Down the Procurement Pub in Newcastle with File on Four, CIPS and Circa Waves

Two days in the North-East this week, the land of my birth and childhood. One night with my parents, near Durham, then the next in Newcastle, as I'm running a training course there the next morning. Stayed at the New Northumbria Hotel in the student accommodation and bar area of Jesmond, an up-market Victorian suburb of Newcastle. Monday night in their bar - you punch a buzzer and the screen above the bar tells you if you've "scored a penalty" and won a prize. My first try, 25% off a pint of Tyne 9, a very  tasty "black lager" (somewhat like the Windsor and Eton Brewery Conqueror Black IPA), from the Firebrick Brewery in nearby Blaydon.  So I pay £2.25 instead of the normal £2.95. (£5 a pint in London these days ...)

Second pint, the excellent Josie's Dragonfly bitter (fund raising for kids' cancer charity). Punch the buzzer and I get the "two for one result" - two pints for £3.00. Great, but I give my free pint away, can't have three pints and be on form running my training session tomorrow. In between, the two course early set menu for just £7.50 at Scalinis restaurant (also part of hotel), including a great pizza.  Excellent, friendly service from attractive black-clad boys and girls including a younger, prettier (yes, really) Penelope Cruz look-a- like. OK, I love London but Spend Matters might be relocating to Newcastle shortly.

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We've had interesting comments about the CIPS vote to change the name and adopt the Chartered Member idea, with detective work from Phil Weir exposing the fact that only 100 people or so voted, with 90% or so in favour. Hardly strong support  for the proposed moves. BUT - it was a majority in favour. Remember only 24% of the UK population voted Conservative at the 2010 election, or look at the voting levels when Unions call strikes.  But our commentators are right in that it was hardly an enthusiastic endorsement of the changes, which might mean some issues for CIPS in the future.

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A weird experience on the long drive back from Newcastle on Tuesday. I confess to being a bit of a philistine, so I don't have Radio 4 or Radio 3 set as pre-select buttons on the car radio. So I really didn't know why, when I flicked from CD back to radio around Northampton, I got people talking - and it was indeed Radio 4. But before I could switch to Radio 1, I realized they were talking about procurement and invoices! It was File on Four, and a programme about the problems of late invoice payment - right up my street of course, and we'll be reviewing the programme at greater length on Monday. But wasn't that odd? Does my radio have artificial intelligence? Does it know what I want to listen to? Am I in an episode of the X Files?  And the episode is on again this Sunday at 5pm in the UK or you can listen to it hear.

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Reading Festival is now sold out, so if you were debating whether or not to get tickets - you're too late. Although there's always Viagogo. Here is one of the new British bands we're excited about, Circa Waves, with their latest release. They'll be one of the 60 or so bands I will be taking in over three exhausting but fun days in August as I sprint from tent to tent, from stage to stage ...

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Voices (3)

  1. Dan:

    The next time you’re in Newcastle I really recommend trying The Bridge Tavern – a wide selection of ales with three that they make in their own micro-brewery.

    1. Peter Smith:

      Dan
      Next time I should do a “Spend Matters readers down the pub in Newcastle” really – I combined my trip last week with visiting the parents so my schedule was a bit tight and last minute, but next time …

      1. Dan:

        Spend Matters readers in pubs? For professional reasons? Could be a disaster on so many levels, but I’m willing to give it a shot…

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