While we were over in England for my sister’s wedding, my dad wanted to take us shopping in Newcastle for Christmas presents. Having missed out on Fenwick’s window in 2016 (to my eternal sorrow – it was Peter Rabbit. I love Peter Rabbit/Beatrix Potter, to the extent that I had the bedding when I was little), I was determined to get a look at last year’s effort… Paddington. My favourite bear (sorry Winnie-the-Pooh – you’re a close second if it’s any consolation). It was Thursday afternoon and the schools hadn’t broken up for Christmas yet so we were able to get right up to the window for a proper look. Here are my photos… with apologies for all the reflections of passers-by and the buildings opposite. Pretty difficult to avoid!
I presume Paddington was chosen as the theme because of the second film coming out, but to me it seemed like a fitting tribute to Michael Bond, the author of the original books, who passed away in June 2017. Although I personally prefer the books, it’s nice that the films are ensuring the story of the little bear from Darkest Peru is continuing for a new generation of children.
I am back. Actually we got back last night but then I discovered my camera’s memory card had broken and destroyed all my pictures so Jan spent most of last night and this morning on the computer trying to rescue them. He saved about half, the rest are gone forever. Most irritating.
Anyway… we had a great time, despite having to rush around like loonies to fit everything in. We arrived on Wednesday morning after spending Tuesday night at Dublin airport. Strangely enough we were tired, so we went to bed for most of Wednesday afternoon. We were forced to get up again fairly early though when my Grandparents came over to see us. Then that night my dad took us out for curry. Thursday was spent in Edinburgh where Jan and I went sightseeing before meeting up with the others again to take my brother to a pub for his first legal drink. Later we went off on our own again and met a girl who I used to be an intern with before catching the train home. And Friday was the busiest day – a trip to Halifax in Morpeth to take out some money which then had to be paid into my other bank so that my uni can steal it for tuition fees (booo!) then we went to my Grandma’s for lunch before my dad drove us back to Bedlington where we popped across to see my friend Shell and her baby boy Dylan. He’s 7 months old now and gorgeous! After playing with the baby for a while and drinking a cup of tea it was time to dash back to my house and beg my dad for a lift down to the doctors. I had an appointment with the doc first then one with the nurse. The first appointment was fine – the doctir was running about 15 minutes late but that’s to be expected at a doctor’s surgery. But then we had to wait… and wait… and wait for me to see the nurse. It turns out the receptionist had only registered me as being there for the doctor’s appointment then when the nurse came out to see if I was there (while I was in with the doc) she was told I must have gone home!! Eventually I did get in to see the nurse though. By the time we finally got back home it was practically time to get ready to go out for my brother’s birthday celebration – a meal at a Mexican restaurant in Newcastle. In case anyone reading this is from the North-East of England and likes Mexican food you should definitely go to Blue Coyote in Newcastle. The food is excellent, massive portions, lots of choice and reasonably priced. Exactly what I like in a restaurant.
So much fun was had by all. It’s just a shame I have to be back at work tomorrow. I’m not ready to stop relaxing yet…
I was reading the news last night on the BBC website. I like to do that occasionally to find out what’s going on back home. So I clicked my way through to the “Tyne” section and came across the headline “Beach closed in pollution scare”. This was followed by the words “A popular Northumberland beach has been closed to the public after a mysterious oily substance was discovered”
Popular beach? Northumberland? Where might that be? I wondered. Cresswell maybe, or Alnwick. Intrigued I clicked on the headline and read the first sentence of the article: “Council officials called in Environment Agency experts after tennis ball size globules of a viscous black substance appeared on Cambois beach on Thursday” Cambois beach. Cambois?? Popular?? What? SInce when? Ok, people walk their dogs there, but that’s only because the people in Cambois have nowhere else to walk their dogs. We’re talking about a village that doesn’t even have a corner shop for goodness sake. The standng joke about Cambois beach is “if you go in the water you’ll come out green with extra limbs”. That’s what the local people think of Cambois beach. And as for pollution scares. Well… when was Cambois beach not polluted? It’s been full of coal dust for years! Huh! So much for the BBC. Next they’ll be telling me Stakeford is a popular tourist resort.
I then read an article about a Chinese couple who were murdered in Newcastle. Apparantly police suspect they may have been involved in various scams. Possible motive forthe murder perhaps? The plot thickens, as the saying goes. The article then goes on to say “the body of a cat, which had been drowned and hidden in a washing bowl underneath the bathroom sink, was probably killed by the couple’s murderer, said police”. So after killing the Chinese couple, the murderers then went on to drown the body of a cat? Wow, talk about overkill!
My dad sent me this joke a while ago, and as I have nothing else to blog about today I thought I’d share. Fellow northerners will appreciate it. Southerners perhaps not so much 😉
Fahrenheit Temperature Scale:
50 degrees – Southerners turn on their heating. People in Newcastle plant their gardens.
40 – Southerners shiver uncontrollably. People in Newcastle sunbathe.
35 – Southern cars will not start. People in Newcastle drive with their windows down.
20 – Southerners wear coats, gloves and wool hats. People in Newcastle throw on a t-shirt and girls wear mini skirts.
15 – Southerners begin to evacuate. People in Newcastle go swimming in the North Sea.
Zero – Southern landlords turn up the heat. People in Newcastle have a last BBQ before it gets cold.
Minus 10 – Southerners cease to exist. People in Newcastle throw on a light jacket.
Minus 80 – Polar bears wonder if it is all worth it. Boy Scouts in Newcastle begin wearing long trousers.
Minus 100 – Santa abandons North Pole. People in Newcastle put on long johns.
Minus 173 – Alcohol freezes. People in Newcastle become frustrated because the pubs shut.
Minus 297 – Microbial life starts to disappear. Cows on Newcastle town moor complain of vets with cold hands.
Minus 460 – All atomic motion stops. People in Newcastle begin to stamp their feet and blow on their hands.
Minus 500 – Hell freezes over. Sunderland qualify for Europe.