Category Archives: Disaster

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.


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 ….


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.



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.


1. I’m still numb

2. I brought a straw

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


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?


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. 


My second in command has a fear of sharks; not that we come across many in Gateshead. 

So watching a film involving people trapped in a cage at the bottom of the sea possibly wasn’t a great idea. 

And the inevitable happened. When a girl was suddenly attacked by one rather huge beast, my second in command shrieked, leaping into the air, knocking a can of beer from my hand. 

Everything is wet. I am wet. 

A flower

We have one solitary flower in our garden. A half hour ago, we had several. However, my second in command decided that she’d cut the grass while I was applying PVA to the spare bedroom walls. 

I did point out the locations of plants of beauty, but it was to no avail. All but one were mercilessly cut down.

I’m now sitting in the evening sunshine with a beer, overlooking a scene of devastation.