Toon Talk Articles- Brian Hall

An Ordinary Durham Lass- A Reading In Tribute To One Of Our Region's Past Generations.

          Margaret, my Mam, or Pearl rather, as she was always called. She was funny, quirky, tough, and rather popular, to say the least. She was a social worker in the Shiney Row area of old County Durham - an unofficial one, that is. The young, middle-aged, and old, would always confide in her. Her company, quite simply, was not asked for - it was ....

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Odd Rows And Punch Ups

              Certain rows and punch-ups are entirely predictable. A football derby between Mags and Mackems, or Celts against Gers. Same in politics and protests. A union demo clashing with the police, politicians arguing with each other with nobody else listening to them,  and of course, the Always Get One character in a pub, who after 3 pints ....

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Telephone Calls Can Be So Varied

        Aye. I am not one to jump to the ringing tone in the house out of some insatiable curiosity to see who is on the other end of the landline. I learnt that a long time ago, when I was in a job when everybody wanted you, every hour of the night. My ex had an annoying habit of leaping to the call of the alarm bell, and then either putting me on, or pretending that I ....

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Mams And Mags

          As I prepared some notes for a reading the other night for a cultural do at the Red House in toon about my County Durham Mam, who passed away in early Spring this year, it naturally led to thoughts of her attitude, and that of other Mams, to life with Newcastle United FC.    I  obviously managed to include quotes from her, one of which ....

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Health And Safety

      Aye, I know. The butt of many a joke, and most of them justified. Kids should avoid trees, too dangerous in case they climb on them. Use sponge footballs at school as a proper footy ball might damage them, dont make a snowball as that might hurt somebody, dont run too fast as you might bump into somebody, and definitely dont use the climbing frame unsupervised in case you ....

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Signs , - And Smokescreens

      Signs and smokescreens, are all in the news at the minute.  Some in football, some way beyond the world of footy. Let us look at some of those outside of the beautiful game, first. We have signs that the Libyan problem is now settling down, and that country is heading into democracy - information source on that comes from NATO, that is. Possibly a smokescreen for a ....

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Funny Old Game

  Yesterday was a momentous occasion in our region's annual calendar. People have looked forward to it since the early summer. Vast amounts of cash were spent, and raucous scenes continued well into the night. Obviously, I am not talking about the Bank Holiday. I am talking, of course, about my birthday, and ok, NONE of the above applied to its arrival. For a start, middle age tends to lead ....

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These Boots Are Made For Walking

    THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING - AND THAT IS WHAT THEY'RE GONNA DO, ONE OF THESE DAYS THESE BOOTS ARE GONNA WALK ALL OVER YOU........ FRANK AND NANCY SINATRA       Heard a great old song the other day from Old Blue Eyes and his daughter." These boots are made for walking, walking that's  what's they're gonna do,  one of these days these boots are ....

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Sunday - A Day Of Hangover Recovery, Rest, Relaxation, And Compassion

      Sunday morning is traditionally a time to get over a hangover, rest, relax, and indeed for those of Christian Faith, a time to think of the need for compassion, helping out your neighbour, things like that.       On the recovery front,  there will certainly many bad heads across the North East today, definitely more than the usual percentage, I ....

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Philosophical Quotes- Only A Game, Tomorrow, Eh?

          I came across a great book on football one liners recently. All are true quotes stated by famous and not so famous characters involved in our game over so many decades. Any glance at the book immediately applies to a match tomorrow involving a city and its smaller town counterpart rival  just down the road. Here come some of the words uttered over the ....

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    Change of tactics from waiting for the Derby. I have decided to focus on other examples of the art of waiting. Been looking at situations where passing the time is the name of the game. Take the application to be Head of the Met in London, after their top lads were told not to wait around amidst the Murdoch scandal. The original favourite put his CV in yesterday, but that ....

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Derby Pmt - No Way Out Really, After All

    After my previous counselling advice on how to avoid Derby pre match tension, I have rapidly accepted that my advice on how to avoid it was crap. My girls mentioned the match coming up, a mate expressed his joy at having a ticket, another mate - aye, i do have some - talked about escaping into some remote hill or something, as he is fearful that Alan Partridge could lead us into ....

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Avoiding Derby Pre Match Tension - Pmt - Try Maths

    The best way, I have learnt over decades, to avoid PMT rising when it involves the NUFC-SAFC friendly get together is to try and think of other things. I hope this little piece might help some do just that. After all, it is only Tuesday. There is so, so, much more,  to  life than the biggest derby match in English football.   Winning money for a start. I heard the ....

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True Stories From Our Funny Old World- From Southern Bavaria To Steve Bruce

    In these difficult times, we sometimes need to look on the bright and quirky side of life. Take the news. Avoid riots, financial global panic, and just concentrate upon more important and interesting matters.   Southern Bavaria, for example, is currently trying to locate Gertrude, a renegade cow. She is proving elusive to find, hiding in very expanisve and dense woodland. ....

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A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall. Song From A Washy Lad.

      Well, the hard rains are gonna fall,  as the old Washington Lad, Bryan Ferry, used to sing in that song. That hard rain has definitely been coming down recently. Close to home, it came over the weekend at SJP, causing an abandonment of the Massive Friendly arranged against Florence. Our North East economic clouds are full of the wet stuff too, with the race for a ....

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Tweet Or Twitter - Technological Troubles

      Advances in modern technology seem to have hit the news big style in recent weeks. Tweeting has engulfed football, for example, and inevitably, Newcastle United have featured highly on the agenda. Jose Enrique threw himself in, said it all accurately about the club, and was duly fined. Others joined in, not least Joey Barton - again, I could not disagree with any of his ....

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Throwing A Donkey Off Castle Keep - 1733

    It happened a long time ago, when a Showman drew huge crowds to Castle Keep in Toon, with the promise that he could fly.                                              Naturally, a big crowd turned up, true to Geordie tradition. Unfortunately, at the top of that high ....

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Education, Education, Education

  Some might remember that phrase from that County Durham marra of ours', Tony Blair, the fanatical Mag who sat in the Galloway End as a bairn watching Jackie Milburn. He is long since forgotten, apart from his love affair with George Bush, getting stuck into Iraq, solving Afghanistan, and weh, sorting out loads of things, like. What is not forgotten is Education, and it is alive and ....

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United Fan In Court

          The scheduled time for the appearance was at 3.30, but due to delays, the court session began at 4.15. The fan was obviously unnerved and anxious by the change of time, as he was wearing his best gear, and had pysched himself up before he faced the Mag-istrates. After an hour hearing, he was sent down. Shattered. He felt like a beaten man, which of course ....

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Plan A , Plan B, Plans, Or Nee Plan

      There is an old saying that everybody needs a Plan B if things gan wrong. The government got itself in a bit of a pickle over a discussion a few weeks ago on their Plan. There was some heated discussion going on over whether, if the economy continued to hiccup, or belch actually, they had a Plan B. They said they could not mention a Plan B, as it might mean that they did ....

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Mag Appears After Being Released In Pitch Invasion Incident

        A Newcastle fan has been released, after his involvement in a major pitch invasion. No, it did not involve Darlington away. It involved me, and my apartment in Heaton. Early morning saw the arrival of 2 younger daughters, swiftly followed by Oldest Daughter, Claire. The invasion involved some ugly scenes - noise levels rose in the stadium, and although police tried ....

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Mag Flees Majorca - As The Sun Sets

  True to form, my return hyem did not quite go according to plans. Geordie, one of our exiles, gave me a lift to a train station, waved me off, and told me to give my regards to his Tyneside homeland. Desination Palma all took place smoothy. Then, a major factor emerged - namely, I had miscalculated my budget, which meant, in effect, that I could not afford accomodation. Weh, not the first ....

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Bulls , Banners, And Big Matches

  Brian Would like to thank the Red Lion for the use of the Internet as his is bolloxed.    Bulls. Spain – a land of bullfighting. True, but there is another activity with the bulls, and it is one that I would never dream of entering. I am all for people who like running, as a pleasure and fitness drive, but the Spanish take this one step further. This seems to be the ....

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Shearer In Shock Move To Spain

    Before anybody gets too excited by this headline, it should be stressed that it was the Shearer Number 9 top that moved the other day, and NOT Big Al himself. Nevertheless, this was seen as a significant move, by me. Having talked footy, amongst other things, over a couple of weeks with the local bar owner and his family, I decided to give the top as a present. It is now on ....

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Spanish And Latiin American Football, And British Music

      A serious delay has occurred in reports from events over here, namely, recurring internet problems,  hearing difficulties,  bad stomach, and a sliced thumb incident. ONLY the first, e mail connection problem, is not my fault!! More of that later.   The early part of the weekend led me to varied views on the Spanish footy game. Of course, everybody here ....

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