So, what do YOU want to read….

As you know, it’s been a while since I’ve written a proper blog, so I thought I’d ask on Facebook what subjects you’d like to see me cover. Like performing seals, some of you slapped your flippers over the keyboard and came up with some cracking ideas for me to type about. Some of them more coherent than others. Naaah. I’m only kidding. I liked all of them, and in time honoured tradition, I shall go through and type what I can about each subject.

So, let’s start off with Jamie S’s suggestions…

Your hobbies and interests. Oh wait…

Ho ho. He’s obviously being sarco-ma-tastic there, as I’m constantly discussing my hobbies and interests. For new viewers, the interests are streetlights and collecting music. Or rather, hoarding music. More on that later. Onto Jamie’s 2nd suggestion…

Also, curry king

This was a suggestion we’d banded around between ourselves over the last few months, but I can never see it working. It’s sort of a guide to good curries around Hartlepool and other areas on the north east. To me, a good curry is something that has you doubled over on the toilet at 5AM in the morning, waiting for the intense burning session to stop. I like my curries hot, so really it would have just been a guide on vindaloos. Not everyone’s cup of darjeeling. Also, the name “Curry King” has been used many times. This may be something I do in the future, but until I get a good name for it, and good criteria (and actual followers to this blog again), it’ll be on the back burner, for want of a better expression.

Sunshine FM

Ahhh, Coatesy suggested this one!

You may remember Coatesy. He was once regularly featured on the blog. Unfortunately, about 5 or 6 years ago, we lost touch, and thanks to the magic of Facebook, have got back in touch.

Waaay back in the mid 2000s, we recorded “Sunshine FM”. Basically, it was a “radio show” that went on for an hour. I use the quotes, because, of course, it was never intended to be broadcast, and heard by nobody else other than us two.

It was put onto CD, and I don’t think I ever listened to it again. I don’t know if Coatesy ever got a copy.

The original CD was binned in 2011, however, due to my own personal archive policy, I ripped the CD, so it still exists as an MP3 file!

sunshinefm

I’ve taken a listen to a little bit of it, and oh boy. Basically, it was “shout into the microphone, say fuck to the point where even *I* think it’s unnecessary, and then play music at a much quieter volume.

I used to record these pretendy “radio shows” going back to when I was a kid, and technically I never stopped. To this day, I still knock out an occasional “I Bet You Don’t Like This”, where I dig through the worst of my record collection, and do hour-long podcasts about them. IBYDLT did find its way onto an online radio station, however this station is now defunct.

Pubs, curry houses 8)

I guess that one’s similar to the curry king thing. Pubs is one I’d be interested in doing. I still frequent The Mill House on a regular basis. It’s about to change hands, so it’ll be interesting to see that happens there

Didn’t you have a blog before lol

No.

Keep it topical. The EU Referendum

There’s three things I’ll never blog about. Religion, politics, and girlfriends. Opinions on leaving the EU are like arseholes. Everyone’s got one, but I don’t particularly want to hear it.

I will say this, I’d like to hit the person who invented the word “Brexit” hard. In the face. With a chair.

Soap

An interesting one. Personally, I use Dove. Yeah, I know it’s a girly thing, but sod you all. I prefer Dove, over any other brand of soap. My face has the annoying habit of breaking out in a red rash if I use normal soap )same thing happens when I shave) if I use any other brand. So, it’s Dove all the way. Plus, I like the smell.

ninjas

a. Get with the times. It’s all about the vlog now
b.He’s done some vlogs. Should never been seen

Yes, I did do some blogs. I’m pretty sure these are now nearly 10 years old. The problem with the vlogs, is that by the time I’d recorded, edited, added captions and music, it was easier to just type a damn blog. Nothing has changed. Here’s a quick example of what the vlogs were like, for those who missed them…

I actually started the vlog originally, because I wanted to see how quickly I began to gain negative comments. I’d planned to have a section on here about the hate comments, and then reply in my own way about them. In the entire series of videos, there was one persion who called me a “cheeky c*nt”. Turned out people actually quite liked the vlogs, so it sort of backfired.

Your 7 inches

I once knew a guy who worked in a bookshop. A woman came into the shop and asked if he had a book on double-entendres. So he gave her one.

At present, there are over 1,800 7″ singles in the collection. I could, literally type about them all day. Funnily enough, I’d started writing a blog about my last trip to the record fair, but I’d written about 1,000 words and I hadn’t even got as far as getting off the train, so I never finished it. Literally a case of tl;dw.

Lamp posts.

Ahhh, I said we’d get back to this subject, and we have. Thanks Chad for suggesting this. Again, this is something I’ve meant to type about for a good long while, as Hartlepool has “gone through the change”. No, not in a menopausal way, but the majority of its streetlighting stock has now been converted to LED.

One thing that did happen though, is that a lamp post fell over on Wednesday on the Powlett Road roundabout. I was heading to work, and I saw it collapsed, as apparently the base had rusted through.

Ironically, it was one of the few columns that had escaped the change, and was carrying the last 1980s GEC z2994M GRP canopy SOX lantern. Unfortunately it hadn’t worked for a while, and that may be why it was never replaced. It might have been in such a bad shape, that they were going to replace it.

Seems like gravity gave them a helping hand.

EDIT: This post has been updated to say the post had been updated. It was actually carrying an Ampera LED lantern, which was installed 10 days before the column fell over. Still, it was the last Z9554m lighting Hartlepool’s streets anyway.

And just as I was about to hit Submit, here’s another one!

Smelly public transport

Unfortunately, I have eyes that are shit, and are only going to get shitter. For those who followed my laser eye surgery post, I got the letter through today, so I know the date I’m going under. That’s obviously for another blog though. The previous statement means that I obviously have to rely on public transport for my daily commutes.

There was the time, just a month or two back when I got on the bus, a red-hot day. I had my headphones on, and just as I was putting my card on the reader, my ears heard the sound of retching. Yup, a lady was actually being sick on the bus. Thankfully, her husband, who didn’t seem to be too unfazed by the event, had provided her with a carrier bag, and the vomiting, coughing, spitting and of course, the smell, carried on for the entire journey.

I can’t say why she was being sick so violently. The bus runs from Middlesbrough, so she may have just got out of hospital. The whole thing was just unpleasant for all concerned.

Right, anyway, I’m going to leave you with that lovely thought in your head. Any further suggestions, let me know in the comments. They *do* work, you know.

Flying, Fishermen and Flames…

A few of you know why I’ve not been looking forward to this past week. I’m happy to report that it hasn’t been as bad as I imagined.. the last few days should be pretty interesting too.

Anyway,Sunday saw me with Jamie S, Gary, and at a later point in the afternoon, Andy the Iridium Fan, who as usual, will be abbreviated to ATIF, for typing purposes.

Jamie S arrived at mercuryvapour Towers at 8:27, donning a pair of sunglasses and brown chinos. Gary arrived in the Flavmobile, some 11 minutes later. The festivities didn’t start until 10AM, so this gave us 90 minutes to get to Sunderland. Normally, it’s a 20-minute journey, but we had to account for traffic. It was bound to be *packed*.

It took us 25 minutes. Bugger.

We were one of the first to arrive at the Park ‘n’ Ride thing, located near Haversham park. I didn’t actually know this at the time, I just Google Map’d it.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to have a ride on one of the Red Arrows. I felt so priveleged!

5999940853_f3aa8927bd_o

By the time we arrived at the airshow properly, it was about 10AM. We walked along to get money at a nearby Morrisons, after all the cost of anything here would clearly be extortionate, things like this always are. First plan of the day was where to have dinner. Sure, we could rely on the burger vans and stuff, but Gary knew where there was a pub with a carvery which would serve food even though the air show was on. Jamie S spent about a week talking to someone about joining the TA. I can tell that he’s really interested in doing this, as the information she gave him is still in *my* bag!

After buying some books at a charity stall (50p for 2!), we headed up to the carvery… I must admit, the meal was excellent.

Suitably stuffed, we walked back along the seafront and headed onto the beach to watch the first show of the afternoon, the parachutists landing. Now, there was one reason why I mentioned Jamie S’s chinos. they would make us easy to spot in a crowd. And, they did! Andrew D didn’t know we were here at the time, yet he still managed to photograph us…


(It would appear this image is broken. Bugger. If I’m not lazy, I’ll redo it. At some point.)

Jamie S wanted to go to Morrisons again, so me and Gary watched the spitfires from what could possibly the the best vantage point… in the middle of a raised roundabout!

5999950253_351b5cddbe_o

The view was short-lived, however, as a marshall moved us on a few moments later. Awwww.

Jamie S had exited Morrisons at this point, and we began to make our way down the promenade. The displays continued around us. I used my A480 to record some video, and I gave control of the 450D to Jamie S, in the hope that some good shots of stunt planes flying by would turn up…

5999507795_6155588158_o

Yeah, thanks. You want a job doing properly….

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the worst picture of me taken on the day. There are worse, much worse. At approximately 3:15, I received a tap on my shoulder. Presumably, it was someone asking me to get out of the way, after all, the seafront was pretty packed. Instinctively, I turn around, only to receive a camera lens in my face…

Yup, ATIF had turned up! Now, the odds of us both meeting up were very slim, due to the size of the event, and apparently a million people there. He even let me borrow his telephoto lens! Otherwise, photos such as these would be impossible…

5999853623_57010c7fd0_o

Of course, with Andrew being there, there just had to be another embarrassing photo of me taken. Deep down, I quite like this one…

I don’t know why.

Scribbler’s had a big juicy walk

Once again, the walks are going to dominate the blog. It’s the only thing worth blogging about at the moment, and it’s made me get the camera out, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m going to try to compress two walks into one blog post, seeing as I’m so far behind on talking about them. therefore…

6 days ago, I completed the impossible. Well, OK, I did it, so it wasn’t impossible, but to me, in my little ol’d head, it was. for you see, I managed to walk the entire length of the Hart to Haswell walkway. this is something that I have always wanted to do, but have never had the motivation to do it.

Oddly, the walkway doesn’t go anywhere near Hart (the small village on the outskirts of Hartlepool), and it doesn’t touch Haswell neither. If you’re travelling to the start of th walk by car, your best bet is to park at Crimdon, and walk over the footbridge at Hart Station (which is at least a mile from Hart). This gives you the opportunity to pass my most favourite signpost ever…

Unfortunately, the weather for this particular walk was abysmal, therefore there are very few photos. It was foggy and cold.

Probably the highlight of the day was this photo…

It’s Gary. Punching a horse. Oh, okay, he wasn’t really punching it. It was just a combination of low light and camera settings. Made me laugh though. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the huge beast of a horse in the same field, scratching its chin on the wooden fence.

In order to keep this short, I’ll but the rest of the informalities, as I’ve now got two other walks to write about. Unfortunately, the fog didn’t lift. It’s hard to explain how I felt after completing the walk. Exhausted, achy and absolutely overjoyed that I managed the whole thing. I’d been along some of the journey many times before, but never the entire 10 mile stretch.

Endomondo – Hart to Haswell (EDIT: You should be able to view this now – had the privacy set incorrectly!)

I’d be happy to do this walk again when the weather gets just that little bit better. I’m sure there was plenty I could have taken photos of, but thanks to the weather, I never really got the opportunity.

I got the chance, however, to prove where we were…

I’d like to finish, as is traditional, with a photo of a streetlight. It turns out, an old flickr photo of mine is No. 1 search on Google for “Revo Lucidor”. As these are becoming more and more rare in numbers, I was happy to find a few of them living on in Haswell.

That’s your lot. Next stop, Wynyard.

The long walks continue…

Wow. I’m officially two weeks behind when it comes to blogging.

From my previous posting, you’ll notice that I have once again been out on one of my long walks last week, with the company of Gary and Jamie S. This time, the destination, instead of a forest, was the complete opposite… a cliff edge. For you see, we were going to walk from the cliffs at Saltburn, to the relative flatness of the little village of Skinningrove, some three miles away.

Of course, before we were going to attempt anything of this magnitude, it meant a stop-off in Moddlesbrough’s Asda for some eateries. I don’t think I’ve ever been such a depressingly dull supermarket in all of my life. It was awful. the smell outside of the place, however, had me reaching for the Kleenex. Apparently, there was a chinese food factory over the road from the Asda. It was so nice, I was almost tentpegging. I bought the “packed lunch” for everyone… water, crisps, Opal Fruits (I refuse to call them St*rburst), and of course, sausage rolls. They were red-hot, by the way, so I had one of them before anyone else got them.

We arrived in Saltburn. I donated £2 towards the £2.50 parking fee. However, getting up to the cliff edge wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Well, it was, just an uphill one…

It’s not easy to make out in that photo, but there’s a wood ‘n’ mud staircase, leading up to the top of the hill behind the pub. All three of us were completely knackered by the time we got to the top of it. I think this added a mile to the journey. At least.

Within a few minutes, we began the journey along the cliffs. This was pointed out to us by a particularly interesting sign…

Now, some of you thought I photoshopped the image I uploaded to flickr of a Samaritans sign plastered on Tyne Bridge… nope, these things are genuinely located at suicide hotspots. Oddly, it’s an 0845 number, which means it’s going to cost you if you’re calling from a mobile. Surely paying for the phone call isn’t going to help if you’re about to throw yourself into the murky abyss…

Nothing much happened on the way there. I think I farted a couple of times (wait, think? I know I did!), and Jamie S managed to twat his head off part of a “modern art” sculpture…

I don’t understand what it was, or why it was there. The only animals we could work out included a starfish, a horse and a fox, though the fox could have been a cat. I don’t know. Either way, I missed a “You’ve Been Framed” moment, as Jamie S nearly fell flat on his arse, whilst still clutching that can of Relentless. It appears to be a permanent fixture with him.

It seemed like an age until we arrived at Skinningrove. One thing became clear. The path, after this point was SHIT. It’s hard to explain. Actually, it’s not. It’s another one of those wood ‘n’ mud stair paths, covered in remants from a slagheap, and if your footing left you, the only way was down…

Awmazingly, all three of us survived, and we made it to the bottom. Slight problem was, it suddenly became apparent how far we’d have to travel vertically on the way back…

We tried not to think of that, and instead, headed into Skinningrove with the hope of finding a pub and something to eat. Both were dashed, when we found the town completely deserted, and the only pub shut. Luckily, we managed to find a cafe located in the local community centre. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t like these type of places. Fair enough, the cuppa I had was perfectly fine, but I felt a bit strange in there as an outsider. I did want food at this point, but it seemed that we were a bit late, so we just had our appropriate beverages and left with a smile.

I’m going to delete the previous posting, so this is the route we took there… Note, I forgot to start Endomondo until we were about 10 minutes into the walk.

So, off we went onto the journey back. None of us were looking forward to the journey back up that hill. It was dodgy enough going down. It would be even dodgier going back up with our weakened legs. The first step was to get off the beach. This was easier said than done, for unlike Gary, me and Jamie decided to walk along the beach. It was great until we tried to get up the sand dune.

I like the way I was more concerned about getting sand in my camera bag than actually getting up the sand dune. This was, quite literally, just the start. I soon realised I was in the same position I was an hour ago when I took that picture.

Words cannot explain how I felt when I got to the top of the hill. Well, they can, if I’m honest. those words are “out of breath, slightly light headed, and overall, amazed I did it without the use of a helicopter”. I wasn’t the only one, however… Gary appeared to be in a world of his own and/or partially unconscuious, while Jamie S spent the next half an hour sucking on his inhaler. Ok, slight exaggerations there, but that hill was something I don’t wish to repeat for a long time.

The wind was to be in our faces on the way back, which means that after the uphill climb, we also had to put up with the wind in our faces. Like everything else, however, the walk back was much better than the way there. We passed landmarks, and we were able to track accurately how long it would be before we were back on the comfort of terra firma. Once again, Endomondo tracked the way back…

You’ll notice the little section where I move closer to the cliff just after the two mile point. That’s because Gary fell over, and I wanted a wee.

The rest of the journey was bathed in the evening sunshine which slowly set against the silhouette of Teesside.

The photos for this walk are here

It’s forest o’clock!

OK, I’m really struggling these days when it comes to imaginitive titles. After my massively expensive shopping trip yesterday, it was time to do something entirely different, and that was to spend the day walking around Hamsterley forest. This time, I’d be with Gary (aka Flav), and, once again, Jamie S would be in charge of the transportation.

Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed on Thursday morning, was the fog. It’s the thickest it’s been in a long time. Thankfully, Hartlepool is on the coast, and Hamsterley Forest is many miles inland. I’d be hopeful that the mist would burn off. After a quick stop off at the town so Jamie S could pick up some Primark Plimmies, we headed off to Port Clarence to pick up Gary. Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of this particular place, but it does have one of my favourite pieces of graffiti…

FUCK OFF

Awesome. It’ll always remind me of getting the No. 1 bus to Middlesbrough for jury duty.

The first step was to the petrol station. It was only fair that we helped fill Jamie S’s car up a bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a mortgage application form to hand, so I just handed him a tenner and hoped his car would get away with breathing fumes.

The journey there was brightened up with the discovery of the best placename of the day…

North Bitchburn. Awesome. Jamie S had to hold up traffic slightly while I took that photo. Unfortunately it was in the wrong direction for us, so the only thing I can say about the place is it has a wikipedia article that really should be tidied up.

Shortly after, we arrived at Hamsterley Forest. The car park was literally nothing more than a few mounds of earth and a bit of gravel. Saying that, it looked newly constructed, so they’ll probably put grass over the top of the mounds to make it look a bit more attractive. The question is, what route were we going to take? There was the blue route, which was a piece-of-piss 1 mile journey around Bedburn Beck. There was also the orange and red walks, which were longer. Of course, what’s the first thing three blokes do when entering a forest? No, not that, you pack of pervs. You go and have a play on the swings of course….

To be honest, I actually want one of those swings. They’re pretty awesome. One thing I don’t want, however, is a fireman’s pole, though Gary appeared to thrive off them…

Riiiiiiiiighty-ho. Moving swiftly on, we began to follow the orange path. According to the signs, it was a decent length, and would have taken a perfectly acceptable amount of time. Of course, there were distractions and diversions….

The biggest distraction had to be when we accidedentally walked off the beaten track, and found ourself in the middle of a mountain bike course…

Eventually, we found our way onto the correct path, mainly by chance. Something came darting out of the trees near the bottom of the path we were heading. I think my first reaction was “Woah, what the fuck was that?” It took me a few moments to notice it had a red collar on, and was a dog. Eventually, the orange path just sort of fizzled out. It headed into some fields with picnic tables, with no clear path on where to go next. Therefore, we just made up our own way back. We knew which side of the ‘river’ we needed to be on, and thankfully, there was a gravel path leading back in the general direction.

We were right, it was indeed the correct road, and we ended up back at the swings. Jamie S was so delighted by this, he surprised us all with a beutiful rendition on the tubular bells…

Truly haunting. Jamie S and Gary continued to make use of the “obstacle course”, with hilarious results. It had been a good walk, and it’s only thr second time I’ve been able to use Endomondo properly…

endo

Well, I say properly, it would appear I’d had it set on “running” instead of walking. Never mind.

We headed back to the car, and discussions on food were next. We’d passed through a village that appeared to have a nice chippy, so off we jolly well went. and could we find it? No, is the definitive answer to that. We passed through all manner of villages and small towns, looking for a location that would serve us deep-fried potato chunks. Eventually, we ended up in Durham city centre. A bit of a way out, but hell, there was bound to be edibles there.

At this point, Jamie S informed me of his purchase at the Metro Centre the day before. He had bought a bottle of… “scent”. I don’t know what you call it. It’s not aftershave, it’s not deodorant, but either way, it was presented in a large box, and price-tagged at £25. My jaw initially dropped at the time of purchase, but by jaw dropped even more when it explained what was in the box. A blue, glass bottle, no bigger than his inhaler, with 30ml of expensive guff inside of it. That was just under £1 per millilitre….

So, I got ripped off with onion rings, he got even more ripped off with… I don’t know. Our thoughts turned away from small bottles of smelly, and we walked around Durham looking for an eaterie. We ended up, ironically, at Burger King. The irony is, that there has been plenty of discussion recently about my refusal to eat burgers. It seemes foreign to some people that you can live a life without eating a burger. I’ve managed 31 years so far… I do have to wonder, if I’m the only person to ever enter Burger King and not actually order a burger… instead, I ordered large fries, and a portion of onion rings… which cost a third of what they cost me at the Metro Centre. They weren’t as nice, however.

After screaming at traffic on the way out of Durham, we headed back home. After all, he had to get changed for the night out…