A few random photos from the past week or so.
A Reindeer at Richardsons Garden Centre (Stockton Rd, Seaham, Co Durham SR7 8RW). You can pet them and feed them (at a cost). I settled for a quick photo on my iPhone.
The first frost of the year. Winter is on the way.
Bottle Tops. Distant memories of a few good beers.
Tombstones in St Hilda’s Church, Hartlepool.
The Andy Capp statue in Hartleepool.
One of the lighthouses in Hartlepool docks.
Recycling. We try to do our bit for the enviroment and at the same wine the European wine industry. :D
St Hilda’s Church (Church Close, Hartlepool, County Durham, TS24 0PW, United Kingdom
A tank at the Heugh Gun Battery. We did not venture inside, but snapped through the fence.

Blog post by Richard Randall

Chateau Venus Graves 2011 from Lidl

Chateau Venus 2011 (CHATEAU VENUS, 3, Pertigues – Brouquet
33720 Illats – France) is a young and sprightly wine from Graves, Bordeaux. It is Merlot lead so gives a lot of plum on the palate with a slight tart back taste from the tannins. There is a little flora on the nose but not much given its age. It is not a tradition Graves wine, so it is better suited to lighter foods. At about £8 a bottle from Lidl is is not bad value but could do with being cellared for a couple of years to help build in a little depth.
Chateau Venus, Graves

Blog post by Richard Randall

Steetley Pier, Hartlepool

Yesterday we drove just down the coast to Hartlepool. After looking round the historic Headland area, we headed a little way North to take some photos of the Steetley Pier which was once part of the Steetley Magnesite Works ( Hartlepool Magnesia Works and Palliser Works ). The Works have now been demolished and all that is now left is the pier which was used to bring sea water to Steetley Magnesite Works.
The light was not very good so I decided to make most of the photos high contrast B&W.
We have seen the pier many times, but only from a distant while walking our dog on Crimdon Beach, but it has always been a bit far to walk to or more importantly, much to far to walk back from.
HarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolHarlepoolSteetley Pier, HartlepoolSteetley Pier, HartlepoolSteetley Pier, HartlepoolHarlepoolSteetley Pier, HartlepoolSteetley Pier, HartlepoolSteetley Pier, HartlepoolSteetley Pier, Hartlepool

Blog post by Richard Randall = Scam

Hi. I hope that my little letter will find you in good mood. My name is Anna. I live in Russia. I am 28 years old.I’m a rather shy girl at first. I open up a little more as I get to know someone. I do not know what to write, I’m very excited, because I never used the Internet for acquaintances. My lady friend has told that I can find the good and kind man in the Internet. I always wanted to get acquainted with the kind man not from Russia. In Russia it is a lot of alcoholics. Men here do not respect women. I hope that my letter has interested you. Also I send my photo. I will write more about myself and I will send more photos if you answer my letter. Take care!


Nadezhda = Scam

You are very interested me. I would like to know you better. My name is
Nadezhda, I am 27 years old. I hope
that we can start our with you communication. I am a little worried,
since I never got acquainted through the Internet. You know, I open person,
so to speak, I have no
complexes and no bad habits. I do not drink alcohol and do not smoke. I
prefer a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have
not met a man who could win my heart. I have a lot different
hobbies. I constantly try to try something new. I love life in all its
expressions. I madly want
serious and permanent relationship. For me paramount importance sincerity
and decency in a man. I suppose that we can find understanding and this
message emergence of our friendship with you.
Yours Nadezhda


Hailma = Scam

Random scam that arrived in my inbox this afternoon.
Hello dear,

My real name is Hailma. I want us to be one beautiful friend, I hope you wouldn’t mind despite we don’t know each other before, I will like you to contact me via my private email address so that I will give you all my details and also to send you my pictures, I saw your profile today on Facebook and become interest in you, Please contact me with this my private email( I will be looking forward to receive your feedback, Bye from.

Mon vrai nom est Hailma. Je veux que nous soyons une belle amie, je l’espère, vous voulez bien malgré nous ne connaissions pas avant, je voudrais que vous me contacter via mon adresse e-mail privé de sorte que je vais vous donner tous les détails et aussi pour vous envoyer mes photos, je vu votre profil aujourd’hui sur Facebook et deviens intérêt pour vous, Se il vous plaît me contacter à mon email privé ce( je serai impatient de recevoir vos commentaires, Bye de.

The Durham Brewery, County Durham

Last Monday we paid a visit to The Durham Brewery to purchase some of their beers (Unit 6a, Bowburn North Ind Est, Bowburn, Co. Durham, DH6 5PF).
It’s been quite a long time since we last went on a proper beer-run, and we thought buying direct from a local brewery would be a good way to support a business in our local area.
Durham Brewery
Inside the shop at The Durham Brewery there is a bar, and some tables and chairs, so a good place to taste a few ales.
Unfortunately I was driving, and it was also early in the morning, so neither of us sampled any beer on site, but we did come away with 13 bottles.
Durham Brewery

To date we have only tried one, the Temptation Imperial Russian Stout. This is because Mrs.R has been very unwell, and it would be a shame for her not to enjoy the beers. I’m sure once Mrs.R is back in full health, we will devour our beer haul at a decent rate.

The welcome we received at The Durham Brewery was very friendly, and the lady who served us was knowledgeable about all of the beers.
We will definitely have to revisit to restock in the future.
Durham BreweryDurham Brewery

Blog post by Richard Randall

Red Letter Days – A Rip-Off

A little while ago I won a £100 Red Letter Days Gift Card. Living in North East England meant there was not a great deal of activities in this region, so I decided to spend the Red Letter Days Gift Card on a bottle of Champagne and a bottle of Single Malt Whisky. No indication was given of the brands ,but given each bottle cost £50, I did have rather high hopes.
The drinks arrived yesterday and my hopes where shattered. The Champagne was bottle of Louis Dornier NV. After a quick Google search I found it for sale for £16 online. I also found the The Great Glen Malt Whisky online for £20. If I chuck on £10 for postage and packing that leaves a £54 blackhole.
This means the little boxes and sticky labels on the bottles cost a whopping £52. My guess is they cost about £3 in total if I was being generous.
Red Letter Days proves to be a complete rip-off


Hi how are you? Honestly I don’t know as to begin acquaintance on the Internet, but I am sure of one that our acquaintance will be very interesting. I send you in this message my photo. I hope that shortly you will answer me. And then I will tell you a little more about me. To the fast. Kseniya