Click to hear "Wild Mountain Thyme" Sung by Kate and the band as their last song.
We had a great time at the Tyne Theatre in the west-end of Newcastle last night, listening to the folk-based vocal stylings of one Kate Rusby.
Due to my mistake, Liz and myself went first to the Theatre Royal, before realising that Jac and Meg were not there, and so we were almost certainly at the wrong venue. A short walk and an even shorter car ride later, we arrived at the right place.
Kate performed simply, honestly and to a very high standard. Her co-musicians were all gifted stars in their won right, and the concert was thoroughly enjoyable all the way through.
I like her gentle girl-ish banter and her total lack of airs and graces. She is a Barnsley lass, and proud of it - accentuating the accent in her singing, if anything.
All in all, it was a performance good enough to convince a non-folk fan to buy her music and for the already converted it was delicious meat and drink. They didn't let us take photographs of her on stage, though. So, all I can offer you is a photo of the stage itself.
Many of you will remember last year's Christmas card from Liz and myself. I just discovered some video footage I took at the same time as the picture we used o the front, and thought you might be interested to have a look.
In my view, the video shows how rough the seas were far better than the photo did. See what you think.
If you don't see the video, you may need to install or upgrade your copy of Flash Player.
OK, so I did it. I bowed to Facebook pressure and installed one of these things. Quite good fun actually. That said, I don't think I was able to get that close to me at all. When I look at Jason's - well, it might as well be a photo. Ah well.
What I did do, was to have a go at Liz as well. Then I thought I would try and get get us together.
Regarding the right picture, with us together, I wish to point out that it is merely a trick of the angle, and TL is not actually standing on my foot.
I am sitting here in a pub, waiting for Jason to finish seeing to his client and in the meantime I am being treated to a burst of this man's rhetoric.
To begin with - let's make it clear, this guy is well liked by everyone in the bar. All say a big affectionate hello to him as they pass by.
That's the first clue - "as they PASS BY". The cleverest people pass him with their hands full of something - mostly crockery collected from the surrounding restaurant tables.
I pity the couple that he has pinned into his lair in he corner. The woman looks quite close to tears right now.
Every time he pretends he is about to leave, the lady starts to grin in quite an alarming fashion.
No chance of him leaving, though. He is presently a good way through describing his 9 carat gold-plated cuff-link collection.
9 carat, apparently, is perfect for cufflinks - affording, as it does, an attractive gold lustre, whilst retaining a durability in plate form that 24 carat can only dream of.
What I hate... is that he has me attributing varying kinds of hopes and aspirations to the different purity levels of commercially available gold.
The lady is now pretending to blow her nose - only it has gone on too long. She's either hiding laughter or tears. Under ther circumstances, I fear amusement is a wildly optimistic emotion to hope for.
Maybe he is taking the hint, because now he is really leaving. He left - with his single crutch - in the direction of the bar.
The lady's hanky is now safely tucked away and peace returns once more.
Time to go back home to sanity.
(As I left - he returned with pint and a short of some sort. Keep an eye on the news headlines....)
I have rarely been more desperate for the toilet than I was today. Caught in a long traffic jam on the way to Maplin Electronics, the water began to make its presence felt at the end of its journey through me. It was only as I got out of the car that I realised just how serious the situation had become. I tip-toed round the store trying to choose cables and plugs, but my mind was elsewhere. In the end, I realised that I was not going to be able to complete the transaction and I made a run for the door. Next, where to go? No toilets in Maplin's - and none on this section of the Metro-Centre site... So - a drive to McDonalds. Quickly parked in the disabled bay outside McDonalds and dived into the foyer. A sign: Toilets UPSTAIRS. Oh dear. Still, I turned to go up the stairs. Another sign: Upstairs seating area CLOSED. Oh dear. I decided to climb the stairs anyway. It was a slow and unwelcome journey. At the top, it became clear that an important meeting was taking place. Everyone was smartly dressed and there was much shuffling of papers. I made my way through the document-covered tables, trying not to knock any off. My eyes were fixed on the sign that said "TOILETS". Once in the toilets corridor I felt less under the disapproving glare of McDonalds managers. I headed for the gents. I usually wear trousers that do not have a ZIP or buttons and so need to use a cubicle. Yet another sign: This cubicle closed due to vandalism. Suddenly, I was beyond caring. Anything was better than embarassing myself publically. I made the necessary radical clothing adjustments and made grateful use of the urinal. Mercifully, no-one entered as I finished my duty. All was well once more. A feeling of profound relief surrounded me, protecting me from the hostility of the meeting people. I then drove the enforced one-way circle of about a mile in order to return to Maplin's and try again. This I will do right now. Wish me luck. (BTW John - I have no idea what you meant about the level of humour on this blog!)
“I have watched and listened in near disbelief as we humans show ourselves for the pack animals we really are. One whiff of controversy and away we go to do the one thing that is guaranteed to make the whole situation worse.
We think of no-one but ourselves and we indulge our short term goals without a second thought. Northern Rock just need a bit of stability and calmness right now and all will be well. Why can’t people show some faith in the financial experts in this country and do the right thing for once. Is it so hard to act in the interests of the many one time?”
...is what I thought as I heard the news about the Northern Rock building society. I thought this, until I remembered that I had £8.35 in a Northern Rock account. Then I thought, better just take take it out to be on the safe side.
My thoughts after this were confusing and conflicting - but mostly on the side of wishing I was not as I was.
Now, I am decided. The money stays.
...but still a voice says: “What if you had a couple of grand in there, Andy - would you leave it there then?”