Showing posts with label Jessica Salmon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jessica Salmon. Show all posts

Friday 21 April 2017

The Wildflower Hour

It sort of makes me sad when I am in and outside work, and almost everyone is carrying a branded cup or foodbag, be it Costa, Starbucks, Greggs, Pret A Manger (they seem to have lost their accents)  or any number of the brands you see on every high street and railway station. People justify it because "they know what they are getting". If you try to dissuade people from buying this homogenised sameness they will always excuse it with a variation on the above excuse.

In Newcastle, you have no excuse because there are so many independent places where you can eat, get coffee, tea or whatever and today I'm going to gush over Wildflower cafe and art space on Westgate Road.

Firstly it's ten minutes walk from St James' Park , a place awash with student accomodation and therefore students. When I was at sixth form college I would have loved a place like Wildflower, but todays students seem to need a label on everything they buy.

The food is vegan. I'm not vegan, but I like good food, and I like to have something different. Today I was in two minds, the Lentil Dahl or Spanish Tomato Soup . I went for the soup (which also had a fair amount of lentils) , with a brown spread roll and a very green mango and papaya smoothie. Until I walked in I hadn't a clue what I was going to have, but it was gorgeous.

As I sat down Wire's "Outdoor Miner" came on the sound system and Asher told me about the joint smoking proprietor of a cafe up the road having a mini rave as he waited for customers.

I was soon joined by a big party of people to come and sample the delights of the cafe in the wonderfully art decorated welcoming surroundings, so I'd just got my order in in time.

Wildflower also host lots of events and themed meals and gatherings, and I love seeing how well attended these are and love the fact that it's popularity is growing thanks to the hard work of Jessica and Asher. They even have their vegan cookery slots on Tyne and Wear TV (and the vegan custard creams are lush).

If you live in Newcastle and haven't visited this place , shame on you, because it really is wonderful. It's the sort of place the media will airbrush over because it's not a big money brands, but for me it's the perfect sort of brand because it surprises me consistently with food and events and I try to eat there once a week, and I have to be honest the exercise walking the hill probably does me good and walking back down you get great views of the Tyne Bridge and The Sage.

It's very close to the town centre and if you message them on Facebook they will tell you what's on (the menu) and are open to suggestions for food ideas. Jess and Asher are both at least ten years younger than my girls so I'm old enough to be their grandad, but home I don't act that way.

So I will leave you with Wire's "Outdoor Miner" and I have the anticipation of what new delights will be served up next week.  The weekend is her.. Enjoy

Sunday 22 January 2017


Today was the first time I'd been to a gig since November. It was the first time I'd seen any once socially since before then barring my lovely neighbours and Jessica at Wildflower. On the the plus side I got to see a few friends who I hadn't seen in ages, and The Star Spangled Chestwigs sounded on top of their game. The Schooner was rammed.

Unfortunately this meant that I and many others couldn't see the band . The last time I saw them at The Schooner they were outside on the big stage / tables (see here) and while you could hear how good they were , you couldn't see.

But I felt brilliant to get out and it was great to see people and see The Schooner packed and enjoying the Chestwigs taking on classic rock and coming out on top.

They still can't play perfectly but they put on an absolutely perfect show and the crowd loved it. You will be hard pushed to see a better live band , because you come away from their gigs and feel absolutely top of the world. That's how good they are.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Tom Waits For Now Man - #ALifeinNumbers #55

Well we're on the home straight now, after this four more posts. It's already been a great week with various excellent things happening. Last night got a huge compliment from management at work which is a sort of cherry on the cake for this week so far.

Tuesday night I say the Bonzo Dog Band at the Sage, which has now become a very fluid lineup but it was an absolutely brilliant night, and on Tuesday my friend Jessica and her friend Asher opened Wildflower Cafe on Westgate Road. I work near St James' Park so was hoping to walk there, I needed some cash so got some from the St James' cash machine (it only had twenties), then set off. I then realised there was a large derelict area / building site which would mean a long right or left detour, however when I got there I notices a tarmaced path that seemed to skirt the new Science building a head straight to where I was going,

Wildflower Toastie
I got there and then saw across the road a big "Wildflower" sign in the window. I got in and was greeted by Jessica and Asher and there were two girls having coffee and chatting. The place has been furnished via Freecycle,and is bright and airy and welcoming with some of Jessica's designs on the walls, art displayed and books and things to catch the eye. I was trying to find a menu to display , but the fare is mostly if not all vegan, with felafel , hummus and tiffin!  There is lots of choice and I decided on a cheese and tomato toastie and a coffee which I can show you (See Right).

It was delicious, and just right for my dinner (I'm from Preston , it's dinner), too many times toasties are served in doorsteps or huge slabs of pretentious bread. This was perfect, and complimented by green stuff with dressing, which I also enjoyed.

I am looking forward to making this a regular eaterie and general good place to go, though I can see it's going to be popular, it aleady is with me.

Anyway #ALifeinNumbers is "Ol' 55" a song I first heard by the Eagles, so they're getting their second run out in this sequence, but it was written by Tom Waits, and it is one of many songs that you probably don't know have been written by him. So I'm going to include the Eagles version AND the Tom Waits version, because I can, assuming Tom Waits has let it out on Youtube. He's very protective of his music and sued Levis and got them to take out big billboard apologies when they used Screamin' Jay Hawkins'  version of "Heart Attack and Vine".

So enjoy the music and enjoy your Thursday my friends.

Saturday 12 November 2016

A Wonderfully Arty Vegan Lift To The Weekend - #ALifeInNumbers #49

In a week that has felt like the world is raining hammer blows on us, today I had two pieces of good news. My friend Craig is out of hospital, but posting on Facebook and sounding very upbeat and positive, though has a drug stash almost as big as mine.

Not Wildflower
Not Thousand Yard Stare
Secondly my friend Jessica, well we've met twice, she has given me cake and I know her mum and we are Facebook friends, and her friend Asher Turnbull are opening Wildflower, an art / vegan café in Westgate Road on 15th of November.

I mentioned that their logo reminded me of the one that one of my favourite bands, Thousand Yard Stare ,had used for their new album (which is excellent by the way). If you follow the tag or click on her name you will find details of the amazing exhibition where I first met Jessica , but as yet I haven't visited  Wildflower but will do as soon as it opens.

While I am pleased to have a vegan eatery close to home I will give a real review when it opens but I am just going to share Jessica's words with you for this. Yes it's a bit lazy I know, but as well as being an amazing artist , she can write too:

Wildflower is a vegan art café opening up on 283a Westgate road, just a little walk from town. We are a friendly place aiming to help creatives express themselves while eating delicious cake!

The café is owned by two very creative young vegans, Jessie and Asher, who aim to make this place spectacular. We want to have many fun events and parties, such as still life drawing sessions, anarchy knitting groups, themed dinner parties, vintage markets, art markets, live music, comedy, upcycling workshops, cooking demos and many more things! All with demonstrating an eco friendly ethic, and helpful attitude towards the local community.

We have started out with very little money, but have so far managed to get most of our furniture from Freecycle, which has been rather glorious. But there are a few essential things that you simply cannot get for free, such as ovens (that work properly!) so we are raising some money to try and get those few essential things! Link to our crowd funder is here

Their Facebook page is here  and this is where it is, so also handy for me for lunch.

Anyway this is being woven in with my #ALifeInNumbers  sequence and for number 49 it was always going to be "Funk #49" by the James Gang. The James Gang featured Joe Walsh on guitar, and I have always loved his economic style. Pete Townshend once said that Joe Walsh was his favourite guitarist and you can see the similarities. The chord holsds sway in their songs and this means that they are easy to follow for budding musicians. I've included an excellent live session but you can here the James Gang original here.

Have a wonderful Saturday night my friends.

Sunday 11 September 2016

I Find It Difficult To Get Angry

I started the blog And Annoyingly  to vent my spleen and The Red Tops and their readers and supporters and the idiotic right wing and racists, but to be quite honest I find such things a waste of energy hence the fact I have only put up three posts (so far). While I am exasperated by the electorate and public, unless I do something to change it, it is pointless wasting energy getting bothered about it.

So I won't, it is a Sunday and the weather is wonderful, lots of my friends are running in the great North Run and lots of people will achieve a dream today. It's things like that that spark me, make me feel positive, knowing that people are doing something THEY want to do , often for the benefit of others. It's like Jessica Salmon's "Storytelling Of The Ancients" exhibition (which you can watch here) , Jessica put time , effort and ideas into a presentation that was free for the public, and she provided wine and cake. Absolutely wonderful.

Some people spend their life whining about whatever slightly irks them , instead of doing something positive, but then some people are only happy when they or others are miserable. Bad things do happen but you need to try and find something good to hold onto , however difficult that might be.

Ken Loach is making all his films free to view on Youtube , he doesn't need to , but he is allowing people to see his work effectively for nothing. What he will get out of it is a lot of exposure, and deservedly so.

I thought I'd choose The Rolling Stones I'm Free , because most of the time we do have a choice, and if you get the chance take it, don't  pass it up.

Anyway go out and be positive and have a great Sunday everybody.

Friday 9 September 2016

Elysian Feels

I love seeing new things and meeting new people. My friend Ruth hand invited me to an exhibition, Storytelling of The Ancients,  which I didn't realise was being put on by her daughter at the Assembly House on Westgate Road. I started well by going to The Assembly Rooms and then got directed across the road to the correct venue.

Jessica and Oedipus
The day was warm and the door was open and I walked in , impressed by what I thought were some very nicely executed murals. I then noticed a room with a fireplace, some books of Greek Mythology and a small image of Cerberus on the green wall , Cerberus being the guard dog of the Underworld, but maybe he is there to keep undesirables away.

I then saw that the murals were not murals , but diaphanous constructs that swayed in the breeze and cast shadows on the white wile under a ceiling decorated with greenery which I think was ivy but could have Bacchanalian grape vines.

Jessica then introduced herself and told me about the exhibition and her love of the subject. Apparently Greeks always  greet guests with food and wine, and although the wine was finished there was gorgeous vegan raspberry  cake , biscuits and soft drinks.

Her friend , possibly Fiona, was also taking photographs and I took some myself as well as a short video, so that I could create a slideshow.

The images included Pandora, Persephone, Oedipus and many others including a wonderful centaur. I've included the slideshow soundtracked by Tangerine Dream's "Sequence C" from Phaedra , so another Greek Mythological connection as Phaedra was the daughter of Minos (see here)  which I've used as the video here although you can hear my waffle on the instagram video here.

So a great strat to the weekend, but if you get the chance , do go and see it, and if you are lucky you will get cake.