A typical Newcastle United supporter
Newcastle institution St James’ Park (pronounced St James’s Park) is now the Sports Direct Arena. How classy. It’s been called St James’s for 119 years and 87% of fans, including Ant and Dec no less, disapprove.
I assume St James’s Park in London will now be renamed JJB Sports Common (very common indeed), St James’s Square will become Polyester Tracksuit Gardens and nearby Buckingham Palace will be tastefully rebranded as Burberry Baseball Hat House.
The saints themselves will also have to be rechristened of course-
St Joan of Argus
St George at Asda – and the Dragon, sponsored by Pets R Us
St Francis of Adidas
St Thomas Accessorize
St Mary the Blessed Virgin Atlantic
I could go on.
There are some pretty odd stadium names already
Dad’s new book is out now. It’s an excellent history of Westerhope Village near Newcastle, where I was born, with loads of archive photos and interesting stories.
One fascinating fact from the book – it’s called ‘Westerhope’ because it was founded by Victorian philanthropists who wanted to build an idyllic village to the west of the city – Hope in the West.
Thankfully, it’s not as bad as it seems.
It’s all about Geordie teeth which are quite similar to Neanderthal ones at equivalent ages, suggesting Neanderthals didn’t age as quickly as we thought.
We went to Lindisfarne (aka Holy Island) the other day.
The sea floods in over the causeway pretty quickly, so you’ve got to be very cautious about crossing only during the official slots. You can also walk over the sand if you really want to.
We visited the castle (redesigned inside by Sir Edward Lutyens for the owner of Country Life who lived there) and the priory.
Lindisfarne was first settled by monks in 635 AD. They used it as a base for converting the pagan north to Christianity, made vast amounts of mead and produced the Lindisfarne Gospels.
But then it was invaded by the Vikings.
As one rather tabloidy Anglo Saxon chronicle put it –
Fierce, foreboding omens came over the land of Northumbria. There were excessive whirlwinds, lightning storms, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky.
Thankfully, it’s very peaceful and largely dragon-free nowadays, with a charming village, cosy pubs, tea rooms, B&Bs and tourist cottages.
Crossing the causeway (the tower’s for stranded motorists)