Goodbye to the Toon

The weekend was a good one, but a sad one. On the lead-up I got to see my grans, my aunt and uncle, my lovely little cousin (all Glasgow) and my parents (in Perth). Champagne was had, far too much money was donated and hugs were exchanged. Oh, and Wee Louise now has a PC to play with if her mum and dad ever let her near it.

Next stop was Newcastle for Phil’s stag do. I’m missing his wedding as he’s gone and booked it for while I’m away (I maintain he did this to keep the booze bill within manageable quantities) so there was no way I was skipping his send-off. The weather was lousy, but the night was good!

The original plan was to see the Scotland v England rugby match in Edinburgh, but tickets were too awkward to get hold of given their issue date, so we plumped instead for Newcastle United v Everton at St James’ Park. My last live English footie match for a long time… good job we won! Also, apparently the Scots egg-chasers beat the English so we picked the better fixture.

After being refused entry from one pub for having the gall to wear trainers (bouncers hate people who can run away when they’re trying to beat them to a pulp), we had a swift change of clothes and headed for a restaurant on the quayside. The name escapes me, but it’s the one where the Sunderland chairman was glassed a couple of months ago. A stupid incident especially given what a fantastic job he’s doing this season running the club into the ground in a superbly humiliating fashion.

Food was eaten, but I still don’t believe there was an Cointreau on that melon starter no matter what the menu claimed. Bar 38 was the next stop. Anyone who’s seen the film Goal! will recognise this from the outside as the club the lead character gets dragged to. Once you’re inside, however, it’s obviously a vastly different place! Still, they sold beer and had a whacking big plasma screen with football on so I wasn’t complaining. And the songs were all from when Phil and I were at school.

A quick hop to another bar saw us all peering suspiciously at brightly-coloured shots of Aftershock before necking them, shuddering and desparately washing the taste away with beer. Beer jackets were definitely required as we battled the winds and rain back to the hotel… and the resident’s bar.

I ended the night starting to work my way through the pick ‘n’ mix I’d bought in the afternoon before snoozing rather happily until well past breakfast time. A free lift was obtained to get home, and Caz pinched my spare freezer.

Courtesy of Freecycle I am also now “rid” of my food processor, weights, office chair and two beds. Everything’s just awaiting collection, and my house is virtually bare.

15 days, 11 hours and 2 minutes until I reach Thailand at the time of writing. Not that I’m counting.

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