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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Early Evening On A Saturday...

and I'm in bed...well, what else is there to do?

Unless, out at an event and/or spending money, for many time is spent indoors. And if alone you only have yourself to please.

Its already dark by 8.30pm and Summer is coming to an end. The meteorological weather service says it will be cold this evening so I am under a duvet listening to the radio, dozing and occasionally hammering away on here, it seems the easiest choice and to some extent unless others have plans for me in a way I will be hibernating until Spring comes around.

I have spent some more money than I planned in the last day or two on food and I know in the future I will have less to spend but what I have spent in a couple of days may have to last weeks down the line...but I have found some trout reduced again and I think I can get a number of meals out of it approx £16 of it for £8. I will make some of my own but on offer today I found two haddock fish cakes with Maris Piper potatoes and a cheese filling but they were selling at £2 instead of £3. Twelve wholemeal buns for 59p and a loaf of bread worth £1.50 for 59p.

But I haven't eaten much at all today...but I have not lost my appetite nor am I off my food. I am presently eating fruit pastilles.

I did find some nail scissors and for the first time in my life I purchased some nail clippers for both fingers and toes. All in all quite happy with the result and for all three items I only spent around £1.50. I need all  the help I can get to especially make the cutting of toe nails easier as I have great difficulty getting down to my toes.

As simple as clippers are I had to work out how to use them and in the end some nails were so strong(thumbnails in particular)I had to use the toenail clippers instead of those meant for fingernails.

Small things to be happy over, some months ago I mentioned that both my big toenails were discoloured, finally they are coming back to the correct colour and so far no sign of losing either of them. Its taken such a long time

I have not used up my free quota of music with Spotify and have left it too late to get the full 10 hours I am allowed so I am quickly using up the remaining six hours of August before I enter another one.

Some of my delay in using the service is music overload...who to choose to listen to and what type of music.

And I decided in the end on Keely Smith who I only know very little of thanks to some of what I have heard on radio(which isn't that much to be honest)they tend to play the same songs when they do. Often they choose the material she performed with her partner Louis Prima.

So I'm making up for lost time...her most popular period career wise was in the 1950's and 1960's but was probably better known in America. And here I am becoming a fan when she enters her eighth decade. I think I prefer her slower material but she can't really fail with a voice like that and also having such a large collection of the best songs to work with.

The same could be said of another singer we lost in the past couple of weeks Eydie Gormet. Some of our greatest performers are not that well known in the UK.

All Plans Are Off Today...

So much to see and do, I was full of good intentions but too exhausted from yesterday to do anything about it...

So I missed the chance of a special annual event in Middlesborough where a free meal is available, music, farmers market, a trip on a vintage bus and trips to the transporter bridge which I have only seen from a distance. A special craft event in the grounds of Durham Catherdral, a scarecrow event in Sedgefield(that still is on tomorrow)I may try and see it then and take some photo's.

The truth is the weather is changing and the nights are already drawing in and where once I did not really mind the cold dark nights, I don't like them that much and look forward to the Spring and Summer but that just means that you are wishing your time away and another year has passed by.

I am still in a period of feeling a little down but hopefully it will pass.

There's not much planned for the week ahead but next Friday there is a lunchtime concert in Bishop Auckland Townhall and in the evening in Darlington it is a night of illusion and magic with Paul Daniels. So that's something to look forward to.

On the following Sunday another rememberance service comes around where I shall once again remember Mum and Dad and hopefully find some peace.

The most exciting thing I have planned today is some housework and popping out to see if I can find some suitable scissors for cutting finger and toenails. I've lost the pair we had in the house for decades and I'll admit I'm not really sure what to buy or where. I may look in the first aid area of a pharmacy.

Tomorrow I am thinking of buying a blood pressure reading gadget on special offer at a discount supermarket. I missed it the last time when one was on offer approx a year ago.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My First Visit To Preston Park...

The journey went easily and all buses connected as they were supposed to. Having gone with someone else I was unable to take the time I would have wished...taking in the park and the museum. I was struggling walking wise and would have liked to have gone at a slower pace and spent longer sitting down.

I will return alone again quite soon...

The park is very extensive and I only covered a small part which included a recreation of an old Victorian street of shops(that had a sweet shop selling traditional sweets)and a demonstration of working of metal in an old forge and in the museum building there are so many artifacts to study and take in...my colleague did not take that long to see what was being exhibited. Whenever I go with him he always wants to spend money and have a "Big" meal whereas I am ok until I come home or I take something with me. A cup of tea would suffice.

I know that there is a Butterfly World elsewhere in the grounds that "we" hope to visit.

The museum was the former home of industrial magnate(there is another park in the area named Ropner Park)Robert Ropner lived here but the residence was originally built in Georgian times 188 years ago. It has recently gone through a period of upgrading and improvement coming in at around £7 million.

It is set in grounds that also take in the River Tees that runs close by which I did not manage to see yesterday.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Durham Street Summer Festival Day Two...

I saw the following performer Kwabana Lindsay, my video is modest and I have found quite a few since on You Tube so give some of them a look over.I have linked to one. Like many he obviously adapts his act to suit the venue...

Todd Various is American and there are various incantations of his act on You Tube. In the following video he swallows balloons and escapes from a straight jacket and chains...do not attempt this yourself...he is a professional...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Durham Streets Summer Festival...

The Mighty Gareth was performed magic and comedy but ended his act with a perilous stunt, juggling a chain saw and some balls...in the image below he had noticed that I was recording and stopped to pose specially. The person helping him was only known as Sheldon from Darlington and he was a very good sport. TMG has even performed in front of Michael Jackson...

To be fair I have edited the video's and should you see any of them performing at a venue near you they do much more and change the act. At the end of my video of Gareth, others are available to click onto, he can be seen sword swallowing.

They all did well playing to perhaps smaller crowds than usual due to the weather and being at the disadvantage of where they had been placed, away from the market place which was packed with stalls. Tomorrow the Market Place is available.

The Fanti Acrobats from Ghana performed all kinds of stunts but my battery power ran out, I returned on Sunday and managed to get a little more of their act. They limbo danced, did break dancing, spun plates, balanced items, ate fire, there was a contortionist and more.

I still missed some of the performance trying to find a suitable place amongst the crowd and children have a habit of getting up and walking across your line of sight. I put images and video below. There are various video's on You Tube where they appear doing different stunts and sometimes there are more in the troupe.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How Great!

To once again take 30 minutes and listen to a classic radio show from the golden days of US radio before television took over and all the top stars of stage, screen and music broadcast in series or variety specials. Sadly, many of the programmes that were syndicated were destroyed under instruction after airing or the stations didn't look after them and they became damaged or they were thrown out.

I have quite a collection that I have not listened to in years(I'll never hear what I have)but many are also on line to listen to for free..

I've just heard Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in Bold Venture. Now, its Frank Sinatra in Rocky Fortune...

Take a listen sometime and use the general term OTR(Old Time Radio)

This link may help Radio Days and the following Audio Archive...

The Redcar Beacon...

OK my opinion...

It is smaller than you think and there is less space on the inside so to some extent I was a little disappointed and it really cannot accommodate many people at once but yes it does offer a panoramic view of both the coast and the town. But not 360 degrees.

I won't say that I will never ever visit it again nor that I will not take better images/videos They may be better when I can give my full attention when alone.

Here are a selection of what "We" saw during the day...My selection is from the platform of the Beacon. And yes on part of the skyline there is still evidence of our industrial past and continued dependence on it. Most days you will see various tankers and freighters anchored in the distance in the North Sea.

I did not come home with much from the day out...a kind of little wallet to hold the credit cards I do use too often these days, bus pass and money. Some locally grown tomatoes from Stoksley in Yorkshire that are so beautiful and juicy(which I had bought more)and were well priced and earlier in the day I had haddock, chips and a cup of tea. That still came in at around £10 and as I was on a coach with others that takes the amount spent to approx £18 in total.  Under my own steam, I may have been stingy and made do with a portion of chips and travelled for free.

However, I will admit that the fish and chips were very enjoyable and a rare treat, it is good to just let go once in a while..

There Was A Time...

many years ago when I was quite a good speaker and I was slow in delivery, clear and I suppose there was an element of elocution. I heard a very small piece of audio accompanying a video I had taken.

I should slow down, the other interesting thing is that I have noticed that my "Northern" accent has returned. Its not a broad one but I have noticed it. Interesting to hear how others possibly hear you...

I called off the trip to Preston Park,I'm too tired and sleepy, after yesterday's trip to Redcar I'm not surprised. Then last evening I found myself in the lounge of a sheltered housing place playing Bingo again, it just happened

I am moving today's trip to next Tuesday.

I have said before that I am on a very mild anti-depressant and for approx a week I have been without them but you are not supposed to come off them suddenly but my travels have made it difficult to fit the appointment to see a Dr so calling today off I had the chance.

My own Dr was on holiday so I had to decide who to see but when I phoned the surgery my Dr had returned. I got mixed up when phone appointments are booked so he was fully booked. So I had to see a new Dr. To be honest I was not impressed but as it is a group practise if my own Dr is missing again there are a couple of others I will choose first. The only good thing is that I was given my tablets and whilst there I had a prescription of my other meds printed off and the surgery now has a pharmacy on site so everything was done easily and quickly.

I have been lucky throughout my life that the four Dr's I have had have been excellent and there are still a couple I have faith in should my own Dr decide to retire.

I think I did the right thing to get a new supply of AD's as though I may be imagining it this past week I thought I may be sensing a slight return of negative thoughts even though I have been getting out and about. Or perhaps there are some symptoms associated with that condition. I still believe I am coping mainly by own strength of character though, the AD's help. I feel myself that I have the kind that is caused by a chemical imbalance.

At least I am keeping interested in what's happening in the world and still managing to eat so its not all bad. There are more positives.

The Furness Twenty Train's Birthday...


Tim Owen, chairperson of Furness Railway Trust, Brian Greenwood, chairperson of Locomotion museum trust and Alan Middleton, trustee of Furness Railway Trust(This image is from the article I have linked to in The Northen Echo)

You have no idea how close I was myself but my physical image still remains a secret*;;) batting eyelashesThe two gentlemen in top hats even posed in a couple of photo's for a friend and her grandson but without permission to do so and with a child being involved I'll not post it here.
Here are some images of my trip to the 150th Birthday of a train on Tuesday...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Before The Concert...

Earlier in the day I was at the exhibition hall that is dedicated to all things to do with trains. A mini Railway museum similar to the one in York but only 3-4 miles away...

There was a celebration of a steam train it was 150 years old today...it was giving short rides all day and the local ITV news programme turned up to record a little piece on the event. They recorded interviews with various dignitaries, showed a special cake being cut and champagne being poured on the trains buffers and a special piece of coal put in the boiler with a special inscription.

I knew I would miss the report on TV getting to the concert(but I may catch it on line)but I recorded the TV reporter doing her report and interviews and heard what she said so in a way I have raw footage of what went on the TV.

I will try and get some of the material up on You Tube and some images on this blog in the next day or two...I will try not to become to anorak about it all.

I am in the process of putting up some more video's of performances from the Music Club I attend on Tuesday's. There are almost 30 on You Tube...in time I hope to get them transferred to the club's official website...I put them on You Tube mainly because it gives me access to software to make them look better.

In six hours I need to be up again, watched/shaved and ready for the half day coach trip to Redcar( Hopefully more images to be taken)the weather forecast is favourable.

I Missed My Bus...

My own choice...the MC who introduces the concerts at the Town Hall(and I know)came to talk to me in the interval and said he thought the show would end approx 22.30pm so plenty of time to catch the last bus home but the group Prelude were so good I wanted to see the whole show. They kept adding another song, then another etc...in the end we were treated to another 30 minutes and they had to be dragged off stage. Once again the club was full and the atmosphere was good again...

I did not want to walk out on them but staying cost me an extra £20(Ouch!)

As concerts there are half the price of shows in the theatres in Darlington/Durham and bus fares are £7 return...these are good value. But because I travel for free and I have paid for a taxi I have cancelled out any advantage.

Its rare and I'll save the expense in other ways...

I'll admit I know very little about the group and their signature song is what I know "After The Goldrush" I did discover that they are accomplished musicians, equally as good singing accapella and have a very diverse range of music. And have been performing for over five decades so...that means they have to be in their 70's. You would never know it as far as their vocal and musical dexterity goes. I feel a bit sorry that it has taken me so long to find out more and appreciate them.

I guess I shall have to do a search on the internet and see what I can find. Its impossible to know all there is to about many performers and genres...there really is something about live music.

I wish knowing that I would be delayed I had taken my camera and asked for a photo to put on my blog.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Having Mentioned Redcar In The Previous Entry...

The new camera has enabled me to take images that are clearer and can make some places that are distant larger so here is the Beacon on the seafront. I saw it for the first time earlier in the year and now realise why...it only opened in March. Perhaps on Thursday I'll get the chance to go up to the viewing platform and take some images/video's.

The Beacon is in the news today for all the wrong reasons shortlisted in some kind of eyesore contest. Others on the list can be seen here. The telling paragraph is that according the article the public(I don't know who was asked or how many)did not want it built. Always seems plenty of people using it when I go past.

The links have information and selections of images including the erection of the land mark.

Nearby is RNLI museum and on top of the building is an observation post.

An image of Redcar beach looking in the direction of Marske and Saltburn...
And finally near to all the above dominating the skyline is the following bank of Wind Turbines...

 If you are wondering what is making the noise behind the above video it is a fishing boat being brought onto the promenade from the beach as seen in the following image.

Another Day Of Laziness...

But I know lots will happen as the year goes on and things will change as Summer comes to an end. However, I had a poor night's sleep and felt quite drained.

On the positive side I will hopefully be out again for the rest of the week so I am reserving my energy.

Tonight it is the music club(it seems to come around quicker every week)

Tomorrow possibly a trip to the local train museum again(I am told there is a seam train giving rides all day)but we'll see.

In the evening there is a concert locally starring a popular group of years ago(still going)Prelude. Their most famous song being a version of "After The Goldrush"

On Thursday there is a mini half day coach trip to Redcar on the coast, its a look out but I have seen it(often do now)when I go to Saltburn etc...but I will be with the same people I was when we went to Bridlington.

Now...come Friday I am thinking of(and I have just decided this)of visiting Preston Park for the first time in Egglescliffe but have yet to decide whether to enjoy the grounds(weather permitting)or go into the museum and catch whilst it is still on an exhibition all about the world famous acts that once performed at the Globe theatre and other venues in Stockton on Tees. The exhibition is only on for another couple of weeks.

There is another venue within the grounds of the park I must return to see(it may be too much trying to do it all on the same day...its a building housing a kind of rain forrest and has lots of butterflies.

Remarkably, I seem to have found a quicker way to go to and from Preston Park. The normal route takes approx ninety minutes but I may be able to do it in an hour.

It is my very first visit...its taken me over fifty years to do so...

On Saturday I hope to see the Street Performers on the streets of Durham City(I hope my camera battery allows me to take both videos and images)but video drains the power really quickly.

Sunday I really would like to go back and see more of the performers but have committed to going to my own town's annual show(but in recent years I have been disappointed)I may try and get out of going(a little white lie)or attend in the afternoon and try and get another couple of hours in Durham in the morning...

Then we hit Monday which as its a Bank Holiday there are many events taking place and I know I was supposed to be going to something but I have forgotten what. And I will need to hunt around the net to see if I can find what it was or find something else to do...unless my body decides I need to rest.

It may not be possible but I will ask if I am allowed to take any images for this blog.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Not Really Been Much Busier Today Either...

I ventured out around 8.30pm to pay my rent so came home with a small shop(some salad, butter and bread buns)and as I almost reached home some little oik on a bike with a hood up over his head(he actually put it up as he approached)called out a derogatory term about me as he passed by. This is a disadvantage of 1)Being male 2)Living alone 3)All the publicity there is in the news regarding child abuse.

He might have said it any how and perhaps does to other people he passes, I have never seen him before, he may never have seen me before and perhaps I was chosen because I was walking with the aid of a stick so it could be some kind of twisted insult and that's how he sees someone with a disability.

I never responded, flinched or took any notice. Thank heavens its not a regular occurrence, I could understand how it could affect/worry some people who are less thick skinned even though I am quite shy and reserved.

Having had some good meals(salad and fruit)today was one of my treat days...they were tiny so that's my excuse but I have had some danish pastries that were reduced in price and a coffee, earlier I had a chicken and vegetable cup a soup.

Thinking of all the bread I am going to try and bake so looking for ideas on the internet.

What A Lazy Boy...

I have been today...

I stayed put. Had a couple of salads. Listened to the radio. I bit the bullet and decided to buy a bread machine today whilst I have the means to...I still plan to mainly make my own by hand and bake a few items in the oven at a time but it could come in handy. There are lots more recipes for bread(home and machine made)to the few I know and are in the manual. I will still look for items that have been reduced in the supermarket.

I have even discovered that it is also possible to bake bread in a slow cooker and microwave oven so lots of options. A bread maker was the last item for the kitchen that I had not already purchased in my collection of kitchen gadgets.

If/when I share my success I will make it clear whether it is all my own work or I have cheated.

I'm not a big drinker but whilst the Carlsberg Export is on offer and working out as little as 50p a bottle I have treated myself. They'll last me quite some time.

I missed my bus and could not get a taxi for love or money. So I set away for my Sunday social and approx a couple of minutes into my walk found a taxi waiting, I asked when his next free appointment was, ten minutes...it would take me between twenty to thirty minutes. I booked myself in and saved a walk(even if I was £4 lighter with included tip)

I use taxi's as little as possible so this was an exception. The taxi's have a good time on Sunday evenings because of the lack of buses. They really do make a killing and its hard luck if you cannot share with someone.

Someone gave me a dabber for playing bingo, how much easier it is compared to underlining the numbers with a pen.

I did come close this week but not close enough. The quiz was our lowest figure for some weeks...we knew some of the answers but could not bring them to mind and it was a case of when told the answer you realise you do know it.

Some I had never heard before but I won't forget them should they ever come around again...

Such as Who attempted to steal the crown jewels in 1671? The answer:Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer better known as "Captain Blood," and was captured attempting to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London disguised as a parson. Blood and his gang fled, but were soon captured. He was pardoned by the king for unknown reasons.

Another question that threw us was...

Which prime minister died in 1945 but was the first to use Chequers as the official residence? The Answer:David Lloyd George

So we were thinking Churchill/Chamberlain but as we thought Churchill was alive until the early 1960's....

It was misleading putting in the fact this PM had died in 1945...though true.

Here's why...

Neville Chamberlain was PM at the start of WWII and in office between 1937-1940* where upon Winston Churchill took over in 1940 until 1945. He also was in office again between 1951-1955. He passed away in 1965.

David Lloyd George was in office between 1916-1922.

So the question could have been asked more simply such as...

Which PM was the first to use Chequers as the official residence?
(*Chamberlain died whilst in office within a year of the war starting)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Live Music...

Well, you know I am a fan of Flossie Malavialle and one advantage, the only one, of going through to Darlington today was seeing another performer new to me who I predict big things for in the future. But who am I?

The problem is there are some great performers that are being ignored by the media and unless you hear them or find out their name they are missed.

If you are able to take a listen or attend a gig please do I have a feeling that appearances locally will become scarce. She looks and sounds good. She is able to perform great covers of songs we all know plus write high quality music of her own. And having looked over some of her favourite performers no wonder I have been won over as I like them myself. And you can see why when you read all the hard work that has been put into her career already.

Lots of videos on You Tube both original works and covers...above Hayley sings Over The Rainbow. On Hayley's website she covers another favourite of mine Here's Where The Story Ends.

By the way...is there a theme here? Have you noticed my two new favourites are female *;) winkingthey can and do appear with others but are solo artists too.


I'm Still Here...

I awoke with not much energy but in a better frame of mind. The weather is dull. Thinking of giving the event in Darlington another go...but will see how I feel later.

Thought I could hear a very quiet click outside...looked out of the bedroom window to find the neighbour who promised to shear my garden hedge has been doing so and has made quite a big difference already...I am grateful and all its going to cost me is a few cans of Carlsberg. I think I have got the better deal to be honest.

Mentally I feel more upbeat today so that's good...

ETA: I found some Carlsberg Export 12 bottles for £6(normally £9)and the small 4 packs are £5.75. I think I got a bargain on the drink and also not having to do the work either.

And I'm sure he's happy!

I took another trip to Darlington hoping the Summer Spectacular would be more popular...it wasn't. The live music stage was lucky if 6 people were watching(and think most of them were waiting to do a turn themselves)

I saw perhaps 5 extra stalls and even the normal Saturday market was struggling.

A failure and nothing like the publicity given to the event or like the report in the local press(they were not at the same event that I was)

I popped into Poundland and found some Hessian bags for storing potatoes and onions to make them last longer...I think I'll get some more as I think they'll keep cauliflowers longer too. May work for bananas...

I found some permanent markers, shaving gel and some kitchen rolls. Exciting eh?

It has turned horrible weather wise. So I am now safely indoors and plan not to go anywhere. Just listen to the radio...another exciting choice...a documentary about eggs and a drama, Jane Austin's Sense and Sensibility.

Mobility was slow and I am tired now that I am home but the heel pain has improved thankfully. Starting to think it may have been caused by gout.

As each day passes I do believe I am becoming myself again.

Its unfair to mention people without their permission and I often feel like apologising for being so political on Twitter(that's become my main outlet for such views)I would like not to be so political but circumstances have made me that way. I like a quiet hassle free life. To eat something nice, listen to music and the radio, I am happy doing very little.

However, who I follow on Twitter are few and select, many are in public life and I listen to them on radio but the reason they talk with me is because I treat them with respect. I have just responded to a lovely tweet from someone with a stunning image of where he is on holiday with his family...

A very good evening to you all and I hope whatever you are doing tonight you have fun x

I responded and was not expecting a reply but I did and how nice is this...

and thankyou for all your thoughtful and often kind replies

Of course some people want to be left alone and not talk but often when I hear complaints of bad service in shops or on buses etc...I rarely have such problems and I seem to find people will talk to me in most situations. So I do think it comes down to how you come across to others.

As I said before I never expected my neighbour to offer to cut my hedge...I have had young teenagers or people that could be seen as tearaways help carry shopping home for me...because I am approachable and non judgemental.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Not Much To Do Today...

Also a so so day for me...not exactly down but not on top of my feelings either. Perhaps tomorrow will be different.

I have had some nice salads, also I think that my foot trouble is continuing to improve too so more positives than bad.

Lets see what tomorrow brings and what I decide to do. Get out early and do something unexpected or take it easy and stay close to home...

So OK I Did Go Out...

The event The Summer Spectacular will have to be better by the weekend otherwise its a failure to me. I can't really describe how poor it was. I read that the market place would be packed with choice, there was nothing. The beer tent was doing moderate trade, the few stalls selling hot food too but the rest seemed very slow. If I said twenty stalls in total I'm quite close with my estimate.

The live entertainment was poor and the twenty minutes I rested because I was tired no one was listening or paying any attention to him. I heard someone on a mobile say "I hope no one is paying him" as they walked past me.

Come the weekend lets hope that there is an increase in the variety of entertainment and stalls and I find out before I leave because I don't want to waste the time going again.

I had seen everything within minutes and just dragged the time out but even then I was only in Darlington around ninety minutes. There wasn't even much worth taking any photo's of.

There was a newspaper report of the opening day and I have to say that it does not  resemble what I witnessed.

I feel better than earlier in the week but by the time I returned home I was very tired and am resting again...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Morning All...

I have woken to a wet day but it looks like it could improve. Luckily I don't have to go out. And the latest event is on until Sunday.

I slept reasonably well and was quite comfortable too. I am much improved. My newly aquired health problem has become manageable so I may be able to get out in the coming days. As always that will be with care and rest but I have decided this past week's probems have been caused by gout and it is going away naturally.

I awoke to some nice twitter messages(unexpected)from people I have watched for many years on television, that I should be seeing on stage myself in approx 3 weeks time. I hope the theatre is more full than the last time. A night of comedy/magic needs an audience.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When I Become Mobile Again, Rather Than If...

I have discovered that the brass band concert for this Sunday in Durham has been cancelled, that this would have been the last one. I'm looking at the Saltburn Sunday concerts once more and September seems good for the whole month.

This coming August Bank Holiday could be fun too...At least the information is out there before the events take place rather than afterwards.

Starting on the Saturday there is a two day event of street performers in Durham City, that overlaps with another event that takes place in the Durham Light Infantry Museum's grounds on the Sunday running until the Monday there is the 40th annual Military Vehicle Rally.

But in my town on the weekend at the same time is our annual show which someone wants me to go to and to be honest it has disappointed me every time I have gone and I would rather go to the events in Durham City so I will try and get out of attending the show here or persuade this person to go to these other events, otherwise I will attend Durham on Saturday/Monday and slip our town's show into the itinerary on the Sunday.

I am booked on a half day coach trip to Redcar next week(if well enough)and this week starting tomorrow until Sunday(so I can pick any day to go)Darlington has the following event The Summer Spectacular

I can take lots of images but I am limited by how much video I can take but if an event stretches over a few days I can return a few times with a recharged battery. These events are quite close to home so I haven't as far to travel. At most 45 minutes or at the least 20 minutes. If I could access an electrical point I would not need to come home.

So here's hoping for reasonable weather even if it isn't blazing sunshine.

I'm still tied to home with my physical problems and have been dozing, off and on but now I am convinced it could be a form of gout.

I have had a prepared triple pack of egg and cress sandwiches for lunch worth £1.55 I paid 8p. And if I have nothing else I will come to no harm as late last night into today I had another selection of sandwiches, egg and cress and pastrami(the latter I was not too keen on)so my meals were quick and I have had plenty of calories. I can always have some fruit later.

The sun is out and its not a bad day on the weather front. I haven't seen much wildlife this year but last week in Whitby I saw many Cabbage White butterflies who were courting and a few minutes ago looking out of the bedroom window a similar scene was taking place here. Not sure where they have all suddenly appeared from.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Its Too Early I Suspect...

but just maybe I am finally getting some relief from my painful heel...and resting has made some difference but it has taken over 48 hours to get this far. Perhaps the painkillers are starting to work.

I can't blame diet as I could not be eating more fruit/vegetables and I am at a reasonably acceptable date and I have been drinking such a lot of water...so if there is some form of impurity in my system it is being flushed out.

I may get some decent sleep tonight...

ETA...I did get some sleep but the heel is still sore so I will see how the week pans out and be very careful. If things remain the same I may seek medical advice.

Plans Go Astray...

I did not get out at the weekend...the weather looked poor and I was too tired. It is a pity because there were a few events I was interested in...like a brass band concert in Durham. I found near to Durham and tied into the fourth cricket test match in Chester Le Street there was live music, entertainment and a selection of military vehicles being lent from Beamish Museum. Too late(afterwards)I found nearer to home a Victorian event with another Brass Band playing. Hot air balloon rides were on the schedule but they were called off because it was too blustery.

I have discovered that the 49th Billingham Folklore Festival is in full swing, I have never ever seen it. Again publicity is so poor that three days have already taken place, four if you count today. But again many events take place in the evening and you need a ticket, that is both expensive but a poor bus service means you cannot attend. If you are lucky you may see some of the free events happening in the streets during day time.

I hope that I get some more chances to attend/see some more events before winter sets in and/or circumstances make it more difficult to afford to get out and do what I am doing at present.

The problem I have developed is painful and debilitating and yet compared to those with many health problems it seems inconsequential. I have a pain in the back of my right heel. Laid down, it throbs, walking every step hurts like hell. A quick search on the internet suggests a few possible causes...bursitis, calcaneal apophysitis or achilles tendonitis. Hopefully, rest will put things right but it would appear there is a connection to gout and as you know some months ago I was affected by that. It may get better of its own accord or with some help via a Dr but hopefully surgery is not the option. I don't necessarily like self diagnosis but as I am very careful what sites I visit I am usually right. Even if it was the worst possible condition plantar fasciitis only 5% of people require surgery and that seems the least likely reason for the pain.

I did struggle to my Sunday at the local Navy Club, had a few games of bingo(I won a game)but was so slow, I missed that I had a full card and won £20. In a game with playing cards the next card to be called would've been mine and again I would've been £20 better off. In the quiz, we achieved sixteen out of twenty answers(the winners had nineteen)but considering that we did not answer two I think that is quite good and some cheat using their mobiles. A couple of trick questions were thrown in which we actually had thought the answer could be but did not go with our first inclination.

I say that I only went to the club last night but I did go to the supermarket...I was out of fruit and vegetables(either I had eaten all that I had or it had gone off)I spent too much but it will make a few meals and last a fair while. If I had won that bingo game that would have meant my shopping was free. However, I did manage to find some meat and sandwiches worth £18 reduced to £1 so that was a bargain.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Whitby Here I Come...And There I Went...

I now realise that I could have left home later than I did and travel to Whitby for free but I decided not knowing the place to go reasonably early. My county has a modest fee if you travel before 9.30am...50p but this does not extend outside of the county so I paid full fare between Darlington and Middlesbrough.

However, I decided to hang around in Middlesbrough for an hour and wait until the rest of the journey was free. And there was an express bus available.

I arrived by 11am and took the rest of the day easy taking in the place and seeing everything(Images to be added soon)

I would have liked to have stayed longer as Whitby took on a different feel in the evening...there were people fishing around the harbour/marina areas, often with simple lines dropped into the water(no fishing rods)the lines wrapped around those kind of plastic reels(I don't know the proper name)you know the kind, they are usually used for flying kites and fish/crabs were being caught(often put straight back)just being done for fun, lots of children involved.

I had no idea that the ruins of the Abbey required an admission(I did not pay)and many avoided doing so. It has a high wall around it but many of us found ways to take photo's. It perhaps sounds churlish to say that I am unsure what that admission charge covers, after all, they are ruins. The only time any cost may be incurred is should something become dangerous and could harm the public.


 Around the marina area when I arrived the following street entertainer was performing...
In the evening this performer was doing a similar act with a marionette but he was not singing or playing an instrument. He had some kind of speaker set up.

I was going to have some fish and chips but decided that a portion of chips was enough. I came home with a couple little treats, a book on cocktails(I am determined to make as many as possible)a little hat that is reversible in a stone colour or a navy blue. And a kind of kitchen gadget that holds items like tomatoes/onions/beetroot etc...and allows you to slip a knife in between the slats so you get uniform slices without getting your fingers in the way.

Later in the day I took my first trip ever on a boat on the sea and though there was quite a swell, I can report that I did not feel any sign of seasickness and felt fine. It was a replica of a ship that Capt. James Cook sailed in. We were given a thirty minute trip around the bay, there was a little recorded commentary on journey and about Cook. I decided to go on the trip on the spur of the moment and part with my £3.

Its difficult to know what images to leave out but I hope those I have posted give a flavour of my day.

However, you won't be surprised to hear that the day was not without incident and a cloud was put on it.

I managed to get around the town and then in the harbour area and all had gone well, I took a photo of the Lifeboat. I was on level ground and walking slowly(I cannot do anything else)what I did not realise was that though I was on level ground there was an incline and it became a step further along and when I put one of my feet down, there was nothing there and I went down heavily like a sack of potatoes. Prepared better I could have avoided what happened next.

My carrier containing my book went flying, as did my hat and worst of all, my new expensive camera of two months(I had been getting ready to take another photo)was not in its case but in my hand and the way I fell it scrapped across the stone floor, if my hand had been a different position it would not have been, I almost got away with it, almost...I hurt my knee and perhaps being disorientated was unable to get up.

Some kind people came to my rescue and I thanked them, made my way to a seat. The book was slightly damaged(not enough to worry about)then I inspected my knee raising my trouser leg expecting to see it bruised, bleeding and badly scrapped(it felt like it was)but though sore today, I got off lightly...and then to inspect the camera.

The plastic around the LCD screen on one side was totally scraped with deep rough scratches. Under the extra guarantee I thought it might be repaired, it cover accidental damage but in the end decided to buy(I know this sounds drastic)some very fine sandpaper so there I was in Whitby attacking my camera with fine sandpaper(probably annulling the guarantee)even the one for accidental damage.

The camera still works, the scratches are removed(well they are now fine one's)and they are smooth and it looks a lot better but on that side of the camera it no longer has a black, shiny finish. I suppose I got off lightly all things considered. But you cannot change what has happened. Always that little word "If"

Yet the old camera it replaced lasted years, was never dropped or damaged in any way. At this rate this one isn't going to last long which was the plan.

So mixed memories of my first trip to Whitby. And I cannot blame being under the influence of this book either...

The weather stayed fine all day. I boarded the return bus around 6.50pm arriving back at Middlesbrough bus station around 7.45pm to see an express bus waiting to get me to Darlington already at its stand and just as I managed to get there he pulled away(I reckon 2-3 minutes early)and he had not really left when I got there. But though he must have known I was there he carried on his way with only one passenger on board.

I reckon I missed it by 20 seconds! It was the last bus to Darlington.

So I had to wait(and was lucky that two further buses were available)but this meant travelling to Durham adding time and more miles onto my day. That bus got me into Durham for near 9.25pm(it was supposed to be there for 9.15pm)and I was getting a little worried as the bus to get me to Darlington(again)well, home because on this route my town is before Darlington, departs just after 9.30pm. And the next and last one is not for another hour.

So it was almost 11pm by the time I reached home...in general an enjoyable day still even if I was a bit battered and bruised.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

My Jam...

Occasionally I post a favourite song online at the site My Jam...It stays there for 7 days before having to be replaced with another...but previous choices can be seen and if you use spotify you can play previous selectons of mine. I was going to put the direct link here and then thought if I link to You Tube it will last as long as the video is on that site.

So if you are interested here's my latest choice...and what I said on Twitter...

 Happy times, a good looking group, for the type of song it is it is well performed and written. You wonder why some groups fall by the wayside and others succeed. Cheryl Baker is in line up and would soon be in Buck's Fizz not unlike Coco did but what of the rest of the group?

Back In Real Life...

Trip to Whitby called off...even at 4am this morning I was still going. Just as well I decided against it. All too regularly the roads in and around an area known as Teeside are affected by traffic accidents and hold ups and since my trip to Saltburn on Sunday there have been at least three accidents on roads in that area(including today)road closures, delays, diversions and hold ups but worst of all fatalities.

This week seems to have been worse than usual.

Hopefully tomorrow will be ok...its quite easy to get Whitby and nearer than I realised but I think the bus I'm taking is an express one so the journey is more direct.

Today was going reasonably well but I have just received an e-mail suggesting that NPower the utility company I am with tells me that my direct debit could not be collected and they will try again in five days time...Now I have to chase up the bank to see why this  happened as I know I have enough money in the account to cover the payment but I am also £130 in credit with NPower anyhow.

The e-mail arrived too late to deal with the problem today and I want to be away in the morning and the bank won't be open that early so will probably have to try to sort it out on Friday. I phoned NPower and even the person I spoke to doesn't understand what has gone wrong.

Also thanks to the Summer we're having I am using even less electric and gas than usual if that's possible and I think £67 is too much already especially when that includes standing charges. I dread Winter again. Hypothermia here we come...

I'm still surviving on fruit and salad. Eating artisan bread too. I am resisting shopping for the sake of it though I do admit I did have a late shop last evening buying some salad items, mainly because I expected not to be here today.

At present I am eating a sunflower and honey loaf. I can taste the honey. I have two bread recipes to try given by a TV chef in Australia who also writes in the Guardian newspaper and thankfully he talks to me on Twitter. One is a Soda Bread, the other is a white loaf. I will succeed. I still think it amazing that we can talk as though we are in the next street and also how many "Famous" people take the time to talk with me. That I believe has much to do with my attitude towards them. I treat people as I would like to be and with respect.

Speaking of TV chefs it was a pleasure to meet an extremely approachable chef who is patron of Saltburn's Food events and is launching a restaurant himself in the Newcastle area. Kenny Atkinson was a winner of The Great British menu and also is Michelin starred too.

Here is at Saltburn's first food festival on Sunday with my friend Liz(The Gingerbread Mam) I rarely go anywhere now without a camera on my person, charged and ready to go.
I even take occasional images from the bus as I travel but that can be difficult if it is going at speed, the windows are a bit dirty and you only have one chance to get that image...
On the way to Saltburn on a housing estate there is a model replica of the water lift that takes people down the cliffs to the beach, I missed it by seconds but next to it is this model of a train. Will try and catch it again soon.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Remember them? They were all the rage once...to some extent I think there is something in them...biorhythms are a way of calculating various aspects of your well being...many people go through periods where you are at the peak of your powers or vice versa and if it is possible to work out things such as the menstrual cycle why should it not be possible for others. Also some people are night people and some are day people and what about those who are said to be influenced by the moon etc...who knows...

The fly in the ointment regarding biorhythms is that it is not unlike astrology and it appears to have no bases in fact because it is worked out from information such as your birthdate and the year of your birth.

It takes into account my physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, awareness, aesthetic, intuition, passion, wisdom and masterly. But no I haven't looked in decades and since finding a website the same is true. An occasional check does no harm...

Its very rare that everything comes together. If you are at your peak of your powers in one aspect, chances are the opposite is true of another.

Monday, August 05, 2013

And I'm Just Getting Around To Sunday...

By the time I got home from the theatre and due to the difficulty of Sunday public transport service, I was up by 5.30am and had to take drastic steps to make my way to the first food festival at Saltburn. It involved a replacement bus service instead of a train ride due to engineering work being carried out on the branch line.

The bus service doesn't start in my town before 9.30am and this is as I have said before, not a rura area. So having access to the bus arranged by the railways that left my town around 7.20am was welcome and gave me a head start. Except it did get lost on its way. I nearly continued by joining the train service to Saltburn but with access to a bus pass(for now)I made my way to the bus station in Middlesborough and found a bus to take me to Redcar, then a connection to Saltburn.

The festival was heaving...and had been so from the start at 10am and though the event lasted until 4pm. The truth is that many stall holders had sold out by 3pm, some stayed until the end(moral support)to discuss business matters with other stall holders and organisers but understandably it had been a long day and some probably had a lot of travelling to do to get home.

Thankfully the weather was kind.Overnight and since it has rained and been unforgiving and many areas have been flooded. Some beaches have seen sand washed away. Everyone present believes in what they are doing, offering high quality goods, few items are duplicated, most is pitched at a fair price and no more expensive than goods you'll find in a supermarket or a branded product.

I am now a Food Market "Groupie" and do all I can to talk up such events and the normal monthly markets that take place around the area. I try not to overstay my welcome with my enthusiasm and avoid becoming a pest so I do avoid some events or appear briefly so I don't "Get in the way!" besides some items(being single)take me time to work my way through. But its a two way thing and through difficult times I have been shown friendship and kindness too. I appreciate that and it does give you something to think about.

It took me approx fives hours to get to Saltburn but was quicker on the return trip and all the connections worked well. Approx 3 hours travel time and approx 10 mins between connections. I was so tired I fell asleep on the bus from Redcar to Middleborough(don't remember when I last did that)

I came home with some treats(as I clear my fridge/freezer out)and we head towards Christmas and the like I want to buy more from such markets and less from the Supermarket.

I came home with one last cordial flavour from the Mr Fitzpatrick range, I have them all now, well looking at the website the one I have from yesterday is no longer available(Black beer and Raisin)but they have added Strawberry and Kiwi to the range.

I purchased a jar of honey and ginger from the local Yorkshire company The Beez Neez. I purchased some honey from them some months ago which was lovely(honey and whisky)and from the Yorkshire Cheese Company some Sticky toffee cheese, strawberries and cream cheese and apple and raisins...

I have a few image to post which follow but some I will wait for my friend The Gingerbread Mam to approve and have first call to use them as she wishes and post only those that should be on a public forum(some are private)

The rest are general images and all those featured knew that images were being taken and again if they are of any use to those who organised the event wish to they are welcome. I'll take more another time.

This trio of musicians entertained the crowds all day and I let them know how much I enjoyed their music and enthusiasm. As I left I gave them the thumbs up and got one back from the euphonium player. They made you smile.
This couple made the public smile too, not sure what was being promoted, possibly a frugal lifestyle and memories of simpler times gone by. They also had an old fashioned radio on the back of the tricycle playing 40's and 50's music. I think it was simply for fun.
Remember most of these images can be enlarged...
BBC Tees devoted around twenty minutes to the festival doing a live link up to Saltburn and a number of stall holders were interviewed plus the organiser of it all and included in the line up was The Gingerbread Mam*...This proves the worth of local radio, commercial radio in general has given up and just concentrates on music and adverts. Its a blessing and a curse to offer such lovely items because all being well everything sells well, that equally makes it difficult to keep up with the demand but its great to be so popular and see regulars turn up and also see people converted to the delights on offer. Personality and friendliness plays its part too.
Another good thing about yesterday...I discovered that Preston Park is approx five minutes walk from the railway station at Eagglescliffe much easier than the internet suggested. That the number 64 or is that the 63 bus service runs past Albert and Stewart Park so they are only minutes from the town centre.
Also on the same route there are two big retailers that may be of interest to me...one is selling mainly European/Asian food on Linthorpe Road and the other(not that I necessarily agree with it)Halal items but they sell much more. I need to do more research and not necessarily believe what I am told in media more than ever I do not take things at face value. A friend has filled in some gaps in my knowledge and also told me of other retailers closeby including a Chinese and Polish supermarket which I missed. 
So I learnt quite a lot yesterday...
*Facebook Link

Still Talking Of Saturday...

After taking the images of the Castle I had the choice to hang around a little longer but as I came onto the main street I was in time to catch a bus so decided to do just that. So I was in Darlington again by 5pm. Not enough to time to come home and drop off all my gear but equally I had two and a half hours to fill before before the local theatre opens its doors(hence why I had taken my ticket with me)

Thankfully I can usually manage to drag time out and I did just that. Nothing exciting and at that time of night most places are closing.

Eventually, I reached the theatre...the tell tale signs were there I guess though I did not think about it. Normally the foyer is heaving with people before a performance. Anyhow, I took my seat. The bell to warn that the performance was about to start rang to remind the audience to get to their seats and to leave the bar.

Well this is a estimate not totally accurate(and I am only talking of the centre section of the stalls)and the first threee rows which included myself. If there were eighty seats...sixty nine of them were empty. Put another way there was eleven of us!

Later a quick scan showed many empty seats across the whole theatre. An odd person or couple here and there.

The fewest people I have ever witnessed there. Is it the price of the tickets? The recession? People on holiday? All or some of the above is possible.

It was sad because though I like the theatre and music I am not usually a fan of musicals. This was more like a concert with an 18 piece big band, a cast of nine who sang and acted(four of which were part of the band)so doubled up and they performed the music and life story of Glenn Miller. It is called Bugle Boy after a nickname Miller's wife Helen used to call him.

It deserved a larger audience. The atmosphere was good considering how few of us were watching(but in the interval everyone was commenting on how poor the audience was and what a pity it was)it must be heart breaking for the cast to perform and look out on audience so small in number.

I cannot find out the names of those who were in the production and further investigation proves that(and I don't believe this is the reason for a lack of people buying a ticket)that this tour is a cut down version of a fuller production but to put on a larger event needs a larger stage and probably would see the ticket price increase considerably. I have read of dance routines and as many as 120 people on stage, we had a total of twenty three.

I understand it is on a ten week tour of the UK and this at Darlington Civic Theatre was the end of the first week of that tour and most of the remaining tour is happening in the South. I don't like reporting audience figures are down but this is the second show in recent weeks where numbers are down but its not just there. You may remember my post from June where a concert at Bishop Auckland Town Hall was quality and we were lucky if twenty five people attended.

There are plenty of positive reviews and an explanation of the story on the highlighted link above, the story is well known anyhow so a review by myself cannot really add much. If you know the Miller sound and music that says it all.

Not Quite Finished With Barnard Castle...

I really need to take some more general images of the town but right next to Scar Top is the the Castle that it takes its name from. I am unsure what you will see should you pay the £4 plus admission fee to look around inside. Most of it is in ruins anyhow. There are some spectacular views from below looing up at the castle. I'll have to see if there is a way to access that view. I doubt I would attempt to walk it and need to use public transport.

Here a few of those I managed to take whilst there...


Catch Up...

Where to start?

On Saturday I awoke a little later than planned. Looked my watch and thought I really should be up and out of here but continued to stay in bed. Every so often saying "Just another 10 minutes more..." Three hours later I did do something about it. Had a quick wash and shave, dressed, made some salad and egg rolls. Checked what else I planned to take with me for the day.

Money, bus pass, small bottle of water, a larger one of tonic water, camera(that gets taken virtually everywhere)just in case I see something of interest and theatre ticket. And I was away out of the door. Once I had left home it was likely I would not return for at many hours. I looked at weather and decided to not bother with any suncream, my sunhat and looked for a thin coat to take the possible chill off should the weather change or rain.

I caught a bus into Darlington around midday...

 I switched virtually immediately to the service for Barnard Castle. Some ten minutes out the bus stopped and we were all moved to another(ours had some unknown problems)memories of the previous the week when something similar happened on the way to the Sunderland Airshow. Luckily the driver had arranged ahead so there was no delay.

As we travelled towards Barnard Castle the weather kept looking more threatening but happily as I reached my destination it was in my favour.

I wasn't very mobile so had to give up any ideas of a quick tour of the town and a lack of time meant I had to concentrate on the reason for me being there. I did see the monthly Teesdale Farmers Market for the first time but avoided looking at any stall(more later)

I did pop into a branch of a nationwide health food chain and paid "Silly" money for the two items money for the two items still missing from my list of recently purchased vitamins/minerals. I say for two items...one isn't that badly priced to be honest 250 tablets of sea kelp for £2.99(plus for 1p more)another bottle containing the same amount. But the gensing cost me £17.99 for 100 tablets but a similar offer was on them so for 1p more I got another 100.

But they'll last me for ages and added to everything else its working at less than £1 per week. It has been too long since I have walked in the town centre and there is a reasonable variety of shops(some available anywhere)others are independent. And with my interest in food some that offer more than local towns to where I live. If I ever get my freezer emptied or invest in another, I will visit the butchers there and bring home a selection of what they sell.

So why was I there?

I had found out about a concert being given in the newly upgraded Scar Top area of the town...looking around the internet it seemed quite a distance from the town centre but after phoning the tourist shop in town I was told the bus stops there.

Sadly, a lack of publicity meant that audience numbers were low and I wonder how many were present by luck. Thankfully the numbers increased as the concert went on. We were told that the band was given approx one weeks notice from being asked to give a show. They were great!

I talked to the conductor afterwards and I had to admit I had no idea they existed and he told me that they have been in existence since 1962, virtually all of my life.

They were great. I had some video's to prove it. The music programme was varied for the popular to the unexpected. I cannot use the video's because though thankfully wind rarely is noticeable with our hearing, as it was blustery the noise overides the sound on them.

But here are a selection of stills that I managed to take. Take a bow the Dueham Constabulary Brass Band. I hope to see them again.