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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Images...

But on Monday I attended a Last Night Of The Proms show at a local theatre...lots of light popular classics, favourites like Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory but as we head towards the anniversary of 100 years since the start of WWI and 75 years since WWII there were a  sprinkling of songs associated with the time. We did also have some songs from musicals like South Pacific.

Lots of the audience were waving flags like they do on the one at the end of the Proms broadcast by the BBC from London's Royal Albert Hall. It seemed a bit early in the season but the orchestra I saw is on a tour and it was the first night.

I happened to be around the back of the theatre in an area I am not usually and saw some of the orchestra arrive(I was resting as I was tired)there are big road changes happening in Darlington and lots of detours to my usual route. I mention it in passing that one member of the orchestra was in shorts(it was a really hot night)and because you don't see it often...he was a double amputee and was walking with a pair of false legs...not the kind that try to look real that we used to see years ago. The kind we see many injured soldiers have up on returning from war these days. On stage no one would have had any idea and of course it did not impair his ability or talent to create beautiful music.

Another great night and with so much sadness in the news and around the world it was just nice to have a few hours to forget and to see everyone so happy.

The Good And Bad...

The Sunderland Airshow was the busiest yet...the trip there went to plan except I started out an hour later than planned and arrived to find that I had missed the first demonstration of parachutists landing...but the weather was kind and I had almost the same spot as last year...a perfect view and my own chair...

Will put some images up soon. As said before getting them is not easy...and when you see the flashy expensive cameras others have taken along with massive lenses, I am pleased I managed to take any.

The downside to the day? There had to be something was that no gave up a seat on the bus between Durham and Sunderland(not even those usually put aside for elderly/disabled passengers)and at the time there were still plenty of seats upstairs. So I had to keep switching between standing, kneeling on the floor of the bus.

And coming home there was so many people the arranged collection point for buses to get everyone home was a shambles but it would work if you knew which stop to queue at...I was directed to at least five different areas and boarded one bus to be told it did not accept cash, bus passes and only certain tickets so had to get off again.

I eventually found one to take me from the venue to the main bus station in Sunderland(almost)so if you allow the mix ups, queues and bus ride before boarding the bus to Durham the time it took was close on three hours. Then if you take the travel time to Durham, wait for the bus from there to my town and my little walk home that took another two hours so getting home came in at five hours. Yet getting there took around two hours.

I really should pay more attention to the aircraft that fly but there were some new ones debuting this year. As well as favourites like the Red Arrows, Wing Walkers etc...there was a live broadcast on the internet and a video on You Tube but that is now a pay to watch video and there is a DVD to buy too.

But here is some of the airshow...In particular The Red Arrows...my location was more central and there were not as many people in front of me.

For all the problems of getting home, the day itself was fun and worth doing, if I am up to it, I shall happily do it again next year.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wiped Out...

Kind of...Thursday was a strange day...had to deal with unexpected bureaucracy but after a few phonecalls...all turned out better than expected. It was mainly to do with issues regarding alterations to my home. Also it looks as though I will get somewhere with my garden this Sunday. I have discovered there is a memorial service the same day so I may attend out of respect for my parents.

Weather wise I am unsure how the Sunderland Airshow will go today because already this evening's flying was called off due to low cloud. But entertainment was still provided for those able to get there.

I hope to go but the last couple of days my energy levels have been low and my joints have been hurting. Tonight I managed to break a lump of plastic out of one the drawers in the freezer, even I have no idea how...whether I can glue it back in place I don't know. For now I have used adhesive tape but will that work in a freezer which is after all damp...If I go I hope to take my own chair and something to drink. I'll probably take some sun lotion. A big floppy hat to protect my head. A short sleeved shirt and shorts...the sun tends to fall on your back so the chair, hat and sun lotion should help stop me getting sunburnt.

The bus service is regular, extra buses are put on and they stop very close to where the event happens. I will try for some images but I cannot compete with the professionals who have very fancy cameras and camcorders.

I don't have many stills from last year but here are a few...don't believe I have posted them before...if you look on line you will probably find a live link so you can watch anywhere in the world.

Panoramic Shot of the Seafront

The DFDS Ferry takes up its prime position so passengers can watch most of the display

Some of the planes in action

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Forgot To Post About My Hospital Check Up...

which took place last Thursday...in short though my medical issues are serious...likely to get worse or stay the same all was as well as it could be. But of course the consultant I see is only concerned with my Kidneys and the associated issues with them. Other issues will in time be dealt with by other specialists.

The only downside was that my blood pressure was sky high and that was after two attempts. The reason became obvious once home. I had my tablets lined up to take before going out and...I had forgotten to take them...I am now(unless something goes wrong)not called in again until late November.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I mentioned letting the moths out of my wallet...here a couple of images of what I recently purchased...the only items missing are a basic black t-shirt and another pair of large checked patterned shorts that stop around the ankle area...sorry about the reflection but I could not close the curtains...there are a variety of lengths of shorts and they are in a fawn, stone colours, a blue tartan design and a kind of stripe. And some really summer type which double as swimwear.

The rest are more a mixture of basic short sleeved shirts, polo shirts and T-shirts and they are in a variety of plain blues, yellow and greys. Some are striped and in checks. Is it an age thing? Its only in recent years I have started wearing fairly basic items and lots of mix and match items...after buying the above I remembered another shop that sells branded items and have discovered they have a sale. I don't know if I will buy a couple of extra items or not...I think that I have enough T-shirts, shorts, trousers, coats, jumpers, cardigans, if I am honest after a tidy up of my wardrobe. If I decide to I think it will be anything else I will go for shirts and shoes.

Sunday Went Well...

But unlike last year the performances of the bands in Durham were more difficult to see because in the Market Place they all performed in the same spot between some seats and and therefore people sitting on the others available could not see them too well and when other people crowded around the bands that made it even more difficult to see.

And people do not think and suddenly turn up, take up a position in front of people who have already staked their place and then they are unable to see. Then you have the photographers with massive lenses who get in the way and as long as they get their images ok they could care less about others watching or taking photo's but in a more considerate way. Also some sit down or choose a place that does not block views. Perhaps more stewards/volunteers are needed but that adds to the cost.

Last year the bands were more in the centre of the Market Square and everyone watching formed a kind of outer circle. Too late the best place to view I discovered was in the area outside of the Gala Theatre which is known as Millennium Place. So I may head that way if I am able to attend next year.

It was still fun and worth being there...the weather threatened to turn again and there were a few spots of rain but most of the day it stayed fine, warm and sunny.

Jazz In Your Pants

Oompah Brass

Kolektif Istanbul shelter under Durham Town Hall's balcony when there was some rain

From France and performing on Framwellgate Bridge, Les Bomb 'Zatomik

Beat n Blow from Berlin, that cup and saucer on the speaker didn't survive very long

The New York Brass Band from...York

Jaipur Kawa from India...I missed seeing them perform in Durham but saw them in Spennymoor...in a bandstand, they also had a juggler(he juggled balls, knives and spinning tops)and a dancer too...

There was some comedy too from Frida and Rita the Dinnerladies and The PE Teachers at Spennymoor(the same duo played both)who interacted with children and adults alike.

Finally there was the Funky Style Brass from France. I saw them in Spennymoor and Durham but they were hidden by the crowds in Durham

Remember my problem of having a meal? I did not put anything up as I thought I would wait until I came home...well a well known supermarket had a kind of fish and chips takeaway meal reduced mid afternoon(enough for two people)and it cost...50p(85c) Too much that I had to throw some of it away. I wish I had some ketchup or salt/vinegar with me just to add a bit more taste but it was unexpected and I don't usually carry condiments around with me.

I was tired when I finally came home but I managed to see most of what I planned to...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Its Sunday Morning And I Am Going Out...

No excuses whatsoever. You see the plan was...yesterday to see the entertainment on the streets in Durham like last year. But the weather had other ideas. The heavens opened. So I changed my itinerary. I decided to open my wallet and allow the moths to escape. I went in the opposite direction and travelled to Darlington and felt that I should think of getting some "Holiday" or casual clothes. They'll be no good in Winter but should last me years.

I have discovered that in sales and even normally on the racks in many shops there are plenty of items I wanted but not in my size. I like what I purchased but they were not necessarily my first choice. This goes for both trousers and shorts or T-shirts/shirts plenty of extra small, small, medium, extra large and above. If you are going by waist size they had plenty below 36inches and above but 36inches...no.

But I still came home with a variety of shorts(in various leg lengths)I don't usually do shorts. A couple of short sleeve shirts(in a large and small check pattern)a couple of polo shirts I suppose. And some basic t-shirts in various colours like grey, blue, yellow, black etc...and they only cost around £2.50(US $4.27)Still spent a fair bit. I also found a pair of canvas type shoes for £4.99($8.53)but being heavy on walking and at an unusual angle they may not last very long but I may use them on my coming holiday.

I came home later than planned but the weather improved so I headed out to Durham. I dressed in a black t-shirt, baseball cap and a pair of shorts with the idea I would be watching a couple of hours of street entertainment ending with a concert at the theatre of the Brighouse and Rastric Brass Band...

As I boarded the bus, the heavens opened worse than in the morning. So I thought there is no way the planned entertainment would take place. How was I to fill approx 5 hours. I am an expert at time wasting, Too late I discovered many of the bands had played. Then later transferred into the theatre and continued their performances indoors. I did not know sadly. It was probably a hasty decision on their part too.

So I shall have a quick shave(pop on the same clothes)and keep my fingers crossed for the day ahead. But will follow them indoors if it happens again.

In the five hours I had to kill yesterday I thought of having a meal but everywhere was so expensive and I did look at many places. An example? Good old fish and chips...to take out, approx £6($10.24)to eat in almost double the price. I ended up eating a carton of grapes £2($3.41)whilst watching the show. So that probably did me more good.

Now the concert was great. They played a selection of popular pieces and I am not sure I can do them justice with words, I had a quick count of the members in the band and came up with Thirty! The night before it was the BBC Big Band.

When I came out, I had approx 15 minutes to catch my bus home or I would have to wait for another hour, I almost killed myself trying to get there and in the end, gave up, it wasn't worth it, so I went back  to walking slower. As luck would have it, it was late in leaving by perhaps two minutes so all was well.

When the bus got out of the city centre, there was a fog/mist like I have not seen in many years and the bus had to take its time for safety and when in my own town I got off at the wrong stop and that tired me out as I had a longer walk and it was quite eerie being alone and it being so quiet. I really was pleased to be home both safe and sound. That's not a complaint...it was a good productive day and an enjoyable night too.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Lots to catch up on...will try and put that right over the weekend...including...Durham Miners Gala, theatre events, hospital check up, some local events around the County of Durham...perhaps some images and videos will  be posted here or links to. Been busy on Twitter too, where I tend to confine my political rants/views.

If anyone has missed me and is genuinely concerned. I really do appreciate that and it means a lot. I mean it. I would not say anything like that lightly.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Wouldn't That Be Nice?

I won't give more details in case I am wrong or I cause problems but I am booked to see a theatre show soon. I found out too late that another favourite is appearing on the same night behind where I will be. I mentioned to said person I was sorry to be missing him and to return if/when possible. I received contact thanking me for letting him know. Now wouldn't it be a surprise if he decided to do a surprise guest appearance? If not, I guess he'll pop around and see some "Old" mates. Lets see where this goes...here's hoping.

Lady Luck Is Weird...

A friend won the Sticky Thirteen card game a couple of Sundays ago and then won the Snowball bingo game last Thursday. Then on Sunday another bingo house. He purchased some scratch cards yesterday and...won on them too.

And something similar has happened to me. Not on that scale though. I won two lines and a house on Monday and tonight I put a bottle of wine into the raffle at the music club and...won a tin of biscuits and two large bars of chocolate in return and I gave one bar of chocolate away.

On the way to the the club, I purchased some trainer socks(mainly for my holiday in August)and found £6's worth of bread buns for 70p. Sometimes they are better than loaves of bread. Unless, you have found some sandwiches reduced like I did the other day, I came in a little earlier and had a round of lovely buttered chicken, bacon and Lincolnshire ones and a coffee. Not bad having £3 of sandwiches for £1.

What a great night at the Music Club(a few regulars)but some acts had come over from a club that is in a neighbouring town...Stockton On Tees and they were great. It was so nice for them to come and see us. Its so wrong to use the term a "Folk" club because the range of songs is greater than that but when the performers are mainly acoustic or un accompanied its all too easy to use it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Things Are Going Quite Well...

Not that I am doing anything classed as exciting and its much the same as what others do day in day out(that's not a complaint)just in case that is misinterpreted.

The weather isn't too bad*...I had some small wins at the bingo yesterday afternoon and found a few bargains on the way home from it at the supermarket. Had a nice sleep, relaxed listening to the radio. And made simple food making ham, tomato and lettuce sandwiches.

Tried contacting someone at the Housing Association to discuss alterations later in the year. I will try again tomorrow. Gardener is coming on Sunday so that will be in hand and the Durham Miner's Gala on Saturday.

Will enjoy the music club tonight and I have a donation of a bottle of wine for the raffle. And to cover my short holiday in early August pay my rent for the next month.

Next week I have another check up at the hospital. And if all I well that day I have an event to take a friend to in the evening which we may get some images of but its an open event so we have to hope that the weather stays fine.

*The weather has been very bad further North with transport disrupted and many areas flooded. Even a hospital asked that people stay away from A&E if at all possible. We have got off lightly again.

Update:I bit the bullet and walked over to a clothes alteration place and en route passed the first home I briefly lived in when we moved here(why we moved I am unsure as it is a nice area and a good solid house)I would guess we're talking of around 55 years ago. Too late to ask now.

I took a coat for replacement of a zip. It turned out only the zip head needed replacing. The repair cost me the grand sum of £1. But being shattered I made a call from a phone box and hailed a taxi. So that cost more than the repair and added another £4. But the ride home was welcome. It was still a bargain as I thought the whole zip may need replacing. The coat is too good to throw away and I found it in a charity shop just over a year ago and it cost me £1. Its great when you find a retailer that you can trust and does not charge more just because they can. A good day so far...

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Wasn't Worth It!

Went train spotting(sort of)on a bridge with such high walls I could barely see over them. The Tornado steam train took approx 30 seconds to pass and we had to wait for 90 minutes for it to appear because those I was with left so early. It took two hours to get there and my companions wanted to go into a pub for a drink and possibly a meal afterwards. The price of the meals/sandwiches were too expensive even for them. Probably for many in reality. My pint of coca cola cost me around £3.20! I contributed towards the petrol but I'd do that anyhow.

Who got the best deal?

They went settled on a pack of sandwiches from a service station in the end.

I'll get my money back by being frugal in other ways...

The plan was to be in Durham watching a brass band contest and had to be away by 9.40am to achieve that. But I awoke late. Looked out the window and the sky doesn't look promising. Also tired. An hour later I made the effort and thought I'll go for it. Even if I miss approx an hour of the event. Got my new chair out to take and something to eat. Then called it off again.

And now I have one more chance otherwise I really must call off the trip for good. Besides, next weekend is the big one...The Miners Gala on Saturday and Sunday lots of street entertainment both in Durham and a few regular events during the week.

Think I shall pass up on today and just get dressed/shaved. Do a little tidy round and put something up for my bingo club tonight.

And listen to the radio shows I associate with Sunday.

Update:The rain held off so perhaps I could have after all but I am tired so the best idea was staying at home. My hedge has been trimmed so not a total waste of a day...

Update 2:Since the above I heard that there had been  rain  had I headed out and we did get the tail end of it here and thunder and lightening was thrown in for good measure.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Finally Finished...

my artisan bread from last weekend's food event and last night amongst the various rolls and buns purchased I bought my first Pitta bread(white and wholemeal. Think I may be able to get away with them but had to look on the internet to see if they can be eaten without cooking them as there were instructions on the wrapper suggesting they had to be...

Anyone For Cricket?

There is an International Cricket Ground(Durham)in Chester Le Street and I thought...that will be too expensive and without my own transport not really possible to go to so I haven't but as long as that last bus continues to run from Durham and connects with others coming back from Newcastle and the like...I think that I can do it even if it is an evening match so watch out...I may sometime soon be posting another new experience and be able to include images...


Its more than awful whatever its cause. Where possible I try to think "How would I feel if that was me?" I try to live and let live. Its good but sad that sometimes a law is required to put things right. A law gives a framework that offers either a compromise or hopefully a solution to a problem that is to everyones satisfaction because often problems are caused due misunderstandings and often not talking things out.

When it is a problem of a personal nature it is difficult because to the person concerned it means so much and causes much anguish and stress to them and those around them but equally that same person may be over reacting and reading much more into things.

I am not involved myself(thank heavens)but such an incident has been going on, it is nothing to do with me and my only connection is that I am sometimes in the company of those affected and I can see both sides. I am not a trained councillor/therapist but my own personal view is that the person is over reacting. I was present at a meeting which was putting forward how a national charity can help the community as a whole with services it offers but I am quite astute and can see what the real reasons behind such meetings. By that I mean, the speaker will run through other issues when that is not the real reason for the talk and it will be slipped in almost as an afterthought near the end.

Listening to other "Legal" speak from other reliable sources the charity who gave the talk could in theory be in the wrong but because the talk was very general and it never got into specifics it was easier to let things pass. And because I know quite a lot as an observer those who probably made the person want to bring the situation into the open were not present so the meeting was kind of pointless and un-necessary.

Also, if the said person wants to be left alone and allowed to get on their lives it doesn't help when you discover that a few year ago they had their story printed in one of those kind of tabloid magazines once seen at the checkout in supermarkets.

I also did confront in a round about way some time ago the said person and said just as you feel discriminated, hand on heart can you say that you do not discriminate against others in some way over something else that you dislike/disapprove of...Who of us can say that we are totally unbiased towards others and are whiter than white?

Our views can be affected by so many variables...environment, personal experiences, age, ignorance etc...

I'd love to be less cryptic but though I am fairly anonymous here there are probably enough clues that could identify me and those concerned.

My big problem is that those charities and companies that have stepped in to help the person concerned have only listened to one side and therefore they are only taking one point of view and not a completely detached approach so they could be adding to the problem. I even question how expert they are to deal with such issues.

So for now it has fizzled out and hopefully that' the end of it but only time will tell...when its an emotional issue that is often not the case.

Another One Of Those Meh Days...

Don't know if that translates and is understandable. Its a kind of an "In Limbo" day...neither one thing or another. I want to go out but then I don't really want to. I should not complain and in some ways I have done more than many this week already.

Music on Tuesday night. Wednesday in Cumbria(just)at Appleby in the little station there seeing a steam train(more on that later)a couple of social meets(well that's what they are really)playing bingo for peanuts to be honest. I did of course go to Northallerton's big annual event last Sunday.

Yesterday, though I was only collecting theatre tickets I did have a run to Durham so at least I was out of the house.

 If health and weather allows I am off to Durham(with portable chair)to watch a day of brass bands(Sunday service means problems)but I have one chance to be there virtually from the start. Otherwise I miss at least 90 minutes.

And I may/may not go out tomorrow yet depending on circumstances.

Last night I did not want to but I had to take a taxi to and from my night out and though £3 seems quite cheap(when done twice)that's still £6 before you do anything else. And as always I would rather spend that on paying towards rent, utility bills, food etc...as we all would.

Update:Gardener is talking of doing my garden on Wednesday so my weekends may be saved and so I can go to the concerts and forthcoming street events in the coming weeks and the Miner' Gala in Durham next Saturday. This could mean I can go somewhere tomorrow so I don't feel so bad if I stay home today.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014


I have finally exchanged theatre tickets so I am no longer out of pocket because two shows clash and though the one I have chosen will not be one of the live shows now on, I will see it before I go on holiday in August. I will be seeing the cast of "Monty Python" including John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin...It is unlikely to ever happen again.