Friday, 31 August 2007

flight paths

I don't know if the flight paths have changed at Newcastle Airport, but I'm seeing more and more planes flying overhead. I stop to watch them often, see if the colours are those of easyjet, BA or another company.

(I'm not very good at plane identifying, so those are the only ones I can normally recognise.)

Anyway. They seem to fly right over the house - the airport is 6 miles away, which I suppose isn't very far away in plane-landing terms (or even 'as the plane flies....'), but it sometimes seems that they'll never make it.

I was playing on easyjet last night and found some cheap-ish flights to where my sister N lives in Germany. She's been on holiday and has now gone back to having S, A and one of our cousins visiting. Hopefully once they've gone she'll let me know when she's free and i can find a date to go and visit... sometime when she's not a) on holiday, b) visiting the UK, c) already got people visiting and i'm not a) on an unswappable samaritans shift or b) off racing my fellow runners somewhere.

I haven't been out to visit her since last summer. I've seen her at our parent's house, but i want to go visit again. I can't wait.
In other news, facts about B has been updated. i never know whether to point out if i update it, but i didn't last time, so why not, eh?

Thursday, 30 August 2007

the end of the boat

I cannot say quite how overjoyed I am to read this. The Boat, commonly known as the Tuxedo Princess, is finally being turfed out of the river Tyne.

I went once, in October 1994. I think it was the 4th (and I'm kinda concerned that I remember that). I went with a boy that I liked at the time and can't believe I liked now. We stayed ten minutes, during which time we didn't even get close to getting served at the bar, then we left in disgust. I didn't even catch a glimpse of the famous revolving dancefloor.

D used to work on the bar there. He says it was a shithole.

(oh and PS, maybe I can write short posts again. phew.)


The moon is rising at the end of our street. When I turned into our street, walking home from the bus stop, it was directly ahead of me. Low in the sky, misty, a tinge of pink staining the clouds behind over a velvet blue sky.

People think the north east is ugly, but there is beauty everywhere. You just need to look for it.

further facts to suggest that i need to improve my observation skills

time: several weeks ago, about 7.30pm. i forgot about this incident til tonight.
place: at the top of a hill near my flat. i'm out with my running club.

earlier in the day, i went for lunch with a friend to an all-you-can-eat chinese buffet. i took full advantage, reasoning that i would be running it all off later. but i realised just after we started our run that that may all be very well, but if the food is still sitting in your stomach like a lead weight five hours later, you may possibly have eaten too much.

i manage three reps of the evil hill, two of them by walking half way up. the guy leading the beginners session is patient, but adamant. the third rep he runs with me, bans me from talking and takes my water bottle off me so i can just concentrate on the slow trek to the top. i manage it without stopping, but by the time i reach the top i'm gasping for air, feeling like i'm going to throw up. it probably serves me right.

'that's it folks. i only live down there', gesturing to the bottom of the hill. 'i feel awful, i just want to go home.'

the leader gestures to a nearby bench, suggests i sit there while the group sets off to do another rep of the hill. a vet who has come along with the beginners sits with me to keep me company as i try and find my breath.

suddenly he gestures over to our left. 'you can see the sea over there!' he says.

i look. he's right. i've been up this hill a few times before, and i've never noticed.

it's a rare beautiful evening. the sun is warm. the sky is perfect. the sea, dark blue in the distance.

the group finishes the rep, recovers, starts out for another one. i really do go home this time, reassuring them that i'll be fine. i keep a steady pace all the way home, but by the time i reach my front door, i really am fit to drop.

it was worth the pain and discomfort of running on a still-full stomach, though, for that moment of perfection on the hilltop.

(this post is brought to you courtesy of insomnia brought on by my really, really hard run tonight... only 4 miles at a very slow pace, and i went out too late in the evening so although i'm very tired i'm not at all sleepy. i've lost a lot of fitness with being ill the other week, and the Great North Run is only four and a half weeks away. i'm down to do the tynedale 10m jelly race in 10 days, and i honestly don't know whether i should do it or if it'll just make me feel even worse. oh well, i don't suppose i have to decide quite yet.

this is only the second time i've been out since i've been ill. maybe i'm just being hard on myself. anyway, time to click publish and have another go at sleep.)

oh, and also? one of the reasons i don't post more is that i am seemingly incapable of writing short posts. i thought this one was going to be two or three lines at the most. gawd knows how.

Monday, 27 August 2007


Coming back from the supermarket today, I spotted that you can see the Penshaw Monument from the top of our road.

I've lived here three, four years. I can hardly believe I never noticed before.

It's about 10 miles away, as the crow flies. It's been a landmark I've noticed while driving past for quite a while now, but I've never been there. I will have to get around to it sometime soon.

Other places I plan to visit include the Castle Keep, Seven Stories and the Baltic (although I have been to the Baltic before).

Sunday, 26 August 2007

So I don't think that most of today technically counts as 'geordie life'. We were in Northumberland, staying at D's parents' place. Last night we played a board game and watched a DVD over a few bottles of wine.

This morning we sat listening to the radio on a swinging seat, reading tabloids I would never buy myself, the only signs of civilisation a derelict farm building and a combine harvester. We ate lunch with some more relatives, sitting out in the sunshine. Stupidly, I didn't realise think about how hot it was getting, so now I have a surburned nose and forehead. That doesn't happen very often.

I would go quietly mad living that far from civilisation, really, but it was a wrench leaving even after only 24 hours there. For the first time, I can imagine why people would want to retire out to the countryside.

PS Does anyone know what's happened to Clare boob pencil? Her site's been down a few days now.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

not how i planned

The plan for tonight was as follows:
  • get into town
  • go to see Interpol at the Academy
  • meet up with D's uncle for a quick drink afterwards if possible before he had to catch his metro home
What actually happened was:
  • get into town, go to Academy
  • wonder idly why it's taking so long for the support band to come on and why those people just wandered on stage and carried off the guitars
  • hear that Carlos D has been taken to hospital and that the gig is off, to be rescheduled at an unknown time
  • go for a slightly looooonger drink with D's uncle and some random other people
  • turn round after being in a bar for about 45 minutes and realise that a girl sitting at the table nearest us is a girl I shared a house with at uni, that I haven't seen for over ten years, but who I just found and friended on facebook (after weeks of trying to remember her damned surname). Yesterday.
It was one of the more surreal experiences of my life. We've arranged to meet up at some point when we're both a little more sober and catch up properly.

I'm disappointed about the gig, obviously, but I can't say I'm disappointed about how things turned out. I got to meet up with A, D got to catch up with his uncle, and the gig will be rescheduled. Things could be a lot worse.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Sorry about the, err, slight delay in posting. We were on leave and went to visit my family - I had a plan to post from there, but I never got round to it. And then since my leave I've a) had a throat infection and been ill and b) been really sick of the computer.

It's funny. I've been in the thrall of the internet for a long, long time now. It's been rare that I've been off the internet for more than 4 hours at a time - except of course to go asleep. Even on holiday - when we went to Spain earlier this year, I checked my email and bank account daily in the hostel.

And yet, in the last few weeks I've been on the computer less and less. A couple of days I've not even switched it on. I'm not sure what's caused that, but I can't think I should argue. Sometimes I hear about people supposedly addicted to the internet or to their computer and wonder what the difference is between me and them. Maybe it's just that I can manage to hold down a full time job and marriage as well as spending a hell of a long time on the internet.

It's probably nothing I should shout about.

Anyway, I'm mostly feeling better now. I probably won't post quite as frequently as before, but I'll be around more again now, anyway.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

I'm still around. I've just been on holiday and am feeling a bit post-holiday-blues-ish.

Back properly in the next day or so.

Sunday, 5 August 2007


This was the view from my bedroom window, very early this morning.

I had friends round last night, didn't get to bed til late. Woke up at 5am. I was hot, but the air when I leaned out was cool, refreshing. The silence was pure, untainted. A single seagull screamed, and I wondered if the weather was stormy at sea.

Took me an age to get back to sleep afterwards. Still, it was worth it. I rarely get to see sunrise in summer. I'm not an early riser, but mornings like this morning make me wish I was.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Gannin' haim*

I got a bus home today that I've never used before. I'd been on an overnight and couldn't be bothered to wait for the one that took me closest to mine.

It was a nice bus. New service. Clean and new. But when I pressed the 'stop bus' button to let the driver know that I wanted the next stop, I nearly jumped out of my skin at the loud electronic beep that resulted.

When I got off the bus, the sun was struggling to shine through the misty clouds, but it couldn't break through. There was a chill in the air. It felt like late September.

Don't tell me summer is over already.

Remember the long-haired guy from this post? As I walked past the bus stop where I usually get the bus into town, I saw him. I had to fight an urge to give him a cheery wave. Sleep deprivation does strange things to me.

* Geordie for 'going home'