On Saturday, Newcastle was host to an Americana festival; anything with lots of music anywhere is always going to make me happy. In this case, we ended up a music boat; there’s a company that regularly cruises up and down the Tyne, and I’ve long thought it might be fun to give this a go; what better than to combine this with a bluegrass band (the midnight ramblers) and Devon Sproule, who is always good to see. It was a good fun; the cruise itself was entertaining, especially with the weather being so nice. Unfortunately, you couldn’t hear the band from the top deck, but as I’d forgotten my floppy hat, staying atop wasn’t an option anyway. The band were fun; very competant, professional and fluid. Poking around their website, they appear to be part-time, which belies their touring schedule; if it’s still true then their suggestion that they are gaining success as a result of their hard work is no lie. Devon Sproule was great as always, even though she looked rather irritable when she started; performing seems to make her happier. It was a pleasure to see her in a small (floating) venue again, as she is at her best in this sort of venue.

Sunday, was the Sunderland air show. The day was much cloudier, but this worked out well; you could look up into the sky without getting blinded. The aerobatics was exciting, although starting off with the Red Arrows robbed the occasion of it’s climax. Still watching machinery that was designed to kill people leaves me with a slight feeling of unease, particularly when some of it costs upward of 100 million per plane; it’s impressive, but for that price it should be. Still I guess the fundamental problem is that there are only a limited numbers of tricks that a plane can do; one barrel roll is fairly similar to another, even if the planes are different colours. In summary, a good day out, but not sure that I’d want to go every year.

And the trains? Well, took the metro to Sunderland. Pretty weak, but I thought it was a good title for a blog post.