Tuesday, 30 March 2010

have you been paying attention?

For those who have not been following Birtley News on a weekly basis (shame on you), here's some of the must-read news that might have passed you by.
YC is off sailing over Easter. If the weather is particularly hot, he might just have a half of beer after a hard day's sailing. And if it's cold, there's always rum.

Happy Easter one and all. Click here for some Handel to send you on your way.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Cleveland Survival - a grammatical challenge

YC ran The Cleveland Survival yesterday - a 26 mile navigation event in the North Yorkshire Moors. The weather was beautiful with blue skies and a cooling breeze, so survival was not really an issue. The route included the local landmarks of Roseberry Topping and Captain Cook's Monument. YC took just over 4 hours and finished in second place (blimey).

Navigation was generally fairly simple, with well defined paths and in the early stages a host of walkers to follow. However YC did encounter a sign of which Lynne Truss (of Eats Shoots & Leaves fame) would have been proud. It read "No route for survival" with an arrow pointing to the right. YC duly went to the left, only to discover this was precisely where he wasn't supposed to go. Apparently the sign should have been read as "No route, for survival [follow the arrow to the right]". The pedant in YC thought the sign-writer would have done better to omit the word "no".

more detailed report on NFR website

Friday, 26 March 2010

New Zealand sailing

Mr & Mrs Rev T are back in the UK after an enjoyable month in New Zealand. They visited the fiords at Doubtful Sound, checked out the long lost family brewery - McDuffs - in Dunedin, and swam in Lake Wanaka. They also found time for some sailing on Kingfisher 2 at the Bay of Islands (pictured above). The sailing was enlivened by the Queen Mary 2 being anchored in the bay and Rev T being allowed on the helm. A diplomatic incident was narrowly avoided when Rev T shouted STARBOARD! on the the QM2, only to discover he was on the port tack. Apparently some Monteiths Original soothed the nerves afterwards.

Here's a few other photos from the holiday.

long lost family brewery; Doubtful Sound; Brief Encounter on The Indian Pacific with Ann Chillingworth who by chance was on the same train.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

waders, rugby, running, and foot stamping

It was a good weekend for:
  • the waders at Boulmer - who were not concerned by Saturday's rain. YC spotted redshank, dunlin, and bar-tailed godwits on the beach.

  • Scotland - who finally won a 6 nations game, beating Ireland 23-20 at Croke Park courtesy of Dan Parks' 78th minute penalty.

  • fellrunners - who turned out in force in the Ingram Valley for the Brough Law race and were rewarded with a beautiful spring day on Sunday. Old Cheviot (a close relative of YC) stirred his ancient bones into action and enjoyed a trot round this 5 miler. There were superb views over to The Cheviot which still had a covering of snow. OC isn't getting any younger (who is?), but managed to complete the course in 44 mins. Afterwards he adjourned to the Powburn Cafe with Charles, Rebecca & Jane for some VG sausages and mash. And tonight, it might just be time to complete the fellrunner's diet with a pint (or three) of good wholesome real ale.

  • Rev T - who sang "One more step along the world I go" in true fellrunner's style: he kept tapping out the beat with his foot. The Evensong congregation had no option but to keep in time. When asked why he was striking such a strident beat, Rev T simply replied: "Will you listen to the man! Is not the foot stamping the most important part?"

runners on the steep descent at Brough Law ; Old Cheviot at Wether Hill (photo - Pat Dunn)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Reg Webster - his knapsack on his back

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee,
How great thou art!

Reg Webster has died aged 90. Reg had lived in Birtley Avenue, Tynemouth for 80 years and was one of the earlier readers of Birtley News. As a keen walker (and member of The Ramblers), Reg was always interested in YC's fellrunning tales. Reg needed no second invitation to go walking in the hills and was always equipped with his knapsack and walking stick - even if he was just heading to the shops in Tynemouth Front Street. At his funeral in Holy Saviours Church today, the congregation sang lustily the fellwalker's hymn "How Great Thou Art". His coffin was bedecked with his beloved knapsack (sponsored by "North Shields Racing Snakes" - his son Peter's informal running club) and he left the church, most appropriately, to the strains of "My knapsack on my back". Click here to sing along...

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Calcutta Cup

The Calcutta Cup on Saturday was a tense, slightly dour, but exciting affair on Saturday. Scotland had the lion's share of possesion in the first half but couldn't convert it into tries. England came back in the second but also struggled for fluency. In the end it was penalties and drop goals all the way. Toby Flood's fluffed drop goal at the end ensured the scores remained tied at 15 all. At least YC has now seen Scotland earn a point at the 3 internationals he has seen this year. And the beer at The Half Way House was tip top, whatever the result.

Ross Ford tees up the lineout for Jim Hamilton

left - after lunch at Gennaro's en route to Murrayfield
right - an old piper has a word with the youth of today. Sonny, can you see me across the road? Mister, I can see you a mile away.