3 Feb

… Or such is my transcription of the theme from Get Carter. To whomsoever it may concern, apologies for the silence of the past week. I’ve been up in Northumberland for the last couple of days with my family. Yes, I didn’t post anything, but I also now know that I don’t have glaucoma. Which is nice.

Despite the fact that it is often comparable to a trip up Satan’s arsehole, the journey between Newcastle and London can be most pleasant indeed. This afternoon, as the big Intercity slid out of the Central Station over the Tyne, the sunshine was barely credible, and my belief that Newcastle is blessed with the World’s most exciting station approach was solidly reinforced. Much to the annoyance of the guy sitting next to me, I took some photos which for some infuriating reason won’t play ball with this blog. Instead, here’s a pic of my chum Nicky on the famous Tyne Bridge;

Why haven’t more films been made in Tyneside? It’s got everything you need for a movie; unmistakeable landmarks, post-industrial decay and ludicrous delusions of grandeur. Perhaps Get Carter did the job too well- Newcastle and Gateshead, even taken together, constitute a pretty small city- sorry- “urban area”, and I suppose there are only so many hoods to slaughter, developers to throw off (sadly demolished) car parks, and John Osbournes to discredit.

At the beginning of Mike Hodges’ film, we see snatched images of the landmarks of the East Coast Line, including these;

If you watched the film having spent your life in the South, you could easily get the impression that North of King’s Cross, England is a scrapyard of redundant industry and strange men with creepy comb-overs. In fact, South of Darlington, the landscape from the East Coast Mainline is almost relentlessly dull- just fields, cottages and funny clouds.

It was enough to drive me to the shares index at the back of the newspaper. God it was boring. When finally the train drew into the London suburbs, the sight of the Bounds Green maintenance depot did for me what the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty is supposed to do for New Yorkers returning home. Aaaah, the wonders of British Rail!

On the Underground home, I got so excited by a twelve-minute delay on the Circle Line that I ran around Edgware Road Station taking stupid photos.

What?!? Christ, I didn’t say this was going to be interesting, did I?


One Response to “Duh-duhduhduhder-Duh”

  1. positivegreenford February 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    I remember being really surprised that parts of Yorkshire actually reminded me of leafy Gloucestershire. Somehow it didn’t seem legal. Last year I had a strange phone conversation with a man who lives in the Chilterns. I wanted to start up a campaign in Ealing against HS2 and needed funding which he said he might provide. By the time I ended the call it was clear he thought Ealing was a sooty urban hell hole with no green spaces. It has one of the biggest green spaces in the London area, Horsenden Hill, but he probably thinks that local children have to hold hands crossing the road because they can’t see for all the coal dust in their eyes. That and the cotton fluff because they spend all day cleaning out mills, etc.

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