287In this blogposting…
*In Praise of...Gateshead
*Letters to Local Councils
*Old Men Chatting
Now read on...
IN PRAISE OF...GATESHEAD
This is what a recent Guardian editorial had to say about Gateshead…
‘The title of the Hippest Street in Britain sounds suspect in the media world of dodgy polls and tiny ‘public votes’. But Gateshead's triumph in Google's Street View Awards is thoroughly deserved.
The reinvention of the Tyne's southern bank as South Shore Road, the street that took the crown, is a triumph for the smaller half of the famous Geordie partnership. Many talk of going to Newcastle to see the Angel of the North, the ‘winking eye bridge’, the BALTIC gallery or the Sage concert hall. They can indeed see all four from Newcastle (although the Angel only on tiptoes) but all were commissioned by, and have their feet firmly in, Gateshead.
To say this is not to incite Geordie divisions, but to emphasise the regenerative reach of cultural projects right across the north-east. Far away in Venice, this year's biennale is a tribute to the flair of Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside; crowds are flocking to work contributed by Newcastle's Laing art gallery and Locus+ arts commissioning agency, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and Sunderland's National Glass Centre.
This is no flimsy successor to the engineering masterpieces associated with all three rivers: the history of pioneering art in northernmost England embraces the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Ashington painters, the engravings of Thomas Bewick and the wild, apocalyptic landscapes of John Martin.
It is good to see Northumberland's little Alnwick in the Google awards, too, for Britain's best shopping street at Bondgate Within.
After art, what better than a little retail therapy?’
Well said, Guardian. And well done, Gateshead - and ‘little Alnwick!’
Next...a couple of titbits to make you smile. They were sent to me by Dave Shannon.
LETTERS TO LOCAL COUNCILS: EXTRACTS
* It's the dogs mess that I find hard to swallow.
* I want some repairs done to my cooker as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.
* I wish to complain that my father twisted his ankle very badly when he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.
* Their 18 year old son is continually banging his balls against my fence.
* I wish to report that tiles are missing from the outside toilet roof. I think it was bad wind the other day that blew them off.
* My lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand?
* I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is coming away from the wall.
* Will you please send someone to mend the garden path. My wife tripped and fell on it yesterday and now she is pregnant.
* I request permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.
* 50% of the walls are damp, 50% have crumbling plaster, and 50% are just plain filthy.
* I am still having problems with smoke in my new drawers.
* The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.
* Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.
* Our lavatory seat is broken in half and now is in three pieces.
* I want to complain about the farmer across the road. Every morning at 6am his cock wakes me up and it's now getting too much for me.
* The man next door has a large erection in the back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.
* Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third, so please send someone round to do something about it.
* I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would you please do something about the noise made by the man on top of me every night.
* Please send a man with the right tool to finish the job and satisfy my wife.
* I have had the clerk of works down on the floor six times but I still have no satisfaction.
* This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broke and we can't get BBC2.
* My bush is really overgrown round the front and my back passage has fungus growing in it.
* He's got this huge tool that vibrates the whole house and I just can't take it any more
OLD MEN CHATTING...
‘Sixty is the worst age to be,’ said the 60-year-old man. ‘You always feel like you have to pee and most of the time you stand there and nothing comes out.’
‘Ah, that's nothin," said the 70-year-old. ‘When you're seventy, you don't have a bowel movement any more. You take laxatives, eat bran, sit on the toilet all day and nothin' comes out!’
‘Actually,’ said the 80-year -old, ‘Eighty is the worst age of all.’
‘Why?’ asked the 60-year-old. ‘Do you have trouble peeing, too?’
‘No, I pee every morning at 6:00. I pee like a racehorse on a flat rock; no problem at all.’
‘So, do you have a problem with your bowel movement?’
‘No, I have one every morning at 6:30.’
Exasperated, the 60-year-old said, ‘You pee every morning at 6:00 and crap every morning at 6:30. So what's so bad about being 80?’
‘I don't wake up until 7:00.’
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