For reasons best known to her good self, Hildie has asked me to post this photograph on the blog.  It was taken by a professional photographer in Gosforth who eventually gave up trying to make us look earnest and meaningful and decided to take snaps of us ‘the way we were’.

Looking at it now, after all these years and so much water under so many bridges, I realise how extraordinarily lucky I was (to say the very least) to be given the chance to work at BBC Radio Newcastle, which at the time was chockablock with creativity, imagination and compassion.

I also realise how lucky I was to work with Paul so often and for so long - and how fortunate I am that he is still one of my best friends.

I’m sure he still doesn’t know how much I learned from him and how much confidence he gave me at a time when my life needed it most.  Whatever else he has done since those days - or will do in the future - Paul Wappat is now, and will always be, a quick-witted, imaginative, compassionate, loyal and trusted mate.

As it happens, I’ve recently re-discovered a PhotoCD given to me by an erstwhile listener called Steve Ellwood, whose name I remember from way, way back in the days of my first sessions with Paul on his chaotic but hugely popular and enjoyable Saturday morning programme.

So, like the last one - and courtesy of Steve Ellwood - this posting is an orgy of pictures…

 Most of the pictures were taken at outside broadcasts from the 
Gateshead Flower Show in 2000 and from Blyth Market in, I think, 2001.
The one above shows Paul with Steve Drayton...

 Every time I see Gerry Jackson on Look North, I am reminded of the wonderful Ronald Wetleg

Times have changed, haven't they?

 The only picture that shows my lovely dog Taxi at the BBC
 Jon Harle, whom God preserve
Mike Parr tries to melt into the background
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My Grand Adventure is getting closer.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Perth, Sydney, New Zealand’s South Island… Thanks for your advice and recommendations so far.

Now it’s time to put finger to keyboard about my next port-of-call - New Zealand’s North Island.  I’ll be driving through it in my trusty campervan all the way from Wellington, past Lake Taupo and the volcanic magic of Rotorua, to Auckland - whose name is, of course, linked directly to our own beloved Bishop Auckland.  I’m genuinely hoping that the name is all the two places have in common, though.

If there’s any information you’d like to impart - get cracking!

And Thankyou.

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Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com

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