Where I’m from

Hello from Northumberland – Whittle Dene

Whittle Dean lake reflection 2

Whittle Dean lake reflection 1

Here’s the same photo, twice, rotated 180 degrees. So which one’s the right way round? This is Whittle Dene where Newcastle’s drinking water comes from. It’s on the Military Road which follows the route of Hadrian’s Wall.

North Walbottle Highland Cows

Highland cattle North Walbottle 2

Introducing my neighbours. More from Ye Olde North Walbottle soon.

Boll and I are back

Bolly November 2015

Eee. Are yiz alreet pets? Bolly and I are back. We now live in a bosky dell near Newcastle, with Highland Cows at the end of the road. Since we last Peacockshocked, Boll celebrated her 16th birthday (80 in human years) and I did lots of travelling – Athens, Stockholm, Durham and so on. How are you???

The ‘New’ Bridge

new tyne bridge 1925

Mum referred to the ‘new bridge’ in Newcastle the other day and I assumed she meant the Millennium Bridge (2001). But no – she meant the Tyne Bridge (1928).

Newcastle itself isn’t exactly new, as the ‘new castle’ in question dates from 1080. As for other news, they’re all old news …

New College Oxford – 1379

New York – 1664

New Town Edinburgh – 1820

New Mexico – 1912

UK New Towns – 1949

New Media – 1960 (cited in the OED)

Neologism – um, 1772

7272 2727

Here’s an interesting thing. As the Samaritans hit 60, I’ve recalled an odd family story. The Samaritans’ Newcastle number apparently used to be 7272. Meanwhile, my grandparents’ number was 2727. So they often ended up answering calls from people who…

Geordie Grammar

As you no doubt know, I’m a big fan of Geordie grammar and I’ve went to great lengths to bring yous examples of it over the years. So I was delighted when Dad told me about a Geordie manager he…


I was in Newcastle recently and was shocked to overhear several young Geordies saying ‘alright’ or ‘all right’ – ie. speaking proper English. But in Geordie, it’s most certainly pronounced ‘alreet’ (or ‘arlreet’ if you wish). It’s odd. I’m sure…


Northumbrian sheeps doing their thing near the car Boll and I have just returned from a month up north with Mum and Dad. We went on several jaunts into wild and woolly Northumberland with friends Audrey and Graeme and discovered…

Beaufront Castle

Beaufront is a 19th century ‘domestic castellated’ Gothic Revival manor house designed by John Dobson.


Craster’s the world kipper capital (oak-smoked by Robson and Sons). We had some delicious kipper fish cakes at the Shoreline Cafe where they have a wood-burning stove and lots of goodies. The Jolly Fisherman also looks good. Craster village has…