Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Cluny

We’ve a small run of gigs at the Cluny coming up soon. In November, there’s the Lovely Eggs, followed a couple of days later by the Shiverin’ Sheiks. Then, in December, there’s Ainsley Lister.

The Shiverin’ Sheiks’ gig is actually free, on the afternoon of the 11th.

Please don’t go though, because we’d like to get in.


The Colpitts Hotel, a rather excellent Sam Smith’s pub in Durham.

As is often found in their pubs, a nice fire.

The Swan and Three Cygnets is also a good Sam Smith’s pub.

And then there’s the Tin of Sardines, which is allegedly the smallest bar in Durham. A gin bar.

We like gin. And the Head of Steam.

Wsitting for a train. In the Waiting Room.

Fortunately there is beer.

Brake levers

I used to be mad keen on cycling. For around ten or fifteen years, I loved covering distances on road bikes. But in the mid-90s I discovered mountain bikes, which led to the end of my love affair with road cycling.

By the late 90s, however, I decided to build a road bike and started buying parts. The project never actually happened, due to some pretty major things going on in my life, and I parted company with the frame and some other bits.

While consigning our mountain bikes to the loft a few weeks ago, I came across a box containing some of the old, but unused, bike parts. On return from holiday, I listed them on eBay, since I’m never going to use them (particularly since my main bike is now a Brompton).

Somehow, they all sold.

I don’t remotely recall what I’d have paid for the parts, but they didn’t do badly overall. Although I’d expected the rear derailleur to sell for a decent price, it didn’t go for a lot. On the other hand, though, a pair of brake levers sold for £62.

I should really take another look up the loft.


Since it’s release, the GPD Pocket has had poor support for Linux. Although an Ubuntu version was promised from the outset, the machines shipped with Windows 10. It would be a few months before an Ubuntu version was available, so it was fortunate I’d ordered the Windows variety (with the intention to install Linux as a dual boot, although that proved to be impossible).

With the Linux version came an Ubuntu download. Unfortunately, there were some issues with this and I probably shouldn’t have installed it so quickly.

With the release of the Pocket 2, it appeared that GPD weren’t going to attempt a Linux version. And that was indeed the case.

Fortunately, Ubuntu Mint have now released a distribution for both the original Pocket and the 2.

It seems to work fine too.


Due to a minor oversight, I had a double-booking last night. So attempted both.

Frankenstein, a Gothic Tale, a surprisingly good play, was in the fitting setting of the Great Hall, in the castle keep.

The play was pretty slow to begin with and I was really beginning to think I’d made a huge mistake, particularly since I’d persuaded my second in command and youngest daughter to come along.

But things had picked up before the intermission and, thankfully, the second half was great.

Straight after, we jumped in a cab to Gateshead Fell cricket club, to meet up with some mates at the beer festival.

Where we caught most of Ed Tudor-Pole’s set.

Then there were nightcaps in our local.

A pleasant evening.


God wanted us to drink cocktails, so he gave us rain.

Shame he upped the temperature too, though.

Perilous adventure

Today, my second in command and I undertook perilous activities. First, there was a trip to the blue hole, an impressive string of small-ish falls, with deep pools.

There were four jumps, with an optional fifth.

Everyone did the first three, we managed the fourth too, but abstained from the last one in view of the ridiculous height.

I lost my glasses on the third jump, which was itself scarily high for a man with a fear of heights.

No, of course I wasn’t wearing them. They were in a secure place (my back pocket).

A diver was available for a reasonable price and, unbelievably, he found my glasses thirty-odd feet below. So all ended well and I don’t need to wear sunglasses until our return home.

Then, a little while later, wearing my glasses, I scaled a near vertical waterfall. OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I’m getting on a bit and I’d also lost my asthma inhaler in the aforementioned leap of death.

We thoroughly enjoyed the climb up Konoko Falls, and the earlier plunges. However, since there was so much water, we have no pictures.

Not that I’d have been able to see to take any when it mattered. Still don’t know how I managed that fourth jump while almost blind.

Addendum: I should have mentioned my second in command’s spider powers. I was astonished to see her nimbly swinging legs up to reach ambitious footholds, at one point climbing almost horizontally.

A true spider woman. Probably inspired by the huge creatures dangling over our heads.