WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2007

Pre-recording programmes a day - or even more - before they are transmitted can get confusing for me at the best of times. Today was a real problem, though. Should I use Hallowe’en items for THIS edition or for tomorrow’s - which will go out on All Hallows Night, after all. On balance, I decided to do the ghostly stuff tomorrow - which is, after all, the night we should REALLY be scared of!

THE WORLD IN ONE CITY
A year ago, two London comics decided that there MUST be at least one representative of every nation on Earth living in London. So they set out to find them all - all 192 of them. A year later, they had found 183; people from tiny states like Nauru and Tuvalu are still missing. Their quest got me thinking, though. Firstly, in how many countries are there people listening to The Nightshift. After all - and as I keep on saying - it’s not the middle of the night EVERYWHERE! Secondly, I wondered how many nationalities are represented in north-east England - between, say, the Tweed and the Wear. The Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese communities are well-known of course. There is also a small group of Turks and Greeks on Tyneside and South Shields has its historic Arab population, who are said to have been there since Roman times, perhaps even giving their name to the Roman fort - Arbeia. Many East Europeans, too, have recently settled in our area.
But....are there any Japanese? Sudanese? Brazilians? Or perhaps even Nauruans and Tuvaluans?
If you can help with either of these questions, get in touch!

KNOW YOUR NORTH-EAST
The answer to yesterday’s question is Windlestone Hall, which lies just south of the Sedgefield to Bishop Auckland road (A689) near Rushyford. The local coaching inn is the Eden Arms, named for the same family.
Today’s question......whereabouts in the north-east is the arch bridge often said to have been the model for the Tyne and Sydney Harbour bridges?

ODD HOUSE RULES
This item was taken from a fascinating and revealing ongoing discussion in The Guardian. Different families order their daily lives in different ways, and live by different ‘rules’ which are imposed, perhaps, to increase the family’s cohesion and feeling of ‘uniqueness’. Always taking off your shoes at the back door (and never even USING the front door!) or never sitting in a particular chair because it’s ‘owned by your granda’ were quite common when I was a kid - and apparently still are.
The commonest rules, though, seem to apply at the dining table (insofar as families still eat at a table at all). No elbows on the table (why?), no reading or watching tv while you eat and being made to eat WHATEVER is put down in front of you still seem to be quite normal. I have very vivid memories indeed of my ‘nana’ telling me to eat all my turnips. If I didn’t, she swore to serve them up AGAIN until I did. And she was as good as her word.
The comparative rarity of sweet stuff like jelly and custard also meant that we HAD to have a slice of bread with it. I suppose it helped to fill us up so that we wouldn’t ask for more.
Apples and especially oranges were also expensive in the 50s - at least they were to mining families - so nana would make sandwiches of them. Yes really. Orange sandwiches. That way, one orange could feed three growing lads. To this day, I firmly believe that the BEST banana sandwiches are made NOT by slicing the fruit (wasteful!) but by mashing it with milk and sugar. It goes MUCH further!

NOTE
Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.
My contact details are......
ian.robinson@bbc.co.uk
text 07786 200954
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565

2 comments:

quizigal said...

The bridge that inspired the Tyne and Sydney Harbour bridges may be the one over the Tyne at Hagg Bank. It's the right shape!

gilly said...

ian gilly again ive just read your post about familys and "grandads chair" sue,s just told a joke today i,d please like to share it, here goes, ready or not, the kids rush into the living room, bound over to granda sitting in his chair, "granda, granda,can you croak like a frog"? "why"? sez granda, perplexed although i cant imagine many granda,s in the north east being preplexed maybe bamboozled, anyway,
kids.."mam says when you croak we are all ganning to disneyland" boom boom well i laughed..ps that will be the one and only joke on here i,m no good at jokes although i did manage to have one read out on nicks show don,t be tempted to ask me to repeat it you,ll just crack up..and might set yer neck..i,ll settle down eventually ian don,t worry about me causing a stir...think it might be a mid life crisis...