It’s funny how your loves and passions get known about the place. Mel Gibson isn’t the only person to have a bit of a thing going for typewriters. The fashion photographer Perou recently tweeted a photo of a beautiful machine that he’d found on eBay and last month I had a long and involved chat with North East graphic and web designer Belinda White from Arttia about the joyous solidity of an old keyboard and the indestructible nature of typewriters.

Toni Hardy is a student at the Leeds College of Art where she is studying printed textiles and surface design. She has an interest in handcraft and traditional technique and in spending time creating pieces that are ‘one of a kind’. Toni’s Underwood typewriter is far from indestructible. It is delicate and exquisite and, and, and… is one of a series of her embroidery art inspired by beauty, function and a love of antiques.

Underwood 2

Other pieces in the series are inspired by pocket watches and cameras. Each piece is hand stitched onto a cotton background in a continuous line style and framed in a wooden embroidery hoop.

If you look closely you can see the word ‘WORDPLAY’ spelt out in the stitching.

The Underwood Typewriter by Toni Hardy

You can connect with Toni at @dotinthei


Huge thanks to Ian Robb for thinking ‘typewriter = Wildman’.

: D


Bliss …


“Winner of the Best Cappuccino in the recent North East Nectar awards”

Thousands of food lovers are expected to descend on a picturesque seaside village next weekend (May 12-13) for what promises to be a spectacular celebration of the region’s culinary heritage.

Tynemouth will be transformed into a foodie haven as more than 40 local producers gather alongside a host of celebrity North East chefs on May 12-13.

Former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy will be one of the chefs demonstrating at the first Tynemouth Food Festival

Former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy will be one of the chefs demonstrating at the first Tynemouth Food Festival

The gastronomic extravaganza will also see a beer festival, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, school cooking competitions and a host of other exciting gourmet activities springing up for the two day village-wide event.

Nine months in the planning, the first ever Tynemouth Food Festival has captured both the imagination of artisan producers and the public.

Stallholders signed up in record time for the free to attend festival centred round the village’s Queen Victoria Park and King’s School, with scores adding their name to a reserve list in the hope of securing a last minute pitch.

And a three-night pop-up restaurant between May 9-11 organised as an appetizer to the main course by former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy, sold out within a matter of days.

Places were limited to 80 diners a night at David K @ Café K at King’s School. But such was the interest in the pop-up showcasing the seasonal, locally sourced menu on offer at David Kennedy’s acclaimed Food Social restaurant in Newcastle that extra tickets have had to be issued.

Regional chefs – including Graeme Cuthell of Irvins on North Shields Fish Quay; MasterChef: The Professionals finalist John Calton of the Harbour Lights, South Shields; Kevin Mulraney of Tynemouth’s Grand Hotel; Mary Wilkins of the New Exchange Brasserie and Bar in North Shields, and Simon Walsh of Close House Hotel’s No 19 restaurant in Northumberland – have also given their time for free to host two days of cookery demonstrations in regional food group Taste North East’s state of the art mobile kitchen.

Ann Cudworth of Dough Works

Ann Cudworth of Dough Works

Organised by the Tynemouth Business Forum with the support of the Co-operative Membership, North Tyneside Council, fish and chip shop supplier Henry Colbeck and village businesses Fezziwigs, Priory Art, Brannen and Partners and King’s School, it had originally been intended to hold a simple farmers’ market.

But residents and businesses have been queuing up to ensure the inaugural Tynemouth Food Festival is a true celebration of the finest produce and culinary talent on offer anywhere in the UK.

Sally Craigen, chairman of both the Tynemouth Business Forum and the food festival committee, said: “The event has captured everyone’s imagination and from small beginnings has swelled into a truly village wide affair with residents and businesses and young and old alike all joining forces to pay homage to this region’s superb home grown and home produced food and drink.

“We have been bowled over by the response. It is fair to say that at the beginning we never envisaged anything as spectacular as the weekend we now have planned.

“But, once word got out it seemed to take wings.

“We have gone from a glorified farmers’ market to a two day foodie feast with more than 40 stallholders and the added attractions of the chef demos, a week long beer festival taking place in the village’s Cumberland Arms pub, David Kennedy’s pop-up restaurant, a school cake decorating competition, a Junior MasterChef-style contest organised by the Grand Hotel, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and a host of other activities from cocktail making sessions to wine tastings.

“But it shows the support there is out there for local food and drink producers.

“Our aim has always been to encourage people to support local, put their money back into the regional economy and discover what a fantastic place Tynemouth and this part of the North East coast is.

“The first Tynemouth Food Festival promises to be a fabulous weekend of gastronomic delights for all and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the village.”

Among the producers taking part are the Northumberland Cheese Company, Doddington Dairy, the Glass Slipper Bakery, Riley’s Fish Shack, Kenspeckle Confectionary and Moorhouse Farm.

Some, like butchers TR Johnson from Wooler and Tynemouth’s Deli Around the Corner, are attending their first ever food festival.

Meanwhile, the Cumberland Arms’ Beer Festival will feature around 50 seasonal real ales – many of them never before seen in the North East.

David Irving at The Cumberland Arms

David Irving at The Cumberland Arms

They will join popular local names like Mordue and the Allendale Brewery in the week-long celebration of the ‘noble hop’ running between May10-17.

Landlord David Irving said: “We’re going to feature a variety of seasonal beers for the festival. Some of these are only available for three or four weeks of the year and many will never have been seen in the North East before.

“I wanted to create something special to mark the first Tynemouth Food Festival, and with the broad selection of beers and real ales we will have on offer, I believe it will be a memorable occasion. After all, real ale and high quality food go hand-in-hand.”

Media Enquiries

For more information, photos or to arrange interviews please call Jane Hall of Smart Cookie Media on 07880 923 507


I have to hold my hands up and say before I start that I absolutely adore Germaine Greer and, when she told the audience at The Sage that she had a ‘nutters and stalkers’ pile in her office into which she sorts her post, I wondered if I had ever graced it. It was after she published her book The Whole Woman in 1999 that I realised the extent of my admiration. The book blew me so far away that I wrote Professor Greer a letter, a letter of abject adoration. This woman seriously rocks my world (and she wrote back *swoon*).

Sunday night’s lecture at The Sage dealt with the furore over Samantha (and yes Professor Greer, I will forever say that name with an Australian accent and think of your cat) Brick’s recent dressing down at the hands of the media (Hadley Freeman – another hero – excepted), the site of a gaggle of plucked pheasants (women in fascinators) at The Grand National and why it would be a great thing for women to stop despising each other quite so much (it saps our energy and gives yet more power to our oppressors).

She talked about David Beckham’s tattoos, about the beauty of Etonian students and about her dodgy knee (and about Pamela Stephenson’s perfect kneecaps)

And she made such sense. Such clear and perfect sense.

Education, motherhood, what to wear if you aren’t what the high street deems to be a womanly shape (where woman means without hips, bust or – heaven forbid – stomach).

She was thought provoking, hilarious, passionate and warm.

Greer puts into words the feelings I get when things don’t quite seem fair, when my emotions cloud what I want to say – and she encourages saying what you want to say – a lot.

Where are the women’s voices in the pub? Where are the women’s voices on TV (as Kira Cochrane discovered recently they are pretty hard to find).

Professor Greer has a voice. And it’s a bloody good one – and it was brilliant to hear it in real life.

When you are seven it is a big job to get your babies to go to sleep. Especially if Wol is nocturnal and the lambs keep fighting. The secret is a neat line, a comfy blanket – and giving them most of your bed.

Gina Ford would approve.


Priory at Dusk