Sunday 29 July 2007

Newcastle Observation #1

On the way into Newcastle today noticed a fairly hefty guy , complete with tabs and lighter and new version of the home shirt , obviously off to see the Newcastle vs Juventus match (2-0 to the Toon and Buffoon should have walked) . As the guy left the bus I noticed the name and number on the shirt was :

"Barton 666"

Very scary indeed.

I'm based in Newcastle , and came up here around 1985 after being conned by some agency, and ended up staying here full time. Even in this short time I've seen a lot of changes , some good some bad.

The demise of the Mayfair to make way for the awful Gate complex is one of the bad things , however the recent smoking ban means I can now really enjoy brilliant pubs like the Newcastle arms without getting effectively tear gassed by cigarette fumes.

If you want to know about pubs in Newcastle check out the Burglar's Dog , you can't do better. Amazingly they also have a book!!! Click the picture on the left to find out more about it.

Saturday 28 July 2007

Seven Days In Dublin #1

The real reason for setting up this blog was the mad things you tend to see when you're away from home on holiday.

In January 2007 I spent a week in Dublin , near a place called DĂșn Laoghaire.
It's pronounced Dun Leery !!

It was at the station there I saw a great example of the dual language type fun , not exactly Samuel L Jackson , but funny .

Dublin is an excellent place to go , but has become very cosmopolitan and wealthy over the past few years. If you're travelling a lot by public transport it's worth getting a DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) that does you for the buses & trains.

Going in one night I was on a bus surrounded by Italians and Poles , and remember thinking "Kinell , It's like I'm in a foreign country!!!" . I then remembered that I actually was . Doh!!!

We were in a hotel outside Dalkey which is a pleasant seaside village. In one of the pubs , I went to the loo and saw this, thinking that's an accident waiting to happen . Chewing Gum , Jelly Beans and Condoms in the same machine after ten pints. Though after ten pints the condoms wouldn't be much use to most blokes anyway.

There's a rather good pub called The Druid's Chair that serves excellent Guinness , and has some excellent views out over the Irish Sea. Like this:

In Dalkey itself , we found an excellent Italian restaurant called Benitos!! . The war pictures on the wall should have alerted us to the inspiration behind the name. The food and service were great , so it's well worth tracking down if you're in that nck of the woods.

Back in Dun Leery we went to a restaurant , and this was the menu. Fine but the cost of two courses separately was 2 Euros cheaper than buying them together. I asked the waitress about it but no explanation was forthcoming.

Another amazing site in Dublin the the 600 Foot (or is it metres) Spike in the main street. It's lit up at night and looks mental.

The name of this place tickled me, not that I'm likely to frequent such a place with my excellent taste in food. Though I think they're a chain as I started to see a lot more of them (It wasnt the Guinness, honest)

Another fun thing was this old French Beer advertisement , which I'm sure would go down well these days , well with most of the punters I know!

If you're drinking or looking for night life in Dublin , Temple Bar is the place to head for , However the main pub seems to be Gogerty's Bar ,and while if you're looking for "company" it's fine , but the Guinness was atrocious. We started a Musical Pub Crawl there and the band drank water . Subsequently they were on the Black Stuff , but obviously had the same opinion of Gogerty's that I did. The musical Pub Crawl was well worth doing, Apparently the do a literary one as well , but we didnt get a chance to sample that.

I'll add to this as I remember stuff . Comments welcome