Dark Dates charms

I mentioned yesterday that my Reading In Heels box arrived the same day as an empty envelope from a friend, the goods within missing. So although it was slightly ‘here’s what you could have won*’, I did ask my friend – Jo from the great craft store Stella My Star – what she’d sent, and it turns out it was this lovely gift, a specially made Dark Dates charm bracelet! Wah! Wonderful human that she is, she’s sending me another – this time with a lot more sellotape on the envelope.

(If you want to check out the full range of gorgeously geeky themed jewellery she does – which includes necklaces and bracelets inspired by such shows as Good Omens, Game of Thrones, Veronica Mars, Doctor Who and Stranger Things) – her website is here.

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*showing my age here. Remember Bullseye? (The TV show, not the Marvel character)

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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…

Booze, biscuits and blankets

Sometimes I like to think of myself as an enigma, but the truth is I am actually boringly on brand with nearly everything. Which is evidenced by the gorgeous array of housewarming gifts and cards that I have received so far from my generous friends: the cards are VERY heavy on cats, and other than vouchers (which people think are boring but my god, are so helpful when you are having to buy a ton of stuff for your house, so trust me are MASSIVELY appreciated) the trend has been towards booze and biscuits – and today I got sent this beautiful blanket from a London friend because ‘it’s colder north of the wall.’ You guys…

Paperchasing

As anyone familiar with me knows, I am a bit of a stationery fiend. The good thing about this is, as a writer, notebooks are a justifiable tool of the trade – my collection is enormous, but none of them go to waste. Also, having a reputation for loving notebooks makes me super easy to buy presents for, and every birthday and Christmas brings a glorious stash (not to count the steady stream of ‘I saw this and thought of you’ gifts from around the globe).

Since returning to Newcastle, I have of course been on the look-out for new stationery shops. Old favourites like Fenwick’s (which now contains a Paperchase concession) and Waterstone’s are still a treasure trove; and I got a great haul in the Scribbler sale. Geeky themed notebooks abound in the Geek Quarter, and I was delighted to discover Blackwell’s glorious stationery department, where my friend had to physically restrain me from buying all the shiny Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. So, in fairness, I am spoiled for choice so far… but if anyone has any tips they’d like to share…

Geek quarter

Heading to see my aunt last night, I wandered along Grainger Street and discovered, to my joy, that what I fondly think of as the Geek Quarter (home of Travelling Man and Forbidden Planet) seems to have expanded since I last visited. A gift shop called Flying Wizard stocks a wealth of Harry Potter merch, alongside Star Wars, Game of Thrones and the like, and a shop/cafe called Geek Retreat is next to it: a venue that hosts games nights. I am tempted to buy a few notebooks, but refrain, promising myself a return visit.