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A BLANK BLOG FOR YOU TO PLAY WITH WHILE I'M AWAY...

155 comments:

Maureen said...

Thanks Ian, have a good time. We'll look forward to hearing all about your adventures.

Sid said...

I'm afraid I'm a bit busy at the moment to join in. Gillian has been in hospital since early Thursday morning and spent the early hours of today in intensive care. She's now well enough to return to her ward, we hope she might get home on Monday. Enjoy your holiday Ian, things can change ever so quickly. Trust me!!

Maureen said...

Best wishes to Gilly Sid. I hope that she's back home soon.

Hildie said...

Lots of Truckshunter good wishes to Gilly, Sid , hope she has a speedy recovery. I've got a 2pm Saturday till 2pm Sunday shift to do ... so I will catch you all after that. I heard from Ian this morning ... a quick message to say he's having St. Cuthbert's day in Brussels .... it's alright for some!!! Seriously though, I hope he has a fabulous adventure!

Ellie said...

Best wishes forGilly, Sid. Hope all goes well.
Glad to hear that the Laird has started his Eurotour. Looking forward to the stories.

Ian Robinson said...

Love and very best wishes to Gilly - and take care Sid X

Vivienne said...

Hi Everyone,

Sid, I'm thinking of Gillian and sending her lots of love. xxx

Ian, I hope you have a super holiday, and look forward to hearing all your tales when you return.

Hildie, don't work too hard!

Sid said...

During last night Gillian was awake when she should have been asleep, but that's not unusual for her. Strange places and faces have that effect on her.
She has had a good day today, and hopefully she might be allowed home after the consultant has done his rounds tomorrow.
I have passed your best wishes on to Gillian and she responded with a big grin. I call that a result. Thanks.

Sid said...

Today's good news is that Gillian is home. What a relief.

Hildie said...

I'm ever so, ever so pleased, Sid!
You have all had a tough few days.
Have a rest up ... 'cos you all need to be fit for the caravan season.
Ian is in Munich today .... he says the girl in Marks $ Spencers was right .... it IS an amazing city!
Now then, we'll have to get down to Truckshunter business soon, we have been left in charge of organising the next AGM ... week commencing 12/4/10 .... it's a DIY one ... we have to arrange it ourselves in Ian's absence.
Any suggestions?

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

Sid, I hope Gilly slept well last night and is back to her old self today. Please give her a hug from me. Sorry my text was brief last night but I replying at a time when I shouldn't have been texting!

Maureen, when does Birkheads reopen? Perhaps our next AGM could be there?

Maureen said...

Best wishes to everyone Sid. I hope that you can all relax a bit now that you've got Gilly home.
I think Birkheads is a very good idea Vivienne. They are open now and the gardens are looking beautiful. Can you remember sitting in the sunshine there last April? You can hardly believe it can you?
Christine and Mick had a very busy weekend. Apparently they were listed in the Sunday Times as one of their places to visit along with Chatsworth, Keilder and Levens Hall! They don't know where the recommendation came from but it certainly made their day!
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/best_of_britain/article7067514.ece

Sid said...

I could do Birkheads, just tell me when.

Hildie said...

Howsabout Friday 16th April
1100 hrs sharp?!!
A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Sid said...

I'll do my very best.

Hildie said...

Might it be Verona and Venice for Ian soon? He's off my radar at the moment. He's sure to turn up in some fine city some time soon!
I thought it was lovely that he didn't forget St Cuthbert the other day. What that man knows about St Cuthbert would fill an encyclopedia. I went with him one day to Durham Cathedral and,when I commented on the breadth and depth
of his immense knowledge, he told me he'd actually been holding back! Furthermore, he accedited most of it all to his Aunty Mil.
We should have a truckshunter Trip there one of the days, you'd soon see what I mean! Oh, I do hope he is having fun ... wherever he may be!

Maureen said...

Friday 16th is looking good to me at the moment. Any chance of J.Arthur and Leroy turning up? It's in your neck of the woods Leroy...and we know that J.Arthur knows where it is. Ada, would it be a problem for you to get there?

Sid said...

We regularly have 'Strange News' items posted on here for us to view. Well, sit up at the back there, and read on...
The Scottish border town of Hawick has produced its own currency.
The Hawick Pound has the same value as the coin of the realm. Local shops sell them, and the customer is asked if they would like them in their change. They can be spent in many local shops, though the large supermarkets haven't been invited to take part. It seems that they take too large a part of the towns money anyway.
The scheme runs until June, and if it is a success then it may be rolled out to other towns.
I for one can't wait to buy some of this currency, just for the fun of it.
I'll wager the person who thought of this would make a great Truckshunter!

Maureen said...

Isn't that a great idea Sid? I saw a programme on telly recently where they were doing the same thing in Totnes, Devon, I think and it was, and working a treat. I seem to remember them say that 80% of money taken in big supermarets was moved out of the town by the next morning. Shocking eh?

Michael said...

Hey Sid, hope you and your dear wife are doing OK?

On a completely unrelated note, does anybody know where you can buy Russian Cake? It seems there isn't a cake shop around that does it these days!
If anybody knows of somewhere that DOES still it, I thought Ian's loyal band of Truckshunters would!?

Hildie said...

Hi Michael .... try Fenwicks delicatessen ... I've seen it there before. Good luck!
Maybe, if we find it first, we could bring some to the AGM!
It would make a change from Ambient Sausage Rolls from the
Co-op!

Sid said...

Thanks for your good wishes Michael, Jean and I are fine. We had a bit of a wobble, but it's onwards and upwards again.
It's been years since I had a slice of Russian Cake. Jean says she's seen it in town, thinks Hildie is right with Fenwicks. She is going to make sure on her next visit.
Did you know Hildie that there was a bit of a song and dance about the word 'Ambient' regarding those lovely sausage rolls. In the end it was dropped by the co-op. We did talk about 'Ambient' as we sat outside the Sage and ate them.

Michael said...

How can a sausage roll be "Ambient"?!?

You see, I knew somebody would know where to purchase this long lost delicacy (Russian Cake I mean, not sausage rolls!).

I was led a merry dance by several BBC Newcastle listeners today who said that Marshall's on the Team Valley sold Russian Cake...so over I went in the hope, only to be told when I got there that they haven't sold it for over 2 years now! Bah-humbug!! And Gregg's haven't sold it for 6 years!!
I think this could be a bit like the good old Black Forest Gateau - that disappeared from shops for many years, only to reappear very recently (thank goodness - yum yum!!). Maybe we can start a campaign to reinstate Russian Cake as a staple of all good cake shops!?

The only downside with Fenwick's selling it (if indeed they still do!) is that I'll probably end up paying through the nose for it...still, a Russian Cake is a Russian Cake, no matter how expensive!

I feel a trip to Fenwicks is on the cards tomorrow...

Maureen said...

Hi Michael,
Peters used to sell Russian Cake but I think they change their range with the seasons(!) Dad likes Jap cakes (round white meringues covered iin coconut with a choc drop on top? Anyway when I asked about them I was told that they wouldn't be doing them again until after Easter! I'll check tomorrow for you though as I'll be visiting one of their branches. Isn't it awful when you just n-e-e-d to have some?
I can give you a recipe...
Funny, I've just googled it and got NEForum where someone is asking where you can get Russian cake in the North East! Wasn't you was it? Never fear we're on the case...

Sid said...

What really annoys me is...When you use a search engine you get loads of stuff that has NO bearing at all on the item searched.
When searching Russian Cake, I was given the option of learning to speak the language. I haven't quite mastered English yet!.

Maureen said...

Guess what Michael? I'm afraid that you are in for a disappointment. Our local cake expert at Birkheads thinks that Russian Cake may have been 'blocked' as it contains a mixture of different, day-old cakes in the recipe. Risk of cross-contamination, Health and Safety scores again!

Sid said...

How did we ever get through the 1940's and 50's when we had things like 'Sheeps Head Broth' to consume, (well we did in our house).
What a good idea to ask our local cake expert Maureen. 10/10.

Maureen said...

Thanks Sid for Michael's sake I hope that we are wrong! He should be like another presenter who puts out heavy hints..there' could be a rush of deliveries of home-made Russian cake!
(I'm sorry I missed you, by the way, Michael, what time were you on?)

Maureen said...

Strange news...Did you hear of the five--year old who got stuck while climbing a tree at school? He had to stay there while teachers watched (from a safe distance) and waited for the emergency services to arrive...

Sid said...

And while they were waiting Maureen a passer by helped the youngster down from the tree. And was ticked off for doing so!!
The seaside resort of Clacton on sea has banned donkey rides on the beach. No, it isn't because they might foul the sand, its because they might injure the sunbathers.
After last years summer.....'sunbathers'?

Hildie said...

I know exactly what you mean about Michael, Maureen .... all he needs is a Blue Bus and a microphone (and maybe a kilt) ...
and he'd be inundated with Russian Cake!! I have news from afar ...
excited to tell you that I spoke to Ian today !! In Venice!! Well, he is ... I'm not! His train had just got into Venice after crossing a lagoon so I caught him at a very interesting moment. The Grand Canal and all the treasures of Venice lay before him. He said the Grand Canal was a bit like a main street in Newcastle, people just use it to go about their business. He was going to catch a Water Bus ... the Vaporetto .... Number 1 ... the one that Neville had told him to catch. A black gondola was going past him at the time and a barge that was loaded with washing machines .... destined for Venice's version of Curry's !!
He was mesmerised by the sights
before him and sounded SO happy!
Added to all that ....
the temperature was 23 or 24 degrees!! He was on a train through The Alps yesterday ... and said that everyone he has met, so far, has been really helpful. Everything has gone to plan .... except the German train that was an hour late. I'm talking to my friend,Ann, as I write this ... she dropped in to visit .... so I hope it all makes sense! Ian says it feels like he has been away about a month!
Maureen .... it'll most likely be health and safety again .... the little boy stuck up the tree and the teachers keeping a safe distance!.

Sid said...

Britains largest survey of sex and marriage has revealed that Devon is the UK's most unfaithful, with 47 per cent of spouses currently playing away.
I doubt I could find the time, let alone the energy...

Sid said...

For those that haven't been to Birkheads Secret gardens before and are wondering......they have a website.
www.birkheadssecretgardens.co.uk
I'm sorry these pages don't seem to allow a direct link.

Maureen said...

Good to hear that Ian is enjoying himself Hildie. German train running an hour late? That must have made national headlines!
No Russian cake at Peter's and Sainsbury's yesterday...but you might be setting up a demand for it, Michael. Can you imagine how many people might have asked for it over the last few days? The consumer strikes back! Love it.
Birkheads also have a blog which has recently had a make over. They'd love to receive some comments from you all. (birkheadssecretgardens.blogspot.com) There's a photo of some of us and a lovely description of last years April agm from Ian on it.

Sid said...

And just as a reminder...BST starts this weekend, (I'm very pleased to say). Clocks go forward.

Sid said...

Can I ask a question...Just how do you choose your lottery numbers. (assuming you enter).
I once saw sheep in field and they had been daubed with numbers. I wrote down the numbers of the nearest six sheep. Drove 4 miles to the nearest lottery shop.
Did I win anything...course not.

Michael said...

I can't remember how I picked my lottery numbers, but I keep the same ones every week.

Hildie said...

Sid .... I'm afraid that no very original thought went into my lottery numbers ... they are merely family birthdays and house numbers ... no sheep came into it!
Ian arrived in Florence on Friday
.... WOW! He is there for five days. Didn't he mention he is going to have a trip to Rome while he is staying there? So many things to do ... places to go ...
I'm really looking forward to the Grand Tour Tales!
For some reason I'm wondering if Ian's clocks will spring forward tonight ... sorry for my naivety but it's British Summer Time ... so they won't, will they? I really don't know. Put me right will you?
Now, there's a task!!

Sid said...

Well I never did...
Europe appears to have DST Hildie. Daylight Saving Time. They put their clocks forward at the same time we do.

Hildie said...

Just goes to show - you learn something every day! At least,
I do!
CALLING NICK ROBINSON from the Grainger Market .... I'm just testing to see if you're reading this!!!
Anyone seen or heard from Vivienne lately? Or Ada, Or Lawrence?
Or J. Arthur Smallpiece? Or Leroy? Or any of the rest of the Truckshunting population of the North East?
We are wondering how you all are!
Margaret and Mim and Val and Alison ..... and not forgetting Anonymous.....
hope everybody is well!

Hildie said...

AGM X1V
FRIDAY 16TH APRIL
BIRKHEADS SECRET GARDENS
1100 HRS

Vivienne said...

Hi Hildie,

I'm still here and looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Birkheads on 16th April.

I'm feeling annoyed with myself because I can't find my new pair of specs, which I've been keeping for best. I've searched the house and car from top to bottom and have started back-tracking to places I've visited over the past few weeks. It's usually my keys I lose. That reminds me - I must ask my sister if I put them in the boot of her car. That's where my keys were when I last lost them! She had to post them back to me from Wales!!!

I'm sure I've seen some Russian cake recently on my travels. It may have been in the Foodhall at Gretna Green. I'll keep looking. I may find my glasses there too!

Vivienne said...

Hi again,

Sid, this afternoon I heard Kathy play your request for the hospital staff -'Thank you for being a friend.'

Guess what? I've found my specs! They were in the middle of a pile of jumpers on the bed. I'd already looked there, but found them when I was changing the bedding. They could have been there for months!!!

Hildie said...

So ... there you are, Vivienne,and I'm glad you've found your glasses!
From what you say, it sounds like I should have been listening to Radio Newcastle this afternoon... I didn't hear Sid's request ... but I hope the staff who nursed Gillian heard it.
Today's news from abroad is that Ian has had a change of plan ... instead of going to Rome, he has veered towards the leaning tower!
I'm sure he's having a splendid time.
Kev hasn't left any comments on the blog for a while , has he?
I hope he's okay.
And, I wonder if Nev can get to Birkheads on 16th of Showery?
Then there's Ellie, of course ....
I'm chasing people up today!
What about Martin in Houghton-le Spring who sends in the palindromes, and David in South Shields ??? It would be good to meet some new truckshunters on the day. You mustn't be shy!

Sid said...

I'm glad you found your glasses Vivienne. I've been promising myself a spare pair for ages, you have just inspired me to go and do it.
I heard from Loz today Hildie, via the kathy Secker prog. Maybe he'll turn up at Birkheads.

Hildie said...

I hope so, Sid.
Was Michael on the show with Kathy Secker? I don't think he has found any Russian Cake yet, poor lad! Do any of you go into Aldi or Lidl? I don't know if I might have seen it in one of those shops.
We are clutching at straws now, Michael!

Sid said...

Michael was there with Kathy, he deserves a spot of his own. Suzilla says she's on 4 days during the easter holidays...give me strength. I'm often in those shops Hildie, haven't seen any of the elusive cake.
Maybe if I drop a line to the Russian Embassy they could let us have some......

Sid said...

We could of course make our own....Michael could judge it.
He'll be wishing he'd kept quiet...

Maureen said...

Hi, I'm thinking that Health and Safety have done a better job of hiding Russian elements than MI5...

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

Thanks for your kind comments about my glasses Hildie and Sid. The first thing I did after finding them was to print my name and telephone number inside the case, in the event I really lose them!

Isn't the internet wonderful? I've just applied for a new road tax disc online. You don't even need to have your insurance documents at hand, because they check instantly electronically.

I hope the Leaning Tower doesn't fall on Ian - you know with his luck!!! It must be nearly 40yrs since I was there. We were able to climb right to the top in those days.

If anyone likes Stainer's 'Crucifixion' Jarrow Choral Society is performing it in St. Paul's Church, Jarrow, on Wednesday 31st March at 7.30pm. You may pay at the door. The choir are very good, but I don't think they advertise their performances well enough, as there are always vacant seats. I love the atmosphere in St. Paul's, and love to hear Jarrow Choral Society singing there.

Michael said...

My sister has found a recipe for Russian Cake, so is going to try and make one herself...will let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, I shall not be giving up the search for a cake shoppe that sells this delicacy! The recipe sounds like a bit of a faff, so buying a ready made cake is always preferable (I know, that's such a typical man's attitude isn't it!).

Sorry to anyone who may have missed Sid's mention on Sunday...the show was rather curtailed to just 55 minutes, due to our coverage of the Liverpool vs Sunderland match - but we're back to a full show next Sunday (Easter Sunday), and all frequencies too (not even any rugby to knock out AM or DAB!).
Rest assured there will be lots of chocolate being eaten in the studio!

Of course, don't forget you can now "listen again" to the Sunday Dedication Show - they FINALLY added it the iPlayer, hurrah!!

I might have to pop in to Lidl - as it's a Swedish shop, they sell all kinds of weird and wonderful foodstuffs, so you never know...it's a worth a try!

Ian, if you're reading this from some remote alpine cafe, as you travel up a mountain on one of your exotic train journeys, hope you're having the time of your life and enjoying all Europe has to offer! I am sure you will be regailing us all with your exploits upon your return...assuming of course you don't get too caught up in all that culture and decide to stay there!

Maureen said...

Sorry Michael, We've already done a reccie on Lidl and ahem, I think that you'll find it's owned by a German company! I've enquired in a small local bakers, (actually Swiss, I think, or German!) The lady there tells me that she's been looking for it for years and drawn a blank since Peters and Greggs stopped making it. Apparently a lot of people ask for it (business opportuity there for someone?) The assistant says that she was assured by a customer that you could still get it from a small bakers in Hylton Rd Sunderland. So if anyone is in the area?

Michael said...

Aha! I knew it wasn't Swedish!
I had my suspicions, but I was reliably informed by somebody who shall remain nameless that it was indeed Swedish!!! So pants to them!

Vivienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivienne said...

Hi Michael,

Tomorrow I'll ask at Gibside if they can buy in or make Russian Cake. I'm hoping that's where I've seen it. I'm sure Sharon or Sandra will know how to make it.

I had to delete my previous comment as the photo didn't appear. I hope it's ok this time.

Vivienne said...

Hi again,

I've just received this forwarded email............

HOW MEN AMUSE THEMSELVES IN TESCO

Proof of what can happen if a wife or girlfriend drags her husband or boyfriend along shopping

This letter was actually sent by Tesco's Head Office to a customer in Oxford:

Dear Mrs. Murray,

Whilst we would like to thank you for your valued custom and use of the Tesco Loyalty Card, the Manager of our store in Banbury is considering banning you and your family from shopping with us, unless your husband stops his antics.

Below is a list of his actions over the past few months all verified by our surveillance cameras:

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's trolleys when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to feminine products aisle.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in housewares..... and watched what happened.

5. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

6. September 15: Set up a tent in the outdoor clothing department and told shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring sausages and a Calorgas stove.

7. September 23: When the Deputy Manager asked if she could help him, he began to cry and asked, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'

8.. October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, picked his nose, and ate it.

9. October 10: While appearing to be choosing kitchen knives in the Housewares aisle asked an assistant if he knew where the antidepressants were.

10. November 3: Darted around the store suspiciously, loudly humming the Mission Impossible' theme.

11.November 6: In the kitchenware aisle, practised the 'Madonna look' using different size funnels.

12. November 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed, yelled' PICK ME!' 'PICK ME!'

13. November 21: When an announcement came over the loudspeaker, assumed the foetal position and screamed 'NO! NO! It's those voices again.'

And; last, but not least:

14. November 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, 'There is no toilet paper in here.'

Maureen said...

I thought that some of you might be interested in seeing the before and during photos taken on Saturday around the world when Earth hour was taking place. Regardless of your thoughts on this gesture you have to admit that the pictures are very impressive..http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/03/earth_hour_2010.html.

Val said...

Hi all, Still around but rarely enough time to join in - so many subjects brought up in here, hard to keep up. Pity Ian's not blogging his way around Europe, there'll be so much to catch up on when he's back. Hope he doesn't get any snow like we're forecast. Couldn't believe my ears on tonight's BBC news the weather girl confirmed what we always thought that the southern-based weather reports are prejudiced against the north! I've lived in the south east and married a southerner but don't blame southerners, just the media. This is only available till tomorrow evening at 6.30pm - go to just after 26 mins for the weather and listen to what she says after 28 mins!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rtb4w/BBC_News
_at_Six_29_03_2010/

Hildie said...

Morning Val ... it's good to hear from you .... I followed your link AND I HEARD THAT ...
"Snow problems, hopefully, confined to the North" !!!!!!
What's the chances you'll make it to the April AGM? Keep in touch ... I'm sure you'll make it one of these days!
Our venue for the April AGM is: Birkheads Secret Gardens (as recommended by The Sunday Times!) -
everyone is welcome .. especially secret truckshunters .. 11a.m. ... Friday 16th April ...
for coffee on the terrace and a catch-up with our intrepid traveller.

Hildie said...

Wasn't I up early this morning? See, it's Spring ... the sap is rising! I've had an email from Ian today, purportedly his last day in Florence ... I say that because I suspect (like Michael)
that he may well be feeling he'd rather not come back .... anyway, this email .... it was regarding the subject of the Truckshunter Quest for Michael's Russian Cake .... Ian said, and I quote, "Has anyone suggested that he try Russia?"
Ummm, I wonder!
Should Ian decide to return, this is a bit of guess-work on my part,
you know .... thinking back to
his plans ... I reckon it's Lyons tomorrow, Paris on Thursday and after that he'll be homeward bound.
Won't it be good to see him?

Sid said...

Thanks for telling us about Ian, Hildie. He'll be unstoppable when he sees us next.
Let's hope it's a sunny day for the agm at Birkheads, so we can pick a spot that won't get in the way of others. I have a feeling it could be the longest agm ever.

I have trouble adapting when they move the hour forward or back. My bodyclock takes about a week or more to adjust. Anyone else have the same bother?

Sid said...

Pineberries and cream??
The Pineberry is white and covered in red pips and has the same genetic make-up as the common strawberry. It has a flavour and an 'extraordinary' smell closer to that of the pineapple.
Waitrose will sell these pineberries in 45 stores across the UK for the next 5 weeks while they are in season.
I assume other supermarkets will do the same.

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks!

Sorry Michael, no Russian Cake at Gibside!

No chicken either! I think the fox has got her this time. She hasn't been seen since Saturday. Poor Gertie! She kept me company in Renwick's Bookshop all day last Tuesday. She'd just got over the trauma of losing her sisters and two young friends, and started laying eggs again. I'm still hoping she turns up again, but doubt it this time.

Val said...

My bodyclock's all to pot as well Sid! I heard they're proposing [it seems all political parties agreed] to move the clock's forward by 2 hours!!! It'll take me the whole 6 months to get used to it before they 'fall back'.

Birkheads looks wonderful but that's the week Phil and I will be on our European adventure visiting our son in Leipzig. He's using his French/German degree as an English teacher's assistant for a year in a high school. Our German's really rusty so we'll have to try talk to him on Skype for the next week to brush up.

Gute Nacht.

Sid said...

I'm sorry about the chicken Vivienne, let's hope she turns up again. It may be that Gertie didn't put her clock forward and Foxy did.(gulp)
Oh Val I hope they don't mess about with the two hour thing..it's bad enough as it is.
I think you've had your Russian Cake Michael. Not even a sign of any on Ebay, and you can get just about anything on there!.

Vivienne said...

Hi Sid,

Thanks for your kind comments about poor Gertie. It occurred to me that a red kite may have caught her. Don't laugh, but I've contacted a Pet Psychic to see if she can locate her to find out what happened to her on Saturday.

Vivienne said...

Just a thought, I wonder if there's a Cake Psychic that we can contact to trace a Russian Cake for Michael?

Sid said...

I once read of a psychic who put a note on the door that said "Closed, due to unforseen circumstances"....

Hildie said...

Is anyone just a tad concerned???
About Vivienne?????!!!!

Sid said...

Vivienne will have read/heard something about this pet psychic stuff. It's a tad unusual for me, but if Vivienne (hello love) is happy, then so am I.
At least we'll know whether to blame Mr Fox or not.
How many do we have on parade for the next agm Hildie...not to many awol's I hope.

Sid said...

The photo that Ian has used on this posting.....the more I look at it the more I'm convinced....the drivers are women!

If that doesn't spark a bit of interest, nothing will....

Murphy and Dora said...

Hello Friends!!!

Well guess what? We've found a Cake Psychic who has given us details of how to track down Russian Cake for Michael.

Please check out our blog for details:

murphyanddorastravels.blogspot.com

Luv Murphy xx and Dora xx

Hildie said...

Sid ... to answer your question about the April AGM .... I only know, for sure, that Maureen, Vivienne, myself and the Bowermans will be attending. I will give Ada a ring beforehand ... and we'll just wait and see if any other Truckshunters turn up on the day.
I like surprise truckshunters ...
maybe we'll see Gerry or Lawrence or Ellie or Leroy.
I SAY TO ANYONE WHO READS THIS BLOG, COVERTLY OR OTHERWISE, everyone is welcome ... if you haven't been to a Truckshunter AGM before .... give it a try! Come and meet us on the terrace at Birkheads, 1100hrs, Friday 16th April.
I had word from Ian that it was a lovely, sunny day in Paris today
.... I do hope he doesn't come back wearing his shorts .... it could be a bit nippy outside Central Station tomorrow.

Sid said...

It'll be good to have him back. Can't wait to read his postings. I hope he brings some of that sunshine home with him.

Anonymous said...

Helloo, is there anybody there...I'm Gertie, the long lost chicken from...Gibside. Sid was right, the fox got me. Don't worry, I'm fine...chicken heaven is lovely....

Maureen said...

Sid I've studied that photo carefully and I think that you'll find that it's a man on the left and a woman on the right who's kindly pointing out to him where he went wrong. It wouldn't have happened if the drivers were female as they would have asked directions!
Pleased to hear that Gertie is in a happy place. It could have been a happy meal...

Sid said...

If that's the case with a man and woman Maureen, then experience tells me he might as well admit liability now.

Maureen said...

Sid, I always said that you are a wise man...

Maureen said...

Sorry Val, been meaning to add my best wishes for your visit to see your son. I'm sure that you'll have a wonderful time seeing each other again. Have a safe journey. Hopefully you'll make it to the next agm. We'll raise a cup to absent friends.

Maureen said...

Has anyone spotted Sid's pineberries yet? Gardener's world were showing a new fruit last night but I just caught the end of it and I wondered if that was them if you see what I mean? Top marks for grammar Maureen!

Hildie said...

Morning, Maureen .... sadly I've seen no sign of Sid's pineberries up to now, nor of Michael's Russian Cake
.... nor .... for that matter ....
of IAN!
Ever so slightly tired, do you think?


You'll be glad to know I heard from Neville yesterday, and he's going to try to get to Birkheads for the AGM.

Maureen said...

Thanks Hildie. I must admit when I heard of the strike at Dover I wondered whether it affected Ian's journey. I wasn't sure if he was flying home from Paris? He's probably catching up on his sleep.
Easter Trail at Birkheads this weekend let's hope that the weather is good for everyone. I suppose Vivienne will have her plate full too! Please excuse that awful pun, Vivienne.

Sid said...

Tomorrow is forecast to be the best day, with rain returning on Monday.
We haven't ventured far, rarely do on a bank holiday. Am I being too grumpy...hope not.

Hildie said...

Hello .... I'm really lucky, you know ... Liam has just given me a beautiful bunch of flowers and an Easter Egg! I believe Ian was due back at Central Station sometime yesterday
.... methinks he might be suffering from that "When you come to the end of a lollipop" feeling. You know the one I mean? When your heart goes 'plop'? He had such a great time - I hope he soon gets around to telling us ALL about it!
We are sending you lots of hugs, Ian, we have missed you
and are waiting patiently to hear about your adventures.
My sister, Mary, and I went to Consett to do some shopping this morning. We walked round from the car park into Middle Street - and Paul's voice was absolutely blasting the length and breadth of the street ... I thought he was on a megaphone somewhere. Then the deep, resonant sound of Smooth Radio music boomed all around us ... I just can't tell you how LOUD it was! We soon saw that the chap, who runs the Children's Roundabout in the main thoroughfare, was the culprit
... he must have had his radio wired to a loud-speaker and had it turned up as loud as it could possibly go!!
Still ... it WAS nice to hear Paul's voice... it was rather like
unexpectedly and wildly careering into an old friend. I just so much wished he could have been there to witness it!!!

Sid said...

An item from todays online People.
A robber who concealed five rings he had stolen by swallowing them, was soon arrested by police.
They fed him laxatives to recover the stolen items.
He could be the first criminal in history to be in police custody....and still be on the run!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Ian. Cannot make it to the next AGM - sorry Ada.

Maureen said...

Sorry to hear that you can't make it to the AGM Ada, you'll be sorely missed. Were you really posting during the night or has someone else got the problem that I had last time the hour changed?
Sid I was going to say that it appears to me that robber was running rings around the police and then thought no, a step too far...

Sid said...

Oh Maureen, you are right......

Maureen said...

Michael I'm following up a lead from a friend who heard you asking about Russian cake. He reckons that he bought some in a little bakers in South Shields... I'll let you know...

Sid said...

Maureen, I think you should investigate the whereabouts of Ian as well. He might be being held to ransom by the Easter Bunny.

Sid said...

Now here is a shocking statistic...
Accidents killed 2,631 coal miners in China last year.
The most dangerous year on record was 2002, when 6,995 were killed.

Hildie said...

You will remember the story of Mary Ann Cotton ... a memorable Ian and Lawrence "doorstep session" from The Nightshift .... well it features on ITV1 at 10:35p.m. tonight - Martina Cole's Lady Killers.
And .... did you happen to see the news this evening? ... What weird goings on at Liverpool John Lennon Airport today !!! A dead man, in sunglasses, trying to board a flight to Germany ...
with perhaps, more than a little, assistance from his wife and daughter.

Sid said...

So did he have a return ticket Hildie? Would seem a shame to waste it, all they had to do was get him on the plane.
I'll wager its more expensive to go back home as cargo.

Sid said...

The average woman spends eight years of her life shopping...I always knew my wife was above average.

Maureen said...

You little Tinker Sid. One of these days we'll have a word with your fine lady wife and you'd better take cover me lad!

Sid said...

When you's all meet up Maureen it'll be a meeting and a half. I'd better make myself scarce when that happens. I just know Gillian will laugh from start to finish, cos she'll think I'm in dead lumber, and I just might be.

Hildie said...

You know what it says at the top of the blog ...
NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST ...
well, what if it isn't true?

Did any of you see comedian PATRICK MONAHAN
on tonight's Look North?
That's who I went to see in Newcastle a few weeks ago ... or rather, that's who Kelly and Liam took me to see, for my Mothers' Day treat. He really is good.

Sid said...

Some who do wander ARE lost Hildie. I have often said that "I'm not lost...I just don't know where I am".
I think Ian may be "lost". I had looked forward to his adventures almost as much as he had. Other Truckshunters were just as excited, but the feeling is drifting away.
Anyway it's onwards and upwards, let's see what happens when we get to number 100 posting. We might end up meeting again on "The Highland Cow".

Hildie said...

IAN'S INCREDIBLE INVENTORY
COMING SOON
TO OUR BLOG



But, yeah ... Sid, we may have to meet up at "The Highland Cow" in the meantime! HE's exceptionally quiet at the moment, isn't he? But I'm sure he'll make up for it. I'm as sure as eggs is eggs.

Sid said...

I just had to share this one with you...
Tent City Jail in Phoenix, Arizona is a prison where the inmates have to pedal stationary bikes to generate electricity, so they can watch the television.
A spokesperson said "the thin ones are watching the adult channels...the sadists are powering the electric chair"......
If it was me doing the pedalling I doubt I'd produce enough electricity to make their hair stand on end.

Maureen said...

Ha Ha nice one Sid. Tent City Jail...now that sounds like an interesting place, don't they have problems with people tunneling their way out...?

Sid said...

Trust you Maureen!...The huge tents (well big) are inside a walled compound. If you do a search on internet there are some good pics.

Maureen said...

Ha Ha again Sid! If anyone fancies a trip down memory lane hae a look at The Carbolic Soap Company's website. They are selling, amongst other items, 4711 cologne, Atrixo handcream, Fiery Jack ointment, Reckitts Blue and Pickles Corn ointment, apparently people are buying ceiling hanging (Sheila) airers and even washboards again to save on electicity. Oh and if anyone can help they're trying to source Izal toilet paper...

Sid said...

Izal toilet paper....what can you say that was good about it.
Mind you I came across some paper that would be a good stand in for it in the loo's of the QE hospital, when Gillian was a patient there. It brought back all the memories, and reminded how pleased I am for progress in that department.
Have a search of the internet for 'old fashioned sweets', the choice is surprising. Ranging from Candy Tabs, to Sherbert Dips. Plus the wonderful, HIGHLAND COW TOFFEE

Ellie said...

Wow! I just read each of the 104 comments above. Glad everyone seems ticketyboo. Can't wait to hear Travels through Europe by the Laird:
See you all on Friday 16th - will go and see if I can find out how to get there.

Hildie said...

I was on a bus to Newcastle today. A little old lady got on, at Sunniside, and sat down beside me.
We started talking about the beautiful weather, the long winter, and leaving our cardigans at home .... and somehow progressed to bus passes. She told me she had had her bus pass for 30 years ...
she told me she was ninety years old. She said she'd be getting off the bus at Gateshead and going via the metro to Newcastle because she had to catch another bus outside Central Station, and that this was the best way to do it. When I asked her where she was going she said, "To work".
She works voluntarily, three days a week, at the Marie Curie Hospice in Elswick Road , she does office work, and has done for the last sixteen years.
I waved to this amazing lady when she got off the bus at Gateshead Interchange, and spent the rest of my journey thinking about what a truly humbling experience I'd just had.
Ellie, I may need to get back to you about the April AGM. There is every possibility Ian will be in London that day (16th Showery).
However, I do think a dribbling of Truckshunters will be flying the flag.

Sid said...

"A dribbling of Truckshunters" how apt....but not for ages yet I hope!
I hope to be at Birkheads on Friday, the weather forecast indicates sunny intervals.
I'll only be staying for an hour though, the plan is to head off to the caravan later.
That lady was truly remarkable, no doubt an inspiration to all who know her.

Maureen said...

Yes Miss, count me in please Miss! I'm hoping to get there too...
Amazing Hildie, That lady is a lesson to us all.

Sid said...

RUSSION CAKE.....Read all about it!!

It's taken a while Michael but enquiries reveal that the cake you long for is on sale at Barry's bakers in Dunston, and the Cafeteria at the Queen Elizabeth hospital Gateshead. Should you wish to sample a portion or two, I could bring some to our agm, planned for this Friday at the wonderful oasis that is Birkheads secret garden.

Maureen said...

Well done Sid! I think you should be awarded the CDM, or whatever the Birkheads equivalent is! Hope to see you all tomorrow.
Now I think in true Truckshunter fashion and with the forthcoming St Georges day in mind this should be filed under another Englishmen to be proud of:
Tim Berners-Lee was born in London and is credited with inventing the World Wide Web.
In 1980 Berners-Lee had proposed a project to develop ‘hypertext’, which would make it easier to share and update information on computers.
The internet already existed, but files could not be easily shared as there was no common language for one computer to talk to another.
In 1989 Berners-Lee joined CERN which was the largest internet user in Europe. He saw an
opportunity to join ‘hypertext’ with the internet and so the World
Wide Web was born.
At the same time Bill Gates was working on a project called
‘Windows’. But while Bill charged users for his software, Tim
gave his invention to the world for free.

Maureen said...

Sorry, all thanks to the St. Georges Day newsletter http://www.stgeorgesholiday.com/newsletter/St_George_News_13apr2010.pdf Let's celebrate St Georges Day 23rd April.

Sid said...

Birkheads Secret Gardens in the sunshine was the ideal place for a coffee and chat this morning.
The agm was conducted in the usual high spirits, albeit the laughter not as loud. Ian sent us his best wishes via a txt, and that was much appreciated by all.
I left after an hour, but I could so easily have stayed. If we want to do it again soon, then count me in. Birkheads is a wonderful place, so worth the effort to get there.
Thanks Hildie, Vivienne and Maureen, I had a great time.

Maureen said...

Yes I had a great time to. Thanks to all concerned, and guess what? I've got the traditional sunburn! all down one side...

Ellie said...

and I have to apologise for not being there this morning! I have to explain why ~ On Thursday I was checking my bank statement and one item was odd. I had no recollection of the transaction to a company shown as
TRANSACT-BILL.COM
Cutting a long story short and after spending sometime in the bank this morning it turns out that it is a Fraud/scam and based in Canada. They are crafty in that they don't take masses of money (in my case £51.14) so could go un-noticed??? They get your details via the internet.
Anyway, the fraud dept at the bank are on to it now and I have been 'defrocked' as my cards have been cancelled - oh dear whatever will I do without them!!!
Anyway please forgive my not turning up this morning and beware!

Maureen said...

Sorry to hear about that Ellie, it's something that we all dread isn't it? Let's hope that you don't have any more bother with them and that the police are able to trace them and stop them. Also it's a pity you couldn't make it today we were guessing that you must have been held up somewhere. Maybe the next one? There were a few awols today, I wonder if we'll get any more notes in?

Sid said...

That's a terrible thing to happen Ellie. I'm pleased you spotted it, (as if you wouldn't).
Let's hope the banks are able to put a stop to this scam, and quickly.

Ellie said...

Thank you, Maureen. I confess that I was very cross when going back to my car and realising that I had missed the meeting ~

Ellie said...

Thank you, Maureen. I confess that I was very cross when going back to my car and realising that I had missed the meeting ~

Sid said...

I've just had a look on the internet Ellie and it appears that thousands of people are being scammed by this outfit. I know it's no consolation to you, but you're not alone.

Vivienne said...

Ellie,

I'm so sorry to hear of your awful experience, and very sad too that you missed out on our lovely get-together at Birkheads Secret Gardens. I think we should act upon Sid's idea - to return there in the near future. Sid can you arrange the good weather again for us?

Sid said...

I'll do my very best Vivienne. However...the next couple of weeks (after the weekend) are going to be cold, windy and wintery. Sorry folks but summer ain't with us just yet!.

Michael said...

Sorry I didn't make it to Birkheads...shame, 'cos you seemingly had perfect weather for it!

Sid said...

Perhaps next time Michael. I have sampled the Russian cake, and it was exactly as I remembered. You are in for a treat!

Maureen said...

Never mind Michael, hopefully the next time... We're already looking for suggestions, any ideas? I liked Saltwell Park as it's easy for parking, how about everyone else? By the way, J Arthur, we were hoping to see you yesterday?
Now, I've been wondering, in a Truckshunterish kind of way, in light of current air traffic problems, when they normally have eruptions...how do they fly the rescue teams in???

Sid said...

During the night Maureen......

Maureen said...

Hmmm....It had to be you Sid, didn't it?
Answer this question honestly – do you read the small print when you buy things on the internet?
High Street retailing giant GameStation decided to put this to the test and inserted a new clause into their terms and conditions earlier this month that granted them legal rights to the immortal souls of thousands of their online customers. Here, in darkest legalese, is how they got away with such a heinous act:
"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamestation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions."
GameStation’s fiendish clause specified that they might serve such notice in “six foot-high letters of fire” too, but also offered customers an option to opt out, rewarding them with a £5 money-off voucher if they did so.
Alas, hardly anyone noticed the clause, let alone the substantial bonus for spotting the gag. More to the point, the fact that it passed more or less unnoticed raises an important issue – too few people actually read the small print when they make online purchases.
According to GameStation, around 7,500 customers carelessly signed their souls away on the day. Were you one of them...?
OK so it was posted on the 1st of April but it makes you think doesn't it?

Sid said...

I never read the small print Maureen, even though I know I should.
The print is usually to small for me to read, and then there's pages and pages of it.
Banks set a good example of small print. I used to get interest on my current account, then it suddenly stopped. I haven't rang them to ask why, because the info I need was probably sent to me weeks ago. And I've binned it.

Hildie said...

DIDN'T WE HAVE A LOVELY TIME THE DAY WE WENT TO BIRKHEADS?
A splendid time was had by all ... but we did miss you, Ian .... HONESTLY.

Maureen said...

Would you believe that J.Arthur appeared not long after we left? Just a coincidence, he didn't know about the AGM and said to Mick that he hadn't been able to get onto the blog and thought that he'd been blocked! I wonder if Ian or Hildie have his email to get in touch with him? Such a pity.... If you can read this J Arthur, please get in touch and so sorry that we missed you.

Sid said...

I'm sorry I missed you as well J.Arthur. It would have been good to see you again.
Of course you may never see these comments, but being 'blocked' isn't likely to be the reason why.
I think there'll be a few folks missing Ian, Hildie. I'm sure he'll be back when he feels able. Lots of things going on in all our lives at the moment.
If that Icelandic dust cloud had appeared a bit earlier Ian could have been stuck in goodness knows where...
Do you know I am really curious to find out how Ians "sofa surfing" went. That in itself is worthy of a Special Edition posting.

Maureen said...

Thanks for a lovely show today Michael, it's so nice to hear some different music that I hadn't heard for a long time. Special thanks for giving us all a mention as well. I haven't heard Elbow for ages and it's kind of become our theme tune thanks to Ian hasn't it?
Does anyone remember a guy called Robinson who used to write on here? Maybe some who wander ARE lost? Come back soon Ian, we're missing you...

Maureen said...

Some of you might like to take a look at some amazing pictures taken at the site of Eyjafjallajokull during and after the eruptions:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04more_from_eyjafjallajokull.html absolutely amazing! Have YOU heard anyone try to pronounce the name yet?!

Maureen said...

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04/more_from_eyjafjallajokull.html
Sorry it was so long that it wouldn't fit in!

Sid said...

Anyone else fed up with looking at those two drivers exchanging names and addresses?

Ellie said...

Yes, me! I know I don't have much to say but I love reading all the blogs. However I have to say: I MISS YOU, IAN....can you hear.....I MISSSS YOU IIIAAAAAN....Lots and lots. I miss the genius of your blogs and just the masses of talent that you share with us - can't wait for your return - there's a huge yellow ribbon round my computer x x x

Kev said...

Yes, I'm back again after another long spell away from work - pneumonia this time.
Maureen, I found this item that you might find interesting -
The BBC's pronunciation unit, a team of linguists which is responsible for ensuring that BBC newsreaders don't twist their tongues on the air, says that it should be pronounced "AY-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl-uh".

For clarity, that's that is -ay as in day, -fy as in few, -oe as in French "coeur", -uu as in boot, the -tl as in atlas. The (-uh) is "a" as in ago.


Does anyone have the faintest idea when Ian returns?

Maureen said...

Hi Kev, lovely to hear from you again. You've been sorely missed. Thanks for that info, now I can impress all of my friends! Now all we need is for Ian to return...

Maureen said...

Oh, and sorry to hear that you've been ill Kev. I hope that everything's ok now and that you are feeling tickety boo!

Sid said...

Maureen...you're watching too much tele.lol.

Glad to hear from you again Kev, and delighted you are now A1. My son-in-law had the very same thing. He's a young man, built like the proverbial brick house, fit as a fiddle...came down with it on holiday. He was off work for ages.

Ian IS back but AWOL. He'll be back when he pulls himself together.

When's the next AGM...and where?

Kev said...

I've been catching up on old postings and have just read Ian's blog on palindromes.
How about -
Doc Note: I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod

Not bad, isn't it

Hildie said...

Morning folks .......
Just thought I'd let you know that Ian is FINE, absolutely fine, and that he will be back with us soon. There has just been a little glitch. I looked 'glitch' up, in the dictionary. It means
"A sudden interruption in electric service, sanity, continuity or programme function. Sometimes recoverable". Turns out it's exactly the right word to describe our situation! So, hang on in there .... he just had to pop back to France for a few days ... but Eurostar will be delivering him to Newcastle any day now.... fit and well, and ready to blog. I know I'm repeating myself here, but I'm as sure as eggs is eggs. I have implicit faith!

Kev, hello!!!!!
It is a lovely surprise to see your return to the blog and I'm very sorry to hear that you have been so poorly.

Sid, the next AGM?
Should we go and visit the Truckshunter Ginkgo Tree?
Quite soon?

Maureen said...

Palindromes...Kev we've missed you! now all we need is a puzzle...

Maureen said...

Did you know that in Switzerland it is illegal to mow your front lawn while dressed as Elvis?

Sid said...

When you consider some of the outfits the Swiss wear I find that funny, as well as strange.

Sid said...

Now you've started something Maureen...
In Kansas, Rabbits may not be shot from motorboats.

Hildie said...

Truckshunter Michael J. Poulter is presenting on Radio Newcastle again this Sunday,
2p.m. until 5p.m.
You can email your requests ....
or text them on the day.
.......
And, furthermore,
Ian was last spotted on Eurostar
(yesterday) heading in our direction.

Maureen said...

Hildie do you know what? If we'd known earlier we could have mustered at Central Station for his arrival. Can you imagine the response of the intrepid Mr Robinson!
Another thing Sid, did you know that a law in the state of Ohio USA prohibits travelling on a bus within four hours of eating garlic?

Sid said...

How many times were you told as a child that 'Picking Dandelions will make you wet the bed'.
Did you know it's partially true. The Dandelion plant is a diuretic.

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

I'm glad to learn that Ian is finally returning. I'm waiting for a phone call from the Kwik Fit garage in his neck of the woods. £177 to replace a fuel valve, which I had to pay in advance as it has to come from Fiat!
(Why do we say, 'Neck of the Woods'?)

A friend has sent me some info about a computer virus, with a link to BBC News.

BBC NEWS
Banking virus is back warns firm
Zeus, a virus that steals online banking details from infected computer users, is more powerful than ever, warns a web security company.
Trusteer says it has spotted the Trojan virus in one of every 3,000 of the
5.5m computers it monitors in the US and UK.
Zeus 1.6 can infect people using Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers, the company claims.
The malware steals login information by recording keystrokes when the infected user is on a list of target websites.
These websites are usually banks and other financial institutions.
The user's data is then sent to a remote server to be used and sold on by cyber-criminals.
"We expect this new version of Zeus to significantly increase fraud losses, since nearly 30% of internet users bank online with Firefox and the infection is growing faster than we have ever seen before," said Amit Klein,
chief technology officer at Trusteer.
DIY virus
In March 2010, many parts of the command and control (C&C) system for the Zeus botnet were destroyed when the Kazakhstani ISP that was being used to administer it was cut off.
However, it does not take long for malware controllers to spring up
elsewhere, and toolkits for assembling botnets are readily available on the black market.
"There are plenty of opportunities for people to purchase access to these systems through underground chat rooms," said Dr JD Marsters, from the department of electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton.
"It's a game of cat and mouse between anti-virus vendors and botnet developers."
Computer users should ensure that their anti-virus software and operating systems are kept up to date, he advised.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/8634356.stm
Published: 2010/04/21 10:23:35 GMT
C BBC MMX

Sid said...

Thanks for the info Vivienne.

Val said...

Hi everyone
Well one of us had to get caught up in the volcanic ash fiasco and it was me!

Phil and I flew direct from Newcastle to Hanover the Monday before the eruption. Took the train to Leipzig, spent a lovely week there visiting our son. It's a beautiful city, especially fascinating with it's 'Iron Curtain' history.

By the end of the week we were starting to worry about getting home! Watching German tv and very repetitive Euronews, it was hard to tell how long it would be before anyone could fly again.

The airline announced on their website at Sunday lunchtime that our flights due on Monday 19th from Hanover [to Southampton then another to Newcastle] were cancelled.
They bragged that the travel insurance company were to look after their customers and make ex-gratia payments towards travel and accommodation costs. At that time the media seemed to be saying it would be 4-5 days before the ash would blow away. So rather than take a gamble and re-book a flight for a few days later, our Stuart spent several frustrating hours looking into how we'd get home. Cross-channel ferries only seem to have places for so many foot passengers and we couldn't find any places. No driving licence with us so couldn't hire a car.
I'm not a good sailor but would've endured the 16 hour crossing from Amsterdam to North Shields - 1st available was overnight on Sunday 25th! Coaches were booked or hard to book I can't remember now.

I'll split this in two as it only takes so much!!

Val said...

Part 2

So the cross-Europe trek began on Monday morning when we left Leipzig on the 3 hour train trip to Hanover as originally planned. After a few hours wander around, had lunch in a park in the sun, listened to buskers.....we took a very efficient spacious German ICE train to Cologne. Made the most of our 3 hours in comfy reserved seats as the next part of the journey wasn't so luxurious.

Dashed out of Cologne station for a few photos of the cathedral, then back on the platform heard announcements that you should only board the train to Brussels if you had a reserved seat! We'd been unable to reserve a seat online. The guard I asked shrugged his shoulders leaving it up to us if we wanted to stand. The alternative to just under 2 hours on the train was a 3 hour bus journey.

We stood in the entrance/corridor of 1st class with many other people like us - some had paid for a 1st class ticket so were more miffed they had to stand! At least it was 1st class so quite pleasant!

Got to Brussels 9.30pm, took the underground to our hotel. Very ‘lively’ area at night, just a bit quieter than the Bigg Market! Old building with sloping floors and staircase, reminded me of The House That Jack Built they used to have at the Spanish City! But it was very convenient for the centre – full of unexpected tourists like ourselves. So we had a 2 day break in Brussels, very tiring trying to see as much as possible.

Up very early yesterday morning to get the tube to the station for the Eurostar which got us to St Pancras at 8am. After the German trains Eurostar was a little dissappointing but only 2 hours and through lovely countryside. England looked so green and pleasant ‘Jerusalem’ ran through my head.

As we’d be in London we intended staying overnight on our daughter’s sofabed and she’d booked cheap coach tickets for us for today. But she’d picked up a tummy bug from her boyfriend so we got the train home yesterday instead. By waiting a few hours we halved the cost of tickets compared with a direct train to Newcastle. So pleased we did as we were on a ‘Grand Central’ train, changed at York onto ‘East Coast’. Wow the Grand Central that goes on to Sunderland was amazing! We weren’t the only ones to think we were in 1st class! So much space with only 3 seats across and a whole window per table so no-one’s view is blocked by a window pillar.

Recovered now and phoned the insurance company who changed the bit about ex-gratia payments saying they'll only pay under 'Travel Delay' per person £30 for 1st day, £20 thereafter! According to BBC website the EU regulations say the airline should reimburse reasonable costs so I’ve emailed them too. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Sorry to take so much space but my tale will tide you over till the Wanderer returns!

Michael said...

Glad to know you finally got back home!

Vivienne said...

Hi Val,

Wow! What an adventure you had! I'm glad you managed to make the most of your journey home - sightseeing in Brussels etc., and glad too you arrived home safely. I hope you have some success with compensation from your airline.

Linda South Shields said...

Hi truckies, who wanted to know about Russian cake? I had a lovely piece today and bought it from Akins Bakery in South Shields. I can bring some to the AGM should anybody wish to try it.