Saturday, 26 September 2015

Tom Burke Online Magazine, Issue 1

So a new magazine is hitting the internet! A few people have decided to get together to write some articles for an online fanzine dedicated to Tom Burke. Articles can vary from things that Tom has said that he enjoys (tea!) details about places he has filmed, and of course Musketeer based articles!

I am going to re-post articles that I have written onto my blog, as I know I have some friends who are not interested in signing up for the magazine, but they are still interested in what I've written!!!

(Page layout and design by Christine  @christine_ghh   @TBO_magazine)

How to make tea
How tea became popular
Red Tea Page 1
Red Tea Page 2




Friday, 18 September 2015

I just can't be happy todayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I'm back from watching The Damned in concert! Oh what a fabulous night, I can't sleep I'm still so excited.

I loved The Damned when I was growing up. I was a Goth who would go to Afflecks Palace in Manchester with my brother and seek out beautiful vintage black lace dresses, (for me not him!). Oh such happy times, and they really were. People think Goths are dull suicidal people because they wear black and must be unhappy. Not at all. I think that was the period of my life when I was most individualistic, and consequently very happy thank you very much!

So I never got to see Dave Vanian and his crew when I was young. Anyway, tonight they played this intimate venue in Chester, and me and my mate were in the second row from the front, and had he not been wearing shades we could have looked him right in the eyes!!!!

Such a fantastic night, singing along with tracks I've not listened to since the 80's/90's and I could still remember the words! Oh happy days. It was so good I've got tickets to the Albert Hall gig to celebrate 40 years of The Damned! I think the pint of cider I had has gone to my head. Oh my poor neighbours, I've dug out some old cd's, they should thank their lucky stars I don't have a record player anymore or I'd be dragging my old vinyl out of the loft!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Back in the land of the living

So gave up trying to communicate electronically. Here's a summary of the week! The wedding was nice, and the after-party was in a lovely old mill. Food was good, and the wine flowed all evening. Never mind no WiFi, there was no phone reception at all!!

Next day went for a walk around Tullamore Forest, very nice but soon the rain set in and it lashed it down. Found a corner shop which sells Tayto cheese and onion crisps, the best crisps in the whole world, so I bought loads of packets!!! (Oh and pink lemonade, the Irish do great pink lemonade!) Come to think of it I also stocked up on potato bread, soda and Wheaton bread. You'd think they don't sell food back home!!!!

Monday was a lovely day out in Belfast with a cousin. We went to the Titanic exhibition which was so thought provoking. We always hear about the stories of those who were on board the ship, but this also showed the consequences of those who built the ship, the communities around the shipyard, and footage of the shipwreck.

Lunch was in a fabulous pub called The John Hewitt. I had a perfect pint of Guinness and calamari with spicy noodles. Oh it was really delicious, and a small traditional Irish pub. We were going to go to The Crown Bar, possibly the most famous pub in Belfast, and it is a wonderful pub but a bit touristy now (owned by The National Trust) and I've been there years ago, so a new haunt was great to experience.

After lunch it was time to head down the road to Crumbling Road Gaol. Now this really was an interesting to place to visit because it was a working jail in my lifetime, in fact it only closed its doors to prisoners in 1996! So many famous people have been incarcerated there, many who went on into Irish politics it seems! It was an extraordinary place to go round, and visiting the cell for those who were facing the death penalty was especially poignant. It sounds macabre, but its not, it was really interesting to hear how a prisoner was prepared for his hanging. It was a well thought out procedure, and quite shocking to hear, whilst also making complete sense when you heard it. I would never think about going around a jail as an interesting day out, but the stories we were told by the guide were so interesting, and apparently, former inmates have come back to the jail for a tour, and let the guides in on their secrets, and how they made their escape from the prison! If you are ever in Belfast, take a couple of hours out of your schedule to have a look round, a fantastic insight into what could be considered as modern history.

Then today we headed home (in glorious sunshine!!) Whilst queuing for the ferry home I noticed a battered old truck pull up beside us. People were having their pictures with it, then I suddenly noticed the tattoo on the arm/hand of the driver. I thought I recognise that, it's the guy from boyzone! Yes I shared the ship home with Shane Lynch (no I didn't go and bother him, I'm not a huge fan, and he deserves privacy rather than been pestered by someone just saying hi because he's famous!)

Saturday, 12 September 2015

It's my birthday!

Well it was yesterday in actual fact but the less said about it the better. Went to National Trust garden, stopped off for a cuppa and had WiFi! Yay!!!! Had loads of lovely tweets of people, many with corresponding Tom Burke pictures which MADE MY DAY!!! Best of all though was I got a Happy Birthday tweet from the producer of the show Jessica Pope. So kind of her because she doesn't know who I am, and she's a very busy lady, so I was really really cuffed to get it. No-one I was with could understand my happiness so I got told to put my phone away.

HELLO - it's my birthday I should be able to do what I want. Anyway, we end up at cousins house, I think we're having a curry over there, or no, me and other half are going for a meal. (Previously when it had been mooted I had said no) So we go for a meal which was lovely, but then he says the place isn't that special. I disagreed saying I liked it, then got told "can't I just agree for once?" Well no, not really, not when I think the place is nice, and when do we go anywhere post for food. Must have blinked and missed that trip to The Ivy then!!!!

I was so p'd off I didn't have pudding. So it's my birthday and no cake and no pudding, and a bunch of arguments. Remind me to spend next year on my own, it's got to be easier! Oh and to make myself a cake!!!!!

Today I am at a wedding. There's WiFi in the church, we are well early and I'm making the most of technology to moan and Tweet! Getting disgusted looks off the other half, past caring, phone will go away when bride turns up, who incidentally is running late!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Off to Catch the Ferry

How the heck did I fit work in?

Yes, my feet have hardly been back on home soil before heading off to Northern Ireland for a wedding. Well there's no point only going for a day, so heading off today and coming back on Tuesday. Should be a nice little break. Staying with other half's mum, sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew in a cottage in the wilderness!

Queuing for the ferry in Holyhead a number of very post cars rolled up, all carrying stickers announcing they were in the cannonball run. Lamborghini's, Porsches, and a New York Taxi Cab! What a sight!

The cottage is lovely but there is no WiFi, I'm not going to be able to tweet tomorrow, and it's my birthday, so I'm not going to get any messages. Need to ensure I disappear to the pub or something each evening to get WiFi and some contact with the outside world. This is a bizarre new phenomenon for me, I've never been reliant on technology before. I only started with social media a year or two ago;  now I've met some of the people I tweet with I miss them!!!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Bye Bye Barafundle...or is it?!!!

Whilst watching the film last night I found a new film location. Today, at breakfast, I announce that before we go home, we're taking a detour to Freshwater West Beach! The man at the hotel is chatting to us again. He has decided I'm nuts. I'm not going to take offence, he is justified in his perception of me, and more than likely right too!

We had a good chat about the Iron Man competition which sees most of Pembrokeshire shut down (there are signs everywhere proclaiming that next weekend the road will be closed) I think the whole county is pretty much closed. To be honest, hearing about what goes on in the competition, those people are nuts, not me! I do admire them though. You would never find me doing that!

Anyway breakfast over and the car packed up we headed to Freshwater. Its a grey day today. We were so lucky yesterday with the sunshine, but it's not raining, so we can't complain.

We traipsed up and down the beach trying to establish where Davy had sat chucking rocks into a rock pool. (I even had my tablet on the beach playing the film!) Sod this I said I'll just take hundreds of pics, one must be right! As I was taking photos I suddenly saw on the horizon a number of boats come into view. Oh my word, they've sent the military out after me!!! It was ok until you could hear the sound of guns firing. What have I rolled up at?  Well I think that signalled time to go warm up with a cuppa and then start the long journey home. (Well one of us had to go to work tomorrow).

Well the best laid plans... as we headed back past Barafundle Bay, my friend said it was a shame we couldn't say goodbye, well I wasn't going to ask twice if she was sure, the car (now on two wheels) squealed in a dramatic u-turn down the road which would lead us back to the bay!!!  So we had lunch at the National Trust cafĂ©, lovely welsh rarebit by the way, another pot of tea and some welshcakes, and "goodbye sea, it really has been a weekend of fun and silliness!" And you really can't ask for much more than that!

Onwards to Barafundle Bay!

It's a sunny day, thank god, we're going to the seaside!!!!

Barafundle Bay is great, you can't drive to it. You have to park your car and walk. No toilets, no ice-cream vans, no awful shops selling tat. This is a beautiful beach, serene, calming, and a great place to just chill and take the time to appreciate your surroundings. I can see why it became the focus of the film. Unlike the film it doesn't take endless days to walk there, and you don't need to take a boat either, that was cinematic licence, but what a fantastic place to make the centre of your film. Barafundle Bay is definitely the "star" of Third Star!

We drove down small roads and realised we were on the big hill as featured in the film. Sadly because I was driving I didn't stick my head out of the window and scream like the boys. We parked up at Stockpole Estate (National Trust) and walked down towards the sea. Suddenly I looked properly at the National Trust Tearoom, "Oh my God" I screamed, it's the pub from the film! That was it, everywhere we walked I was desperately scanning my mind for scenes. "That's where the Angel threw Miles' watch into the water!". And so the day would continue!

 At the beach my friend suggested we write Third Star in the sand. We did HUGE letters, then took photo's and tweeted the production company! Little did I think it would get re-tweeted and I'd get a tweet back from the writer/producer! Arghhhhhh I've been tweeted to by Vaughan Sivell, seriously, I really need to start getting a grip on life. (My new found freedom since leaving work has made me demented?!)

We walked a huge loop around the estate and took in the most wonderful sights. Some from the film, some not. A member of staff at the hotel had told us if we got to Bosherton, we were to ask for Aunty Vi's tearoom. Apparently Aunty Vi is nearly 100 and a local celeb! Well we got there, and that tea and lemon drizzle cake was so welcome.

Fortified we carried on to the eight arch bridge, which was in the film. Now I am not one for photographs of me, especially selfies, but Bill did a selfie on the bridge in the film, so I thought we should do too. It took ages. I don't know how you are supposed to pose, hold the phone, and click the button, but eventually we had something that resembled OK!

Once back at the car, we decided to have our dinner at The Stockpole Inn, as recommended by Vaughan Sivell in a tweet earlier on in the year!!! He was right, the food and atmosphere in the pub was both tranquil and welcoming, just what was needed after a long day of walking.

Back at the hotel, well it would be rude not to, we watched Third Star, again and I did a few screen grabs of the film v my photo! Tomorrow...yes you guessed it, more location hunting! Wonder if I can find that rock pool Davy was sat at?!


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Hello Pembroke!

I'm not really one for long distance driving, I hate motorways, but there are no motorways to Pembroke, it's all small winding roads, and I really enjoyed the drive. A dry sunny day, and the views were spectacular as we drove through stunning scenery of the welsh hills and valleys.

Headed into Pembroke just in time for lunch. The hotel we will be staying in is the Old Kings Head. The hotel is apparently one of the oldest in Pembroke, if not the oldest. It has deeds going back to the 1500's! It was a great quirky building with friendly staff. We had lunch, and then as it was a nice day wandered up the road and spent the afternoon looking round Pembroke Castle.

It was great. All the children were back at school so we had the castle almost to ourselves! A great find was Wogan's Cavern, a natural limestone cave underneath the castle. There were 55 slippy steps to descend to view it, but all good Burketeers know how to handle slippy steps!

As we had had lunch at the hotel, we thought we'd try a local pub (The Waterman's Arms) for dinner, and we sat outside on a terrace overlooking the Mill Pond. A relaxing evening, eating great food, and supping a few well earned pints of Guinness!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Going on a Road Trip

So excited. My travel buddy got herself a new job this year, less money, less holidays, but less stress so we've not been able to have a week abroad exploring this year :-( This weekend however, we're going on a little road trip!!!

I had introduced her to the most wonderful film ever, Third Star. You may not have heard of it, but I suggest you check it out. The premise of the story doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, James (Benedict Cumberbatch) has terminal cancer and he's not going to see his 30th birthday. Rather than being a sentimental walk in the park, this is a great story about a group of four male friends, coming to terms with the news, and having one last trip together. Their trip was to Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is a beautiful place, I holidayed there way before the film was ever made, and the film portrayed the beautiful land and seascapes of that part of the world.

I should also comment on the beautiful moving script, it was fantastically written, and interestingly you can buy a copy of one of the drafts of the script, together with a commentary of the making of the film. It is a really interesting read, especially if you watch the film directly afterwards so that you can see the changes that have been made and what bits did not make it to film. It is noted in the book that the character of Davy (Tom Burke) had quit his job to look after James. In the film this is never mentioned. In some respects it would have been nice to know that Davy had made this sacrifice, but upon reflection, Davy had a lot of humility, and I doubt it was in his nature; he does things because they are right, not because he wants veneration.

There are great performances by the other two main characters Bill (Adam Robertson) and Miles (J J Field). The cameo's by Hugh Bonneville and Karl Johnson are also superb and will have you chuckling! Hmm can you tell I rate this film rather highly?!

Anyway, my friend agreed, the place was beautiful, we should go there. She wanted a trip away to see the sea, I wanted to go location spotting! So I have been doing some homework, she arrives tonight, and first thing in the morning we are making the four hour cross country drive to Pembroke!