Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve 2010

I don't know why but I find New Year depressing - it may be post Christmas Blues, it may be the fact that a new year means I'm getting older. This year has been tough, my other half lost his job twice and is now unemployed as well as having had to undergo major surgery, the NHS is being dismantled bit by bit which causes problems as my wages are now frozen for two years so there are no rises to cope with inflation and my old school friend died leaving a gap in many people's lives.
I'm hoping that 2011 will bring some better times although I can't see it yet.
Regardless of how I feel I wish everyone a happy 2011 and I've posted some random cat pictures just to cheer things up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nearly 50

It's my last day of being 49 - I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I had a 'birthday' night out with the girls from work last week and decided my new drink would be Morgan's spiced rum and lemonade. I felt a bit rough on Friday but seeing as I developed flu by the Saturday I'll put it down to the virus. Having flu has somewhat thrown my birthday and Christmas plans - still need to write cards and do some Christmas shopping plus the usual washing, ironing etc.
Anyway, I got a bit nostalgic and ended up downloading lots of old songs from Amazon - plus the new X factor winners single - I'll talk about some of them a little bit more on my music blog.


"Have I The Right"
The Honeycombs;


"No Regrets"
Walker Brothers


"Tell Me When"
The Applejacks


"I'm So Straight I'm a Weirdo"
Rick Wakeman;


"Here Comes The Night"


"Twighlight Time"
The Platters


"Just A Dream"
Jimmy Clanton


"Take These Chains From My Heart"
Ray Charles


"My Boy Lollipop"


"I Remember You"
Frank Ifield


"Let Me Go Lover"
Teresa Brewer


"Lula Rock-A-Hula"
Teresa Brewer;


"Lady With The Big Umbrella"
Dean Martin;


"Go Now"
The Moody Blues;


"Maria Elena"
Los Indios Tabajaras


"Make It Easy On Yourself"
Walker Brothers;


Scott Walker;


"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"
Walker Brothers;


"When We Collide"
Matt Cardle;

Fabulous By: Charlie Gracie

Butterfly by: Charlie Gracie

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

29 Years

I started work in the NHS 29 years ago today - my department was called 'Community Health' and we dealt with childhood immunisations - no computers - everything was sent away for batch processing and ended up on microfiche.
29 years and various NHS departments later I'm back in child health working with same person I was working with on my very first day. Talk about things going full circle!

Monday, December 06, 2010

50 Years of Coronation Street

Coronation Street was first broadcast 50 years this week - 6 days before I was born. I remember my Mum watching it when I was a toddler and I suppose I just got sucked into it. It's not the most glamorous of soaps but it's like a nice warm cosy blanket, and that's why I'll be glued to this weeks episodes. Just watched the explosion and tram crash, so we're trying to work out who's not going to survive. So far in the running to die are Ashley, Max, Molly, Rita, Sunita, Peter, Ciaran, Graeme, Fiz's baby and of course bunny boiler Charlotte has already been dispatched by John.
There's a live episode on Thursday and I'm so upset because I'm on a very rare night out - an early birthday night out in fact - never mind will have to catch in on ITV net.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More snow

1st of December and there is more snow chaos - it takes hours to get to work and back and I just feel knackered by the time I get home.
On a lighter note it's only 15 days till my 50th birthday - I always imagined I would have a great big party with loads of old music and lots of dancing - it hasn't panned out that way for various reasons, so there's a good chance it will pass by like a wet Sunday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


The snow has arrived! I've been away from work this week looking after Jason who's just had surgery and now the snow has arrived. The bin men couldn't get into the street to empty the bins and today we had no post deliveries either. Last night there was so much snow that the sky was white and it didn't get as dark as usual. I managed to take some photos around midnight - hand held camera, no flash!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The passing of time

I was at the funeral of an old school friend last week, I'd known her since I was 12 years old and we were very close at school. Even though we saw each other infrequently after leaving school I always considered her a good friend.
I never thought I would be attending her funeral at what I still consider to be a young age - her teenage daughters are the spitting image of her as a young girl and when I saw them I was transported back to the 1970's.
The church was full of her family, friends and colleagues - she was that sort of person - you couldn't not like her. Other old friends from school were there, we sat united in grief but still with an air of disbelief - how could she go, suddenly we were all being confronted by our own mortality and it was a little frightening.
I feel as though her departure has left a little gap in my life and now I have to cling to fond memories and old photos - R.I.P. Sue

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

The Northern Autumnal Equinox and the Harvest 'full moon' both occur today which is a rare occurance. It hasn't happened since 1991 and they won't fall together at the same time again until 2029.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A mixed day today - The 30th Great North Run took place - everyone did very well.

It was also the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain - there was a service at Westminster Abbey and a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

As well my own seven cats we get the odd neighbourhood cat turning up to eat our cat food. An un-neutered ginger and white tom often ends up on our doorstep, I don't know who owns him or what his name is so we call him 'Big Ginge'. He's a lovely natured cat but his one big fault is that he sprays if he gets in the house - not good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Half way through September and it feels like autumn already, the leaves on the trees are turning yellow and children have started to collect conkers.
During the Summer Sarah grew some lovely sunflowers, unfortunately the snails also loved them and chewed all the leaves.
I managed to get a few snaps with my new camera - I'm still getting to grips with it so pictures are a bit hit and miss.

Monday, September 06, 2010

I had a mammogram today - part of the NHS breast screening programme. Probably not the usual stuff for a blog but it was the first one I've had and must have been devised by a man - why else would you think it was a good idea to stuff sensitive parts of your body between two plates then attempt to squash them flat! I notice they don't do this for testicular

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I'm trying to get the hang of the new Blogger templates so the appearance of my blogs might change from week to week until I can find something I'm happy with. Any constructive comments will be appreciated.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I've started yet another blog - silly, I know, because sometimes I don't even have the time to post in my current blogs. Anyway The Colour Junkie will focus more on art and colour and less on other stuff (whatever it is I usually ramble on about). I haven't got it set up 'all pretty' yet but when I get

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Birthdays - the Dalai Lama and Frida Kahlo were both born on 6th July - it's a bit random but there you go!

Monday, June 21, 2010

At 4:45 am this morning the Summer Solstice was celebrated at Stonehenge, I would love to have been there - maybe some day I will eventually get there. They had wonderful weather for it so I can imagine the view would have been spectacular. This picture is from the Metro newspaper.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Saturday Sarah and I visited the Doctor Who Exhibition at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. We're both massive Doctor Who fans and had a great time looking at original props and costumes and experiencing the Daleks - it's a 'must see' for any fans. The centre itself is a great place to visit and brings science to life - also has a great little cafe!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

In Memory Of Owen Brannigan - Blaydon Races

"Aa went to Blaydon Races t'was on the Ninth of June" - The Blaydon Races
One of the most famous songs on Tyneside and now also an annual race which follows the route from Balmbras Public House in Newcastle to Blaydon, just over the water in Gateshead.

Monday, May 31, 2010

This is a little tryout I did yesterday. One A4 sheet of gessoed watercolour paper, four tubes of System 3 acrylics - Titanium white, process yellow, process cyan and process magenta, gloss medium, a paint brush, palette knives and fingers. The little painting in the top right has lots of little acrylic paint skins attached - peeled from last weeks palette.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There's a full moon tonight - I'm going out to howl at the moon........
It's 70 years since the Dunkirk rescue and a fleet of little ships are heading to France to commemorate this. My thanks go to the original sailors all those years ago as my Grandad was amongst those troops trapped on the beaches. He was rescued and brought back safely, thank you to all those brave people.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today is towel day. Don't forget your towel!

Today is towel day in honour of author Douglas Adams. http://www. towel

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Middle of May already - what a month! A general election, a hung parliament, freezing cold weather and yet another cold/sore throat.
Finally managed to get my paints out though all I've had a chance to do so far is 'play' - I'm hoping I get the chance to do some 'real painting' during the bank holiday weekend.
Managed to get some reduced Cryla acrylics from Bradbury Graphics - they're selling off the old style Cryla at bargain prices -

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I've tried to avoid mentioning the General Election but I suppose I should acknowledge it. I will vote - women had to fight for the right to vote so it shouldn't be wasted. I do know that I won't vote for a party who wish to bring back fox hunting. Where is the 'sport' in chasing an animal and ripping it apart - why would you want to trust someone who takes pleasure in something so barbaric.
Found an interesting link organised by Brian May , worth a look.

Today is 5th May which is my Mums birthday. She sadly died in 2005 so I'm posting an old photograph which I think was probably taken in the early 1950s. She is no longer here but I carry an infinite number of memories with me.

I was going to mention May Day, but I'm late as usual! Weather was nondescript and there aren't any Maypoles in Benwell (they would have to have CCTV cameras on top). Bank Holiday Monday was cold - nothing new there - so business as usual!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It was St George's Day yesterday - it doesn't really get as much of a mention as it should - he's our patron Saint so why not - we could celebrate all that's good about England - it's also William Shakespeare's birthday so even more reason to give it a mention.

It's been a gloriously sunny day today - hope it lasts a few days - the cats have been playing outside most of the day and Sarah has been blowing bubbles for them to chase - we've had 'cat ballet' as they jump and twist. I've got a tub of Cornish Vanilla ice cream in the freezer which I might just break out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

So there I was blogging about the decline in our birds when in runs Angel (above) with a robin in her mouth. They don't catch many birds but they do like to prove me wrong - I held it's little body in my hands as its life ebbed away and the warmth left it....I howled inside and shed a few tears but cats are hunters by nature and this is the dark side that we have to accept when we invite them in - I cry for each tiny body but they do it because they are cats.

I've added my friend's Blog to the list at the right, please take a look, some of her posts might just strike a chord with you.

Where has all the birdsong gone?
When I moved into this house 20 years ago I was often woken early in the morning by birdsong - nothing special just sparrows, starlings, blackbirds. I wasn't always happy being woken at 4 am in the summer - the sun was up, the birds were singing and I couldn't get back to sleep.
Now each morning, even in summer, there is silence. Yes I live in a city, yes my garden is tiny and yes I have seven cats but apart from the number of cats increasing over the years, nothing has changed. My garden backs onto other gardens so there is plenty of room for wildlife but even the hedgehogs seem to have deserted us. I'm not the only one to notice this - the lack of house sparrows and starlings - at one time they were all over but now I can go for days without seeing any.
Even in the centre of town the pigeons seem to be the only birds thriving - at one time you would see little house sparrows darting in and out between pigeons and starlings but now there are only the pigeons and the odd crow.
I feel a little sorry for the pigeons - they congregate around the Haymarket bus station waiting for crumbs from sandwiches and Greggs pasties - I watch them when I'm waiting for my bus to work - many seem to have injuries to their feet and legs, some are scrawny and sad looking. Many people regard them as vermin - rats with feathers, vermin with wings - but I can't think of them in that way - they have just as much right to be here as anyone else - it's probably the human race who have overrun.
Back to the garden birds - there has been a noted reduction - it's estimated that there are ten million fewer house sparrows in the UK than there were twenty five years ago - so what else may have disappeared in that time...................

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's halfway through April already - where does the time go?
We've had a few spring days but true to form it's raining yet again. Meanwhile all the airports have ground to a halt due to a massive cloud of volcanic dust floating over from Iceland. Hoping I can use this as an excuse if I'm late for work - "Sorry I'm late, the bus got caught up in a massive cloud of volcanic dust" - well it's worth a try!

Work and other distractions have kept me from blogging - not an excuse - it's my own fault.

Facebook - wonderful and evil at the same time - I can keep in contact with my brother in Denmark, speak to old and new friends - however there are also so many little distractions which eat away at my time - I should be painting (or God forbid - ironing ) but all those little games and applications vie for my attention - it's just as well Facebook is blocked at work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February already and I've just got around to making my first post of the New Year. Work and flu seem to have taken up all my time but I'm determined to do some painting again soon.

Poor little Ruby is unwell at the moment which is costing a lot in vets bills so I've put books and postcards up for auction if anyone is interested - look for seller ID katkin.