Great friends in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Jane with Kenny and Chris in front of the Newcastle bridge
The lovely Jane with Kenny and Chris Fyfe on the Newcastle side of the banks of the River Tyne.

What’s better than having great friends is getting to visit great friends once in a while.

So yesterday (Friday), en route for my friend Jonny’s ordination in Hereford Jane and I stopped off in sunny Newcastle-upon-Tyne to visit our good friends Kenny and Chris. (You may remember Kenny and Chris from that photograph of them standing next to that fat priest last September!)

What great fun (in chronological order):

  • a tremendous, slowly-cooked lamb dinner
  • a couple of board games until midnight
  • much chat, and laughter, and catching up
  • a brief tour of the quayside in Newcastle and nearby Gateshead
  • walking across the Gateshead Millennium Bridge … and back
  • seeing a giant cat skeleton in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, and getting told off for wanting to take a photograph

And then, all too soon, it was over, and we were driving down the A1 … A1(M) … M1 towards Hereford.

(This blog entry has been purposefully ante-dated, as I didn’t have my laptop with me when I was away.)

My first parking fine

Penalty charge notice beneath windscreen wiper blade

Today I received my first ever car parking fine. Bah!

I had been visiting my Great Aunt Mary in the Corstorphine Hospital with my Mum, when we got a call from my sister Jenni. She was also in Edinburgh buying some clothes for a job interview, and we needed to get Mum and Jenni together on Princes Street before the next bus left for the Scottish Borders. So I drove off, heading for the parking spaces up the centre of George Street.

“There’s one!” shouted Mum, and I duly and obediently pulled into it. But what I didn’t realise is that there are residents’ parking spaces on George Street, interspersed with the pay-and-display spaces and motorcycle spaces. And we didn’t leave Mum’s blue badge on the dashboard.

So I got a fine: £60.00, reduced to £30.00 if I pay it within 14 days. And Mum and Jenni missed the bus.

Double bah!

(This blog entry has been purposefully ante-dated, as I didn’t have my laptop with me when I was away.)

Error’d: Opera version numbers

A new version of Opera, Opera 90.2, is available. Would you like to upgrade now?

My word! What an enormous leap in version numbers Opera seems to have done!

It seems no time at all since I upgraded from Opera 8 to Opera 9, and then not that long ago I opened Opera to discover this dialog box, inviting me to upgrade … to version 90.2!!

A new version of Opera, Opera 90.2, is available. Would you like to upgrade now?

I somehow suspect that something slipped through the error-checking stage at Opera Towers.

(Error’d entries on this blog are named after the popular Worse Than Failure feature.)

Made-up name

Close-up of book spine, Scientific Tables by Geigy.

When my nephew Benjamin was learning to speak he couldn’t pronounce my name (Gareth) properly. Instead he used to call me “Geigy” (pronounced Guy-ghee).

While I was lurking in some corner of the University a couple of months ago I came across this book: Geigy Scientific Tables, Seventh Edition.

Yay! It’s my nephew’s made-up name for me. I’m famous … sort of.

Forgotten words

A winter scene overlooking a still river

This morning I’ve been reading about the importance of silence in prayer, and the absence of words. Ironically, this quotation from the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu spoke to me:

The purpose of the fish trap is to catch fish and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten. The purpose of the rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of the word is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.

Chuang Tzu, Taoist philosopher