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Showing posts from December, 2023

Two Is The Magic Number....

A first trip to the North East for a while, taking in a few of my favourite pubs, a brewery taproom, and a trip over the Tyne to catch some football. Here's how the day panned out.... Saturday began early as I was off to catch the 8.17 Transpennine Express from Huddersfield north to Newcastle. I was going to watch FC Halifax Town at Gateshead, and it was a sunny and quite pleasant mid-December morning, quite mild for the time of year. Despite the fact that there were a diminishing number of days left for Christmas shopping and Newcastle United were home in the afternoon, the train was pretty empty when I and a gaggle of Halifax Town fans stepped on board, and whilst it got busier as the journey progressed, it was still relatively quiet when we arrived at Newcastle's Central Station just after 10 am. And just like Michael Caine's character in the classic 1971 gangster film Get Carter , our first action was to head straight across the road to the Victoria Comet , although in

Not Just For Christmas....

The relentless build up to Christmas is now in full swing, and with that in mind here are a few thoughts about the festive season and a couple of recent events with a distinctively Irish theme as a bar in Enniskillen releases a Christmas advert and an iconic musician sadly passes away.... The rows of bagged and stacked Christmas trees have been in the supermarket entrances for a good few weeks now. The big retailers' festive adverts with their oodles of false sentiment and bonhomie have been on the TV screens for a while too. This has been since the early part of November which, with the adoption of the dreadful US retail concoction of Black Friday, has seemingly and seamlessly been appropriated into the festive period. Against this background of unbridled commerciality there have been two events in the past few days which have brought the more traditional and human aspect of Christmas back into sharp focus. The first was the release of their own Christmas advert by a pub in the No