My Blog List

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

New House coming up

I shall be moving to a new house in a couple of weeks. I have got myself organised and it will be...pick up keys on day 1, day 2 will be get together with Ted/the/handyman to rip up the bits of left-over carpet and any more stuff we can do, the next day will be a total clean from top to bottom by Sue and Gillian and then after the weekend, Ted will return to start painting and decorating. The people putting in the new gas fire will also arrive during that week and the TV aerials will be installed. THEN I shall send you a better picture of it all and news of how it's going.

Cheers Gillian

Thursday, 7 May 2009


It's a lovely name for an educational centre which aspires to create new students from the ashes of their pasts. These people are only in their teens and so often their pasts have been worthy of a good bonfire that they deserve a place, safe from further scorches.

Okay, that was probably an over the top slushy, intro....but I had had it up to my eyebrows by lunchtime today and did what most of them do if they don't like it and walked out. I was heartily sick and tired of being insulted, ignored, treated like a piece of sh-t. I was on my way to the Principal to inform her about the bad behaviour of a couple of girls and went past the front door. I thought to myself........I can go home through that door! So in the end I went to inform the Principal that I intended to do just that. We sat down and talked it through. Yes! I am appreciated. The abuse is in fact a form of communication and signifies that I am on their radar and not hated and loathed as they successfully attempt to make me feel.

I shall return for another dose tomorrow. I don't give up easily but I am wondering if this is the way for me.

There are no pics with this because I still have not had my replacement Hewlett Packard camera from the Camera Shop in Darlington. I am getting a bit narked by that!!!

Everything else is going really well and my dashingly dark eyelashes (dyed again this evening by darling Debbie) are fluttering, the house purchase is moving ahead, the job will be fine and I'm an expert at moving house by now. Tigger is a happy cat. Dave is working and happy about driving enormous articulated trucks about the place. We shall gather in France in August with Trish etc .....Good Stuff All Round

Cheers Gillian

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


I got a "thingy" in my camera and every shot came out with a little knot of dust in the middle, so I took it back to the shop. They sent it to the suppliers who agreed that I should get a replacement. That was many weeks ago and I got sick of waiting politely. I also got sick after my last call-in to school and have spent a couple of weeks recovering from a chest infection.

Last time I would not leave the shop until they had phoned to find out what was going on. After half an hour it transpired that nothing was going on because they had sort of forgotten that they were meant to be doing anything and so they assured me that they would start again and I would get the replacement camera in a few days. It is now a few days but I have to work for the next three days so hope to get the new one at the weekend.

So I took my old 2 megapixel kodak on an outing to Blackhall Rocks to walk the beach and cliffs and view the Industrial Revolution archaeology in the remains littering the beach. The picture above shows the black scars of the eroding "slag heaps". These are the coal waste dumps left on the beach. The collieries were on the cliff tops and the coal mines were the ones that went out under the seabed of the North Sea for a mile or so. My uncles told me how water dripped from the roof of the workings and it was salty to the taste!

Mind you I don't want to waste the weekend at the camera shop; I want to go to the Garden Sale at Addisons Auctions at the weekend to get some stuff for the garden at the "new" house. Yes! I shall be on the move again in a few weeks but hopefully this is the last time because I have purchased instead of leasing. There is a lovely but small garden and it needs some care and attention.

The cliffs at Blackhall Rocks are a friable magnesian limestone, with remarkable caves. The limestone is topped with a thick layer of glacial boulder clay from the last Ice Age (now grass covered) and underlain by the much older carboniferous layers which contain the coal seams. On the beach is an amazingly disgusting and very thick layer of solid sludge. This is a couple of metres deep and is slowly being eroded away by wave action.

There are miles of this layer, which is the remains of centuries of dumping all the muck over the cliff onto the beach and hoping that the sea would act as a giant toilet and the tides would flush it all away. The boulders embedded in this thick, brown-grey fudge are not natural pebbles but rounded bricks, worn concrete conglomerates and vast lumps of klinker. The klinker is left from furnace bases. Industry ceased here a few decades ago. The mines closed and the works were demolished, the slag heaps re-vegetated and the area re-landscaped. The sea is still battling to remove the sludge layer and storms do great good here.

There was a movie starring Michael Caine (now Sir!) made "oop north" a few decades ago. The bad, baddie was disposed of by MC and loaded into a slag bucket and trundled on a sort of aerial cableway, off the nose of this cliff into the sea. I can't find an old pic to link to right now but there are plenty around.

We sat atop the cliffs in the sunshine to eat our picnic (I made some scotch eggs...simple but messy and much enjoyed). We could see to Sunderland and beyond to the north and Hartlepool and the billowing chimneys of Billingham to the south. We could see eight people!!!

More news soon about the house. I'm awaiting certainty before blogging with pics.

Cheers Gillian