Newcastle on a Friday night

Well, I suppose technically this is a view of Gateshead from Newcastle. But who’s being picky?

Newcastle always gives me the feeling of being a vibrant city, full of life.

The Millennium Bridge here has a hen party crossing over, closely followed by what I suspect is a stag do. Probably with many ribald comments being exchanged between the two groups!

The Baltic, when we crossed the bridge and looked up, had some sort of posh do on, with an outdoor grill and a lady shivering in a flimsy red dress before scampering back indoors with her food.

The Tyne (looking up and away and not at the dirty water with of bits of litter in it that we could see beneath us) glinted in the few ragtag rays of sunshine that struggled to come out from behind a blanket of cloud. Looking to the right the bridges gave me that instant jolt of recognition and pride. I’m a Durham girl myself but the sight of the Newcastle bridges gives people from the region a feeling of belonging and identity.

If I were in a fantasy novel the North East would be a little kingdom dominated by the cities Durham and Newcastle. Durham would be the ancient capital, no longer the powerhouse but the seat of some displaced royal family, regal and proud, and the city of the lawmakers. Newcastle would be the new capital, with everyone in the kingdom drawn here at some point in their lives. The place where the village boy comes to seek his fortune, hearing of streets paved with gold. Watch out, GRR Martin.

But it’s not a fantasy novel. It’s an evening in one of my local cities and I can just enjoy being on the Quayside with the wind around my face and familiar landmarks making me happy.

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