Author Archives: garymoore

Diseased

Around three weeks ago, I picked up a virus; mostly nausea, fever and a bit of a cough. I didn’t (couldn’t) eat for a week, which left me a little feeble and wobbly afterwards.

Unfortunately, the virus (I’m assuming it’s the same, or a variant of) returned a few days ago. Thankfully, with only minor nausea. I’ve presumed that this is the Coronavirus and that, when well, I’ll be immune and safe to go about my business again. I mean, one would be extremely unlucky to be so unwell and not actually had the virus.

Knowing my luck!

Measures

I’d planned on a day off today, but did have a couple of things to do in the pub first (till stuff and cleaning surfaces). So I walked to work, did what I needed to do, then took a slow walk home. Because the weather was so nice, I walked over to Newcastle and wandered through Ouseburn.

The place was eerily quiet, with very few people running or cycling, although the city centre was still busy-ish. Not that I can criticise others, since I was out too. In my defence, this is my first walk, other than strictly for work, in three weeks.

Anyway, some pictures of places usually teeming with people on a sunny afternoon.

It’s a little tough in the pub business right now.

Covid-19

Well, I didn’t expect the pub trade to be easy. We came in at a bad time. We did know that buying-in to a summer pub in the autumn probably wasn’t the best idea, but we also knew that we only needed to get through the winter, before business would pick up.

The winter was probably harder than we’d expected, but we did get through it. But now, there’s Coronavirus. At first, the impact on business was slow, with no change in business. This week began with a busier than usual Monday and Tuesday, following a pretty decent week. But, then, Wednesday happened. The pub was empty during the day, with just a handful of customers coming to eat. The teatime regulars were there as usual, but daytime trade just dropped right off. Yesterday, usually a busy day, was the same. I wasn’t there last night, but the signs of a really poor night were there.

We’re now approaching the weekend; actually, Friday is usually a good extension of the weekend. If business continues at this rate, and the weekend is a failure, we’re really going to struggle and some hard decisions are going to have to be made.

The Government have announced grants, and we will qualify for one, but there’s no information as to how these can be claimed. Apparently, this is coming next week. However, with the assumption that any money would come through mid-April, that leaves a pretty big gap if we’re losing money every day and still need to pay staff and buy stock.

Right now, there’s not a lot we can do. Let’s see how the weekend goes.

TagTagTag

I’ve written on more than occasion about my old Nabaztag (actually a Nabaztag:Tag), from its purchase a lot of years ago, its original (very temporary as it turned out) resurrectionaround a decade ago, its more recent resurrection a few years, running from a Raspberry Pi (which ended when the Pi died when its charger exploded.

I may also have mentioned, last year, buying-in to a French crowdfunding exercise.

The kit (TagTagTag) arrived a few weeks ago, but I’d no spare time in which to attempt the (brutal) upgrade. Until a virus left me unable to do much other than dismantle an electronic rabbit (one of the earliest Internet of Things connected devices – pretty much an Amazon Echo forerunner, with ears).

Anyway, the main board (blue) had to be replaced with the new, purpose built board (green) and a Raspberry Pi Zero.

While some of the instructions were in English, some were only available in French. Still, there were lots of pictures, which was really helpful.

Initial boot-up and connection to Wi-Fi seemed to go OK.

And then I hit the first problem. The setup URL didn’t work, so I had to resort to the Router to obtain the rabbit’s IP address.

Which I was able to use to manage the settings. In line with the settings, the rabbit is now in sleep mode.

However, there are two outstanding problems: firstly, LEDs flash when the rabbit isn’t doing anything. And, secondly, there appears to be no sound.

It appears I way need to check connections tomorrow.

A dog’s diet

The dog is behaving like … well, a young dog. Earlier this week, after I’d dozed off on the sofa, she almost destroyed a slipper. To be fair, after a scolding, she left it alone and didn’t attempt to eat the matching slipper.

Over the past couple of days, again while I dozed on the sofa (due to a virus), she began to use the uneaten slipper as a surrogate me. I guess the other one still mostly smells like dog.

Yes, she sleeps with her face inside the slipper.

While talking about eating, we’d decided in pre-dog days that, from the earliest possible point, our hound would be a vegetarian.

In reality, this took around a week. Since making the switch, he growth has been great and her coat’s gone very shiny.

There’ve only been two differences to our plan. First, she stole a dog biscuit from another dog at work. And, secondly, we found that it’s easier to find vegan puppy food, than vegetarian.

It’s pretty cool that animals don’t need to die to feed our animal.

Pub crawl

Life’s been very busy, so I’m only just mentioning our pub crawl of last Tuesday.

Well, it was more of a dog walk, but pubs were involved. After all, the mutt needs to learn about pubs.

Our walk naturally began at the Schooner, followed by selected bars in Ouseburn.

The dog exceeded our expectations, walking from the Schooner to the Tyne Bar; her first real walk outside.

Apart from one minor attack directed towards a Lurcher, Harriet’s behaviour was great. Well, OK.

Some dog in bar pictures.

Harriet

Meet the new addition to our home. Harriet.

She’s pretty cute and really good natured.

Joe Gideon

Pretty much a week late, but life’s so busy. Around 11 years since I last saw them, I went to a Joe Gideon gig last Thursday. Minus the Shark. It was just the one hour set, but it was non-stop, with no faffing around. Good original music.

In the Shark’s place, Jim Sclavunos was on drums. It was kind of weird talking to him after the gig, since we’ll next see him in the SECC, with the Bad Seeds.

He was a nice guy, as was Gideon.

Sam Baker

After missing his last couple of UK tours, we caught Sam Baker at the Cluny last night.

It was good to get away from the pub, since I seem to be there most days for either work or leisure. Or both.

The gig was good too; hopefully, it’ll not be too long until the next tour.

I also bumped into a couple of people, unexpectedly, at the Cluny. Andrew, the BBC Inside Out producer was a nice surprise; he’s a genuinely good bloke. And an ex-wife too, but that wasn’t so great.