Since we live in the tiniest house in the world, we have a rule regarding furniture. It’s quite simple; if something is introduced to the house, an item of a similar size must leave. 

A couple of years ago, we discovered a second hand furniture shop in Ouseburn, just round the corner to the Ship Inn. It’s actually a charity venture, a sideline specialising in older furniture and oddities. 

We visit every now and again, not looking for anything in particular. After all, a purchase could result in the agony associated with deciding what should leave the house. A couple of months ago, my second in command was taken with a glass and wrought iron table lamp, but indecision led to our departure without it. 

I also liked the lamp, although not as much as my beloved. I was unsure about its age; it appeared to be hand blown and had something of a late 60s/early 70s Eastern look about it. Someone had rewired it, but the original (only partially intact) fitting was still in place. 

The lamp was still there on Saturday, so it returned home with us. I began to doubt my estimate of its age since, on closer inspection, the fitting was made from an old, dark brown, hard plastic. It wasn’t bakelite, or I don’t think it was, but it appeared to be pre-60s. 

I’ve replaced the partially incomplete fitting, but could only find a white fitting in the slightly non-standard size. I shall continue to look for a black one though, since white does look a little out of place. 

We’re attempting to learn more about the lamp’s origins; google images found a similar, smaller lamp, apparently sold on ebay (long since weeded). 

It’s not a great picture, but you can see that the cord is fabric covered, so it could be as old as the 20s or 30s. Our new acquisition is actually a lot more ornate (and nicer) than this one, but the design/construction is identical. 

We shall continue our research. 

Another day in the shed

I’ve developed the deepest respect for stonemasons. After another few hours working on the shed, I ache pretty much everywhere. 

Rebuilding a stone wall isn’t easy. There’s a lot of walking backwards and forwards with heavy pieces of stone and lifting and rearranging to get the right fit. 

It’s extremely slow progress and I’m going through a ridiculous amount of sand and cement. But I’m sure it’ll be worth the effort. 

And at least the rock pile in the garden is now smaller. 


What an excellent idea. A cinema commercial against cruelty towards animals. Which obviously involves not eating them. 

Well done Viva, I’m in. 


Occasionally, usually when at a bar, or shopping, I’ll creep up on my second in command, put my hands on her waist (or back), and make a zombie-like noise in her ear. Sometimes, I’ll attempt a mock bite of her neck. 

Such an opportunity presented itself at breakfast this morning. I approached with my usual stealth while she placed an egg on her plate. I opted for her waist and a small growl, since there were a lot of people around. 

She didn’t jump as high as usual; I realised that she may have become accustomed to my attacks. And then my second in command appeared from behind me, offering a plate. At this point I noticed the poor woman I’d just assaulted, looking around in a confused manner. 

An apology was proffered. 

Nick Cave

Traffic en route to Manchester yesterday was terrible, leading to a late arrival and virtually no time for pre-gig beer. 

After checking in, we headed straight for Oxford Road, where I introduced my companions to Big Hands. We then walked at pace to the Arena, where we encountered a queue of great magnitude. 

Worried that we’d miss some of the gig, we began to regret the pre-departure drinks in Gateshead and our one drink in Big Hands. After what seemed like an eternity, we discovered the cause of the queue; airport-like security, complete with metal detectors. The large queue was being filtered through a half dozen security lanes. 

Once inside, beer was hurriedly purchased before finding a suitable viewing point. Then, within a few minutes, the band came on stage. 

And delivered an incredible performance. I won’t say more, it’s all here. But I’ve been struggling to get the theme tune from Peaky Blinders out of my head all day. 

It was so good, I only have one rather pathetic picture and nothing uploaded to Youtube. 

Afterwards, we hastily reunited and set off for Sinclair’s Oyster Bar and the Shakeapeare, both of which were no longer serving. Which meant a march back to Oxford Road, where we found a Wetherspoon’s open. Just. After a quick beer, we relocated to the more favourable surroundings of the Temple. All but one of my companions hadn’t been there before, but I’m sure they’ll all return. 

Food followed, then it was back to Big Hands until closing time at two. 

On our return this afternoon, a farewell drink was a must before we all went our separate ways. With fond memories of Mr Cave’s performance in the company of nice people. 


Since I’ll never see the outer side wall of the shed again, I’ve spent a couple of hours going over the pointing, making sure there were no gaps or obvious weak points. 

I’ve also made a start on the inner wall. 

I’d have done more, but the lure of food and beer on a sunny day was too great.

The rock pile was temporarily reduced, since I’d used some of it on the wall. But adding damp stone from inside the shed increased its size again.

I think that the shed would look good with a wall in front. 


A couple of days ago, I got round to installing Ubuntu on the GPD Pocket. I’d bought the Windows version with the intention of adding Linux as a dual boot, but then I found that such a thing isn’t possible. 

And so, I had to patiently wait for the Ununtu download. While the computer worked great with Windows 10, I bought the thing with the intention of running Linux. 

Which it now does. I love it. 


Well, not really. But I have finally rebuilt the outer side wall of the shed. I’d intended only to point it, but almost all had to be rebuilt. The hole left over from last weekend had to be expanded because the blocks of stone were all loose, exposing more of my neighbour’s garden. 

Thankfully, it’s no longer visible. 

There’s some finishing off to do tomorrow, then I may begin rebuilding the inner layer.