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ooooooooh, aaaaaaaah, weeeeeeeeeeee!!

5th November 2012

Remember remember the... you know how it goes, it's Bonfire night!!!!

I'm not one for getting my own fireworks, and setting them off in the back garden. I'd be worried that I'd fire it through a neighbours window, so its safer to go with an organised display. Also the organised displays are much better, and you don't make your neighbours feel like they're under attack when you set off your own!

As usual we are right across all the organised displays that are happening on Wearside and I was at the Seaham dispaly on Friday. Even though its always really cold I do enjoy the smell of the hotdogs wafting past as you watch the display, I think the cold air must enhance the smell. Hotdogs and fireworks just go hand in hand. There was a great turn out on Friday and we enjoyed music from Seaham music academy as well as our Battle of the Bands compitition which was really good. Anyone that was at the display might have thought that I was dancing to the music, and although I enjoyed it I was simply trying to keep warm, as it was bitterly cold. I had made sure to bring gloves, scarf, wear a thick jumper and dig out my big coat BUT had forgotton about my feet! I really could have done with some thermal socks. As the night drew on my toes got colder and colder and it did confirm to me that I probably wouldn't be any good on one of those arctic exhibitions. I did feel for some of our acts though who clearly had gone for style over practicality and did look very cold, but very stylish at the same time!

If you are going to any displays tonight my advice is to wrap up warm and DON'T forget your feet. You can still buy tickets for the Ashbrooke dispaly at our reception.

Posted by Mark Black at 4:00pm

Summer Spectacular

10th September 2012

It doesn't seem five minutes since we were sitting down to watch the euro's and debating how much of a mess we were going to make of the Olympics...who knew we would wow the world!!

I don't know about you but I have loved the Olympics and Paralympics. I've never really watched them properly before but this year have been right into it. I can't really put my finger on why London 2012 has been such a success but it does seem to have captured everyones imagination. There have been some amazing stories and unbelievable achievemnts, and I think a little bit of it is because we aren't used to having success. The Paralympics especially has caught my eye. I've never watched any before and wasn't aware of the different sports but also the clever technology to let anybody compete. It has been inspiring and shown what we as a nation can do. The great thing about the Paralympics has been the competitors humour, which has allowed disability to be less of a taboo subject. I was one of the doubters who thought the Olympics would be a disaster but from the opening ceremony it has been a masssive success and certainly will be a summer I will never forget.

As well as the Olympics we have been giving you the chance to win a car with Benfield Ford and we had the final at the weekend. Well done to Louisa Sloan who was our winner who literally screamed when she opened her envelope. We are now giving you the chance to win your Christmas party at the Marriott hotel!!! Yes we know its early but better to get these things sorted now then they are done. If you'd like to win click on the link. Win your Christmas Party

Posted by Mark Black at 4:17pm

The wait is OVER!!

17th August 2012

It's been a great summer of sport with the Euro's and the Olympics but finally the Premiership season starts again. Sunderland kicking off away to Arsenal, obviously without Robin Van Persie! There is always great anticapation around the first game, it's been a while since you've seen your team run out and there's so much expectation of what we could do in the coming season. Rest assured though it won't take long for us to be moaning about a decision or complaining that we should have played a different way it's all part of the beautiful game.

Do you get involved with a fantasy football team? Every season I say I'm not goingt to do one, because they can take over your life, but every year I give in. If you don't know how they work, you usually get given £100million to construct a squad of 15 players. You usually get points if they play, score a goal, have an assist, keep a clean sheet. I find myself checking websites and scrutinising scores to find who is playing the best and you can guarentee that I still don't get it right.

So here we go then 10 months of drama, heartache and ups and downs. Who knows what the coming season will bring, one thing that I can guarentee is that we will all whinge about our team at some point...but we wouldn't be withou them.


Posted by Mark Black at 4:09pm

Feeling all Olympic

10th August 2012

A little while ago I tried my hand at Free Running!!

This is basically running and jumping over and on stuff, usually in a car park or outside. As I was a complete beginner I was in the safety of a sports hall. Here is the footage from my session with AAA Sports...It's bascically me falling over a lot, enjoy!!!


Posted by Mark Black at 3:05pm

Fame...I wanna live forever!

6th August 2012

So Friday night was my cameo in Fame at Empire Theatre in Sunderland. To be honest I don't remember a lot about being on stage, it was over so quickly, I do know that I didn't fluff my only two lines, which is all that I could hope for really.

I had been for a rehearsal the day before and that was when I realised what I'd let myself in for. I knew what my lines were but hadn't thought about it enough to think that there would be a small bit of acting involved, clearly I wouldn't just walk on, say my lines and walk off. Part of what I had to do was a small stage kiss! This came as quite a surprise, especially as I was thinking "my wife will be watching!" Thankfully it was a small peck on the lips, so I wasn't in too much trouble.

The whole of Friday I had been running through my lines, I knew what I was saying and how I was going to deliver the lines, I even had a hint of an American accent going on, which didn't really appear on the night. I wasn't on until the second half so watched from backstage. It's always really interesting watching from backstage and seeing how much activity there is. I was surprised at how noisy it was really with people banging props around and talking. I was pretty relaxed first half chatting to people and watching the show, that all changed after the interval. As I got closer to my scene I got more and more nervous to the point I was actually pacing back and forth. The assistant director said that he would let me know when I needed to go on stage, and so I got my cue. Now even though it was only a couple of lines, I started the scene as the only person on stage, and there would only be me and one other on stage so the focus was right on me. As I said it's a bit of a blur but I did it, and did enjoy it.

When I came off stage I was met with a crowd of small kids who were waiting to go on in the next scene. The little girl at the front, looked at me, paused, and said " who are you?". She had clearly missed the fact that I was on for one night only. It was great, because for all of my stressing and worrying I realised it really wasn't about me, and these kids were doing far more than me and did a fantastic job too.

My character was a sleazy record producer who offered the world, but really didn't deliver. I think you'll agree that the bad boy image really isn't me!

Fame pic Mark 1

Posted by Mark Black at 3:18pm

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