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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

My Gingerbread Man Has Been Sacrificed...

Image preview

He gave of himself unselfishly. Combined effort of Gingerbread Mam and my own meagre efforts. Lovely.

Alnwick Castle...

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. Too expensive for me to visit. Perhaps next year with E Heritage ticket.

I had enough time when at the Alnwick Food Festival to look around the town's magnificent castle but to be honest to do so is not inexpensive.

But perhaps next year if I am still mobile enough and pace myself I will invest in an English Heritage season ticket. Then try to visit a few historic sites across the region and beyond which will justify the cost allowing me to see more for my money...doing that works out at around £1 per week.

Have discovered some extra buses are being introduced in October which will make travelling to Northumberland easier, now if something similar could happen in parts of Durham and Yorkshire that would be great.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's Over For Today...

It was an early day and I had to have a flu jab at the Dr's surgery and they decided to give me another to protect against pneumonia. They said the pneumonia jab is a one off offering protection to 20+ strains of itThe surgery opened at 9am and already had a queue around the block by then and two Dr's/two Nurses were working flat out on the clinic. The receptionist taking details of all attending got my DOB wrong three times before getting it correct and managed to add twenty years to my age which made me 75

Do I really look that old?

Then I was off to take photo's of my colleague driving a train at a local museum but personally it was a disappointment as we are talking of such a small amount of track and I would guess we're talking 30 seconds in either direction.

We ended up in Durham watching a battle re-enactment society from Hartlepool. That was fun. I was at the second show but found this which gives a flavour of the day. Get Dressed For Battle.

I would have paced myself, if on my own...sat a lot, perhaps come home earlier, not had a meal and avoided walking as much. I did not manage to get into the few shops I wanted to. I have come to the conclusion most shops in Durham are expensive and not really for myself except a few shops that are generally available in most UK towns(mainly food)I guess this is because of the visitors being mainly tourists or at University. A better choice and easier place to walk is approx 10 minutes out of Durham and not as far as Newcastle and that's Chester Le Street.

My acquaintance likes a meal and I dread hearing him say that he's hungry, he can put it away...and its hard for me not to have one with him or get out of it. The first place was going to cost £16 for fish, chips and a cup of tea. We managed to walk out and go to an alternative and bring the same meal down to £8(I still did not like spending that)but I'll admit it was not as nice as the other restaurant and the fish had been sitting under those lights that keep food hot. So the fish to me was quite dry.

I was so tired after the walking and all the bus rides I decided I had to get a taxi to home even though it was only a few streets so I still spent another £3 on the taxi. I will have to find ways to save up until I get that back in some way which probably means not spending for awhile. What I spent would have paid for a few of my nights out over coming weeks.

But its over now and I am going nowhere for at least the next 25 hours, I am already laid on my bed taking it easy and I could very well doze off...

Update:I've already slept a fair bitand feel quite comfortable. Though where I was given the flu and pneumonia jabs are feeling quite sore.

What a difference a rest makes...if I was given time, I could do so much more when I do go out with another person.

A salad and chips, jacket potato or basically meat and veg would have been enough for me and I was OK until I came home, as I think more here in bed. Quick, easy and no money spent. I wonder if I can win back what I spent with a game of bingo...

Isn't it funny what comes into your mind from nowhere...minutes ago I thought tomorrow I am going to have some banana sandwiches. I haven't had one of those in years...

Been Doing Some More Research(As You Do)

And buses/trains and stamina allowing I have discovered that once I get myself into Newcastle I have two services that mean I can reach Alnwick but also go to Amble, Walkworth, Alnmouth, Seahouses, Belford, Bamburgh and Berwick on Tweed. I am being drawn to North East coast and what could be seen as rugged scenery. I have so much I have never seen. The same is true of the Yorkshire coast.

I can hopefully see the coming years me spending days/weeks for the coming years catching up on a neglected part of my life and I'm coming to it rather late...

Last Week...

I was at Alnwick's ninth food festival, last evening it was back to normal in a supermarket...where I spent I'm afraid to say around £21 and again say "What On?"

Then again when I finally came home it still seemed too much...in another way, much of what I have will last me for weeks and comes out more like £5 per week.

The Flora Buttery Sunflower Margarine was on offer so I got two for the price of one and it won't be wasted, making them only £1 a tub. I did buy some fresh food/salad but the rest was canned food and in the value range but most will give me a decent meal if combined with other items in my food store or some will give me two meals from one can.

I am determined to bake some bread but try more than a basic loaf. Today as I am still waiting for the sourdough culture to take again I purchased some Panini Rolls and a Farmhouse Loaf from the instore bakery and both are seeded. Well, I have all kinds of seeds and fruits I can add to my own home made loaves or coat them with. Which will give me more fibre and goodness.

What made it different today is that the local supermarket has upgraded their checkouts. They've installed more reliable self service units but now have added some where you go around the store with a handheld scanner and scan your goods as you shop. You go to the checkouts, pack your scanned goods and pay and have no scanning to do at the end of the shop. I have to admit I was quite impressed even though I fear it will mean some staff being let go or made to work part time.

There must be some way they can tell if you have scanned all the goods you've paid for but for now a lot of this scheme seems to be based on trust. Time will tell.

Well, its an early start tomorrow...the Dr's surgery for a flu vaccination, a trip to the local railway museum,  I promised to take some photo's as someone I know is booked to drive a steam train at 11am and the if time allows(alone or with him in tow)I hope to take off to Durham City again and see a tournament between some Knights that is being staged. The weather appears as though it is going to be kind. So here's hoping.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Anyone Wonder What Happened With Being Unhappy...

and the concert of the Osmonds...I feel kind of sorry for the theatre concerned and have rethought my views. They were caught between(here comes the cliché)"A rock and a hard place" A no win situation.

I do believe they are trying to put things right and were caught out on the night. And it was not necessarily their fault. Another cliché coming "Circumstances beyond their control"

If you wish to check out my ammended post it is at the following link

The only thing I'll never know is whether I was the only one to bring this up or others did too...

Alan Young...Who?

Anyone who knows me realises that I love comedy but my favourite is back in the early days of broadcasting and I'm talking of US radio before television killed it and it became mainly a vehicle for news, music and sport. It will never happen again and sadly the performers have all but passed away and many of the shows have been lost for good. Often through neglect.
I doubt few if any will know Alan Young these days and not in the UK, probably best known here for the 50's TV series with a talking horse and called Mr Ed.
Most of the performers were "Nice" people and though I have long since lost the stuff they sent to me but they often had the kindness to reply to me and correspond with me.
They have such interesting stories to tell and so I post the first of a six part interview with Alan. He's in his 90's now and was originally from North Shields, Northumberland, England. He has never forgotten where he came from and he mentions so many greats from the golden days of  broadcasting. The first 12 seconds are silent.

And I have a link to Alan's radio show here but on the net you can find some episodes of his TV work.

I hope some of you will watch and listen but enjoy. Its a time that has passed by. I think how good of him to have the patience to sit and talk for three hours seemingly in one session. The original interview above is approx 5 years old, the video below is much newer and what a difference a few years make.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

There Is An Image Of Me Online...

Not my most flattering pose(I need my teeth fixing)I'm afraid but yes, I'm there. Some of you may work it out or if you are regulars I may point you in the direction(privately)if you ask nicelygiggling emoticon

Did I mention the two lovely scones I purchased at Alnwick at the weekend? I want more but the good news is Chirnells Kitchen appear at quite a few places so it is likely our paths will cross again(I hope so)It really was a case of busy, busy, busy...and the sad thing is I had ommited to get the name of the stall holder. So I put that right now...

I have no excuse now...Churnills Kitchen was @AlnwickFoodFest this past weekend and I purchased two lovely scones...Cheese/Bacon and Raspberry/Apple. They were selling fast Yum, Yum...

I have found another place I really want to visit and its again in Northumberland. I think I could happily spend a holiday(or a few days)there for the peace, quiet and scenery but have discovered there is an hourly service and it runs quite late into the and so I probably could still get home in a day. I could stay there until around 7.30pm and could be there from mid morning.

Oh I haven't said where have I? The port of Amble. It is not quite as far as Alnwick, though we're only talking of a few miles...I can't always trust the travel website that has bus times as I can often find an alternative route that allows extra time to and from a destination and it tends to give the most direct routes.

Anything planned for today? Not really. I might've taken off for Amble on Saturday but have promised to go somewhere(If it gets much later with the days becoming shorter I will leave it until next year)

I have the exciting task of having a flu jab first thing. The last couple of years the Dr's surgery has had two weeks of a walk in clinic...this year its being held on Saturday mornings for the next two weekends. Then its by appointment. I have no idea why the usual arrangements have changed.

If I can manage to do so I hope to squeeze two events into Saturday...I'm pushing it...there is some kind of steam train rides at the local railway museum and my "new" friend wants me to go there(I think he's booked to drive the train at 11am)so I'll have to take some photo's.

If I can get away in good time I'll take off to Durham City as there is some kind of medieval tournaments taking place in the Market Square and if I have enough battery power left I'd like to get some photo's there too.

Today I just plan to take things reasonably easy...may have a salad later with some oven chips, a quick tidy round and go to my bingo club for 7pm. We play approx 11 games of bingo. The prizes aren't large but we usually manage to play for a line and full house.

There is a snowball game that builds up if it is not won by a certain amount of numbers and at half time you can have tea, coffee, some cake and there is a small raffle too. Its all over by 8.30pm. And I can catch a bus that gets me there in good time and reasonably close around 6.40pm. And someone is kind enough to bring me home.

And yes, I'm thinking more and more about what I am going to do for my meals in the slow cooker and what I may bake...bread of course, possibly cakes(or biscuits)dare I try my version of gingerbread or scones perhaps but the easiest thing(and they can be done without baking)my own version of flapjacks. Of course I will buy and continue to support these wonderful food producers at the food festivals and markets...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For All My Health Issues...

I must be made of stern stuff. Even if I have to rest more between doing things and have to realise though the mind is young the body is not.

Yet I rarely go down with colds, flu and sickness. That could be because I am not often in crowded situations and being single contact is less.

However, over Monday and Tuesday I came down with a bad head cold and felt like death warmed up. Blocked nose, aches and pains, aching head etc...I did very little for it. Mainly just grabbing sleep where possible. To some extent sweating a fair bit.

What can I say? I shook it off so much so I still attended my music club last night and felt fine on that score. Even if my body and mobility leaves much to be desired. Its fortunate on Music Club night some of the walk is covered by a bus and the time is close to its start and I share a taxi home. There is no bus home unless you leave early. If my mobility was better I'd walk, I feel reasonably safe but really its not on.

I was in Tesco's near my home after the Club buying those little tubes of icing that you decorate piping on to biscuits and cakes so I guess I am determined to prove that I am able to bake this year and take that skill further. I have always been able to cook a fair selection of meals but haven't bothered as much with cakes and biscuits.

And I have also set the sourdough culture away again so I guess I am serious about making bread.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Osmonds Came To Town...

The fact that my little(I say little)theatre secured a date on their recent tour was appreciated and in these  difficult times where many live venues are under threat and recently a few shows I have attended have been low audience wise I was so happy to see it well attended. The theatre has had hard times and done well to survive these difficult times, I feared it might close and that is always in the back of my mind.

I'm amazed who they manage to get for us to see. This includes international performers. I am sorry that there was a period of time I missed many shows. I hate to think who I did not see.
I want to see people have a good time and take memories home with them. I don't mind people dancing in the aisles, taking photo's, if they sit I don't expect them to be rigid and yes if handled sensibly I have no trouble with audience members wanting to hold the hand of the performer and to have their moment.
Sadly I saw very little of the concert once The Osmonds were on stage and I know that was true of a few others behind me because people were allowed to stand for the whole performance in front of the stage and that in turn meant that everyone in the rows in front of me/beside me stood up or sat on the edge of their seats and you could see little or anything of what was happening. Also people further back came out of their seats and came to the front to add to the problem.
Unless you behaved in the same way and for many the only way you could see anything was to try and catch a glimpse between the bodies in front of you. Stand up occasionally and put a camera above your head and take an odd image. Thankfully photo's were allowed. The photo's below give the impression the view was ok...it wasn't. And it was quite an expensive trip that I had to save up for. Its even worse when I had such a great seat with a great view.

As long as these people were enjoying themselves to put it as strong as I can either they behaved this way oblivious of how they were spoiling it for others or couldn't give a stuff. 
I can't blame teenagers as in the old days of the 60's and 70's watching the Beatles, the Rolling Stones etc...where people screamed for a couple of hours...the majority of the audience were I suspect in their 50's and older.
The management spoke to some of the audience in the interval before the Osmonds came on stage and information that I will not go into puts a different light on the situation and how hard they tried to control things.
I did something I have never ever done in my life and said how disappointed I was on line via Twitter. I feel that put the theatre at a disadvantage and unfair but I did, there you go. Since then I was asked to send an e-mail my complaint into them.

You can see from my previous posts about shows I have seen, events I have attended I am mostly positive and do all I can to promote local businesses so this is quite unusual.

http://yfrog.com/5bk5x7j The Osmonds came to town but sadly because of the theatre layout and many standing little could be seen unless you held a camera above the audience.

Osmonds appearing locally and they still have their followers. Sadly the only way I could see anything was to stand for a few seconds and sit down again, view was blocked by females who would not sit down.
It hasn't happened at other concerts I have attended locally at this theatre and another one in the area, the closest was a concert by the 60's group The Searchers but only when they did their encore so you'd seen most of the performance OK. I see The Hollies in approx two weeks, I hope its better then.

Alnwick Food Festival 2013

 Perhaps the last big Food Festival of the year in Alnwick Northumberland took place over the weekend. Amazingly it is into its 9th year. The big 10 next year. Unless something unexpected happens I will be there. Yes it was a fair journey to make from my part of the North East but praise where its due, during the day all my buses ran to time and connected with not much hanging around in bus stations between the change overs. It must be over thirty years since I was last in Alnwick(I say that)perhaps it was Berwick on Tweed...I have no one I am able to ask.
It was well organised. A big range of products and local food producers. We had some that for various reasons are unable to travel to my part of the North East and also it bridged the gap in that for me to reach them is just a little too far.
I already realise that I have missed some great food and will have to put that right hopefully next year and give more publicity I want local to succeed. I still wonder if I can launch that foodie blog that I would like to.
So first off I met these two lovely ladies, both sisters, Jane Slater and Fiona Woodcock and have running a great luxury cake company since 2008 with that home made feel but saving someone like me the bother of making them and cooking them.  The Cakeroot Company 

My first purchase of the day and I treated myself to some cake @AlnwickFoodFest from The Cake Root Stall http://www.thecakeroot.co.uk/ a local food producer. Spoilt for choice.and kept in the family.
I was spoilt for choice and though I love cake I must admit it has been a long, long time since I attempted to make my own or purchased any but I could not resist and I really do believe(a little of what you fancy does you good)
And just look at what I came home with...

Lovely cakes from @AlnwickFoodFest and The Root Cake Company
Yes, I decided on a Lemon Drizzle cake but how unusual is this...you've heard of carrot cake well in the selection above is a Chocolate, Orange and Potato cake and a Parsnip, Lime and Ginger cake.
 If money and space in the fridge/freezer allowed I probably would have come home with more...an excuse to visit again. All these businesses need supporting but hopefully after six years we can say The Cake Root Company is doing something right.
I found a stall selling a variety of scones with flavours I would never have thought of...an example? A mushroom scone. Sadly I did not manage to find out their name but they were selling a lot of items and I treated myself to two. One is Raspberry and Apple and the other Cheese and Bacon. 
And now of course I come to my friend Liz AKA the Gingerbread Mam. Its always good to see her and her family and I appreciate the kindness and friendship I have been shown. In a way I have been adopted. As busy as they are they always find time for me. I know only too well how much time and effort goes into the business.
Emotionally and cost wise. There's the travelling and keeping up the quality of what you sell, coming up with new ideas to keep the range on offer fresh, the adapting of produce for the different seasons. And all  the health/safety and accounts to be kept to please the Government. None of these local producers have it easy. In many ways whilst you have to take public safety as important some of what I hear would put some off and the restrictions can mean some new products have to be shelved.
I purchased some Gingerbread and Ginger shortcake(looking forward to thateating cookie emoticon)and yes as you can see over the weekend at the Alnwick Food Festival there were Gingerbread Men/Woman decorating classes(and yes I had a go too)You can see some images below. And some of the results. We asked permission for the images to be shown but its sad that an innocent bit of fun means being careful(that's why I took the images in the way I have)but we've lost the proud look on the faces of those who took part.

http://yfrog.com/jmwbd9j Gingerbread Mam's classes on how to decorate GB Men and Women @AlnwickFootFest 2013 @gingerpokey

At @AlnwickFoodFest. GingerBread Mam gave  the chance to decorate their own GB Man. Permission given to upload images but we have had to be careful. It would have been nice to show the joy at their work.
The creativity of those who took part in The Gingerbread Mam's decorating classes at @AlnwickFoodFest A big success...@gingerpokey

My attempt at decorating a Gingerbread Man at Alnwick Food Festival and a professional version on the right as if you did not know :o)

My own version of a Gingerbread Man and the professional one on the right. I love that catchphrase on the products of "Home made, Mam made"
There were cooking demonstrations too and offering his support again to the event was the well known tv chef Jean Christophie Novelli(He's French...in case you had not guessed.) 
Made it to @AlnwickFoodFest yesterday. One of the best. Blessed with the weather too. As I was having a rest the local press turned up to do a photo shoot with this guy...Jean Christophe Novelli.
A great weekend with lots of good memories. A lovely day out for myself. Thanks to those who attended and made it a success and those who organised it and for keeping it a free event.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Misspent Uke And Active Life In Coxhoe...

Yesterday I paid my first visit to a local village called Coxhoe. It is the same travelling distance as going to Durham. It is called a village but there are a fair amount of houses and people living there. My reason for going is that I discovered that is a community centre and once a month they hold a concert. The centre used to be run by the County Council but I assume in these austere times many councils struggle to run many public services/facilities and recently this centre was handed over and is run on a charitable bases. I believe the charity is called Active Life.
If I was fit and lived nearer I would use it more often and if I had family/friends make use of their rooms for public events. I applaud how they are trying to succeed.

The staff were really friendly. They made everyone welcome and we were treated to sweets when we arrived and complimentary tea/coffee and biscuits after the concert.

The act that appeared came from the Tyneside area and were called Misspent Uke. There were approx 15 in the group mainly playing ukuleles but a variety of other instruments too and they played a real variety of music. They enjoyed playing for us and the audience reaction proved that we had enjoyed them too. Everyone was full of fun.
Misspent Uke at Active Life Centre Coxhoe should have taken more images but did not want to get in the way of the audience and some images sadly were unclear.
Active Life Centre Coxhoe. A concert by Misspent Uke earlier today. Great time had by all...

I found out about the centre and the concert by chance via another great Tweeter Stan Laundon and now hope to attend as a regular. Should you get the chance to see Misspent Uke, you will go away in a happier frame of mind and with a smile on your face.
The Manager of the centre was so welcoming. Something that is missing from many similar outlets, even my own town could do with somewhere to attract townsfolk and getting them involved in the community. We have the usual access to a bar and football on the TV and Gym facilities. But not much in the way of entertainment and it means travelling which with a limited bus service or the need of your own transport is difficult.
Also present on the day was local personality and a true gentleman Neville Wanless...I am sure he has done much more than this but many(including Mum and myself)remember him as a continuity invision announcer on television and a presenter on a local commercial radio station for many years. He always had a relaxed manner, a smile and a twinkle in the eye and was held in great affection.  Frightingly, he admitted to me and if the information is correct on the internet it is a "Long" time since he did either. 
After the concert he sang us a song too. Neville still does a little bit of broadcasting presenting a weekly show on Hospital Radio via Radio Tyneside.

I had the chance to meet this gentleman today...always had a twinkle in the eye and smile when he was continunity announcer(In vision)at Tyne Tees TV(Active Life Coxhoe)@ActivLifeCoxhoe Neville Wanless
The centre could be a half way house in some way as I usually have to travel further North to see acts/performers from Durham and Newcastle etc...but as Coxhoe is approx 30 minutes from Tyneside it could be a way for acts further North to come our way and therefore clipping off the extra journey time for people living in the south of the region. And it also means the centre can dip into the acts from the South of  Durham county.
I know of a few acts I could suggest if I was asked that appear at a long established music club on my town(its been going for somewhere in the region of 50 years off and on)
As an aside you know that I like to promote local businesses. A new shop has opened in Coxhoe and is doing well(I again wish we had something similar locally on my own town)it is a sweet shop, the kind many of us will remember from our childhood, the shelves are full of glass bottles of every sweet you can think of. And it also sells American candy too. The shop is based near the church on the main street and is called Bonsai Bonbons. It also has a Facebook Page. Just enter the name...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Put My Meter Readings Into My Utility Account...

I have kept the central heating off. Avoided using the main oven and kept washing to the minimum and was greeted with the news I have used more than last year*X( angry*:-O surprisebut the worst thing is that we all know prices continue to increase. And my present duel deal agreement is supposed to come to an end in October and I will have to go through the mill and arrange a new agreement. From what I see I will be offered the same deal(no better)but the only cooncession seems to be that the new plan no longer has a penalty clause if I decide to move to another supplier.

They keep saying(just like the new agreements for making the changing of bank accounts)they want to make switching easier but I cannot see any real advantage as they are all pretty much the same.

If I switch utility companies as I am trying to use as little energy as possible neither the utility company or me are much affected. And with little or no money the same is true of any bank that takes me on.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Something Drops In Your Lap...

By chance there is a community centre in Coxhoe approx thirty minutes to one hour away by bus depending on the route and once a month they seem to have a concert on an afternoon with refreshments afterwards and tickets are usually £4 so this Wednesday I hope to see a ukulele band playing many different songs...another month there is a concert of music on the lines of The Great American Songbook introduced by Neville Wanless(a continuity announcer on TV/DJ on local radio)many years ago so something new to enjoy. These have been happening for years I suspect. Never been there in my life. Around the same mileage as travelling to Durham.

I can hear the rain lashing against the bedroom window and its really changed. Indoors it has been around 16c/62f all day and yet I feel warmer now than during the day, not sure why. Think I'll stay close to home again.

Update:My ticket was delivered today for Paul Jones local concert(ticket number 151 so I assume if they are being given out in the correct order not any old how)there is at least that many in the audience. It was made clear again today it has a religious/faith side to it(he's with his wife)but music is a big part too before I purchased the ticket so I will be interested to see what songs are included, what instruments are played and if others appear with them.

But the person delivering the ticket said he has heard that they are very good and its an enjoyable night. Perhaps I'll get a photo if I ask nicely, an autograph and it will be more intimate than the  theatre show.

It is good to get out if at all possible. It lifts the spirit, creates memories and you feel part of the social scene even if you come home alone.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lord Of The Flies...

I have rarely seen any flies in all the time that I have lived in my home and the buying of fly spray is something I have not needed to buy but after these past few days I have given in and do so because I have been plagued with what I am told are fruit flies. I have no idea why.

Given time they'd die but I bought some fly spray today and its done the trick. Never thought that I would talk about this to others or on here but I did earlier today when shopping and I am not alone.

All were dead within 10 minutes and they were "Dropping like flies!" Sorry about that quip. Quite a lot of spray remains in the can. I went for the cheapest costing 82p the rest were around £2.50. Its not something I would use often and needed very little. I kept out of the rooms affected and let fresh air in afterwards to avoid breathing it in and kept any food safe.

On a different topic...

I found some sandwiches reduced in price whilst shopping with a portion of chips from the local chip shop. Simple but enjoyable.

Still little happening here but looking for something to do over the weekend, stay tuned as I am still on for the trip to Alnwick next week and my friend Liz(The Gingerbread Mam)is hoping to do some classes in making Gingerbread. And I am expected to be first in the queuegiggling emoticon It will be a first as I have never made it and never eaten it before. Lets hope that the weather is kind.

If any reader is in the North East of the UK or in the Alnwick area try and get a long to what looks to be a great weekend.

I could go out this weekend(never say never)but isn't it great that I am content to stay home. I don't want to spend unnecessarily as I want to save for the Alnwick trip. And I have enough food. But there are two events that I could attend locally. I was tempted to go to Saltburn and see if there are any signs of what happened a week ago with the weather and put some images up but I suspect they've been quick to put things right.

A few months back I saw Paul Jones(ex Manfred Mann)lead singer singing blues and hits of the 60's band in theatre with price to match...it was great. Later today I am attempting to get a ticket for a show he and his wife will be doing in October very close to here(3 miles)a musical night but also they are promoting their religious beliefs and faith. I can live with that. Tickets are only £7. There are quite a few performers that are on a circuit that combine music and a kind of talk like this these days.

Update:I have secured a ticket...and I should be able to get a bus home but not as expensive if I have to use a taxi. If lucky someone may take pity on me and give me a lift home.

Shopping Trip 2...

I found a branch of a chain of stores in the North and Yorkshire had some good value items for staying warm today and were less expensive than the gloves I purchased yesterday. So in case I lose items again and so I can ring the changes when I go out I have purchased some more. I have in total two pairs of fingerless gloves*and two pairs of normal gloves. I have another warm hat and my first cap.

Having said that I am missing a lovely grey pom pom hat which I wore a lot last Winter but that I am virtually certain is somewhere indoors and will turn up eventually.

(*one pair is quite ingenious because though fingerless you can bring a kind of flap up over the fingers turning them into a pair with fingers)

Debating if I should buy a pair of Wellington boots for the bad weather and some of those spikes you can attach to footwear but if its that bad I don't plan to go out in the first place.

I have also purchased some light duvets for when Summer returns. Thinking ahead.

Not much excitement going on, been doing the tasks that we all have to do...washing clothes, tidying up and getting the wheelie bin ready for collection.

The best news is that unbeknown to me, I am approx eighteen weeks ahead on my rent(and there was me thinking that I was behind in my payments...)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Not Much To Report...

The change in the weather and darker nights have kept me indoors. I have slept longer too.

I have been sorting out videos posted on line due to(as an ammended post on my blog mentions) someone decided that a video taken at a public event should be taken down.  I decided I did not need the hassle. That's as exciting as it gets.

I do hope that I can get out for a few more trips as Autumn is around the corner...I'm thinking a week on Friday may be busy as there is The Osmonds in concert, the following day possibly a trip to Alnwick in Northumberland(food festival is on)but I may also get a look at the town/castle and then on the Sunday an Autumn Fair at Raby Castle in Staindrop.

If I do I shall put details on the blog and hopefully some images.

On Sunday I attended a Remembrance Service at my local church and got through it reasonably well but the voice I had for singing has just about been lost probably because it needs strengthening and  I get little chance to use it these days.

I ventured out this evening and started investing in ways to stay warm even if I avoid putting the heating on(I hope the Winter is a mild one)

I decided I need new quilts(so tonight)I purchased a single and double, also some new pillows. The same supermarket had some nice scarves, hats and gloves too. Its gloves that I have been waiting for(having lost some)earlier in the year so I now have a pair of thermal fingerless gloves and await some with fingers to come into the shops.

To counteract this cost I hope I do not have to buy such items again or for a long time. And I managed to find some reduced organic brown bread and bread buns that had been reduced.

The bread is heavier than some which gives me hope when I start baking my own again as mine have been heavy but these taste nice. 18p a loaf is better than 90p.

Its awkward buying/looking for reductions because the local supermarket tends to reduce salad/food between 4pm-5pm but reduces bread around 8pm. So depending on what you need/want means you have to change the time that you shop.

You know how there are tales of people living on bread and water...I've been doing that more or less lately but come tomorrow I plan to get back to eating more fruit, vegetables and some meat. I'm getting ready to start using my slow cooker again and eat more meals associated with the colder months.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Yesterday I Had One Of The Best Sleeps...

I have had in ages and...felt quite upbeat and untroubled.

I found by accident that the last film of the animated favourites Wallace and Grommet was on TV and I have missed every time it has been on television so I was finally able to catch The Curse Of The Were Rabbit and tonight I watched one of the concerts associated with the Last Night Of The Proms but this time I went for one of the populist concerts not the classical one in the Albert Hall.

Earlier in the day I did a quick shop and purchased some new loaf tins so the baking of my own bread is getting closer. I also bought some liners for them so they'll last longer and though I have two in the house already, I am unable to find my kitchen scales so I found some more that were very cheap. I'll not lose these(I suspect the others will turn up again)but if they do they are spare or will be used too.

I also got myself some vegetables as I think with the colder wet weather and dark nights it is almost time to have more stews, casseroles, soups and pies.

Friday, September 06, 2013

That Friday Feeling...

Not really...sleepy and haven't done much so far...

I called off the lunchtime concert. Hopefully there will be other times. And tonight I have the show with Paul Daniels to look forward to. I thought I may walk better to the bus stop/theatre if I did less earlier in the day. Also the weather forecasters got it right, its a rainy day and is said to be quite bad in North East England.

Update:I had no idea just how bad the weather was...we got off very lightly in my own area. But places that I have been in recent weeks and months...its hard to believe the difference. Areas affected Saltburn, Redcar, Middlesborough and Durham...seriously flooded and damaged.

Not knowing I set out around 6pm to see the show in Darlington just as it started to rain again, it wasn't nice but manageable. I had decided on only wearing a cheap gilet(body warmer)shirt, trousers and trainers. When I arrived at the theatre and coming home afterwards I heard and saw a few people saying how freezing they felt but though conscious of the change I can't say that I felt cold myself.

The show was great...it will(and has been admitted)by Paul that it is being tweaked for other dates on the tour and it was the first night. I would tell you what I saw but that would spoil it for others and magic is something that has to be experienced. There were card tricks, illusions but lots of comedy. And Paul is a master of patter.

Again, I'm not sure what has happened at the theatre because last year it was virtually full for every show I attended. These past few it has been seriously empty. It worked better with Paul because there were more in the audience and we were in a solid group near the stage, not dotted here there and everywhere.

Being short I was fortunate to be close to the stage but also I mainly had well behaved children in front of me so an unrestricted view. Also in the middle of the row I was sitting in. I was fortunate that just before the curtain went up an exceptionally tall person sat down in the row in front and missed me by one seat. Hard luck for the person sitting next to me...

Both Paul and Debbie met the audience in the foyer afterwards(and this was the one time I did not take a camera)and I got within inches of speaking to them but depending on a less than frequent bus service, I cut and ran to be sure of getting home safely and avoiding waiting for another bus adding another hour to the night.

I am very happy to have seen them and it was an enjoyable night. I now wonder how full the theatre will be for The Osmonds and The Hollies in the coming weeks...

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

I'm Wasting Time...

As Summer draws to an end I should be trying to get out and go somewhere but where? I cannot afford to nor do I want to spend money for the sake of doing so. There is a limit to where I can travel when dependent on public transport. Another example?

A Swedish choir is to appear at the historic church in Sedgefield soon on Friday night at 7pm but the last direct bus to my town is around that time and the last bus that will connect with an alternative one adds more mileage and again only gives me an extra hour so I would not see the whole concert.

There is a folk festival this weekend and its the same problem. In Bishop Auckland there is a concert starting at 7.30pm on a Sunday night but the last bus to here is around 6pm and alternative route only gives an extra hour but again lots of extra travelling. This affects what you can do and no wonder people stay in more these days. And I am talking of destinations with a radius of 5-12 miles.

Whilst I can and I dislike wasting money(wish I had someone to share a taxi with)if I am not spending money elsewhere perhaps I'll bite the bullet and if it is something I really want to see I'll pay for a taxi home or perhaps see if there is a hotel room available for the night and come home the next day.

But back to my topic I am doing nothing until Friday...other than a little bingo tomorrow night. It will fill a couple of hours.

So I am making myself do some housework that needs doing tomorrow...

Resting meant that though mobility isn't great I found I was able to walk to the music club last night considering I had missed the bus that takes me as close as possible I had little choice so it was nice that there was a little less pain. When I hit such a period I get some decent sleep.

Otherwise I fling about and then there are times where I think I have found a comfortable position but you know when you move again, it is really going to hurt.

So OK as I said I will take a blood pressure reading once a week but have been testing the monitor out and found the readings to be good and this is even when I am not as good as I should be taking my medication.

Its also struck me that some little imperfections that were an annoyance have disappeared without me doing anything to rid myself of them. An example I had very bad cracked heels with hard skin, they've got better themselves and I have no idea why.

Oh well, as long as I am ok on Friday there is something to look forward to Paul Daniels Magic show in the evening and a lunchtime concert of music from musicals with male and female singers and pianist. So I am doing something. The weather service says to expect rain on Friday.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Its Not Sedgefield's Fault...

But I went to see some of the annual scarecrow weekend but the weather was against me, I was not able to walk much and as they were placed around a wide area, I only saw two...and I had to give up. I did find a duck pond though. One scarecrow I have no idea what it was supposed to be but one imaginative scene in a garden had a Knight, a Damsel and a fire breathing dragon...I was told there was one of Red Riding Hood but couldn't find it.

Not a total loss, I popped into the local supermarket on the main street and found some lovely bread(an apple and beetroot loaf)reduced in price, some danish pastries and tomatoes.

In my own town I purchased the blood pressure machine and so far though I am unable to fathom out how to set the year, date and day...and have yet to save readings...I refuse to be obsessed and take many readings(once a week is enough)but I tested it today and my readings are good and better than when I have them taken at the hospital by the consultant or by my Dr. So without realising it I probably am not as calm when I have an appointment and they reckon you should rest 15 minutes before a reading which is impossible when you are walking around, being weighed etc...

I took a *reading minutes ago and Systolic Value was 103 and the Diastolic Value was 72 and my pulse rate was 70 that seems pretty good to me...

I'll take the information in with me next time I go for an appointment.

Funnily enough the bus driver who took me to Sedgefield even though he had a big route to complete brought me home and on another route tonight was driving that bus too.

*So ok I took another reading the following day, it was SV 118 DV 81 the pulse rate was 55. Now that is higher than the earlier one and still ok but what is interesting to me is that when the BP is up, that pulse rate comes down...

David Frost...

Some people are just great and there are no arguments. I have watched/listened to him seemingly all of my life so far. He did change the way many aspects of television have been over the last twenty years both serious and satire/comedy.

Just as we lost another broadcaster who presented documentaries in his own way, Alan Whicker. The list just gets longer of those we have lost. I can't do justice to some of those that we are losing. And there is loads on the internet about him and already a lot of time has been given over with tributes but with 50 years of material to dip into and lots of archive material it is more a case of what do you leave out rather than what to include.

RIP David.

Update:The following day in the UK another great broadcaster was lost that I grew up with and for a number of years Sunday nights did not seem right if Mum and myself did not listen to the music show presented by David Jacobs.

Its not been a good year for losing quality broadcasters...