Viva Darbados Day 2: Some Loughborough Steamers

So, day 2 commenced with me waking up as “fresh” as a “daisy”. Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the curry, but I felt like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. I suspect the beer. I decided to just lay in bed for a few hours staring at my phone. You may recall that I mentioned that the room windows didn’t open. I suspect that I actually partially cooked in my own juices during the night. It was extremely warm, and it turned out the air conditioning didn’t work either.

It got to 10:30 and I decided I wanted to do some exploring, so I nipped out for an hour.

As I mentioned in “yesterday’s” post, there’s a river near the taproom, with a nice little path going down the side of it, so I thought I’d have a leisurely stroll down there. And very nice it was too. Nice to see a bit of greenery in a city.

I also just have to post this for posterity. I was stood under a road bridge that went over the river, and I mentioned there was a distinct lack of amusing cartoon graffiti. Not even so much as a badly drawn set of male genitalia. Seconds after I thought that, I spied this beautiful sticker stuck to a lamp post.

I don’t know if there’s a story behind it. I don’t really care. I just know this was the greatest thing I’d seen in my current time down there.

After my merry jaunt along the water, I had a bit of a wander around near the hotel, and found a couple of charity shops. I picked up a couple of things. Not really anything I’d heard of, but that’s half the fun. There was also a Greggs, where I picked up a sausage roll. The way my stomach felt would confirm if I was hungover, or hungry. I can confirm I was hungover. Somehow, I forced it down, rather like that scene on the Vicar Of Dibley where Geraldine has to eat all those sprouts and had to physically force them in there. That’s what I was like with that sausage roll.

By this time, Chris was ready, so I headed back to the hotel. Today’s plan was to go to Loughborough. For once, there was something there for both of us. Chris wanted to see the trains that are there, and I… well, of course, had the charity shops. Beforehand, we had another small walk around the Derby City Centre. Chris wanted some brekky, and I settled for a bottle of coke. The slice of lemon that came with it would be enough to keep me going all day.

We had enough time for a brief walk around Derby city centre before we went. We had became aware of the Derby Computer Museum, so tried to find it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. It was on the 2nd floor of another building and Google Maps didn’t appear to signpost it very well, but it turns out it would have cost £7 to get in, and you had to book in advance. Oh well. To be honest, it looked to have been geared more towards kids and school groups anyway, so I’m not sure if there’d have been anything interesting for me. One thing that I happened to see out of the corner of my eye, that was even better than a computer museum, was a sign for a record shop, namely BPM Records. I go in and… Oh my. The new / sealed vinyl was downstairs, which didn’t really spark much interest for me, but upstairs… wow. Boxes and boxes of singles, an entire room dedicated to CDs, and even a couple of boxes of CD singles dotted about.

It was getting on at this point, so I grabbed a couple of CD Singles, the best one being “Flavor of the Month” by The Posies, a single that I’d bought back in 1993 on purple vinyl.

I vowed to come back the following day, so confirmed the opening times, and off we went to Loughborough. The first stop would be to get a photo of a building…

Apparently, they used to make parts of locomotives, or something, Chris did tell me, but seeing as it’s been a few weeks since the trip, I’ve entirely forgotten. I’m sure he’ll help out in the comments! The building is used for something else.

Next stop was to the Great Central Railway. I genuinely think we spent more time trying to get parked than actually being there. Considering this was a well-established tourist attraction (a lot of people apparently still like steam trains), there’s very little parking available, except for residential streets. I guess the locals must love that.

So, trains, then…

I took up most of my phone’s memory trying to get a decent photo of the station cat, who was happily wandering about, gathering atention from myself and other people hanging about. Of course, I don’t know if it was the station cat or not, but I liked to think he was employed as head mouse catcher, and to his credit, I didn’t see a single rodent.

We waved goodbye to the trains, and headed into Loughborough town centre. I’m happy to say I really liked it. We stopped off for a drink, and I was happy to see an old US streetlight still in use..

They were originally made by General Electric in the US, but the ‘moulds’ were bought by Phosco in the early 2000s so they could be manufactured over here. If you ever get close to one, you can see where the GE badge used to be…. cough, erm.

And so, off onto the major part of the day, for me at least… the charity shops. I’m happy to report that Loughborough does have its fair share of them, most of which are located in Biggin Street. One Age UK shop had a large amount of CD singles in there, so I filled my boots. I picked up other bits along the way too. I might elaborate on this if I can be bothered. It did have its fair share of nice old buildings, all appear to still be well maintained. Overall, yes, I can happily say, looking back, I liked Loughborough a lot.

Unfortunately, Chris got lost on the way back. It did give me a photo of what I’d consider to be the worst street I’ve seen. A passing interest of mine is to go around Google Maps and look at streets that have the worst possible view from the residents’ front window. This one is certainly up there….

I wonder what the going rate for lung / bronchial conditions is there..

We got back to the hotel dropped off our things, and then headed out. Of course, we wanted to see if that taproom was actually going to be open. Success! it was! We had a couple in there, and then went back to Ye Olde Dolphin inne. We got chatting to a couple of regulars while we were in there, who wondered what we were doing in Derby… I think they were more surprised than anything. I don’t think they get many tourists around those parts.

We got chatting about food, as you do, and where the best Indians were. A place called ‘Himalayan’ was highly recommended to us.

It was a Gurkha restaurant, admittedly not something I’d tried before. Always the ambitious type of guy, I went for something completely different on the menu… This time, I went for the…. chicken vindaloo.

It goes without saying that the food was incredibly nice, and the beer was also excellent too… again.

Not a brand I’d seen before, but I’d definitely get it again. On the way back, we nipped back to the Old Silk Mill for one more, and then back to the hotel. Great beer, great food. Now, ono the 2nd half of the trip! and because they didn’t really fit in anywhere, he’s a couple of arty shots of the cathedral…

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!


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


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.


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.


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.

The best bit of television ever…

We interrupt the “Best of 2010” posts, to bring you, what for me has to be the funniest bit of live television ever.

On the run up to midnight last night , Sky News had someone reporting live in Edinburgh, amongst the crowds of drunken revellers. You can already see where this is going…

First person he interviewed, some old guy, said he came up to Scotland because they know how to celebrate mahogany.

Second person was some woman, totally off-her-tits drunk, screamed that she came up to Scotland to “get pissed”.

Third and final guy was from New Zealand said “Hey, it’s facking cold”.

None of it is on Youtube yet, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled that someone recorded this quality bit of broadcast.