Category Archives: Dog


I’ve only been to Nottingham a couple of times in the past, so our eBay purchase of a van front end created the opportunity for a third visit.

It made sense to drive down yesterday and pick up the rusty lump up today. That gave us a chance to fit in some decent pubs, starting with the Doctor’s Orders, a pretty cool micropub I’d found on Mansfield Road the last time we were there.

It’s everything a micropub should be; decent prices too. Also discovered last time was the Crafty Crow, also run by the Magpie Brewery.

Naturally, we had to visit Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, allegedly the country’s oldest pub. I knew that the beer wasn’t going to be the best, but the building’s a real experience.

There were one or two other pubs, but I didn’t take pictures.

One minor negative was the £25 dog surcharge at the hotel, the highest of the three hotels accommodating the dog this year (£10 and £20 at the other two). So we made sure that the dog made the most of the facilities.

This morning, we collected the van front end. Fortunately, we managed to squeeze it in without resorting to the angle grinder I’d taken.

Yes, it has holes. But I love it. We’ll attempt to remove it from the van in the morning.

Confused dog

Yesterday, the dog and I walked down to the Schooner; our first time there in weeks. To be honest, we needed to call off at a t-shirt place near the pub anyway, so it made sense to drop off the Good Beer Guide stuff we’d collected from CAMRA last week.

When this was a daily walk, the dog had a cool habit of crossing a road at the same point. She’d cross the road when she reached a lamp post. The one painted white (the others were unpainted).

The dog was a little confused yesterday, though. All of the lamp posts in that street had been replaced.


Just watched a film about a dog called Goodyear. The film’s called Finch. You’ll have heard about it.

It’s a futuristic, but pretty retro, sort of film, with clear reference to Silent Running from the early 70s.

My kids cried when they first watched Silent Running and there’s a chance they might do the same if the see Finch.

Obviously, there was no dog in Silent Running. But there were robotic equivalents.

In Finch, there was a robot-ish Huey, but instead of the other two robots, Finch has a Jeff.

As a dog owner, Goodyear pretty much has a leading role. And it was good to see that the dog came out ok in the end.

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.

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.

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.

Northern Kin

So, we went to a festival; Northern Kin. Delayed over a year and relocated, but it was good to have some sort of normality.

While it’s a small scale festival and the line-up wasn’t exactly amazing, it was a lot better than I’d expected.

I hope they keep to the same formula next year.

The dog seemed to have a good time too.

She even made a festival friend.

Liverpool & Keswick

On arrival at our hotel in Liverpool, we found that the van would actually scrape into our usual long stay car park. While not actually a case of scraping, the height clearance was scarily slight.

Our luck changed when we were told by our pet friendly hotel that the establishment was no longer pet friendly. This was something of a surprise, since our reservation, which included the dog, had been accepted the previous week.

Fortunately, on walking into the Adelphi, we were told that dogs were welcome.

We celebrated with a drink in the Head of Steam, knowing that the chain allowed dogs.

There was, however, something of a loss of productivity in both this bar and the hotel, since staff took time out to play with the dog.

Talking of the dog, she felt the need to pose with landmarks.

We ate at Down the Hatch, a really good veggie/vegan cafe, which also – yes – welcomes dogs.

Followed by a good night’s sleep

(another micropub might have been involved too).

The following morning, we breakfasted (the dog had eggs), then set off for Keswick. we stopped off at Lancaster to stretch our legs and take refreshments.

We stayed at Castlerigg, on a site close to where I’d stayed with my youngest child 21 years ago.

We were soon joined by another T2, a year younger than ours.

We only spent a couple of days in Keswick; we regretted not staying longer.

The dog seemed to have a good time.

Enjoying cake at the Theatre by the Lake.

She also discovered a gem of a micropub, the Crafty Baa.

It was also good to see that a once really terrible little bar had become an excellent veggie/vegan bar/restaurant/hotel.

Although the decor hadn’t changed in two decades (the other room was busy).

And, this morning, we returned home. in a roundabout sort of way.

Over the last couple of weeks, the van covered over 800 miles without a single problem. That was something of a surprise.

Finchale Abbey

Me and the dog had a walk around Finchale Abbey this morning in the sunshine.

I used to spend a lot of time there as a kid; it’s hardly changed.

That last picture of the entrance to a staircase has changed, though. The gate must have been added for safety reasons – I first climbed those steps with my Dad, I couldn’t have been older than five.

I last climbed it with my kids when they were very young.