5:39pm Thursday 12th January 2017
I APPEAR before you this morning a little down in the mouth. Quite literally – I’m a tooth down.
1:18pm Thursday 5th January 2017
I WAS accidentally flicking through a copy of a Durham newspaper from exactly 150 years ago this week when my eye was caught by a story that told in a guffawing tone about a couple of brothers who were so far behind the times that they didn’t recognise a valuable banknote.
6:27pm Thursday 22nd December 2016
THE observation of Christmas having been deemed a sacrilege, the exchange of gifts and greetings, dressing in fine clothings, feasting and similar satanical practices, are hereby FORBIDDEN, with the offender liable to a fine of five shillings.
5:53pm Thursday 15th December 2016
OUR Christmas is usually considered to be the most heavily influenced by the Germans and the Americans. The Germans gave us the tree and the carols; the Americans dressed Father Christmas in the red and white of the Coca-Cola bottle.
4:07pm Thursday 8th December 2016
SOME lovely little asides have made this week’s Brexit debates, in the Commons and the courts, very followable.
2:19pm Thursday 1st December 2016
I AM stroking my chin as I write this. It has a couple of days’ stubble left on it in honour of Gareth Southgate’s appointment on Wednesday as the first of England’s 19 national football managers to have a beard.
4:37pm Thursday 17th November 2016
DRIVING out in the dark around Gainford on Monday evening, the supermoon looked far from super. Layers of dense cloud were brightly backlit in the sky over Darlington, but they parted only briefly to reveal a very bleary moon.
5:50am Friday 11th November 2016
I WOKE up on Wednesday morning and found the world had changed overnight.
2:38pm Thursday 3rd November 2016
PEOPLE have been on the phone this week; a couple have stopped me in the street. They all ask: “Is Binns being binned?”
12:11pm Thursday 20th October 2016
THE last setpiece in the American Presidential election was played out in Las Vegas in the early hours of yesterday morning, with much made of the body language and the lack of a handshake.
2:41pm Thursday 13th October 2016
LAST weekend’s US presidential debate made uncomfortable watching, even with the sound turned down. Donald Trump prowled like a predator behind Hillary Clinton, deliberately invading her space in a provocative attempt to unsettle and bully her.
12:45pm Thursday 6th October 2016
I HAVE always thought that Lovesome Hill is a lovely name for a lonesome vill.
6:11pm Thursday 29th September 2016
THIS week I have been wondering why the world is awash with words for toilet – but none of them really describe what natural human activities actually go on inside the little boys’ or girls’ room.
1:12pm Thursday 22nd September 2016
I HAVE travelled from the Somme to the Wear this week looking at riverbank benches. They have been installed, partly through the generosity of readers of The Northern Echo, to commemorate the sacrifices made by the Durham Pals in the First World War.
12:28pm Thursday 15th September 2016
IT was, said Stephen Kinnock MP, “a barefaced gerrymander.” According to Tristram Hunt, Labour’s former shadow education secretary and historian and broadcaster, “this boundary gerrymandering is grotesque”. In the Guardian, commentator Owen Jones railed that it was “a ruthless gerrymandering of British democracy”, while Sedgefield’s own Phil Wilson put it most succinctly when he said it was a Conservative attempt “to gerrymander the system to give them a bigger majority over the Labour Party”.
5:46pm Thursday 8th September 2016
PTERIDOMANIA is not a condition I had considered until this week, but I must be suffering badly because I have just been out to buy a packet of custard cream biscuits.
5:25pm Thursday 1st September 2016
"AVAST me hearties,” said a sailor picking up Tuesday’s front page, and seeing a beautiful picture of a tall ship, its sails billowing magnificently in the wind as it left Blyth, beneath the headline: “Anchors aweigh”.
12:09pm Thursday 11th August 2016
THIS week, I have been considering women’s underwear. It started on a visit to the bakery in Bedale where they were selling “Bedale bloomers” – round loaves of crusty bread that looked nothing women’s flappy pants.
1:36pm Thursday 4th August 2016
THERE, in the headlights, in the middle of the country lane, was a chicken. It was not a happy chicken. Dusk had fallen. It wanted to be in bed, but with an impenetrable hedge on one side and an unscalable wall on the other, it couldn’t get out of the lane. Cars were negotiating their way around it, dazzling it with their lights, making it agitated.
3:52pm Thursday 28th July 2016
“OH! My God!” exploded the young girl walking towards me in Darlington’s Post House Wynd on Tuesday lunchtime. “Ombr? is only forty quid!”