We met some lovely people on our visit to Newcastle, and thoroughly enjoyed being entertained by the locals with their stories of the 'folk doon on the Kee', the old characters of the past - who lived, worked, fought, and struggled daily just to stay alive in the area around Sandhill and the notorious Quayside - the now fantastically re-generated Tyneside wharfs where we were staying.
Ok...I'm sad to admit it now, but I have to tell you that a couple of recent personal experiences had lately blighted my image of Geordies in general. But I can honestly say I found out this weekend - that just like anywhere else - you cannot tar all people with the same brush. Putting my past disappointments aside, I found the people of this great city to be some of the nicest folk you might ever meet anywhere. Friendly, warm and kind, they were as one delighted to help us, and so proud of their home town they were just bursting to relate amusing local tales to a pair of rapturously willing listeners such as ourselves. I loved them all to bits. Loved their character and their sense of humour, and I think we both left a little bit of our hearts behind when we headed Southwards towards home yesterday. I guess that might sound silly to some people after only a couple of days up there... but I know it's not somewhere we're going to forget in a hurry.
The city itself we discovered, is a beautiful, fun, and elegant place with soaring old buildings, odd nooks and crannies where you least expect them, and steps, steps and more steps....!! Ornately decorated shopping centres, quaint old pubs steeped in history, stained glass, castle ruins and old town walls.... a fascinating blend of every kind of stuff in one place - with a new excitement round every corner... and believe me - we turned a few.
I've never walked so many miles in one weekend in my life! And we still never saw half that we'd like to have done...
So...Nothing else for it I guess - we'll just have to go back :-) And have a bit more fun...
ho hum ;-)
Beamish Museum was a dream come true for us, also. We've wanted to go there for the longest time, and were not disappointed. We had the most brilliant day - and they were celebrating Empire day on Saturday, so that made it a little more special too as there were flags flying and treats laid on for visitors.
We bought and scoffed old fashioned sweets in the Sweetie Shoppe, had our lunch sitting outside the Old Pub watching the Brass Band in the Park, and the hurdy gurdy man playing up the road. We chatted to everyone in costume and learned so much... Petted a real (retired) Pit Pony... oh, and I totally ruined my new white trousers down the mine.....! ( i know... i know... what kind of a prat would wear white linen kecks down a coal mine....? **rolling eyes here** Answers on a postcard please....) Hint: This one....
...and then wearily told the BBC Radio folk who attempted to interview us when we left that we were just TOO tired to talk to them... Sorry. The truth is, we were terrified of missing the bus home and having to fork out another £25 quid in taxi fares back to the city! Lol!
There was one thing about the weekend that wasn't so great - but even that has had us in pleats thinking about it since..... On the Friday morning, we were up at 4.30 am, to get picked up just after 5am for the transfer to Stanstead Airport. After a few sherberts round the town... ahem....(!!) and plenty of fun and adventures throughout the day.... we were knackerd by late evening. We staggered off home and didn't even have a nightcap to round the evening off... thank goodness. Having only been asleep for a couple of hours we were very rudely awakened by the shrieking clamour of the hotel fire alarm going off at 2.40 am!!
Yep... some drongo's on a stag do had set it off... for um... a laugh. So out we trooped, along with all our fellow guests... down the metal fire escape... me in my spotty jimjams shivering in the street..... Gangs of Stags and Hens everywhere...I was not amused then I can tell you... but of course, as soon as we got back to bed in the warm the giggles started as we realised it could only happen to us!! 40 odd hotels in the area... but of course they had to be staying in ours! Honestly!