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Friday, 14 September 2012

Bus Passes and The Baltic

The other day, we went bus travelling. It is a great thrill to be able to travel around free when you are over sixty. But it doesn't make up for the slashing of interest rates on savings. The "Good old Days" fed us a steady income of interest on all our savings and investments and I, for one, had to give up renting and put a small sum into buying the cheapest available property. There are lots of comments on how badly people are suffering since the banking collapse, but pensioners and investers had a stream of income wiped out overnight. So good on the bus pass. BUT we left home too early and had to pay 50p each for getting on the first bus before 9.30am!
At the Bus Station in Bishop Auckland we met a woman who had caught the school bus down the Dale to Stanhope, and then caught the 9-0-Clock to Bishop. Like us, she was catching the 9.59 to Newcastle. Then the 12.30 to Berwick and the 4.30 to Kelso!!! All the way to Scotland (and back) for nothing. A friend would meet her and her roll-on-off small case.
We decided to catch the bus to Gateshead so that we could visit the Baltic

and the Sage
It was a lovely day, now and then, and we went into Baltic to see if there was anything worth seeing.
Not really. It is a change over period . Mark Wallinger showed off his wall of numbered bricks and his wonderful display of pebbles on a giant chequer-board floor cloth. There was a movie showing people putting up scaffolding and then taking it down again. We watched a small part of the construction.
On the next floor was a sound installation.......
IT WAS FANTASTIC. It was Janet Cardiff's "The Forty Part Motet". It's been around since it was first exhibited at The Baltic, ten years ago, when The Baltic first started. walk into the room, empty, bar the forty speakers each playing their own singing part. Standing in the middle is absolutely stunning.
Then we walked across the Millennium Bridge and on and upwards to the to the town centre of Newcastle.
After a trip to The Cafe Royal for lunch, we went to the Grainger market and bought scallops and cod for meals we have now eaten. The Cafe Royal fed us a wonderful open sandwich with a small jar of tomato sauce for dipping our french fries into. We decided to have a go at making some such ketchup ourselves and soon.
The X21 took us safely home to Bishop.
Iceland were selling 2lb tomatoes for £1.50, so we decided that we would have a go.
This book has a good recipe in it and so we started. DJ did the nasty job of peeling and seeding the toms. I did the nice job of selecting and making up the spice package and stuff like that.
It seems to have worked but is more to my tastes than DJ's. Next time I will be more traditional with my sugar and spice ratios.

It's very tasty and anyway, at least one of us loves it.
ALSO....DJ fixed the easel teaser. It's a great solution because nothing has to undergo a permanent change.
He has made a piece of added height. It is two sheets of ply joined together with inch square dowel. One piece of ply is half an inch higher than the other so that the canvas can't fall out. It's also big enough to hold a cheap block canvas. At the moment I'm painting "working on the boats at low tide...St Malo"
Art classes are on again. the first one was a disaster for me. I love working in oils but acrylics are much more easily packaged and travelled with.
But I'll be back next week to learn more.
Cheers Gillian


carol said...

What interesting places you have around you. Nice scenery here but not a lot of variation. I went to a talk on 'Bricks' which was much more interesting than it sounds and felt really nostalgic for Brick- rich England.
Ketchup looks good too.

love those cupcakes said...

Great day out (apart from the 50p fare. My 96 year old FIL got on a bus 2 minutes early and was told to pay or get off. He didn't have any cash on him but luckily the only other passenger paid on his behalf.) I haven't visited the Sage or Baltic but we've tickets to a concert at the Sage later in the year.

chillsider stitching and opinions said...

I am longing to visit the Baltic, but not enough to make it happen, presumably......we did once manage to get to the Tate at St Ives, another ambition, but it was closed for rehanging. Early September, not good planning I protested, surely they could have waited till the grey pound had settled back home after our late summer hols. possibly I will never see it now. Very annoying.