What a fool am I!
It was brilliant, actually giddyingly wonderful.
I booked my ticket nigh the first week I started working and on Thursday the 22nd of January I got on the bus at 15.30. Exciting! The journey was long and the bus didn't stop save to let passengers on and off, sitting for that length of time was not without discomfort (I could have made it to Kansas by air in the same time, the middle of the USA for goodness sake!) but so very worth it. My host obligingly collected me from Newcastle at 00.40 that night and we drove off to Whitley Bay (where she lives) together, in utterly non awkwardness, despite time of night and length of absence etc., !
All I wanted to do was get to sleep after our quick catch-up, and what a good sleep I had (with a little Manatee for companionship).
I couldn't adequately convey the many laughs and deep feeling of goodness and relief the whole weekend was tinged with, so I'm just going to supply image, a little text description of each day, and let that be that. I will clumsily say though, it made my heart feel real happy.
On the first full day, the Friday (23rd) we breakfasted with much enthusiastic conversing to a fitting soundtrack. Later we walked to the lighthouse in the north sea wind and I attempted to take some pictures on my film SLR (I can't remember what it's called, I can scarce grapple with its' workings) in between talking and chuckling. There were also some taken on my trusty phone (I needn't specify which, that's apparent) and at least one photo per day on my polaroid 600.
|Trying to take a picture, such a lark! (Those teeth!)|
|(These Cats are on Tumblr)|
|Amazingly cross-looking Ruby!|
|Again in analogue.|
When we got in from the Lighthouse, Jennifer concocted a delicious vegan curry. After we'd chopped the veg and were waiting for it to cook we had an interesting cocktail of elderflower gin, Maltese almond liqueur (which I'd gifted her following my holiday there last summer with my mother, grandmother, aunt and cousin, all the cool ladies on my mam's side in short!), mixed with ginger beer and fresh lemon. It was actually light and delicious, far too easy going down (suits me sir). More talking, apposite music and a game of Words with Friends ensued. When the food was ready we repasted in front of the wonderful Jemaine Clement's What We Do In The Shadows, it was unsurprisingly rather funny (I love that man)!'Twas a really good night, more nights should be that way.
|It'll be good light today.|
|view from JK's Kitchen|
|Who sits on my (guest's) bed?|
The next morning (Saturday 24th) we'd decided to get the Metro into Newcastle proper. I had never been before and had literally no pre-conceptions or expectations. As such, I was mightily impressed with all the Industrial-era bridges and big old brick buildings. That Winter sun!
|We went to the Baltic gallery for a looksy.|
|Statue of Earl Grey, the Tea fella.|
We had tea and vegan wraps at a place called Tea Sutra (thank you for taking me there Jennifer!!), the house special chai pot for two was insanely good, milky, sweet, spiced, delivered by white elephant, all tea should be such tea.
|Beautiful Jennifer and her elephant friend.|
We wandered around the evening streets after our deserved lunch, acquired supplies for the morrow's transpirations, as well as soysages for our tea (mmm, soysages...) tried on silly clothes in shops and visited a labyrinthine toilet, all good fun! By the time we got the Metro back to Whitley bay we were peckish again, so we ate aforementioned soysages with pretend mayonnaise and pop in front of awfully(good) made-for-tv movies. It's good to be bad!
The next day was a Sunday (25th), the light dazzled again and after breakfast I had to take a few pictures in Jennifer's mother's beautiful house (she finished and decorated it pretty much solo while J was working in Denbigh with me in 2013!). Later we walked along the coast a little while to Tynemouth for the market (in the railway station!). The weather was great for us, the market packed with amusements and the little town itself pretty. After the market Jennifer treated me to a real tasty soy moccachino in a cafe there, it kicked the cold's ass.
When we got back to Whitley bay that afternoon I attempted to be a better tourist and have my picture taken near the sign, also to serve as a vital cue for my memory should I ever find myself in a Memento-style quandry... This blog could come in handy in that event... The woefully patchy output might add confusion though...
|Oh my terribly large features!|
We baked a maverick vegan lemon cake (J did all the work) that evening and while we waited for it to complete its cycle we popped out to get a savoury (Chips of course!)course for the three of us (Jennifer's mam Jeanette had been in Edinburgh until that Sunday eve). Before collecting those slim potatoes however, we had ourselves some amusement(s)!
|Blurs befit me.|
|JK's instax colour frame!|
I think the amusement's photos speak for their multi-coloured selves, it was a riot though! Jennifer kindly scanned in and emailed the beautiful Fuji Instax photos to me. How cool is it that we both happened to have colour-framed instant film in our respective cameras?! I like the fuji, the frames were more impressive in their varicoloured hues and, I suppose because the film itself is still widely available (cheaper to boot!) and manufactured it's more stable and reliable in terms of image quality. The (impossible project) film had however been in my camera since last August (2014) when I took it to Green Man for S and I. Either way, snap!
We got back to base with our chips and made butties in front of a re-booted Stars in their Eyes hosted by Harry Hill, it was kind of hilarious! Then we sampled the gooey citrus cake-creation. So tasty!
While packing away the food and making a snack for the following day's (Monday 26th) bus journey, we made these foam "friendship bracelets", as you do. Foam-friendship-power!
|The mind-connection is strong!|
I shot the last of my film and we turned in. We got up at 4 the next morning, my bus was at 05.30. I can't thank Jennifer enough for taking me into Newcastle at that time of day, nifty driver she is! It was sad to leave, the 3 full days and 4 nights seemed to fly by. The journey back south ended up taking just over 10 hours, and by the time I reached Cardiff I was both parched and bursting with urine, it was a relief to get back to the flat, my own bed, and, mundanely, unpack, load the washer etc.,. S still wasn't back from her folk's place, so I had the place to myself until T came over that evening, despite the wonderful weekend I had missed that man. Some images of the bleak north on my way down, for some reason my phone set to square until I realised... Either way;
|rectangle en route to Oldham|
Almost the end, thank you JK, here are those instant babes again, spectrally aligned this time: