Archives for the month of: April, 2014

Local newspaper, The Journal’s annual Culture Awards have always grabbed my attention and I’ve found myself mostly arguing against rather than agreeing with the choice of winners.


Last month I saw that this year’s event, which took place last night, was going to be held in The Sage. Frankie and the Heartstrings were lined up to play and tickets were a tenner so I thought I’d get myself a couple and drag along a chum.

sage hall one

The Sage is an amazing venue and I always love listening to music in Hall One which is where the award ceremony took place. I’m not going to write an article about the evening. If you want to read one click here

I was rooting for chum Allison Davies who sadly lost out to Frankie and the Heartstrings in Newcomer of the Year Award. It’s a shame Alli didn’t win but Frankie’s business venture Pop Recs Ltd deserves recognition.

The band kicked off the second half of the evening. They were great and I was chuffed to find myself sitting next to the parents of frontman Frankie! Rock and roll!


I was delighted to see Pete Mortimer of Iron Press bound on stage in purple beetlecrushers to collect the award for “Best Event Tyneside”. This was for his marvellous Iron Age Festival…the literary festival with a difference held last May.

pete wins

iron press

I was unimpressed by “surprise” guest Fern Britton. The shoe horning in of her plug for a BBC TV programme seemed ham fisted to me. I had a snooze but was woken up by the amazing Mighty Doonans. What a blast! Irish/Geordie multi-instrumental/multi-talented bunch. Well worth checking out.

Mighty Doonans

Finally I was moved by the Northern Sinfonia’s performance. The Sage is now home to the Northern Sinfonia and they were presented with the evening’s Special Contribution Award.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees. It was a great night, even if the live streaming/perpetual invitation to tweet got a bit boring.


banana boxes 1

It’s Thursday. Thoughts turn to prepping for a weekend of secondhand bookselling.

My home is full of banana boxes. Why? Because banana boxes are the perfect size to fill with books and take to Tynemouth market or any book fair for that matter.

I’m not the only stallholder who carries their wares to Tynemouth in these boxes but where do we get our boxes from? Now that would be telling….

This coming weekend is especially busy with the first Tynemouth Station Book Fair of the year on Sunday. Over 50 booksellers selling thousands of books from 10 am to 4pm. There’ll be a heck of a lot of ‘narna boxes hidden under the tables.

The banana boxes in my home have added cardboard and banana tones to the building’s unique odour.

After packing for the weekend I will need a walk by the sea to smell seaweed, chips and the salty sea.

banana boxes 2

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