Metro Challenge – Felling and Hebburn

I managed to cross off two stops on my Metro Challenge this weekend, albeit not on purpose.

On Saturday a sunny day stroll to get to know my neighbourhood took me to Felling Metro, which is a manageable walk from my place. It’s an area rife with memories and one I am keen to explore, but as one of my abiding recollections was that I used to walk down to the Metro to go into town but get the bus back to avoid walking up what is a giant bloody hill, I decided to leave it till a day when my calves weren’t sore from Barre class.

Today the stop was Hebburn, for no other reason than if you are going to Pelaw to go to Aldi and let your attention wander, this is the next stop on the line…

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Loving my birthday notebooks

Alas I am taking all my housewarming and birthday cards down this weekend – they are making it hard to get into my cupboard. The place will look a little bare without them, but at least I have lots of gorgeous presents to distract myself with.

Today I started using two of them: these gorgeous notebooks, both of which are lined, high quality and with lovely interior details so exactly in my wheelhouse…

A dramatic evening at Northern Stage

Although I have made regular use of the delightful cafe/bar, I haven’t actually been to see a show at Northern Stage since my return. I was excited to see The Last Seam, a verbatim play about the decline of the coal industry, and pleased to be accompanied by my fellow Last Ship / local history enthusiast friend U.

The play itself – staged in the smaller studio space, which I hadn’t been into before – was powerful and moving, though the evening became more dramatic when the performance had to be halted as a member of the audience became seriously unwell. Impressed as I was by the play, I was even more so by the empathy and efficiency of both the cast and staff, who sprang into action immediately, and emptied us into the bar while medical attention could be sought and given.

It was a nervy, enervated crowd that returned to what was now a fragmented play, though we were relieved to be assured that the audience member had been taken to hospital, and seemed to be OK. The cast recovered from the shock and disruption admirably well to finish the piece – everyone was pretty shaken, so I can only imagine how they must have felt. Here’s hoping the poor man in question made a full recovery!

It’s a powerful piece and is touring, so if you get a chance to see it, do so: but I have to say the night gave me renewed admiration for actors, carrying on when most of us would just want to sit down with a large glass of wine for our nerves…

Lola Jeans

Lola Jeans is a bar / restaurant tucked just off Grey Street (on Market Street) and when I heard it did a mean line in cocktails, I had to check it out. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get round to having a cocktail – it was early evening, and I was in the mood more for wine – but it’s definitely a place with promise. Because I met my friend around 5 the place was still too quiet to gauge its atmosphere or buzz, but I liked the decor – heavy on the brocade sofas – and the staff were friendly.

Butterfly Cabinet

In my mission to eat every brunch in the North East, today I ventured to Heaton to try The Butterfly Cabinet. A funky wee place with a laid back vibe not far from that other Heaton stalwart, Sky Apple Cafe, this is mixed rather than veggie but the vegetarian is well catered for. From a plethora of choices I went for the posh French toast and it was so tasty and filling I needed a little lie down afterwards…

For the Love of the North

While I was in Monkseaton I couldn’t resist popping into a shop I have been dying to try, having followed them on Instagram for a while now. For The Love of the North is a super cute gift shop which also stocks a lot of geeky stuff with a Northern spin – my beloved Angel of the North Cyberman came from them, and today I got a lovely Star Wars pin. I could have quite happily bought the whole shop so a return visit is definitely on the cards…