Category Archives: Disaster

Bendy wine glasses

A year or two ago, my beloved broke one of my bendy (recycled) wine glasses.

The dog broke another tonight. They’re not precious or anything, but they’re over 20 years old and I’ve not seen anything like them.

We still have two though.

Gateshead

Gateshead town centre has faced brutality since the 60s.

Much of the 60s improvements have recently been demolished, with 21st Century developments taking their place.

However, remnants of an earlier era remain. Not for long, though.

Gateshead High Street hasn’t been much of a high street for a long time, but one must question why it’s been allowed to fall into its current state of virtual dereliction.

Now, I’m aware of the long term plan for the high street, but I can’t understand why restoration gave way to demolition.

We’re now left with a town centre which is effectively a Tesco supermarket. Without doubt, this will one day go the same way as its 60/70s predecessor. It’s more brutal than the former brutalist buildings.

A few years ago, I compared the high street to a mouth made up of decayed teeth. It’s now virtually toothless.

With another extraction in progress.

It’s probably time to rename Durham Road. New Gateshead High Street.

It’s been a blast

I’ve been in the pub business for 14 months and it’s been tough. And fun.

After a lot of agonising, I’ve decide to sell my shares in the Schooner. I’ve learned so much in this short time, more than I could have imagined just a year ago.

I’m proud to have contributed to turning around a failing pub, making it a viable business.

While I’ll leave mid-January, I’ll be helping out informally until the end of the financial year.

After which I’ll take some well earned time off, do some work on the house, then explore my next project.

Which may be a pub of sorts.

Engine

Oil leaks are pretty much the norm for old VW Transporters. However, one of the van’s leaks was pretty serious, resulting in oil stains wherever we parked and far too regular oil top-ups.

The engine’s current status ….

Books

Around 15 or 16 years ago, I built a bookcase in an alcove in the living room. The project took a full day, finishing well into the evening.

I still like the bookcase, although I could improve the design were I to do it over again.

Recently, my second in command decided that our small living room would appear larger without the bookcase. A compromise was reached; a new bookcase upstairs would replace living room storage.

Today, the replacement bookcase arrived. Naturally, we’d not paid attention to dimensions, so I was a little overwhelmed by its size.

Of course, the bookcase is too large for its planned position. It’s too heavy to carry upstairs anyway. Which means it now resides in our small living room.

The original bookcase will soon be removed, with the outcome of reduced net space. Measurements may be checked when future purchases are considered.

It’s a lovely thing though.

Plaster disaster

I’m (very slowly) plastering the main bedroom and decided to push on with the work this morning. While waiting for a firewood delivery and a boiler man, I mixed a large batch of plaster. For ease, I use one of those general purpose plastic tubs; the sort meant for use in the garden or for building work. It has convenient handles, which are great to hang the tub from a ladder.

On opening the front door when the firewood arrived, I heard a loud bang from upstairs. Afraid of finding the inevitable, I put the wood away, delaying my return upstairs.

My assumption was unfortunately correct, a snapped handle had resulted in the tub falling from the top of the ladder. Naturally, there was plaster pretty much everywhere. Floor, wall (not the one being plastered), the bed, even the ceiling.

Lovely.

Barbarism

Dentistry can be pretty barbaric, you know. After 50 minutes in the dentist’s chair, it was decided that I need to be referred to the hospital to have ‘some bone’ removed. That’ll be jawbone I’d imagine.

Meanwhile, I need to avoid hot drinks, solid food, cigarettes and alcohol.

Luckily:

1. I’m still numb

2. I brought a straw

The above is needed to address my post dental trauma shaking.

Liverpool

We’re in the Head of Steam in Liverpool.

For our second beer of the day here. Liverpool, that is.

We should actually been enjoying our fifth or sixth pint in one of the excellent old pubs in Belfast. Unfortunately, our flight was cancelled and the next available flight is first thing tomorrow. From Liverpool.

So we were packed off into a cab from Newcastle airport. After food in the hotel, we sought refreshment. And here we are.

We’ll try again in the morning, then, shall we?

Cheburashka

I’ve had separate text message exchanges with two blokes this evening. About Cheburashka. 

That’s the weird little thing with big ears in the middle. 

My first encounter with Cheburashka was at an Eels gig. An old film was the support. The dialogue was Russian, but some Eels content had been cleverly added. 

Anyway, both myself and my mate Ian have a Cheburashka condiment holder. I fear that mine may be radioactive. I’ve never asked whether Ian’s might be. Both were bought from Russia, mine from the Ukraine. 

An old mate, Tom, is currently in the Crimea. He’s not yet encountered Cheburashka. 

Another day in the shed

A larger area of wall was tackled today. As with previous sections, the outer wall was in a terrible state. 

So some rebuilding was necessary.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete the job. The heavens opened just as I was running low on cement. The rain was so heavy, mixing more was out of the question. 

This presented a problem in that I’d removed a very large piece of stone, exposing the garden of the house behind ours. 

Yes, the black stuff is compacted soil. While I fear that our neighbour’s garden may fall into our shed, I shall try to leave work early enough one day to complete the job. 

While on the subject, the large stone was too heavy to lift. 

And the pile of stone in the garden has grown a little.