This site began life a few years ago as my personal Google site, to share with a few friends. It has grown to include a lot of information that may be useful or enjoyable for a wider audience. In 2017 I took the decision to rewrite and relaunch the site, splash out on a domain name, and switch to WordPress. Transferring content was not as simple as it seemed and neither was WordPress but I hope that most glitches have been sorted out by now. I hope that you enjoy the site. Photo above by Gill Sladen.
This page provides a little background about the people and bear behind the site – Steve, Ted and Colin, plus a few photos of us. Steve Gillon. Updated March 2023.
Ted and Steve live in County Durham, Northeast England, and in Benalmádena, Southern Spain. The UK base is Pity Me,on the edge of Durham City, (check out the name on Wikipedia), formerly a pit village, but now effectively a suburb. Durham is a historic university and county town built on a defensive site on the River Wear, with the cathedral and castle at its heart. The photograph is the view of the cathedral and castle from the railway station. As you can see from the second photo, of the Pity Me entry to Britain in Bloom, Pity Me is renowned for innovative floral displays (not).
Ted was discovered in a bargain bin for £1 twenty-five years ago. His stuffing is still in good health and he is still going strong. He came on holiday with Colin and I and kept Colin company when work took me away from home. He now comes with me wherever I am.
Colin was my partner of 25 years, but was unwell for several years, and died in 2012 of pneumonia while on the waiting list for a liver transplant. He knew about this site, but wasn’t able to take part in putting it together.
As for me, I worked for many years as Director of Operations for the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action. From 2005 to 2020 I worked as a consultant, mainly for NEA and the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, auditing its members for compliance. From 2007 to 2017 I was a freelance tour manager with Great Rail Journeys leading tours around Europe. I am now retired and the plan was to spend the time relaxing, drinking beer with friends and cooking when not travelling with Ted, though the pandemic got in the way for a couple of years. Steve Gillon.
Gallery – Steve Colin and Ted through the ages….
Click on the image to expand.
It was Mum’s 90th birthday in January 2019, seen here with my brother. However Mum passed away in November 2019 and is sorely missed. During 2019 we travelled as usual (we’re seen here in Capiliera, Spain) and the results are written up in the travel pages. 2020 and 2021 were different and we were stuck at home most of the time. Since mid 2022 we’ve got up off our backsides and started to live again despite the ravages of age trying to frustrate us. Steve Gillon March 2023.
Just a final note……
Thanks to all our friends for their company and help over the years, particularly when things were at their most difficult.
Thanks also to those who took those photographs above which we didn’t take ourselves. In some cases I can’t remember who did, and a few were probably taken by passing strangers whose names we never knew.