A short tour around the Tyne

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Outside my office on Orchard Street lies part of Newcastle’s fourteenth century town wall, standing old and proud.

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Heading high up above the quayside runs a network of almost forgotten pathways.

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Keep following the paths, up and down, in a roughly north easterly direction.  You can see glimpses of the river down below, and the Tyne’s many bridges up ahead of you.

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Pausing to look left, you can see the twelth century ‘new’ castle which gives the city its name. Turn back to the north and continue following the path, and head down the Castle Stairs, one of the city’s remaining medieval chares.

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A short walk from the bottom of the stairs is Armstrong’s Swing Bridge, which we will cross over into Gateshead. Here the view is looking back towards the Newcastle side.

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Continuing in a north-easterly direction on the Gateshead side of the Tyne, we soon see The Sage perching high up on our right.

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Facing away from The Sage, we see the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which, like the Swing Bridge we crossed earlier can also move to out of the way of passing ships, but does so by tilting the entire bridge, rather than swinging.

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Alongside the Millennium Bridge sits the BALTIC, a former flour mill which is now gallery for contemporary art.

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Crossing the river here, back to the Newcastle side, we look back up the river, to the Tyne Bridge (here seen advertising the upcoming Great North Run.)

Back on the Newcastle side we climb the stairs next to the Law Courts, and follow Pilgrim Street back towards the centre of the city.

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Beneath the modernity of the Swan House roundabout hides the Holy Jesus Hospital, now used by the National Trust.

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Following Mosely Street back towards our starting direction we pause to look north up the sweeping curve of Grey Street.

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Further down the road lies St Nicholas’s Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Newcastle.

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Turning down Saint Nicholas’ Street, we pass The Black Gate of the Castle, and back towards the office.

RocketGameThing

Yet Untitled Rocket Game… thing

Here are a couple of videos of the little 2D space game I’ve been working on, when time allows.  At its core, it’s sort of a space based Crazy Taxi.

A lot of what you see is placeholder – I want to get the basic gameplay loop working nicely before I worry too much on the presentation.   Much of the graphics in there at the moment are based on Lost Garden‘s various sets of prototyping graphics, things pinched from NASA, and bits I’ve badly drawn myself!

The art outside Central Square

VulcanBack when I used to work at Central Square South in Newcastle, I’d often admire Vulcan, a bronze sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi , which occupied the space outside Central Square from 2000 up to 2009.  Next to where the statue stood is there still reads an inscription from Virgil’s Aeneid:

 “Scooped out by the action of the Cyclop’s fires; you can hear The clang of hard blows on the anvils, the roaring when masses of ore Are smelted within, and a throbbing blast of flame from the furnaces. Here is Vulcan’s place;”

DNA DL90In 2009, Vulcan was replaced by ‘DNA DL90′, a 9 metre high double helix constructed from twenty two ‘DL90′ shopping trollies by Abigail Fallis.  She commented:

“Shopping trolleys are everywhere, and have become a real symbol of modern society and today’s consumer culture.”

AdvocateIn the last week, the trolleys have been taken away, and Bruce Beasley‘s bronze sculture ‘Advocate’ has taken their place outside the old postal building.

The Artist describes nature’s influence over his process:

“Nature arrives at this perfect point between change and stillness, between form that is evolving and form that is complete; nature does this most easily and with rare mistakes. Nature remains the ideal guide and the great resource; without it, there is no warmth, no heart and I insist that my work have both.”

More info can be found on The Journal.