Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, May 31, 2013

You'd Think That I Would Be Healthy...

with what I eat.

Well as said earlier I had a basic salad for my meal out, the portion was large and I managed to eat most of it but still had to leave some. Earlier this evening I had more salad in wholemeal rolls and added turkey. I shall make some more with being out tomorrow. I am unsure if I will be home before late in the evening. I will take them in my rucksack and perhaps water too.

I think tomorrow will be mainly a fruit day. I don't want to waste what I have so my breakfast will be a fruit salad, yogurt with extra fibre. I mention being healthy but at present my nails are a bit brittle though I am eating all the right foods so I am going to blame the medication that I am on. With all the vitamins and minerals I get it cannot be the food.

My food store was tidy and in the dining room which was easy to access when making meals in the kitchen but after "that2 visit it is now stored in a built in wardrobe in a bedroom which means having to move crates around and take food downstairs when needed. But its out of sight and all my spare gadgets and cooking impliments are in the same place.

When I clear the other wardrobe unit in the bedroom I can have extra storage space and arrange the store into two areas and it will be easier to get at what I need...

Many I know from talking on forums have such stores in their homes and hide it in garages, lofts, under the bed and so on and it is more common than many realise especially in austere times...often because income is reduced for a number of reasons be it sudden unemployment, illness or benefits being changed. Needs a quick tidy which can be done with another couple of crates for the extras added recently.


Not being big headed but after cooking, reading many books and visiting many websites over the years I know without thinking about it how much of what I eat is good for me and my health and that I eat a good range of fresh fruit and vegetables giving me the vitamins and minerals that I need. But finally I am going to have something indulgent after my meals during the coming days. I have a toffee apple crumble and a vanilla cheesecake.

However, I am thinking of having a look out tomorrow and spending time at an event that is taking place a few miles from here about how to improve health/well being. I am always willing to hear anything that I think will help still further.

ETA...The store is now tidier than in the image and there are more crates, the items on the shelf are not food but gadgets etc...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Panoramic Views...

I took these from the bottom of my street where most of the view is as its been for the last fifty years that I remember but having Aldi take up the location it has opened out an area that for many years was an eye sore. If I can find the images again I'll post them for a comparison.
 For some twenty years or more there was a horrible building constructed in a variety of dark brick and was a different selection of weird shapes and because of the design it was ugly and from the roadside all you were able to see was the back where deliveries were made and the design resulted in the building becoming damaged and then it took so long for it to be demolished it ended up being vandalised. And empty and a place for many pigeons to live.
The second image really shows how the area has opened out and how much more light there is. It is so much better...in the main older part of the retail area of the town(again I'd like to find the original images)it is amazing how they are taking a centre that is around sixty plus years and trying to bring up to some newer standard.
If I'd had my new camera at the start of the year I could again show how it is being opened up and again some of the mistakes made over the years are being taken away.
In recent years we've had another newer area built where Tesco's was built and when the building I mentioned earlier was still standing it did feel very much as though it was two unconnected areas
and it was difficult to feel as though they shared the location, now it seems very much easier to walk between both and hopefully local businesses can thrive again.

To see the images don't forget to double click on the images and if you do so a second time you can see the images even larger.

Birthday Boy...

My Birthday arrived virtually unannounced and approx thirty or forty minutes into the new day I suddenly realised.

I'm not very comfortable and have given into painkillers to see if I can get rid of aches and pains in my legs, I will see if I manage any sleep.

I ended up having turkey salad and a portion of chips from the chip shop and two slices of bread. Still plan the meal as mentioned previously but that will have to wait until Friday if I end up having the meal tomorrow as a Birthday treat and the day out tomorrow. I hope that I am up to it. Will probably feel the effects when I get home.

I was very naughty...I polished off a bottle of wine with my meal that I won in a raffle at the music club. So am relaxed at least. A rare event.

Tell you what I purchased yesterday...Tesco's own brand of specialist tea bags and have camomile tea(said to be good for calming the soul)even at bedtime, lemon and ginger and Twinings nettle tea and also dandelion tea.

In general, I doubt that I could have a more varied/healthy diet if I tried. If salad is on the menu tomorrow I may keep it simple and go for that...

The tin of corned beef I purchased earlier in the week went such a long way I have bought another and a small ham joint(it works out cheaper than buying sliced or in a can)

I have joined Flikr in case I decide to post images on line but I'll never manage the great images on there already. For one thing I am not travelling to as many interesting places, I now have my camera with me at all times...hidden under my coat.

Hoping that I have solved the uploading of video material to my blog. It takes ages even with broadband.

May get back to posting images of my attempts at making meals again and my baking of cakes and bread etc...I'll never have anything like the meals/websites I now read or get health advice from...its hard to keep up.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well, Still Images Are Appearing...

I managed to post a short video with sound as a test but my blog keeps telling me that there are problems uploading the video's but won't tell me why. I am wondering if it is because I am going over a set amount of data that I am allowed to upload.

Its a pity because the three test video's weren't bad. I am attempting to link or embed them from You Tube but I may find that will start to cost money and space may be limited. Its a learning curve...I haven't given up even though I have been trying off and on for to succeed for over 14 hours.

OK...It would appear that I have not quite sussed out how to put my videos directly on my blog and have to use You Tube for now....


Someone is treating and taking me for a meal for my birthday. So I will have somewhere to go on my birthday.

Scarborough may be pushing it on Saturday...may go to a market in Stockton on Tees on Friday there is a promotional event about eating and staying healthy on the day too...I could possibly manage Barnard Castle on Saturday for a look out and there is a Farmers Market but I don't need anything.

Next weekend the indoor market in Darlington celebrates its 150th Anniversary and they have a kind of event.
On Friday evening there is a concert with members of the 60's band Manfred Mann.

Sunday night there is my game of bingo at the local Navy Club. Earlier in the day the remembrance service at church(hard to believe so much time has passed by)


I've Been Testing My New Digital Camera...

And got to thinking where is the best place to do this? So here are some random images from the music club that I attend on the town most Tuesday nights. Sadly I don't always know the names of those who are performing...but the first feature "Loose Connections"

 The next image was an attempt at a panoramic view of the club and may be better if viewed by clicking on the image and seeing it enlarged. It seemed quite easy to do.


The following images shows John Rightson who performs and writes a lot of his own material across the North East of England.

Tonight we had a surprise performer I have never seen before and he played the musical saw.

In the next post I hope to include some live performances but its all new to me and I have no idea how they'll turn out. Some people decided to walk past or put their heads in the shot whilst recording but it was an experiment after all. If its worked there should be sound and it should last longer than the usual 15 seconds.
Considering I am still learning and I did not use the flash I am quite pleased with the result.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I Nearly Dragged Myself To...

The Northumberland County Show but decided I wasn't up to it physically. It has been a good one by all accounts and there is always next year. I also now know which bus services to use. I dragged myself to Durham where it was the last day of a Nostalgic Weekend...some market stalls, a collection of people dressed in US army uniforms and some US jeeps(as known in WWII)and a concert with a couple of singers mainly running through songs of the time. They were pretty good too.

I was disappointed and not helped with me struggling to get around and came home as soon as I could. It started to rain as I did so...I did part with some money mainly on food and it should mean some nice meals over coming days.

Rather than buying fresh packets of fresh mixed broccoli and cauliflower florets, I purchased a head of both. Some B. sprouts, runner beans, bananas.

Later I plan to have a "Proper" meal. See, I am making an effort. Initially, I am thinking of Jersey potatoes, corned beef and asparagus. Debating whether to add something else and if I should follow it with a dessert of some kind. I'm kind of used to meals of one course these days.

Working to a deadline rather than tidying my home at my pace/leisure the job was rushed and because my odd job/gardener insisted in helping the problem is if I don't watch him, often things get thrown out that shouldn't and in the last day or two I realise that some things are missing which I hope will turn up when I continue the job...some information that helps me fill in my forms when I have to prove my problems(healthwise)some photo's and my recently won gift voucher for Amazon.

Also forms that I need when I start the procedure to sort out Mum's savings from her estate...but I may leave it this week as I feel I need a rest and a break after recent events and this weekend is busy as explained previously. Then I can take another run at it!

Update:Took the easy way out and continued eating sandwiches, also a container of red grapes. Its been one of the longest evenings I have had in a long time...it seems to have gone by really slowly.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Back On Again Believing That Just Maybe...

I could attend the North County Show tomorrow but I will decide how I feel early in the morning and also look at the weather.

Today its about food again...

Just cooked a Turkey joint(thought that I better)its well past the use by date and was not in the freezer...its cooked fine and in reality, I probably could have waited a bit longer. But it will make sandwiches and meals for a number of days...and can now go back in the fridge cooked not raw.

I also found some prepacked sandwiches that were reduced today, I don't think that I could make them cheaper buying the ingredients seperately. As an example I have just eaten two(malted brown bread, smoked ham, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, soft cheese)worth £1.05 I paid 26p.

Thought if I make the effort to go to the County Show "Oop North" on Bank Holiday I can take some of the other and a drink in my ruckack.

Altogether I got a variety worth approx £10 for £3. I find two decent sandwiches are as good as a meal for me and they have enough calories, the two I have just eaten came in at around 400 calories.

Has It Always Been Said Or...

Is it said more these days? I have found myself disillusioned more the older I get though I like to think that I will keep my sense of wonder and feel as the lyrics of Bob Dylan's Forever Young portrays(I heard it a few minutes ago on Desert Island Discs)and it touched a nerve. But I do find myself saying "I would not like to think I was being born into this world today, the way its going"

But another couple of things I hear from many if I do get into a conversation about this is "How awful the world is now" and "I would not have or would think long and hard whether I would bring children in the world as it is now"

Or is this something we all think at some time and the Human Race always has and always will?

Will Start On Working Through More Tidying Up Again Soon

But taking a rest over the weekend and doing as little as possible...

Not sure if its stress(I generally don't do stress unless it comes looking for me)but I know it is a very real condition or my general condition but the last day or two I had to give in and use taxi's. I just hadn't the energy to walk slowly the few streets between my home and the shops. A lack of public benches when I am like this even standing is difficult. I have been known to give in and sink to my knees in a public street to get relief.

I replenished my healthy store of fresh food(salad and vegetables/lots of root vegetables in that selection)likewise fruit.

I had to laugh yesterday morning when I picked out a few portions of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries I washed them in a big glass bowl, I suddenly thought why dirty another bowl so just poured my vanilla and cherry flavoured yogurt on top, added sliced banana, milled linseed, gojiberries, sunflower and pumpkinseeds and used the same bowl. That was some fruit salad breakfast.

My gardener/odd job man on Thursday bagged up some of the stuff in my home for sorting later and some items that should not have been included...were, stuff that I need and I have had to buy again(cutlery, food storage boxes etc...)It has also meant spending some money that I need not have.

I can't explain but with all that has happened my interest in cooking has been fired again and though I cannot share it with anyone, I want to succeed at baking bread and also bake cakes etc...its therapeutic as much as anything. But I will make certain that I do not put the weight back on or spoil my healthy diet(but unless told otherwise due to health issues)we all need/deserve a treat. I also think visiting local markets(especially Farmers Markets)have played their part and having a friend like Gingerbread Mam

I hope to get back into my interest of making cocktails within reason.

I should try and do something special on Bank Holiday Monday, I'd like to go to The North County Show but it will take a lot of travelling and the bus service means that I would not arrive before 1pm and would have to leave by 7pm. So this year I may have to give up on the idea. I'm being too ambitious. It also depends how I am on the day.

Talking to a neighbour who has health problems of her own and now her husband, she said they notice how often I struggle and how slow I am and when I am having a slightly better day.

Overnight even taking painkillers I was kept awake with painful legs, so now that I have some relief I expect I shall have a snooze this morning to make up for the poor night. And I have managed breakfast(fruit, strawberry crisp cereal and milk)

Next weekend is busy(as I think I have already said)there is a concert by the original members of Manfred Mann the day after my birthday, possibly an exhibition at the local railway museum with many trains that have come from the National Museum in York. And on Sunday a remembrance service for Mum but I also include Dad.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Having A Rest...

Then back to work...I can't clear everything and so have put some bags in the garage and will start again over the weekend but I can say that by 2pm at the latest the house is tidy. I will explain that later in the week my gardener will take more away for me which is quicker than waiting for the normal rubbish collection...and from 2pm I'll give the house another vacuum, a quick dust and polish.

I will also explain that the reason it has taken longer is because I had to sort out documents and shred a lot which takes time...and of course the garden has been sorted out too...

If time allows I will continue to clear more away...

I'm reasonably happy, I hope that they are...much of what has been thrown out, I just chucked away because I could not be bothered but there was nothing wrong with it and it wasn't rubbish as such but I suppose what you could say is it means there is little if any ornaments that need fussy dusting.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Panic Attack!

Thirty Six hours before the return visit of the HA and I am starting to panic that all will not be tidy when they return...what's been taking the most time is sorting out documents and deciding g what to keep and destroy and the use of the shredder slows tidying up.

I phoned today to see if I could buy some extra time(the bank holiday weekend)but they never got back to me so I'm just going at it as much as I am able...

Now two bedrooms, passage, outhouse, hall, lounge, dining room, bathroom and toilet...I'm on with the kitchen now and hope that will be sorted by late tonight if not sooner.

The front garden is tidy and the tubs and baskets have flowers in them.

Luckily my gardener was at a neighbours today and he is going to take my rubbish away and he knocked the back garden down with his strimmer. So the gardens are ok.

So I'll just get back on and hope it all falls into place...

Monday, May 20, 2013

So Tired...

But behind on the clearing and tidying...I hope that I can say I am finished by Friday morning or have made enough of a difference. Did I say that many are suspicious, angry at how I have been treated. All feel it is strange.

I am sleepy and I have a very sore/painful big toe...I have a feeling its gout again...How you get gout from a diet that is mainly salad/fruit based...I'll blame the water tablets again. Oh and though its the left big toe that is affected...the right one has a black nail as though it is bruised.

Have struggled with a pair of old lawn mowers to cut the front lawn and clear some weeds away and hope to do the back lawn before they visit on Friday morning, weather permitting. I may try and buy some plants tomorrow and get them into the tubs and borders.

The point is that I can work anytime indoors but gardens have to be sorted during daylight hours. Especially if it makes noise as any garden machinery does. I may have to invest in a new mower...and if I take it easy and only mow once a month(ish)I might be able to survive without a gardener.

I have purchased some very strong bin bags to put what I am getting rid of into...I have broken up a bedroom chest of drawers and have an old chair but am looking for a free way to get rid of them as if I have it taken away by the council I will have to part with quite a lot of money...

I am back(was I ever not?)on reasonably good food...mainly fruit, vegetables, cereal, grains, salads, yogurt etc...and when all the problems are sorted(I hope)to start having a go at making some new meals and combinations which I will post/link to. Perhaps that you can all try.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Food Banks...

I've mentioned them before and given my views but came across another blog that mentioned the topic...I think it is easier to link directly and let someone else say their piece...

Unbelievable govt comment on Foodbanks

Its frightening and there I was thinking back to what we were being expected to pay when I was walking around the quayside around Gateshead and Newcastle. The money is still out there but its disportionate to what many have income wise to spend on food. I find it difficult to accept that a pot of tea and a coke came to almost £5(I know that staff have to be paid)and other costs are incurred but I eat and drink each day for no more than £2 and often less.


Obviously above is the world famous Tyne Bridge and in the centre of the river at ground level is the swing bridge.
One view of the Sage, the iconic arts venue on the quayside of Gateshead where many different shows by local and international artists are performed.
Kittiwakes along the ledge on the Baltic Exhibition building on the quayside at the River Tyne(once originally known as belonging to the empire of J Arthur Rank of both food(Hovis bread/flour mills)and Rank films the stalwart of the British film industry for many years...)

The best thing about the Baltic building is not the exhibitions but the views of the surrounding area from the windows and that would probably be the only reason I may possibly return. If I do though I'll always wonder if I'd bump into you know who.

The previous six images and videos were taken from the platforms available from the Baltic of the area. The following of the Millenium bridge were taken from a variety of  points but it is near to the Baltic. At various times the bridge is tilted.

 A different view of the sage.

  Different views of the Tyne bridge and Swing bridge.

Return To Tynemouth...Videos That Failed(First Time Around)

Hard to believe that it is already a week since I was at Tynemouth but here are some of the videos that failed to post last week. I am hoping whilst I am able to buy a new camera that will allow my short video clips to also have sound to accompany the images and who knows I may say a few words.

My present camera is 8 mega pixals but the next may have as many as 16 so the quality may improve still further. It has to be future proof because at my age and watching income I probably have no plans to make such a purchase again.

The artisan bread that I purchased is still ok and being eaten and is pretty good, gives me some hope that I will crack the home baking again...

So in the first few shot we have a view of Tynemouth in general and the food festival from the roadside after alighting from the bus. And a general look at Tynemouth high street. Rightly or wrongly the impression was that there are not many shops to be honest and you may need transport to reach the selection of shops we would normally expect in our towns. Apologies that my video is not smooth.

The other videos of the coast were further up and around the bend at the start of the video above...these are nearer the town and the castle ruins...
The following blog entry will be a mixture of images of my trip to the quayside around Gateshead and Gateshead. It may've been eventful for all the wrong reasons but I did get some photo's out of it.

Another Weekend Part Three...

So time was killed looking around the Baltic. The exhibition was full of pretentious rubbish, every single one of them on five floors. I won't be going back there in a hurry. One room just had massive rectangle blocks that looked like they were made of stone but were polystyrene, some had a metal strip in them. On the wall was a kind of small picture hanging of wheat with a loop of 35mm film through it.

The same artist had another display, a lit room which you looked into with two tables in it and some red lines drawn on them in ink.

Another artist had a number of projected images onto walls into a room on a loop of film and the images were doing very little, one was just the back of someones head.

The same room had what looked like an old printing press the kind schools used to use when they used to do their own newsletters placed on the floor.

Too many examples to try and explain away and worse.

I still have no idea what the hell I was suppose to make of what I was looking at. One can only guess what the artists were paid.

Now to the concert and I was so happy when it was over. Thankfully it barely lasted two hours and that included a 15 minute interval. A previous one two days ago was longer I am told. Boring isn't the word...I know you have to encourage people to have dreams and aim for them but the people who were performing were poor and its highly unlikely we'll be hearing of any of them anytime soon or thinking we've found a talented star of tomorrow. They've been sold a pup by one of the local universities.

Most of the audience I suspect was made up of friends, parents and relations...so obviously they were supportive and biased. I found myself totally unconnected to the show. I don't think they were good enough for the X factor auditions. No charisma or that special something.

I was more concerned about getting home and not being stranded or having to pay up to £20 for a taxi to get home.

Thankfully, the show ended by 9pm and though I struggled "We" managed to get back onto a bus that got me home by connecting to the last bus to my town.

So did my companion perform at all in the show? Of course he didn't! And I doubt that he was ever going to.

He made some excuse for not appearing and even had me feeling for a microphone under his T-shirt near his neck to prove that he was going to appear but it had been cancelled(there was no mike)I'm not stupid.

He lives in a Walter Mitty world(if any of you know the reference I am making to the old Danny Kaye film)I'm not saying its done maliciously, he may genuinely have difficulty grasping reality.

But some of the tales I was told across the day are fantasy and I don't know how he comes up with them...already he told me he only has a year to live, that he needs an operation that could see him bedridden and eventually in a wheelchair, he claims he has an agent and soon an exhibition of his will be at the Baltic and there will be a preview night. Two weeks time he claims to be conducting an act of an orchestra...and much more...

Interestingly enough I witnessed an incident I won't say where but the manager of a place we were said that he was unhappy about something and accused him of being dishonest. That was a bit of an eye opener. If alarm bells weren't ringing before, they were after that! I am going to do all I can just to see him if I have to at the the town hall shows...I wish I did not have to there but if I don't go I miss a decent show at reasonable prices.

Another Weekend Part Two...

I was told that there was a special coach taking us to the Sage...it was an ordinary bus...without my bus pass that would have cost me quite a lot of money...

The complimentary ticket was not valid and I had to pay to see the show. I didn't want to. But as I had promised him I would I paid up. That cost me £5.50.

So we had to fill in almost 5 hours and my companion decided he was hungry and thirsty.

He decided that the Baltic was the place to go. Yeah right! I took a look at the menu. The prices you can imagine. It was all "posh" tables and all fancy cutlery and glasses and prices to match. And a barman mixing cocktails when you come out of the lift.

He approached the person on reception and it sounded as though he had made a reservation(I smelled a rat)and no way was he on their list. They found a space though. I managed to talk him out of it and no way was I going to pay those prices(and I collared one of the staff and apologised, made excuses and explained the situation)If we'd had a meal it could have cost £50+ each. And I can guess who might have been paying. Of course its lovely not to watch the pennies and have a treat where you are waited on but I have good food at home and I don't eat large meals any more and my budget is no more than £2 daily and often less.

I managed to iron out a few problems over the day but if I am seen talking out of earshot he wants to know what I am saying and I have to make a quick excuse different to what was actually said.

So he still wanted to eat so we went down to ground level...where there was another eating place in the Baltic.

I found myself paying for a pot of tea(I wouldn't have bothered but you can't sit and not have anything)and he wanted a coke, I found myself paying for that because he'd had to buy a ticket for himself for the show and I think he was caught short. So that cost me approx £5. He wanted to eat and the cheapest sandwich was an egg and cress bloomer at £4.95. How I got out of that I don't know.

Another Weekend Has Come Around...

Well, I was going to attempt to mow my stamp sized lawn at the front of the house, I kind of got to thinking if I don't have to do it that often and do it really slowly, I may be able to and save money by not needing a gardener and if I have some flowers in the planters they'll last the rest of the Summer. And have it already for friday's visit(and worry about the back garden later in the week)as the rain in the last week had made everything suddenly shoot away and now that it has finally dried out now is the time to do something about it.

Overnight it has rained such a lot I'm back to square one...Still plenty to do indoors so time won't be wasted.

Busy weekend coming soon at the end of May...My birthday, a concert by virtually the members of the 60's band Manfred Mann and finishing with(hard for me to believe)the second remembrance service since Mum's passing.

And of course this next week we have the return of the Housing Association goons again...

So where did the summer go?

I seem to remember last year wasn't much better weather wise. It could come late of course.

Still hoping to post some images/video's from last weekend's trip to Tynemouth.

This week has ended with mixed feelings...

On Thursday for the first time in my life I managed to get to the quayside area of Gateshead/Newcastle and see the regions iconic theatrical venue The Sage, The Baltic exhibition centre, The Tyne Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

Had I been alone I would have taken things slower, sat more, eaten a selection of items from my rucksack and come home much earlier. I have to because of the poor bus service after 9pm and if you don't get out of Newcastle/Gateshead by around 9pm I am unable to get home and am left stranded at a variety of places.

Instead and perhaps its my own fault...I ended up out of pocket by £10 on the day and ended up doing two or three things I would not have done if on my own. I have to be careful of offending anyone with special needs and/or anyone who has a loved one with such needs...you'll perhaps see why later.

As this entry is likely to be long, I'll split it up over a number of posts...

As you'll know over the months I started to attend shows at a local Town Hall but recently I have been joined at my table(being on my own)another person and he has special needs. He is living an independent life and doing well by getting out into the community attending a variety of events and travelling even more than I do by a variety of means and he has access to public transport via a bus pass. He sometimes has a drink too. He apparently lives in sheltered accommodation.

To some extent we have kind of become friends I guess.

Anyhow he invited me at the last show to a special event at the Sage the next day with a free complimentary ticket telling me that he was to appear in a kind of community music show and he obviously wanted me there to support him.

I wanted to carry on tidying up my home as that is important but with a week still to go before the return visit from the HA I thought I can give him twelve hours out of my life(that's the travel time there and back, the time in the show and a little bit of time before and after)

He was very appreciative and gave me a hug and thanked me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tynemouth Part Three...

I started out from home around 8.10am...having to travel to Durham, then change to another bus to Newcastle and then from there to Tynemouth. Not too much hanging around between the change overs and total travel time was around two and half hours but around three hours in total both ways.
There was a good selection of stalls and I came away with a few goodies. Its difficult to do it justice with photo's and with so many people milling around you don't get the chance to really take photo's of the individual stalls so these uploaded videos are quite general...
I had my thermals and thick socks on but it must have been cold for quite a few of the stall holders who attended and...typically it was quite overcast all day and when I made tracks home around 5.30pm...the sun came out!


Can't take credit for the following image as it is from Gingerbread Mam's website but being so popular it is difficult to take photo's and it deserves to be seen...


When I say I came home at 5.30pm, as I had to change buses in Newcastle, I took advantage of the stop over and called into the Grainger Market to see some retailers that I have found out about via the web as I have enough at home and was coming home with jam, bread and cordial from Tynemouth I only purchased one rather special item because I could not get one flavour at the Food Festival.
As it happens even with a special offer on the day the cordial was 75p cheaper per bottle in the shop. I did find a market selling some blackberries, spring onions and garlic at very good prices so brought some of those home. 
I also discovered my first real Asian market near the bus station so will have another look in the future when I have more time and money. I was really tired upon getting home and of course I was greeted with "That" letter from the Housing Association.

Tynemouth Visit Part Two.

So I boarded the bus to come home and it came along the coastal road and I realised that I had missed the ruins of a castle so I got back off again but had to walk back to the ruins because I had missed the nearest stop to them.
But I also discovered a bakers/cafe that sold artisan bread(bought some to bring home)and I also discovered my original reason for going to Tynemouth that there was more to the Food Festival than I had seen upon first arriving. Though that was mainly takeaways and for me a little expensive some items were around £7 even though admittedly it was rather exotic like crocodile!



The last two images were taken looking through the port cullace as most people walking upto the castle were surprised to find you had to pay £4.50 to actually go inside and really all it is ruins.

Tynemouth Visit...

So I made my first ever visit to Tynemouth on Saturday. To some extent it reminded me very much of Saltburn. I might have stayed longer but to be honest weather was not very kind and just as I had sat down on a seat on the cliffs to take in the view the heavens opened and I ended up sitting in a shelter was luckily close by and it also turned out that the bus stop for the bus home(well the bus that starts the journey)is next to the shelter. I sat and ate my banana, breakfast biscuits and a bottle of pop and decided to catch the next bus.
The following views were taken from the seat and the shelter. Do remember if you click on the images you can see them larger. When they appear click again and they become even larger. To return to the blog use your browsers back button.


If you are not tired of looking at the inages, the following is a short video of the same location(No sound I'm afraid) 
 Some videos have been refusing to upload for some reason. But this is the best one so its ok.

Another Day...

I feel more positive just sorry whats happened did and still feel harshly done by. Think all will be in order or much better by next week and their visit.

Even happier that my friend mcculloch who I got to know thanks to here is willing to be there for their return visit so I have a witness and if I decide to complain will help me write my letter of complaint, that's a true friend.

Two other friends I have made through her are also offering support and help too and as said yesterday another neighbour from half a street away is also offering support too. So I don't feel quite so alone.

It is good to have contact with others and especially when you know its genuine friendship, that people want to talk with you and share your company.

I am usually quite good at sorting problems thrown my way and not a natural born worrier, the current problem seems unreal.

I can see problems financially and physically for the future but did not see this coming. I can't believe that every does not have one room which is a bit untidy or you have items that don't quite fit elsewhere because you don't use them that much. The worry is that in future I will be afraid to have anything out of place. That it could become an obsession.

There's hoarding, untidiness and a house that is a home/lived in. That has love in it or memories. Or those that never have anything out of place. But that isn't a home. I'm now unsure what they actually want.

Here are a few examples off the top of my head where a house could be untidy...what if your hobby was making models so you had bits and bobs all over the place? What if you make wine/beer and you have various bits of equipment in use at certain times? Or if you perhaps were into making crafts/jewellery/clothing etc...The way they are talking all these could be out. What about those who like to collect CD's/DVD's?

My main interests are watching TV, listening to music/radio, my computers, reading an odd book and cooking. To save money I was thinking of making my own wine/beer again(not that I drink that much)but after their visit I'd probably think twice.

I'll feel that I am constantly being judged where others may not be. That's what I disliked about those who came in supposedly to help when Mum was ill but actually added to and caused stress that was not needed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Well, I Decided Against Working Late...

And started again this morning.

I know I am making headway but sometimes feel that I am not but I'll keep plodding on. I watched the astronauts return from the International Space Station but manage to fall asleep and one minute I was waiting for them to land and the next they were sitting in chairs in the middle of nowhere being checked over by an army of Dr's and Nurses etc...at least they landed safely.

There wasn't much untidiness or work to be done but rearranging things because of their visit it has created more un-necessary work and I have had find an extra £15 to buy extra crates and now my food store is upstairs whereas before it was next to the kitchen...oh well...back to the grind...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Going To Have A Late Night...

Have taken it easy all day but this doesn't get things done so at Midnight I am going to finish the transfering of the food store to the bedroom wardrobe. And I reckon two rooms will be tidy and will only require a quick hoover. Then after tomorrow and Wednesday I hope everything will be in order. And I can rest until they come back again. Still glad that I have been given eleven days to play with. Because I am doing a little more than I was required to...

The Long Tall Beatles...

So approx two weeks ago I attended a concert at Bishop Auckland Town Hall(approx 7 miles away)I had thought of coming home first as I had been out all day visiting a Farmers Market in Stockton on Tees. And making friends with Ginger Bread Mam who has been very kind to me and given her time to me...

Its appreciated.

This means that I think I have found a better bus route that saves time and I don't have to change buses. Well, by the time I came back into Darlington I wasn't sure by the time I got home and back out there would be a bus to get me to the show so I dragged myself to Sainsbury's for something to do and keep out of the rain...big mistake as I saw a slow cooker on offer. Well, it meant me pulling a shopping trolley and getting it on and off all buses and it was heavy and not every bus was lowered to kerb level to make getting on and off easy. So I travelled from Darlington and missed my town out.

Right we were given close on two and half hours of Beatles music covering their whole career. They wore Beatle style wigs as it their early days and long hair as in their later years and had the suits and clothes to match.

One managed to sound a bit like Paul and do some dialogue. He was the closest to looking like any of them and really the other three did not look like John, Ringo or George. However, they were good singers and very good musicians and were a faithful facsimile of the original group. They are worth seeing if they come your way...

But I am discovering more than ever now when I attend a concert people have started having long conversations and where I would whisper so I don't annoy others often they talk loudly. There was such a lot of the audience chattering throughout the show and taking no notice of the banter between the members of the group.

It was very enjoyable but I was very happy that I now take a pair of earplugs to every show I attend because though the room is quite small the speakers are really loud. This means I am able to sit really close to the stage but my ears are not dull or ringing when I leave. So I am protecting my hearing but they discreet... and cost a fair bit. I obtained them from the RNID so I know they are good, I suspect I am the only one wearing any in the audience.

The other night I was invited out to the Navy Club on the town. I think I mentioned it...again the singer that started the night was so incredibly loud, it can't be good...

They don't have a website but are on Twitter...

Long Tall Beatles

A Wasted Day In Some Ways...

And I have done very little tidying so far today so it will give me something to do tonight. I was going to do it any way but they saw it on Wednesday(my food store)I didn't manage to move it before they arrived but I had to clear other stuff first.

So now at least 9 crates are neatly packed/stored in one of the inbuilt bedroom wardrobes and as I have no clothes to hang in it and it doesn't have shelves to put folded items on(I still could probably hang some coats in it if I choose to)I have also put my spare gadgets in the cupboard too so its not cluttering any room. It was cluttering the room it was in for that matter. Also, it took a fair bit of strength to move it all upstairs. I was glad I had use of my shopping trolley.

Surely they can't play war about that. Its not on show. Bit of nuisance the food being upstairs but if I decide to install a microwave in another bedroom and put a spare kettle in there I can do quick snacks. I often have a mug of tea/coffee upstairs.

It went quite easy in Darlington...the bus stopped outside the Post Office(haven't been in there for 30 years)it now has soft comfortable seats and you are given a ticket with a number, you don't queue and numbers are called out. Lovely for elderly, disabled like me or parents with children, just about everyone, many retailers and town centres in general have fewer places to sit these days.

I've never seen it beforebut was told it has been like this for 4 years but there is a new system regarding obtaining tickets..

Then a bus to the theatre for the ticket for the Osmonds, I decided to go to Sainsbury's but its a hard walk and a struggle but found another bus that stopped outside the store and when I came out one was at the bus stop and waited for me.

Straight onto another one home. Purchased mainly salad stuff(Pea shoots, watercress, spinach and rocket)Gala apples, bananas and raspberries.

Also some cans of beans I have never tried before to add to some dishes so that will be something new for me. Normally I only know the kind you get in baked beans or broad beans.

You know the two that called the other day they said silly things like you have some eggs there. I know I have or if there was a bit of loose change they'd point it out to me...

I may still ask for help and am always learning but I have been cooking and making meals for over 40 years...

Commander Hadfield Returns Home Soon...

Commander Hadfield of the International Space Station has been perhaps the most media savvy of any astronaut I have known and had us here on Earth involved and we shared the experience. Also allowing some freedom between all the work that is carried out on the Space Station must also be good for the soul. I hope we will continue to hear from and react with/to him when he has his feet back on Earth.

Wishing him a safe journey home...

Mum Was Given A Cross...

That was a little different to others...a lady brought four into church some years ago and wanted Mum to have one. It brought both of us comfort. I don't have much that Mum owned as a keepsake and that was one item Mum wanted me to have.

Between the hospital and nursing home in the final weeks it went missing. Today when I took some of her clothes to the charity shop in the pocket of a coat I found a little clear plastic packet containing a verse but also a little cross.

The verse is called The Cross In My Pocket.

I carry a cross in my pocket,
A simple reminder to me
That I am a Christian,
No matter where I may be.
This little cross isn’t magic,
Nor is it a good luck charm.
It isn’t meant to protect me
From every physical harm.
It’s not for identification
For all the world to see.
It’s simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.
When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or a key,
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price He paid for me.
It reminds me too, to be thankful
For my blessings every day,
And to strive to serve Him better
In all that I do or say.
It’s also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my Master
And give themselves to His care.
So, I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding none but me
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life,
If only I’ll let Him be.
- – - written by Vera Mae Thomas
On Mum's card it does not say who wrote it. So I guess this will be my keepsake now...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Not Off My Food But Haven't Eaten Much.

So later I am having some quiche with salad but have just had a minestrone cup a soup, when time allows I have to post images of my trip yesterday and tell what I did but I am kind of occupied at present. I also have to post about the tribute I saw a few weeks ago to the Beatles.

Bare with me as I am quite busy at present.

Got Advice On My Problem...

Had a talk with an organisation that advises people with housing problems...I'd have less rights if I was renting now and had not been a tenant for as long as I have but without getting them into trouble...they think that my HA have been underhanded, devious and heavy.

That procedures were not followed. That I should consider complainingt and that hopefully I'll get an apology/have the complaint removed. That I was at a disadvantage because there were two of them and only me on my own.

That I have a right to know what they are doing with the images and whats on their records about me and not to take the complaint up with the person who came out but hopefully someone who is independent.

He also suggested taking images of the house to show how tidy it is(as they did to support their case)he seemed to suggest in a roundabout way that it was strange taking images. That there was no mention they were going to inspect the house when they called and the reason for the visit was for something entirely different.

And getting an official warning is not what was said as when they called they kept emphasising they were only watching out for me and trying to be helpful.

He also thought reading my correspondence was wrong. So I have to decide whether to wait until they return and make the complaint or do so now.

Also to talk with CAB as if this is common practise and others are having problems it will flag up that there are problems with how HA is going about its business and CAB may raise concerns...

If it did go further I can seek legal advice...but hopefully that won't happen. I also have a councillor willing to help and access to my MP. So a few options open to me...

I have also nearly cleared another room that they did not go on about but it means all of downstairs is tidy and uncluttered. Toilet and bedrooms clear, just the finishing touches to the bathroom. The outhouse is clear and what is the passage can go into a bin when there is room. If only everyone else's was as tidy.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's Official...

I had a day out which was enjoyable but came home a few minutes ago to be greeted with a letter from the pair who called from the HA on Wednesday to be told that I have had an official warning on my tenancy which I was not told when they called. And its kind of killed my positive attitude somewhat.

Even though I explained I was in the middle of clearing rubbish etc...and I can only get rid of it in stages because the wheelie bins are emptied alternate weeks.

Within an hour or so the kitchen was tidy and had they not called that day it would not have been like it was, it isn't now.

I've have cleared stuff in a bedroom that was not untidy or included in their visit so I have thrown out even more items. The bathroom is almost clear too. I suspect they had a right discussion when they got into their car and out of earshot.

I told you that they mentioned the books(but they haven't mentioned them in the letter)now they've mentioned wires being tangled which they are not nor are they on show but you can't fall over them because they are not across any carpet. Electric cable certainly isn't so fire risk. They are also connected to special electrical socket things that stop surges of power or equipment being affec ted by lightening strikes.

The letter goes on to explain parts of the tenancy that I have to abide by and most of it does not apply to me...

Such as "Any furniture, appliances, carpets or curtains provided by them must be kept in good condition and not be removed and they will charge for any repairs or replacement."

"I must dispose of rubbish properly in line with the councils requirements and this include bulky/unusual items."

I do that already and always have."

"I must put the wheelie bin and recycling containers out only on the day of the collection and replace within the boundary of my home as soon as possible after the rubbish has been collected"

I do that.

Remember the three points above were not discussed on the visit and he said the garden and where the bins are were fine.

"I must report the presence in my home the presence of rats, cockroaches and other vermin or pests to the council" I would but there isn't any.

"I must keep the garden tidy and free from rubbish and debris otherwise they may clear it and chage for this"

"I must keep all gullies, entrances to drains, external airbricks and vents clear and free from obstruction" They are. And it was earlier in the year I reported a blocked gutter and had it cleared.

The silliest point of all is that "I must obtain written consent before putting up or taking down any fence or wall. As it becomes their property and must not be removed"

There were no fences before we put them up and they have only ever been replaced if damaged by the weather(ie:Winds)

And most people I am sure would just replace like for like and if it is done by say me and by calling in the appropriate builder I am saving them money. And the only fences are alongside the garden and offer protection/security. And any changes were done by the new neighbours who removed some of our fencing on their side and also errected a small wall and their own fencing so I'd like to see how that becomes my HA's property.

I think that they have been heavy handed and unfair.

He ends by saying if I wish to discuss the contents of the letter further I can phone him. I'll wait until he calls on May 24th but may seek legal advice in the meantime.

I'm not a hoarder and he never said I would be receiving such a letter when he left. Just that it would be to arrange a follow up visit with a date that he would call again.

Virtually nothing of the above was said to me on the day and he kept saying I know you are going through a difficult period and that they were only concerned that I may need help and it was for my concern. This letter sounds anything but.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Found A Terrific Site About Baking Bread...

The Fresh Loaf So perhaps now I and none of us have an excuse to fail and can also try something different and in my clear out I have found another book called simply Bread and that's what is about with lots of photo's to follow...

I have run out of bread but as I hope to be at the Food Festival tomorrow I'll hang on and maybe get something special there for the weekend. I do have 18 bread buns left in the house to keep me going...in time perhaps I'll bake my own. If I bake enough items at one go it will be economical.

A Quick Apology...

my e-mail account was hacked and I have contacted quite a few to explain that I have beefed up security and hopefully all is ok now. If I have missed anyone...sorry.

I also ran a virus checker on the computer but as my e-mail is online it was the servers/the company that was hacked.

I Have No New Theatre Shows Lined Up...

What I have arranged to see I purchased ages ago and I am watching the money situation...aren't we all. I mentioned a while back I attended a show that I was disappointed in Boogie Nights only because The Osmonds were in the cast. Well three of them but Jimmy pulled out of the tour and by the time it came around the other two had as well. It was because they were in it I was going.

By pure chance I have discovered that they are doing a short tour of twelve dates in the UK this September and my local theatre is on the list, if I put £1 away until their show I will have almost paid for the ticket and I won't miss it. Unless I take ill suddenly and I know I need to have an op but hope I can live with the problem for at least another three months. I have so far!

So though they are in their twilight years I have The Manfred's the day after my Birthday in May(members of the 60's band Manfred Mann)in September The Osmonds that's Jimmy Jay and Merrill so I guess that only leaves Donny, Marie and Alan to see but doubt they'll appear locally(and I believe Alan is in poor health?)One of them is...and in October its another big 60's band, The Hollies.

Got to see them while I am able.

Osmonds American Jukebox

Its Funny...

I have heard tales that if you put household items at the end of your drive on show...they will disappear. I threw an old broken fridge freezer out within hours it was gone.The same thing happened with a stripped down computer case.

Today whilst clearing out I found a typewriter in its case in perfect order but I'll never use one again and we're all using word processors and PC's so I put that out and a pair of bathroom scales that work but needed cleaning. I have my new ones which I purchased a few weeks ago with a digital display and a fifteen year guarantee so they'll probably outlast me.

I had a look out a few minutes ago as I started to think I would have to bring them indoors for the evening and perhaps its not good to leave them out when I am away at the weekend. But they've gone!

If I'd been quicker I have an old bulky PC monitor that could have gone today but I did not manage to get it out and as it is raining now that is not good for electrical items(if there is a chance it could be used)So will attempt to get rid of that next week. I have an LCD flat screen monitor on my PC's now and a spare LCD flat screen monitor for when it breaks down and that is larger and in the new screen shape. It also can be switched to ordinary TV viewing with Freeview but as I watch most TV on the Internet I don't have to do that.

In time I have a combined VCR/DVD to get rid of(No video tapes now to play/record on it)and the DVD part doesn't work and I could/should get rid of the old Sony TV(approx 30 years old)costing around £500 at the time but it still works and I do have a small LCD flat screen to replace it with. I don't need a massive TV but probably should have purchased a larger one than I did.

So I am making headway and can see that I am getting somewhere. By the time I am finished all I'll have are my clothes(mainly charity bought)a few books, my CD collection and now store new music on hard drive or make back up discs in case the hard drive crashes and usually in mp3 form, I can't hear any difference in quality though audiophiles probably can. Oh and my food store.

Every room will be tidy then. And the room that has the most in it is one I hardly use. And would not be one anyone visiting would(The Dining Room)through a lack of space has had to have a tumble drier, fridge/freezer and my food store in it. There are table and chairs too(unused)so one day I may let them go. Then again if I move in the future I may use it again if there is enough space. Its a good one so I am reluctant to let it go.

Not any real personal possessions to speak of. And nothing of value to pass on to anyone at my demise.

Two Days And Counting...

Another day of tidying up. I phoned the council to ask where can I/do I get rid of old video tapes. I would like to keep them but they are out of fashion, mainly home taped. I don't use a VCR so out they go. Charity shops no longer take video tapes that are of films etc...and were orginally sold in shops.

I was told to put them in the wheelie bin but its full and as its an alternative collection fortnightly with recycled stuff they should not go until two weeks from now.

And no they won't take extra bags of rubbish, just whats in the bin...the people who called from the HA should actually be happy I am clearing the house the way I am. Throwing out items many homes have and would be seen as normal for making a life more comfortable. They seemed harder on me...

Good job I don't buy much in the way of ornaments/pictures and the like that cause clutter.

The good news is that caught the refuse van and sweet talked the refuse collectors with a hard luck story but it is true. And they let me put the videos in the bin after the first was emptied so they've gone

The recycled bin is almost full ready for next week but that's only a week away. The difference with that collection is they will take extra bags. Normally I put out such a little amount of rubbish there are weeks where my bins are not emptied.

So once I finish the bathroom(where I pulled stuff into for quickness)the house is tidy as I always planned before their visit and promised when they were here. Pity they came when they did.

I may wait now until they call again and they see that all is spick and span but may then register my feelings on how I was treated.

 before the visit and as promised when they were here. Pity they came on the day they did.

May wait now until they call again and they see that all is spick and span but may then add I was unhappy with how I was treated and wish to register my feelings.

I am still determined to get out this weekend to a big food festival in Tynemouth, not planning on spending much just trying to get out. I will have to travel 3 hours in both directions. Never been there before and looking forward to seeing the coast as much as anything. Some sun would be nice but as long as it doesn't rain it should be ok.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A New Day...

My attitude today is one of annoyance and anger. How I was treated yesterday by those who visited from the Housing Association and how I just kind of crumbled and accepted what they were saying without question.

Probably because I did not want to come across as awkward, difficult as they have the upper hand if they want to put you on notice. And when there are two of them and you are on your own its their word against yours.

Even the form that he filled in originally quite straight forward(and not about the untidy rooms)They were only untidy(because I was going through rubbish)I shoved things in quickly which is being thrown out or finding documents that I may have to hang onto. I only stopped because they were visiting.

If they'd visited say at the weekend there would have been nothing to cause any upset.

Back to the form I was allowed to read through it after it was completed to see I was happy but how do I know that they haven't added something afterwards when they left and I still have no idea what is on the records they have for me and what they'll do with the images taken.

In retrospect I probably was treated as an idiot or simpleton, I am anything but. I'd like to say something now/when they return. I'd like to see my records and perhaps question something if I feel its unfair.

I don't know what he can do but I am going to see my Dr tomorrow and discuss what has happened or I want my views put down somewhere officially.

Even debating if I should get legal advice professionally or from Citizens Advice Bureau. A few things to think about...

Kind of feel I rolled over and gave in...

I don't have many books but they are not near anything electric or that could catch fire. I don't smoke. There are smoke alarms. There are no naked flames anywhere so a fire could only happen due to leaving something on the cooker, an electrical fault but they were going on even about the books I have. Where does anyone keep books for goodness sake? They are not in the kitchen but in a bedroom.

I was talking to an auntie not directly a relative but she was married to the brother in law of one of Mum's sisters(she lives in a private house) she was saying that her house has loads of books but the difference is you have more rights when you own your property.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


I hate dealing with authority. I tidied the house as much as I could but my bins are full until Friday so they can take no more but whatever I could do to make the house tidy I did. The landing, hall, dining room, toilet and bedrooms sorted. I shoved some stuff into the bathroom and the kitchen for quickness.

The Housing Association insisted on looking around and decided to take photo's of the untidy rooms and are coming back. They say it is not to threaten me with eviction but more whether I need help and can't cope.

I don't believe them when they say it will not be on my records. Within an hour of them leaving the kitchen was tidy and I am already on with the bathroom. I told them I was going through rubbish. And it would be quickly seen to.

Another unexpected person called later and I showed her what they were going on about and she thought they were over reacting and she calls here every few months and knows how tidy this place usually is.

Always something to worry about.

Yesterday Wasn't Too Bad...

Quite positive and reasonably happy. Ended with a decent meal of chicken pie with a creamy sauce with added asparagus, leeks and ham with potato rosti's. Earlier in the day it was mainly sandwiches.

A little tidying up which is still happening this morning ready for a visit from the housing association I rent from. Be glad when that's over.

Had a nice night at the music club last evening too.

The only fly in the ointment was a letter telling me I owed £200 to the County Council(unpaid tax)and demanding payment. A phone call and it was an error and should never have been sent and the call centre said they can't understand why it was as they have all the correct details on their data base.

At least its sorted.

I am debating whether to attend the event in Tynemouth both days at the weekend but  if everything can be accomplished on Saturday, I may not bother to go again on Sunday but if I thought it worth staying there I may stay overnight in a B&B to save travelling on both days.

I am even wondering if I should go tomorrow and have a quick look at the area and see the coast and some of the scenery which I may not get the chance to do if at the festival. It would also allow me to see what is available and book a room for the weekend should I decide to stay...A lot of this depends on the weather and if it...

I may find one day at the festival and one of sightseeing is enough,  I will decide later today as I get easily tired and have to decide what is best for me.

I added a couple more items to my baking store yesterday and have some liners for my loaf tins when  I use them for bread making and some re-useable muffin cases which are really the same size as cake cases so can be used for both. And I had my watch battery replaced. That caused a problem on Sunday when I went out to that club and played bingo because I had not realised it had happened and it meant that I was late.