Author Archives: garymoore

Don’t buy a …

… Gainsborough shower. So, I bought a new shower after moving into this house 17 years ago.

After just a couple of years, the first problem arose. A smell. A weird electrical smell. This was soon followed by (since I’d not conclusively identified that the shower was the source of the smell) smoke.

Electrical stuff was fixed (don’t ask me exactly what) and everything was fine.

Regrettably, the shower expired after seven or eight years (from installation). While realising that this was a little early, I bought a replacement internal unit. I even fitted it myself. It wasn’t too painful a process and I even remembered to turn off electricity and water.

And it worked.

Here’s a picture of the shower unit.

I didn’t actually take a picture at the time; this picture was taken so I’d know which coloured wire goes where. Because, yes, the damn thing died last week.

Thinking positively , the replacement unit had lasted a year or two longer than the original. I’m sure that the original, as well as the replacement, should have lasted longer, though.

When the second incarnation of the shower expired prematurely, I had to decide whether to replace the shower’s innards once more, or just replace the whole damn thing.

Yes, I thought it’d be easier to buy the same shower unit again; or at least it’s internal workings.

Fitting took longer than I’d hoped. The compatible unit looked identical to the original, even though it wasn’t.

Hopefully, it’ll last longer than its predecessor. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll just start again.

The Quatermass Xperiment

I’m currently watching the Quatermass Xperiment (1955) on TV.

AKA the creeping unknown.

As a young child, I found this film pretty scary. Following the return of a space ship to Earth, with its nose buried deep in the ground, the experts arrived at the crash site.

As a young child, I wouldn’t have known what a VW T2 was, even though I had one of those German police VW car and van models.

So I wouldn’t have noticed that the experts had arrived in a T2 split screen.

One unusual thing about the van was the radio set in the engine compartment!

Dog friendly

Arch 2 in Ouseburn has a great approach to dogs. They’re very welcome and even have their pictures taken to add to a dog wall. Now, this didn’t work very well in Harriet’s case, since she doesn’t show up very well in any picture taken in a dark bar (three pictures and pretty much invisible). But the idea’s great.

The Cluny seem to have adopted the same idea. This evening, the dog is not only visible-ish, she’s posing in the background.


I came across a van on eBay the other day. A Riviera conversion, a left hand drive import from the US.

The registration’s just a couple of digits from ours. Obviously, I’ve drawn the conclusion that they both arrived in the UK together.

The Albion

After meeting a bunch of nice people one night at Northern Kin festival, we promised we’d try out the buskers’ night at the Gin and Ale House (previously, the Albion) in Jarrow.

We’d stopped off at the pub a couple of times in the past, but only for a quick pint in passing.

After a delay of a few weeks, we finally made time for a longer visit last night. For some reason, we decided to walk. With a walk of almost two hours, we stopped off half way for a break at the Cricketers in Bill Quay.

That meant that we arrived a little later than intended, but it was definitely worth the walk. It was more of a traditional buskers’ night, with a more natural feel than the buskers’ nights I was accustomed to in the Schooner. We’ll be back next Thursday, although we might set off earlier.

Sadly, while we did meet up with festival acquaintances, the dog’s festival friend wasn’t there last night. Apparently she’ll be there next week though.

Last night also allowed us to test the challenge of the dog’s visibility in the dark.

VW vans

So we now have two VW vans. It’d be good if the new one lasts as long as its older brother.

Dog in a Travelodge

£20 surcharge. For a dog that doesn’t piss indoors. I understand that dogs can be messy and I’m happy to pay a bit more to be able to take the hound with us.

But I’m sure that people leave a room in a worse mess than our dog will.

She’s had pizza (and a beer) and will now sleep for ages.

She’s cute as fuck too.

The Innocents

I’m currently watching a film I last saw at the age of around four or five. I had recurring nightmares for several years afterwards, with no recollection of actually seeing the film.

The dreams were a distant memory, randomly triggered now and again. As a teenager, it was pretty vague, the remnants of dreams rather than an event.

By adulthood, I’d obviously realised I’d seen a film that’d scared the shit out of me as a little kid. But I’d not come across the film, so there was a small element of doubt; I could have imagined it (I had a pretty good imagination back then).

Anyway, the film does exist.

There’s stuff that isn’t in the film, but that was probably down to that child imagination and, well, dreams.

The film’s a bit rubbish by the way. But God knows why I was watching it at that age.


Following the arrival of replacement fabric for the van’s pop-top, the dog and I had a walk to the storage yard with it, yesterday.

It was strangely warm inside the van, so we rested before our return home.

I’d forgotten that we’d left festival beer in the van.


Facing the problem of not being able to install an exterior condenser unit, we visited some micropubs in town to take a look at their cellar setups.