Monday, May 18, 2015


“I wonder” I thought to myself “if I walk into that showroom and offer to buy an Audi whether they would let me use their toilet.”

I had walked eight blasted miles from Wallsend, which truth be told is not much of a place, through a howling gale along the Tyne valley, through a bitterly cold Sunday Market in Newcastle and had not seen sign nor sound of a public convenience. What the hell do the Geordies do? Is there some secret sign?

Geordies themselves seem like fine people. A cheery glint in their eye, a happy manner. We had spent the previous evening in Newcastle and, once you find the nice bits, it's lovely. (Clue: head away from Monument station down the hill towards the quayside.) All those beautiful bridges of various designs, some astonishing architecture on the church that made me wish I had brought my heavy DSLR camera and lenses, a delightful meal at Sabatini’s and the happy buzz of a good city.

We'd made our way back to the surprisingly good Premier Inn in North Shields, slept the sleep of the innocent (parading under false pretenses in my case) and after a FEB (full English breakfast) set off with light hearts into the teeth of a gale. The BBC said it was a light breeze but I'm pretty sure I saw a tractor and a brace of cows fly past at one point.

And then there was the call of nature, getting increasingly loud until it was bellowing in my ear and so I hopped behind a tree.


Then things got miraculously better. There was a pretty park and a Walls ice cream van. Nom nom. Next we met Charlie from Heddon-on-the-wall who showed us a shortcut. And finally we arrived at our destination for the evening, Iron Sign Farm, to be greeted by the charming Helen who offered us an a la carte menu (in my case, smoked salmon starter and beef main course.) My boots are off and I have had a shower.

Could life be better?

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