Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas #1

Christmas is here once again, and here are the photos to prove it... Firstly the winter village scene made by me and Bren on Christmas Eve... (cut outs provided, in case I duped you into thinking we had constructed all those little houses from raw cardboard!). Then some mince pies, constructed by me - mincemeat courtesy of daughter Emma, pastry courtesy of Jus-Rol. Thirdly Leon (nine years old) using his new touch screen phone to call his friend whilst holding his Wii control in the other hand. I think when I was nine my Christmas present was The Kit Carson Annual... how times change. More family arriving tomorrow for continued festive fun.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Another party...

Last weekend, despite the unpredictable weather, we ventured forth to that Romford to go to a party. Emma and Phil have a party every year before Christmas and we wanted to be there! Safe journey down, despite frozen screen washers, with a 5.5 hours journey as opposed to the usual 4.5. The journey was well worth it and we had a brilliant time and also got back safe and sound. Here are the ladies in the kitchen rustling up some goodies.... of which there were many and various... thank you Emma!

Celebrations included musical 'spots' by various individuals, including Megan (almost 13!) and Poppy. Her version of Silent Night, helped by grandma, were enough to bring a very large lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. You could have heard a pin drop from those assembled, as Poppy impressed her talents upon us. Beautiful!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Northumbrian Scribes Christmas party

Last weekend I attended the Northumbrian Scribes Christmas party. Christmas card exchanges, a giant jig-saw, a quiz and raffle, as well as a sumptuous feast, were all served up by and for the assembled scribes. Great festive fun was had by all! Go here for more pictures.

Friday, 18 December 2009

CLAS submission

I'm sending in my submission for the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society 'Certificate in Calligraphy'. This is a first level assessment and certification for those who would like their calligraphy assessed against national standards. It is the first step on the CLAS 'Ladder of Progress' which will lead on to three levels of the National Diploma in Calligraphy. For my assessment I had to write one whole alphabet and a piece of eight line prose in a large nib, and the same piece of prose with a small nib, which I chose to write in a Formal Italic script.

Stormy clouds over Cramlingtonvilleshire....

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A trip to the Toon....

In Newcastle today for some time away from the computer and work. First stop lunch at The Coffee Rooms.... lovely mushroom soup and a bap. Not used to the old-fangled waitress service I finished up and then walked out without paying my bill! (I returned as soon as I realised my error, me being a lad with mother's honesty values solidly in place.) The Christmas Market was in full swing at Greys Monument...

Then, heading towards The Biscuit Factory to pick up a print I won in a prize draw, I spotted these gorgeous panels at a nearby building site.

This is the site of one of the earliest dispensaries in Newcastle. Now sandwiched between a jobbing printer and a computer accessory store I wonder about its chances of survival as the demolition progresses along the street. Further down I snapped this shot of a place I used to work, now due for demolition and redevelopment. New tat replacing old tat I should imagine!

Monday, 30 November 2009

And now for the WhitleyBUNIONS....

A bracing trip down to the beach Sunday to give Gracie a stretch after being cooped up on account of the rain. Big seas and chilly winds were the order of the day.Popped in on T&K who were baby sitting for granddaughter Teresa before she departed to Germany with her parents.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Feet don't fail me now...

Last Thursday I paid a visit to Wansbeck hospital to get my feet assessed. Trevor confirmed that I did indeed have a couple of bunions, and after a few tests and a walk up and down he gave me a catalogue with a selection of what I'm going to call 'special' shoes.

The decision is simple... opt for a pair of these 'special' shoes and gain more comfort when walking, whilst looking like someone from a 1930's man's store advert, or buy regular, trendy looking but badly fitting shoes and damage my feet even more. There's also a third option which involves some anesthetic and a very sharp knife. The decision is mine... but perhaps you'd like to tell me what you think?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Poppy is eleven!

Following the family theme of the last post, here is a photo of our granddaughter Poppy. It's her birthday today and she's eleven years old. What a wonderful girl Poppy is... lively and engaging, with a charm and smile that can knock you down from six feet. Mind you, she's not averse to the odd 'lip' when things aren't going her way! Poppy has had much to endure in her eleven years, and she has born it, as far as I know, with bravery and determination. I have no doubt that the next eleven years for her will also have their challenges, but I'm equally confident that she will rise above them all and become a young lady of talent and vitality. With that quick wit and disarming smile she's got it made!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sokell's x4

Bearing a slight resemblance to a police line up.... here are four Sokell blokes (three generations) in one shot. Bren managed to get this while we were all together this weekend.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

I'm a CLAS act me...!

Today I received my membership of CLAS - The Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society. Along with my membership came a couple of copies of 'The Edge' (CLAS magazine - the current magazine has information and a report about the Summer Symposium that I attended, and there was a picture of me in it!), a free 'Tools & Materials' brochure, an offer on a boxed set of Calligraphy gouache and various bits of information about what's going on in the world of calligraphy right now. I also got info about how I can proceed on the CLAS Certificate of Calligraphy and 'Ladder of Progress'. Can't wait to get started on it!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

ASBO Jesus keeping it real again....

She's back in town....

Granddaughter Angel returned last week to stay with us for a few days (14 to be exact!) As usual her behaviour has been impeccable and I believe she has thoroughly enjoyed herself. Leon has been to stay this weekend too so they've had fun together, and also with Gracie, including a trip to Blyth beach this afternoon.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

All Hallows Eve

Bren was singing at a Halloween 'event' in Rothbury on Saturday. She managed to keep focused and professional while all manner of witches, ghouls and goblins paraded around in their 'celebrations'.

Whitleybunions #13

Family visiting this weekend... so the customary visit to Whitley Bay for a bracing walk on the beach and an ice cream from The Rendezvous Cafe.

On the way to the bus station to catch the bus home, I stopped to snap the recently refurbished Playhouse... nice!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Tee for two...

Yesterday evening me and my buddy Phil expended a bit of energy by blasting a number of small yellow spherical objects from a patch of green with what I'm going to call a 'club'. This is known as golf, and I'm told that it IS possible to remember the 23 things that need to be remembered before actually hitting that small yellow thing. It turns out the two main things for me to remember are... swing slowly, don't lash at the thing... and keep your eye on it rather than turning your gaze to where the ball is going to (hopefully) go.

Sunset over Cramlingtonvilleshire...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

A Grand Day Out...

Bidding farewell to summertime and welcoming the winter months, we got the day off to a cracking early start by heading up to Netherwitton and Mitford. Gracie loved the freedom after being cooped up in the house for a couple of days because of the rain.

Later on we headed down to Blyth beach and later on to The Delaval Arms for a lovely roast lunch followed by Apple and Blackberry Crumble... with custard, as you can see! It was great to be in this pub again. It has hardly changed at all over the years apart from a spot of paint here and there and some new pictures. I used to meet my dad here for a pint sometimes on a Sunday morning after he had walked all the way from the High Point (Cullercoats), his weekend constitutional.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Songster Serenades Sand Dancers in South Shields... Shock!

Resisting the temptation to blog about Mr Nick Griffin and his appearance on Thursday evening's Question Time, I bring you instead the lovely news that a rare visitor of another kind has been found lurking in a South Tyneside quarry. The eastern crowned warbler will not be alone this weekend, with thousands of twitchers due to arrive and keep him/her company. Come to think of it, NG did a fair amount of twitching last night too!