Sunday, May 24, 2015

May Fayre Video

I've started catching up with video editing tasks. I filmed this one last week at the Whickham May Fayre in Chase Park. The hen and chicks at the end are mine!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Whickham eFocus 96

Just published this evening is the next edition of our eFocus newsletter for the Whickham area. This edition looks at the local election results and events happening over the next few days. You can view it on this link.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gateshead Lib Dem members' newsletter

As we now have email addresses for over 80% of our members in Gateshead, we have launched an email newsletter in addition to our printed edition. The first edition can be viewed on this link. We have 22 new members in Gateshead since polling day - one of the unexpected consequences of our general election defeat. We are redoubling our efforts to ensure we keep in touch with them.

Monday, May 18, 2015

When dirty tricks backfire

Spoof election posters Sunniside Road May 15 2

Early on polling day on 7th May, the above spoof election poster appeared on Sunniside Road, only a few metres from my house. David spotted it at about 6am when he was heading over the road to feed the livestock. I spotted another just up the road. We then got reports of a small number at the fire station in Swalwell and some on Ryton.

Spoof election posters Swalwell fire station May 15 3

The above photo of the ones on the premises of Swalwell Fire Station was taken in the afternoon. We were rather surprised that the staff at the fire station - some of whom featured in a last minute Labour leaflet in uniform with Labour candidates on the same premises - had not removed the posters, given this was a public facility and the staff are public servants. A phone call to the chief fire officer saw the posters removed shortly afterwards. Presumably the staff were just rather unobservant on that day and failed to notice the front of their building plastered with posters.

I am curious to know whether these same illegal posters went up in other constituencies. They were professionally printed on corex and will therefore not be cheap.

Quite what the culprits sought to achieve by spending money like this and disrupting their own sleep to drive in their volvos and people carriers to various locations in Blaydon constituency is beyond me. It appears that they must be driven by a hatred of us that took them beyond sensible, logical behaviour into the world of absurd pettiness. Being beastly to the Lib Dems may be a big turn on to poisoned dwarfs and those with gigantic egos but no personality, but it achieved nothing for them other than unnecessarily sleep loss and wasted money.

The irony is that most people who saw the posters simply glanced at them and thought they were promoting the Lib Dems. They didn't stop to read what was on them. We know that because people told us they were pleased to see our posters up!

The posters in Sunniside were removed on the advice of the police who are looking in to the matter. I have one of them at my house and I'm quite happy for the owner to collect it from me. Just get in touch and make the necessary arrangements.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A great day at the May Fayre

May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 2

The May Fayre at Whickham's Chase Park went ahead yesterday and was a great success. I had a table selling eggs and preserves in the bottom corner of the park and as I was out in the open, my hopes for a rain-free event were fulfilled! Lots of people spoke to me about my re-election and my self-sufficiency project. There was particular interest in my goat Pinkie who is recovering from an emergency caesarean on Wednesday evening. News has got around about her operation.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the event:

May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 6

May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 5

May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 4

May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 3

Friday, May 15, 2015

Setting up the May Fayre in Whickham

Whickham May fayre preparation May 15 3

I've been in Whickham's Chase Park this morning to help set up the May Fayre tomorrow. I was late as I am also nursing a very ill goat. Pinkie, my Golden Guernsey, had to have am emergency caesarean on Wednesday evening and she is still not out of the danger zone. Sadly, we lost both the kids.

Whickham May fayre preparation May 15 4

The fayre opens at midday tomorrow. There will be live music, entertainment, participation events, stands for community organisations and stalls selling a range of goods.

Whickham May fayre preparation May 15 2

Everyone is welcome.

Whickham May fayre preparation May 15 1

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Swap your home

I've been contacted by the BBC to ask me to promote a programme called Home Away From Home and encourage people to put themselves forward to be on it. So if you have an interesting home and want to stay in someone else's house while appearing on tv, you can find details below.

Dear Jonathan,

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, but I’m working on the new series of BBC One’s Home Away From Home and thought you might be able to help, as we are particularly interested in featuring any self-sufficiency and eco-living enthusiasts on our programme!

The series sees couples (be it partners, friends or family members) from across the UK swap homes with one another over the course of three days. It’s a chance to have a new experience and discover local cuisine, sight-seeing that goes beyond the guide book, and an authentic place to stay. It might be that people are considering a home swap for the first time or have swapped many times before. It’s very much a warm-hearted series and celebrates the beauty of our homes and localities in the UK.  

Here is a link to the website:

I was wondering whether you might be able to help circulate our details whether that’s via social media, an editorial piece on your blog etc, in the hope that we might find some lovely would-be home swappers for our series?
Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,


Emma Linstead
Assistant Producer, Home Away From Home