Just look at it.

A cocktail in a pint jug

Ideal for the inverted Northern snob that I am!

You wouldn’t get me drinking cocktails.

Well, unless they come in pint mugs.

There’s a brilliant Billy Conolley  sketch where he’s asking a barman about a bright green drink that he sees some guy having in a bar in Italy. The barman patiently explains a few times that the drink is called creme de menthe. Old Billy finally cottons on and says “Oh aye, I’ll have a pint of that then”.

I tend to agree.

But this mean thing was both evil and amazing.

It tasted good, I haven’t got a clue what was in it. And after the second one I didn’t care either! What’s just as important was that they were a fiver each. Brilliant!

We had a kebab after that. Apparently. On a Tuesday!

What were we thinking? Not much at all I guess would be the honest answer.

I’m going back to the kebab house tonight.

Reza on Westgate is worth saving up for to eat in. But hey it’s also great to take away and eating sitting on a bench just like it was fish and chips, but ideally with a bottle of red instead of the special brew that’s ideal to wash down your fish supper.

The joy of the north.

Cornish in the far north.

One of the lads at uni is called Piran, an odd name that I didn’t attach any meaning to, until today!

It turns out that Piran is a Cornish name, and Cornish Piran certainly is. He sounds like a comedy extra from some west country drama, or a peasant from Doc Martin or some such, but he’s a character and we like him making us laugh with expressions like the unwritable “Wass he like?” which apparently means “How are you?” and his acknowledgement of everything is made with a rolling “Right on”.

For a Geordie I have disappointingly little accent, which is odd seeing both my folks and most of my friends could be identified from just a couple of words.

1913 - St Austell Ale

Anyway, this is about Piran. He told us that the 5th of March is huge. It’s St Piran’s Day apparently and that means you have to eat a lot of pasties and drink gallons of beer. I love pasties and I love beer so no problem there then. Piran did the day in style and ordered a box of pasties to be delivered from his favourite bakery back home, and then found a pub selling Doom Bar in the Toon, rang them up, and told them that he was prepared to run their first St Piran’s Day festival and guaranteed they’d triple their sales of Doom Bar on the day.

It was a riot!

We got all the people we like from uni down to the Mash Tun and Piran supplied the pasties. The only rule for having a free pasty was that you were only allowed to drink Doom Bar, or this lovely stout like drink called 1913 which turns out to be Cornish as well.

Right. We know now. St Piran’s is on the calendar.

Beamish Ale – in kegs!

Neck Oil?

Sounds pretty foul to me.

But this is the strange name of a most fabulous ale.

Quoted on the Beamish Hall website where it is brewed as “A blonde session beer delicately hopped with English goldings and claimed to cure all manner of things including baldness flat feet and face ache” .…, well, I certainly get a touch of face ache now and then, or is it face acne I suffer? I like to think that by face ache they mean faces that are now pleasant to look upon become gradually more appealing as the pints of Neck Oil do their work.

Neck Oil is a brew from the gorgeous Beamish Hall Hotel away down the road in the wilds just outside of Stanley, County Durham. We went there a while back as one of Shaun’s brothers works in the micro brewery leaning the trade off the old boy who creates some truly excellent beer.stables_logo

Shaun’s brother is allowed to buy a few kegs at Christmas at a healthy discount and so, being the polite lad that he is, he bought several, and brought one up to our res last night. Now, apart from the fact that he caught the train up, I can barely forgive him for bringing just the one. ‘Twas gone in no time, but by ‘eco, we enjoyed every drop.

Were it not for our generally, and sometimes desperately, impecunious state, i’d insist that we head south, stay the night, or the weekend, at Beamish Hall, and do our bet to drink it dry.

Instead we’ll just have to rely on bro coming soon with more.

The Dude is, down.

Dear Diary.

Please record this moment for me.

Remind me of it when my ebullience threatens to convince me that I have a happy heart.

Help this moment be a small hitch in time from which I learn to be humble, to be grateful when things are just OK, not to moan when it seems that the whole plan has turned to rat shit.

I think that for the first time in maybe the whole of my not many years I have fallen into an emotional dilemma beyond the straightforward lust that keeps me cleaning my teeth in the morning and having some care over my dress sense.

I dare not mention her name. It’s not Kristen, I think she’s the only girl who gets a name check in my ramblings other than my mum. In fact the object of my desires both carnal and emotional is not as gorgeous as Kristen, but then a man must have a vague sense of his limits mustn’t he?

I don’t really know what I did to dash my chances.

I did nothing as rash as to declare my love.

But twice today I have tried to say hello and have been rejected.

Once could possibly have been a mistake.

Twice is clear.

So why am I so bothered? I have only spoken to her a few times, haven’t even been for a drink.

But bloody hell I’m drinking now. Have been since five o’clock.

Sad? Pathetic? Oh yes. But that’s The Dude for you baby.

New Year new beer.


Mum and Dad. Good boy.

Boxing Day. In the flat, alone all day. Half a bottle of whiskey (OK, more).

Friday. Nothing. What. So. Ever.

Saturday. Nothing much, but did venture out for milk.

Two fine cooking exploits – proud of them.

New Year’s Eve. Completely fooking plastered!

And bloody well loved it!


A couple of his geeky sorts.

Jason (school friend, lost touch when he went to the States with his folks for a couple of years, now back in the toon).

Sarah. Yes. A girl. A fit girl at that, so why she was out with us twats I can’t guess, but I am seriously glad. I probably held back a little bit because she was there, and Christ knows what state I’d ha been in were it not for that.

We started out at Shaun’s.

Smoking like there was no tomorrow.

Some powders, but I didn’t touch them. I’m scared of that shit.

And then the best bit – Special Brews!




Special Brew.

Not all the time. Just now and then.

And Tuesday night was perfect for it.

Plenty of laughter.

And a fast loss of consciousness.

A curry. God I hope we weren’t too stupid, we went to Khan’s and I love that place too much to get a ban.

And lots more Special Brew.

We always used to have a limit – no more than four cans to a man.

I think we may have surpassed that somewhat.

But what a night.



Today. Ventured out for air.

And milk.


Finished. No more for a day or two. Gotta rest.

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