


The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain


A cautionary tale.....

Text not available
The Fair Concubine Or, the Secret History of the Beautiful Vanella. Containing, Her Amours with Albimarides, P. Alexis, &c. Her Departure from the Court. ... To which is Annexed, The Lady's Last Shift; Or, a Cure for Shame

This one's for Chris

Because apparently she's been listening to the single track I posted most nights trying to work out the harmonies. She might not know that Kitka have a website, where there are more mp3 samples
Sort of similar, but actually not in the slightest....Mediaeval Baebes

Possible entry in the "End-of-Term-Party" stakes.....

MEDFOUNA....A sort of middle-eastern take on an all-in-one mega burger.

For the dough
1 sachet dried yeast
175ml/6fl oz lukewarm water
250g/9oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
olive oil, for brushing
sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

For the filling
1 onion, finely chopped
½ large stick celery, finely chopped
2 tbsp thyme, leaves picked and chopped
4 tbsp flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
500g/1lb 2oz fillet steak, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the dough, add the yeast to the warm water and mix to dissolve.
3. Mix the flour, salt and caraway seeds in a bowl. Add the yeast and water mixture to the flour and mix to form a dough.
4. On a floured work surface, knead the dough for ten minutes.
5. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and place in bowls. Cover the bowls with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
6. Meanwhile, for the filling, place the onion, celery, thyme, parsley, coriander and meat into a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
7. To make the medfouna, once the dough has risen, roll out both portions into large rounds the size of a dinner plate.
8. Place one of the dough rounds on a baking tray. Place the filling on top and spread evenly, leaving a 2cm/1in edge. Brush the edge with a little water. Place the second dough round on top and press the edges gently together to seal the bread.
9. Brush the top with some olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt flakes, taking care not to oversalt the bread.
10. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Vintage advertising posters

From a gallery at the New York Public Library


Centralia is a borough in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005 and 9 in 2007, as a result of a 46-year-old mine fire burning beneath the borough.

More at Wikipedia

Little Shop of Horrors - Brief Review

Whitley Bay Operatic Society excelled themselves and a fun night was had by all. Great set, great voices and great comic acting....if I could I'd be back there tonight for the final performance! Their next production is Jeckyll and Hyde - The Musical, October 6th - 11th....I vote we book advance tickets! I promised Bex I would post a link to the currently running London production website (which is definitely worth a click, and possibly even a trip down to the smoke!) Little Shop of Horrors

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Click to be bemused

You've been warned.....random video clips interspaced with test signal images. Your best bet is to pretend you're channel surfing in a foreign hotel bedroom!

Click on "Click me to channel hop" here

OK, so not everybody uses Photoshop......

.....but I do. And this is a video of '101 photoshop shortcuts in 5 mins' that I'll be watching on a loop on the way home until they bloody consider this a personal post (and that maybe I really need to get a life if this looks like required viewing!)

Who are YOU looking at?

Remember those kestrel eggs I posted about a couple of weeks ago....well this is them tonight, and haven't the bairns grown!
Click here to view

The Complete Letter Writer

Text not available
The Complete Letter-writer Containing Familiar Letters on the Most Common Occasions in Life, Also a Variety of Elegant Letters for the Direction and Embellishment of Style, ...

Don't scratch your head when you've got a letter to write, dip into this tome, there's bound to be just the right missive for your, it's a damned entertaining read!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Castle of Tynemouth - A Tale

Haven't read it yet.....I suspect it may be faintly "Gothic", 1806 style!

The Dinner Party

Watch this and never enjoy hosting one again!

Y'know, I was going to spread the agony out, but dammit let's get it over with and do....The Buffet Supper

....and "Let's give a Tea" for good measure

News.....and lots of it

European news feeds

Rubber duckies on the airwaves

See previous post Rubber Duckies on the High Seas

Invasion of the Yellow Ducks, BBC Radio4

"How thousands of yellow plastic bath ducks set off on a long voyage that has seen them become unwitting celebrities and key players in cutting edge scientific research.

The story began in 1992 when a container ship en route from Hong Kong to the USA ran into trouble in the Pacific Ocean. As the ship rolled violently in heavy seas, several of the containers tipped into the sea. At least one of them burst open and one of the world's great journeys started for around 29,000 plastic bath toys. An epic that continues to this day...
Clive Anderson continues the tale."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Escape the dirty kitchen....

Click objects around the room and try to find your way out of the dirty kitchen. But I'm taking more direct in switching this laptop off and taking myself down to the bottom of the garden for a breath of fresh air!
Play Dr Ku, The Kitchen

Another change to the Newcastle skyline

Another bit of Scottish and Newcastle's city centre site bites the dust. It brought back memories of when I worked on the 12th floor of Wellbar House in the 70's (both now also long-gone!) ....sunny afternoons, windows open.....the heady smell of hops in the air.....zzzzzzzz

The Scottish and Newcastle site is being cleared to make way for Newcastle Science City

A bygone bridge

A long-gone suspension (toll) bridge that crossed the South Tyne at Warden near Hexham. Built in 1825/26 at a cost of £50,000 (superintending engineer William Clegram) it had a 315ft span. Source: A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland, 2002. This photograph was taken in June 1900....and from what I can find out the bridge didn't survive a whole lot longer, the only date I can find so far for it's demolition/replacement is 1901. Looks like the toll booth survived though!

UPDATE....apparently it collapsed under the weight of a steam thresher in 1877 and was rebuilt, eventually being replaced in 1903. Source: Bridges on the Tyne (though they give the cost of building the original as £5,000 not £50,000) Amazing thing this internet, especially when you're avoiding a pile of dirty dishes!

Environmental recordings

Closet of Curiosities had a nice audio download last week in their regular 'environmental recordings' series (Links to download .rar files at the end of their post) Owls, bullfrogs and cicadas......recommended late-night listening after a busy day.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Mother's a tracker for 6 little quackers"...The Sun

Hold the front page!.....
"A mother duck braved traffic and a housing estate during a TWO-MILE chase to rescue her babies from a sewer.
The six ducklings fell down an underground access and were swept away – but mum could not fit through it. So the mallard followed their frantic quacks overground across two main roads and a railway line until they stopped under a manhole in Gosforth, Newcastle.
She then sat quacking loudly for at least four hours until jogger Peter Elliott, 59, and daughter Vicki Jefferson, 30, stopped to see what was wrong with her." Read the rest of this cliff-hanger story here

A BIT LATER, AND VIRTUALLY UNRELATED....The ducky footprints on the map reminded me of when Jimmy Carter visited Newcastle in 1977 (look, it's a long story involving mapping where he could take comfort really don't want to know!) Found this on Youtube, apparently he had an eagle-eyed sidekick who spotted some grafitti on a wall on the way from the airport....

Some pictorial local links.....

"photographs of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England and surrounding areas"
Link to Newcastle Photos

"An exploration through photographs of the river valleys of Northumberland"

Does what it says on the tin

Foldit.....playing games for science

Sounds like it might be worth a try! (it's all to do with protein folding) They say....

"Foldit is a revolutionary new computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research. This page describes the science behind Foldit and how your playing can help."

Jump right in and Try Foldit........feel better about timewasting!

The Longest Day. So that must make tomorrow the start of the run-up to christmas then....

....and Ma tells me that she's already seen a festive-themed TV advert, so it must be true (our resident grumpy-old-woman.....OK, so that'll be me....was reported to have said, "in MY day we weren't even allowed to MENTION christmas until after bonfire night otherwise it was tears before bedtime") In recognition of the fact that the nights will be 'drawing in' starting tomorrow, I thought I'd better go looking for winter-themed music to suit the downturn in mood.....though just a suspicion of summer would have been kinda nice.......

Found this, celebrating the winter solstice in all it's forms, at Na Bula Bula.....always my first port-of-call when I want music that's just that little bit out of the ordinary (first dicovered when I wanted some background music for a family, middle-eastern themed feast). You can download the whole CD/LP via RapidShare, links at the bottom of the post (the first file, 0, is the album art should you want it, links 1 and 2 take you straight to the music download may have to wait a few minutes before downloading the 2nd file if you're using the 'free' option as I do) Files are in .rar format, to unzip you'll need Winrar it free here

Enough blether, here's a taster from Georgia.....

Empty pools

A gallery of pictures of empty swimming pools....Absence of Water at Polar Inertia

Cloud cover

The UK as at 9.30am, Saturday 21st June......Check out what weather is coming your way at the Clouds map at DaylightMap (data updated hourly)

LATER....The clouds should have been painted's peeing down! (2.45pm)

My baby has red hair and freckles


Friday, June 20, 2008

Atlantropa....damming the Mediterranean

Fascinating post found at Strange Maps....
"Sörgel first publicised his ideas in his 1929 book Mittelmeer-Senkung, Sahara-Bewässerung, Panropaprojekt (‘Lowering the Mediterranean, Irrigating the Sahara: the Panropa Project’), reiterating and specifying them in Atlantropa (1932). Later versions of the project included plans to create a series of giant lakes in Central Africa (Sörgel’s father, significantly, pioneered hydroelectricity in Bavaria)." Go read......

The atheist's nightmare

....I particulary like the guy on the right with the glittery-teethed maniacal grin!

Vintage boy's toys....

From the 1930 edition of the DeMoulin Bros. & Co. catalogue "Burlesque and Side Degree Specialties, Paraphernalia and Costumes." See the rest of the catalogue here (most of their 'stunts' and paraphernalia seem to rely heavily on surprise electric shocks!). Click on the image for a larger, readable version.

While we're on the subject of strange collections...'s a few more.



Did you know that collecting camembert cheese box labels is known as Tyrosemiophily? Put some quality time aside to check out some collections here and here.....maybe make yourself some yummy Baked Camembert with Garlic Ciabatta Toasts to get yourself in the mood first. Then when you're done you're going to need some ideas for things to do with the empty box(es)...fear not, Agence Eureka to the rescue........

Retro TV......stylish!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Inanimate Alice - Episode 4 released

I'm pretty sure I've posted on this episodic piece of interactive fiction before, but if I haven't, I definitely meant to! Slick graphics and with an excellent soundtrack, there's a projected 10 episodes in total, so if you like it (or want to start at the beginning!) it's worth bookmarking the Inanimate Alice homepage to keep an eye on progress. They say:

"'Inanimate Alice' tells the story of Alice, a young girl growing up in the first half of the 21st century, and her imaginary digital friend, Brad.
Over ten episodes, each a self contained story, we see Alice grow from an eight year old living with her parents in a remote region of Northern China to a talented mid-twenties animator and designer with the biggest games company in the world."

Jump straight in and play Inanimate Alice Episode 4 (because we all know that starting at the beginning is just for big girl's blouses and about on the same level as 'reading the manual'!)

Wibble wobble

Check out the 'Reaching for the out of reach' project at Cursive Buildings (then the post title might make sense!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No time to post tonight, BUT.....

....apparently there's nothing more bracing than a pair of Wolsey underpants. I'll maybe leave you with that thought..........

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


from ModernMechanix.....but just DON'T fill in and send off!

Don't work with children......or animals....

Jeez.....I remember seeing this live!

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

OK....a personal blast from the past....

.....found an original, yellowing, partial copy of one of the classic comics in a dusty cupboard. Did a google and found a downloadable boardgame. Possibility for the end-of-term party on the 18th July perhaps? (.....assuming everyone is talking to everyone else this year!).....and not forgetting I've got a resited work plotter to test and a pile of foam board to recycle (cans of spray mount a given!)

LATER....And the film that (I guess) never got made....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Anybody fancy.....?

....just spotted a lone advert on a lampost on the way to work this short notice!

Test post from the new iGoogle blog posting thingie

It doesn't do pretty pictures, but it might be handy for those occasions where you want to do just a quick text "Sorry for the lack of recent action....I promise I'll try harder!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I got a new toy today, courtesy work...... a brand-spanking-new iPod Classic (80GB). This of course sent me hotfoot to to download some compatable video to try out it's watch-a-film-on-the-move capabilities. Found this.....and watched it on the way home on the Metro.

"A live tv production of Frankenstein from the anthology series Tales of Tomorrow. Legend has it that Lon Chaney Jr. (playing the monster) was unaware that it wasn't a rehearsal, so rather than break up props as planned, he simply put them down."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It works for me.

The Mighty Wurlitzer like organs, huh?

Also worth watching (embedding not allowed) is this video, The Beast in the Basement, Leon Berry in his native habitat......not for the faint-hearted!

Friday, June 06, 2008

No pressure then!

Spot the difference game......Unique

Pick the odd one out as quickly as you can. Changing colors, shaved edges, similar shapes and other tricks make each level harder than the last.

Play Unique

Family History "getting started" guide

pdf version of an 8 page guide from 'Who do you think you are?' magazine added to the box files

All of Google on one page

....because it's pretty big! A handy page to access all of Google's services, software and blogs from one place.

Link to Simply Google

Haltwhistle walks

Local Walks - the Haltwhistle Rings are a pack of 22 circular walks in and around Haltwhistle. You can download them here in pdf format....maybe we could give one of them a try the next time we visit the ancestral home! Found at

Tynemouth Bomb Map

I may even have seen the whole of this map 'in the flesh' when I was on loan to the North Shields arm of the National Gazetteer Pilot Study in the early 70's. It, or a dusty close cousin lived in a plan chest in the corner of the office, largely ignored. This is just an extract....but an interesting one. You can see more along with dates and details in this pdf. Also worth a click is the source site Westalls War

Friday night is disco night

Read this doc on Scribd: The Disco Handbook

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tynemouth Census 1891

Another file uploaded to's worth signing up to try. It's not just the generous file storage....there's an online word processor, the ability to convert up to 5 documents (of various formats) to pdf a month and 'sharing' options including video/audio conferencing, a whiteboard and shared desktops. All the moment!

John Peel on Room 101

....can't embed the videos but here are the links
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Deep Chalk, Second phase.... know I'm thinking it's maybe too late at night to try this out now, so I'll leave it up to you to work out whether it's worth staying up for. The original, Deep Chalk, was described as "not a game but an interactive piece of art with an objective: to discover its secrets and escape" (from JayisGames). Second Phase "is the continuation of the journey of the crystal, the player character in Zack's black and white world. The objective is the same: discover the secrets hiding beneath the surface and escape. While you're there, enjoy the quest; be inspired."

Play Deep Chalk - Second Phase here

(local) Walkies....

....but really just testing I signed up as a beta user ages ago but never actually tried it out. To be honest, I'm impressed, especially by the 5gb of online storage it offers for free. The experimental piece is the 'complete walking guide of Newcastle'.....first thing that came to hand!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Anne and John/Singapore/Hot and slightly damp!

Serves them bloody right!

D is for...... Durham and Destruction

In 1951 Durham County Council published its Development Plan in which it "addressed" the problems of 350 scattered villages that had grown up around small mines. The mines were no longer economic and the villages were haemorrhaging population. The Plan classified a third of the villages as "Category D" because the council felt there was no way of sustaining them in the future. These villages were to be left to die without economic assistance. Some of them are no more....the picture above shows the demolition of Addison Village in 1958. Read something about it's history here

Listen to a BBC Radio4 programme about the Category D villages....

These guys obviously rate YouTube...."Pork and Beans"

....y'know, you might just recognise a few popular clips and references. The tune's kinda catchy too!

Vintage posters

Pure eyecandy at Vintage Poster....a French blog. Click on the images for much larger versions.
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