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#TeamDTW help bring the World Cup to County Durham

The Rugby World Cup arrived in County Durham for two days on Sunday as part of a 100-day tour before the Finals begin in England in October.

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DTW has been working closely with the Durham Rugby Football Union to showcase a series of public events where the William Webb Ellis Trophy has been on display and has been seen by thousands of people in the region from Gateshead Stadium to the Angel of the North; from Durham Cathedral to West Hartlepool Rugby Club.

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The trophy ended its stay in County Durham at Barnard Castle School where a celebratory dinner was held to recognise the great work done by all the volunteers in the region and for making the two-day leg of the tour such an enormous success.

England RFU President Jason Leonard and former Newcastle Falcon and England international Ollie Phillips were on hand to meet the public, pose for pictures and as a World Cup winner, one of the few people allowed to hold the trophy, Jason helped take it from the Land Rover convoy to it’s various public locations.

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Our team had great fun with Jason, Ollie and the RFU crew and we helped to generate tremendous interest from local media in the event which you can read, watch and listen to here:-

We’re looking forward to enjoying the tournament, especially the three games at St James’ Park and especially England beating New Zealand in the final!


Thanks to Mark Savage for the photographs. All photographs taken at the Festival of Rugby at Palace Green, Durham Cathedral and the Angel of the North, Gateshead.

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When was the last time you pushed yourself so hard, out of your comfort zone and even to the point of being scared? Whether it’s work or life it’s necessary to do it often, to gain a sense of achievement and if you can do it for a good cause even better.

This week is Dementia awareness week, 17 – 23rd May, and what better way to spend it than taking part in the Mount Snowdon midnight challenge – 20 miles, 1100 metres high and in the pitch black.

Last year I decided to sign up for the cause. My family is affected by Alzheimer’s and I had first hand experience of the emotional rollercoaster of people, places and familiar faces being forgotten.

People suffering from Alzheimer’s have mountains to climb every day just climbing out of bed, so why not raise awareness and funds by doing the equivalent in the dark!

So five months ago the training started, many snowcapped summits, Lake District views, hairy descents and very tired muscles – also a fair bit of complaining en route.

Each time taught me more, the biggest lessons learnt, be prepared for any situation and have lots of small goals and by the time you have reached them, you will be on top in no time. This was soon applied to lots of things I did at home and work too.

I arrived in Snowdonia a little worried last Friday as the hardcore climbers gathered, all 243 in total. Torrential rain, high winds and zero visibility – why would it possibly be anything else?

It’s amazing how people’s life stories, the support of sponsorship and loved ones backing you pushes you further and helps summon energy when you need it most. It was horrendous.

Three hours later a very wet, cold but ecstatic Laura ran through the doors, placed fourth and the first woman home. It’s fair to say I still don’t believe I made it, let alone in such a time.

The most amazing part of the whole challenge is the £3,000 I raised will add to the total of £170,000, which will aid support with research, befriending services, campaigns and publications. Dementia will affect one million people in 2015 and with this disease there are no survivors.

So maybe we can’t move mountains, but we definitely can climb them, helping others preserve, make and keep memories alive. #DF24

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What wearable are you in this season?

So farewell, for now, Google Glass.

Reports of its death are quite understated – it’s dead in the same way that a caterpillar entering a cocoon is dead – it is merely metamorphosing into a lean, slicker, more public and battery-friendly version which unlike its ancestors rise and assumed fall, will not launch until it’s 100% ready.

Naysayers will claim Glass has been an expensive failure, a very public flop but I would counter that it’s actually been the most successful public beta trial of a tech product ever. The technical and consumer behavioural lessons learned will be invaluable for when Google Glass 2 is unveiled. Sony is about to launch its own line of wearable eyewear with the launch of its SmartEyeGlass devices so it’s very much a sector that is growing before our eyes, literally.

On the other hand, or wrist, is the emergence of the Smart Watch as the leader in wearable computing at the moment. LG and Sony have been the big players with their Android-based Smartwatch designs with hipster Kickstarter favourite Pebble about to launch a colour version, possibly causing a schism in their digital artisanal following to rival that when Dylan went electric.

All this will pale by comparison when the tech T-Rex drops its foot into the pen this month with the launch of the Apple Watch. Taking up a mere 12 pages in the latest issue of Vogue, the device which will enable the user to fly, walk on water and cure every illness at the tap of an app (if the pre press is to be believed), will put the market back at the centre of public attention but like the original Google Glass, is it ready for primetime?

It’s a big burden of expectation for a device that will only allow the user to play music, track steps, view emails and social media updates and of course, tell the time. At least Glass had the hands free video camera and stills capability.

Apple and Google are betting on cloud computing taking people away from the concept of individual devices and storing information centrally, and allowing us to access data from anywhere. The ubiquity of personal assistant apps like Siri or Google Now is also the key to wearables.

Wearables bring the personalisation of data into everyday life. The Apple Watch is showerproof for a reason. Maybe this is where Google went wrong all along – Google Shower Goggles anybody?

Google Glass in the Shower
Take two wearables into the shower? Not me!