Thursday, September 03, 2015

discovering Newcastle

hello there

one or two of you, it would seem, were somewhat disappointed with the aspects, or if you like elements, of Newcastle i presented in a recent post. let it not be said, look you see, that i am not prepared to address such gripes. i, or rather we, had reason to return to this place not so long after we went in the first instance. i opted, perhaps elected, to take some more pictures, then, so that you may see more of this place.

when people think Newcastle, invariably they think "bridges". for some reason the founding fathers of Newcastle really, really liked what they saw of bridges around the world and wished to create a city which reflected their love of them. their enthusiasm for bridges, as it widely accepted, never really came to be illustrated in any of the ones they created in city, but what they lack in magnificence and impressive stature they make up for with the fact that they are at least perfectly serviceable.

here is one of several bridges which Newcastle has. this is one that allows the people to, if it is their will and want, cross over a busy and complex road with a relative lack of fear or concern about being struck by one of the vehicles using the road.

the most famous bridge of Newcastle, i am told, is the "Tyne Bridge", called so presumably for the most part as it is a bridge that crosses over the river Tyne. there are several reasons one would wish to cross over the river Tyne, of course, with the more favourable and preferable all involving the trip south.

the Tyne Bridge has a minor yet hugely fanatical fan base amongst a rather peculiar band of bridge followers. there are bridge fans that turn their back on the well known, magnificent bridges of the world, with them instead putting the focus of their passion on the "B" and "C" grade bridges of the world. this is a place where the Tyne Bridge sits comfortably and is admired. but enough background, you want to see it. 

no, you are not wrong - they are clouds, not fog. that Gazza is full of sh!t, man, but we shall get to that in a bit later on in this post. if you can be bothered reading.

for those who are detecting some sort of anti-Newcastle bias in this post, you are much mistaken. it was, after all, in Newcastle that i saw Tin Machine and indeed the double bill of Ian Brown and the Manic Street Preachers. true, as none of those seem to play gigs there any more you could argue that the value of the place has dropped off, but all the same i have fond memories of the place.

a view from upon the Tyne Bridge? why, certainly, and furthermore a view of another bridge.

that white thing you can see sort of protruding on the other side of the classical green girders and what have you on the Tyne Bridge (presumably to prevent sauced Geordies falling in to the Tyne) is called the Millennium Bridge.

i have been unable, alas, to muster any energy or interest in finding why the Millennium Bridge has been called what it is, but i am happy to presume that it's either a tribute to the smart TV show Millennium, starring Bishop out of Aliens, or it is to pay homage to the splendid song Millennium by Robbie Williams, sampling as it did the theme to You Only Live Twice off of that James Bond film. in either case, it's smart to see that Newcastle were so fond of either, or possibly both.

what would the Tyne Bridge look like if you laid down on it and stared up towards the skies? like this.

although it was nice that the skies were relatively clear, i am sorry that there were no birds flying. it would have been nice to capture evidence of the widely held theory that, when in Newcastle airspace, the birds fly upside down as they are of the opinion that it is "not worth sh!tting on". to be honest i am not convinced that birds have such opinions of any place, and even if they did i would not know how we would solicit such knowledge of this thinking from them. still, if you ask anyone off of Sunderland, or Middlesbrough for that matter, they will tell you that it is indeed the case that the birds do indeed do this.

one of the more vocal critics of the original post on Newcastle was, quelle surprise, my Dad. he was most put out that i took no pictures of the Angel Of The North or certain other monuments. to that end, then, here is a picture of what i think might be one of the monuments. there is it, sort of in the centre of the picture, at a distance.

as for the Angel Of The North, i would love nothing more than to present a picture here of it. it truly is an amazing and magnificent presence in our part of the world. however, our route north took us upon roads that did not go past it, and our route home went a way that we might have been able to see it, only there are masses and massives of trees by the sides of the road which prevent you from seeing it at ground level. or at least the ground level which we were at. perhaps another journey will allow us to see it more clearly.

indeed, this is my Dad at a podium. if you are saying "surely no he didn't", the answer is actually yes he did. he, from what i can gather, brought together members of the community to address them and share with them all his profound disappointment with the lack of pictures of monuments i had presented here on this blog of mine.

this, you would think, would cause a bit of a dilemma, or if you like quandary in the minds of the incumbent audience. whereas they would with no doubt always be interested in any subject or manifesto that my Dad was of a mind to share with them, their enthusiasm for or interest in a critical look at a blog post about Newcastle, with the scope of the discussion being what was missing rather than what was there, is something that i would suggest as being contentious at best in terms of gauging the level of. many in the audience, for instance, might quite have liked what i put (thank you, if that's the case) and had no worries or concerns about how much more could have been incorporated into it all. no matter what level of interest they had in the content i am confident it can be said that they thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

taking to delivering public addresses in order to comment on what he thinks of the content of my blog posts is, of course, only one of the interests my Dad is presently enthusiastic about. many of you, for instance, will recall that he got very excited about this "dogging" business, or at least he did right up until the point at which he worked out exactly what dogging was and involved, and then he wasn't that interested.

a current interest which he is enthusiastic about (hence it being an interest, i suppose) is the magic of wind turbines. here, then, in the absence of a video of a monument, is a video of a wind turbine in action. 

what's the big interest in wind turbines? to be sure, i do not know. they would appear to have captured his imagination some. i am guessing that the number of areas around the coast of New Zealand which are both windy and secluded would make it an ideal place to position them, but i would not think he would intended to go off and build them himself.

a picture of the wind turbines for those of you who cannot see the above video? sorry to learn you are using an Apple device, if that is the case, and certainly, here you go.

these wind turbine things were controversial when first proposed. as with every good natured cause, it was the case that people were wildly enthusiastic about them, right up until the moment it was suggested that they were done or built anywhere near where they happened to live. the "not in my back yard" brigade will always, always trump any good or necessary intentions, dear reader. now that they are a thing, however, from what i can work out grumbles and complaints have all gone away. well, maybe not, but they are not a daily thing.

another video of the wind turbines in action? surely. i am sure that whatever level of interest it is my Dad has in them is a level shared by others, so here you go, knock yourself out.

although these wind turbines were pictured (and filmed) close to Newcastle, i think the point of this blog post, in relation to the title, is getting a little lost. let's not get it back on track straight away, however, but take a detour over to our friends in Liverpool.

the Sunday Sport is, according to Spiros, the only place where one can get true, honest, reliable and interesting news any more. to that end, then, i am sure that it must be true that they are going to build this massive statue of the late Cilla Black across the River  Mersey.

a bone of contention between the cities of Liverpool and Newcastle surrounds whether or not it is best to describe the Mersey as being "the Tyne of the North West" or to describe the Tyne as being "the Mersey of the North East". this is something which has led to, to say the least, heated debates, with many people having beer glasses smashed in their faces, should their view of which is the correct way of describing either river be one that the audience for this view happens to disagree with in a most passionate way. as a very direct consequence of this, plus the fact that it is of little or no relevance to me whatsoever, i tend to avoid conversations on the subject.

that said, if it comes to a straightforward debate between which river is the best, well, let's have a look at music, shall we? music is a very important factor in determining the validity or importance of a river. to that end, The Stone Roses did Mersey Paradise, whereas Frankie Goes To Hollywood did a sterling version of Ferry 'Cross The Mersey. the Tyne? oh dear. Jimmy "hard as" Nail(s) did a song about in in which he couldn't even be bothered to say the name, and Gazza (yeah, that one) did a song in which he was more focused on fog than he was the river. sorry, but it seems that the Mersey provides more impressive inspiration.

do i happen to have any concerns about the warning signs and "useful information" notices scattered around the dentist hospital in Newcastle? why yes, actually, as it happens i do.

first up, there's this warning about if you have plague, or similar. it says that if you have been spewing for two days, or have had what is politely called a "runny tummy" (a case of the sh!ts in medical parlance), you should not attend for surgery or procedures as you might get knacked and you may well knack others.

this is an admirable and understandable warning. in itself, it is solid advice and something i would not argue with. that this sign appears where it does, however, is  problem.

they have, in their wisdom, decided to position this sign on the wall next to the door where you come out of having any procedures, operations or surgery done on you. it is the case that you would only see it, then, after you had exited whatever it was you were having done (presumably to your teeth), and even then only if for some reason you decided to look back as you left. i am no expert i such things, but i would like to imagine that it would be better to warn people of this before this point in their lives.

equally disappointing is this performance, or if you like sorry excuse for a "fire action notice" sign. for a start all the writing is too small and fiddly to worry about. but that's not my issue.

perhaps it is just my age, but all the same i am of a generation where fire alarms were things that were shielded if not hidden behind glass, and one had to break the glass to sound it off. this, to me, was more exciting, as it added to the adventure of a fire by having broken glass to contend with.

should for some reason a fire break out at a dental hospital - and it's mostly water, so this is highly unlikely, but still - it's all "touch pad" and little or no broken glass to alert people to the fact that there might be a fire on the go.

the fate of this and future generations really does worry me. it is bad enough that they have "touch screen" devices forced on them simply because that total dick who was in charge of Apple (i think he is dead now) didn't like buttons, but this is going too far. why can't the kids of today have some broken glass to contend with as they battle their way through the flames of a fire? we must trust them to be able to do so, otherwise all is lost.

finally, in terms of my complaints about warning signs seemingly randomly distributed across the dentist hospital they have up there in Newcastle, this one about emergencies, help and all that.

like the one for plague, it is positioned next to the door as you exit the surgery theatre. this makes it of little practical value to anyone, you would think.

also, the offers of help and that are a bit strange. it's all about what you should do, and who you should complain to, if you do not believe that the medical attention you are getting is any good for you, or of the standard you feel it should be.

excuse me? if you know all that much about whatever the hell it is dentists and doctors do, they why are you seeing one? "physician, heal thine self" or something, isn't that the case? it seems that this glaring sense of entitlement that the generation of today has now stretches to them believing that they are in a position to quibble and question about what medical attention they get. it is the case, presumably if not no doubt, that they believe they are "expert" in such things as they were "engaged in content" about the subject.

if i were at the dental hospital for some sort of emergency - maybe my spleen had fallen off or out, for instance, or perhaps a leg had become partially severed - i think i would be more concerned with the professionals fixing it all up than i would be with debating whether or not the medical practitioner was fit for purpose.

anyway, leaving that aside, and finally for now on the subject of Newcastle, let's end with a distinct positive. one of the best, like totes forever things about Newcastle is, of course, that it allows one to gain very easy access to Gateshead.

Gateshead is class. there's a smart stadium there, lots of things to do and hardly anyone visiting gets glassed as a consequence of being asked an impossible comparison question about rivers.

now, if you will excuse me, Poundland has just started doing online shopping. i am off to investigate, and probably order £50 worth of stuff so that i may qualify for their free delivery.

thanks for everything, Newcastle, see you again one day, maybe.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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