barclaydave

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Month: February, 2013

Lazy Sunday once again

Well, hello, dear reader, I’m surprised to find you here again and no doubt you are thinking the same thing about me!

If it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. How often do we hear those words and think how true that is in my life? I know I think it often, I’ve bought tickets for the Euromillions draw almost since it started and the most I’ve won is £5… I did better on the lottery as I once had 4 numbers and won a staggering life altering £60, lucky me eh? Only to find that the preceding week 4 numbers had received over £200, this was down to the number of total winners that week. As I said, if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. When the lottery started, way back when, I played the same numbers every week; but the run up to Christmas that year the machines refused to work on the Saturday (draw day). I couldn’t buy my ticket so was not surprised when my 6 regular numbers came out, 5 main and the bonus. That would have answered all my prayers and allowed me to continue working in the South East but everything happens for a reason.

I keep telling myself that so that I don’t get too depressed. I have always struggled all my life with manic depression and my cousins often told me that they loved being around when I was the life and soul, but hated being around me when I was down. None of my doctors here have referred me to a shrink, not that it helped the last time I saw one. I sometimes want to do nothing except kill someone (not always myself).

The police can’t do anything to help with the neighbours from Hell as they are powerless to act without proof, I wonder if they would arrest me were I to stab the main protaganist in the throat? I’d presumably get prosecuted to the ultimate power of the law. Why is it that criminals get help all the time while their victims are treated like second class citizens?

Gonna close for now catch you when I cheer myself up.

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Been a long time

Well, my computer was the latest in a long line of f@#k ups this year, emptying my iTunes library so I’m in the process of putting my 1.75Tb of music and video back in there, as you can imagine its gonna be a long time sorting this lot out.

Anyway, while I’ve been putting things back into iTunes I did come across some forgotten gems, for instance the ultimate Steely Dan collection, Citizen Steely Dan, and the Spice Girl albums from the 90’s!

Yes my musical taste is very catholic dear reader, I listen to music to suit my mood, or to influence my mood. Next on the list is Leonard Cohen followed by Status Quo and the Stones. I know Leonard is a hard act to get into at first, but if you persevere you’ll be well rewarded for your patience.

I’m also gonna find time in the next week to 10 days to listen to and enjoy THE original all-girl rock ‘n’ roll group – Fanny! They predated the Runaways by almost 20 years and towards their demise they had inspired another all female group: Birtha, whose first album was Birtha’s Got Balls. Fantastic title for a debut when there were absolutely no cajones between the 5 members.

Fanny, as well as me, counted Eric Clapton, George Harrison and David Bowie among there many fans. Had they continued beyond their first 4 studio albums then they could’ve been bigger than Elvis. If you’ve not heard them do yourself a favour and try checking them out as soon as you can. Avoid Rock ‘N’ Roll Survivors as they had splintered by then and not many of the original line-up remained.

Enjoy yourself, dear reader (to be continued)

Here I am again and there you go

I wonder if you’ve noticed it dear reader, that the titles I give my blogs bear little or no semblance to the blog itself? The vast majority are song lyrics or titles and give voice to the music I’ve listened to recently. Anyway, this blog is no different. If it even gets finished!

I’m only going to mention this as it follows my last sentence of the previous paragraph. I’m coming down with a full blown cold, chills, blocked nose, coughs, sneezes, sore throat the whole 9 yards. Anyway, we all know how bad I feel so I won’t say any more.

The thickness of the wood does not affect its weight or buoyancy and trees will either bend or break in the wind. Where does the time go when we find things that interest us? We’ve all noticed the way our perception of time changes when we do things because they have to be done time passes slowly, however, if we’re engrossed doing things which interest us hours seem to pass like minutes. I found a game that has me intrigued and I can play that for, what feels like minutes, to discover 3 hours have passed since I had a drink or stretched.

Anyway, it feels as though I’ve been writing this blog long enough so I do apologise for the brevity but I can’t think of anything else to say at the moment.

Here’s one I prepared earlier

I wonder if you’re as old as I am, dear reader, but you must have seen Blue Peter at some point if you live in the UK. I’ve been reading, and hearing, a lot about tv programmes and films from my youth recently. The title is a reference to Blue Peter, fairy liquid bottles and sticky-back plastic.

I made an assortment of junk into useful items following on from that particular prog. Recently, however, I’ve been wondering what, if anything, opens up the creative juices for the next generation of MMORPG kids out there? We had lots of things to get the imagination fired up, as well as BP there was Magpie, Animal Magic, then there was the Morph plasticine characters, is it any wonder we took a lot of halucinogenics back then?

I was also encouraged at school to allow free rein to my imagination, essays in English would start with a title and we could develop that in whatever way we wanted. In art we were encouraged to follow our own technique when drawing, painting or creating plaster creatures from moulds. The animals were recognisable but not from the colours I used. I used a lion mould and then painted him with a purple body, green face and orange tail and mane. He looked spectacular and won me a prize for most original artwork.

Now I’m older I find the mind’s not as fertile as it once was and I wonder when I lost the creative streak. If anyone knows the answer please let me know.

Her name was Lola l-o-l-a Lola

Yes, it’s tough at the moment still so I’ve decided to try for 3 blogs a week until my time becomes my own again. That means that any blogs I’ve missed will be coming along later at the rate of 3 a week less what has already been completed. If I could be so bold as to leave here for a brief moment (you will be getting photos of the Newcastle/Gateshead bridges as promised). If you can find a copy of The Nice album Five Bridges I can highly recommend it as I dug out my copy and ripped it to iTunes then put it on my iPhone and have been listening to it constantly ever since. It was recorded in the late 60’s in Newcastle and the cover is of the 5 bridges spanning the Tyne at that time. There are more now including the Gateshead Millenium Bridge (or the Eye as us locals know it). Ok without further ado here they are:

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This is the Eye, so called because it moves to allow ships underneath and looks like an eye winking, especially at night.

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This is the swing bridge which has been flooded due to the rainfall in 2012. (I’m not sure if the Bridge was flooded or just the access roads on either bank).

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In the background you can see the Tyne Bridge which is still the busiest crossing between Newcastle and Gateshead.

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This is the Newburn Bridge which links Blaydon and Ryton areas of Gateshead with Newburn, Throckley, Lemington and Ponteland villages. It is a single carriageway controlled by Traffic Lights at either end.

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This is Lemington Bridge which isn’t a Tyne Bridge in the strictest sense as it goes over the Lemington Gut which used to be part of the Tyne until 1880 when the river course was changed to make the river shorter and deeper.

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One of the more recent bridges across the Tyne this takes the A1 across the Tyne between Newcastle and the Metro Centre/Team Valley shopping areas of Gateshead.

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This is the Scotswood Bridge which was opened in 1967 and replaced the old Chain Bridge which had been built towards the end of the 19th century and was no longer wide enough to cope with the demands placed upon it after WWII.

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This is the Redheugh Bridge carrying 4 lanes of traffic, unfortunately as there is no structure above the bridge itself it often has to be closed to high vehicles during heavy winds, and sometimes is closed to all traffic if the wind is particularly bad.

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This is the King Edward Bridge, it was built as a railway bridge to stop the dangerous procedure of reversing trains out of Newcastle Central Station to continue travelling North, which used to happen when they used the High Level Bridge.

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This is the High Level Bridge which opened in 1849 to cover the need for a bridge linking the South with Newcastle and Edinburgh for trains and underneath the trains the carriageway carried carts and pedestrians. The carriageway has been narrowed to a single lane and is only used by buses and taxis going South from Newcastle to Gateshead. Pedestrians can still cross in either direction.

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This is the Metro Bridge carrying the Tyne and Wear Metro across the Tyne in both directions. It was opened on 6 November 1981 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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I’m the urban spaceman baby

Well, what a busy few days! I’ve not had time to sit and think far less write a blog, and it’s more of the same tomorrow… I don’t know seems I am either sitting around for hours at a time or else I don’t stop with people coming to the door every five minutes to make sure I’m ok, or else I’m the one going off doing the visiting.

Any road up, as the actress said to the bishop, I thought that I’d try something different and, since the snow has gone temporarily, show pictures of some of the local sights. so here goes:

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This is the Crown Posada, it’s a pub in a listed building and has a lot of character.

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The Long Bar, as the name suggests is not located in a wide building but is rather long. It’s round the corner from Central Station and is mobbed on Friday and Saturday nights.

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The Old George has an exceptional facade and is another pub in the city centre of Newcastle. Not far from the toon there is an area called Spital Tongues and the pub there dates back to the late 19th century but looks older…

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Not surprisingly the pub is called Spital House. It’s a warm and friendly pub (or it was when I used to go there) and has theme nights almost all week.

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The Strawberry is a rough pub, located across the road from St James’ Park it fills up with match goers before the game and you can tell kick off is getting near when it suddenly empties out.

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The Fighting Cocks is located in Byker, a much derided part of the city, it is nowhere near as bad as some other areas of the city but it does require some major refurbishment work.

Ok that’s all the pubs, I’m going to show just now, details of all of Newcastles pubs are available on the internet. Next time some of our iconic bridges will feature.