On Thursday myself & Paul Heard made our respective ways to Newcastle, me on the train, Paul by plane (I don't like flying + I don't have a passport or even any photo ID). It was really good to get to Newcastle and not have that feeling of dread that I have to be on a train for about another 1&1/2 to 2 hours.
Emma met me at the station and I could see her flares from the other side of the station. We went to a pub to wait for Heard. I say say pub, it was a bar above a venue, but it was nice like a pub is. Anyway, Heard arrived and we went back to Emma's to drop off our stuff and then head out for a meal at a cool place I can't remember the name of. For some reason I want to say Cloisters, but I know that's wrong. There was a really nice area on the way that I wish I'd taken a photo of. It had a monument and other nice looking things.
Anyway we had burgers and booze and met up with Emma's manlovechum Mark and their friend Ian. Then we went to another pub that was really nice and had about 15 or so different real ciders! Awesome! Only problem was I wasn't in a cider drinking mood, so I feel it was a bit wasted on me, but next time I'm going to make them take me back so I can get reet pissed up on cider like. The one Heardy had was beautiful on the tastebuds.
Back to Emma's for stay up late chatting and eventual passing into slumber times.
As seems to be usual at the moment I couldn't sleep very well and therefore was wide awake far too early. I had a read of Lone Wolf & Cub and listened to the wonderous sounds of Paul farting. When Paul & Emma woke up we did the old shower geting up business and went to a cafe for breakfast. The first one we went to didn't do food and the guy who worked there freaked us out with his "HELLO CUSTOMERS! LET ME BEND OVER ARSEWARDS TO ACCOMODATE ANY NEED YOU MAY HAVE WHILE BEING VERY LOUD AND KNOWINGLY ATTEMPTING TO COME ACROSS AS QUIRKY AND FUN! PLEASE LIKE ME!" banter. The second one we went to involved waiting for a table, but what the hell it looked nice and we couldn't be bothered to go anywhere else so we might as well stay here now anyway. Thank the Lord we did too as I had possibly the best fry up (and indeed any sort of) breakfast ever ever EVER! It was sooooooooo goooooooood!
What did we do then? Did we go back to Emma's? I can't remember.
The next thing I remember was going to Alt. Vinyl which is one of the best record shops I've ever been in. I could've easily made myself bankrupt in there, but managed to limit myself to just 4 cds. I'm pretty sure if Paul hadn't been there it would've been more. He seemed to provide an air of slight sensibility to proceedings. Emma wasn't there coz she had to go for a smear test.
The three of us met back up in a pub and went off to the Tyne and to a gallery called Baltic where we saw possibly the worst artist exhibition I have ever seen. Kendell Geers is the kind of fuckwit chancer that gives modern art a bad name, and no I am not being harsh. His work is garish and obvious. It is clearly supposed to be "In your face" and confrontational, but the lack of subtlety here just makes everything ugly and to be perfectly frank and honest, it's pathetic. Oh look it's a skull covered in the word "Fuck". Oh look, the mirrors on this mirrorball repeatedly spell out the word "Fuck". Oh look it's a film of 9/11 happening vvveeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyy ssssssslllllllloooooooowwwwwwwllllllllyyyyyyyyyy in reverse with an industrial-site-objects-clanging treated samples soundtrack playing to accompany it. There's a pagan star made of US Police car siren lights. There's a burned out car upside down on top of a concrete block that has broken glass sticking out of it. There's some razor wire. There's the word "Fuck" a lot, again. Oh look, now the 9/11 happening very slowly backwards film is going forwards very slowly. The whole exhibit is so desperatly trying to make you feel uncomfortable, like a sixth former writing self indulgent poetry about how bleak the wolrd is in their eyes, but all it does is make you want to find this Kendell Geers cock by the collar and shout "LOOK JUST GROW THE FUCK UP OKAY?!" in their face. Except they would probably see that as some sort of victory and think that it meant I couldn't handle their work. Make no mistake, this is not something you can't handle because that would imply that there is something you don't understand and this is an exhibition so desperate to be noticed that it wears it's heart on it's sleeve. Not even it's sleeve, it takes it's heart and staples it too it's forehead so there is no way you can't notice it. God, it was truly awful. I could bang on about this for ages, but this is a blog about Newcastle, so I'll leave the (piss) artist alone now, and carry on with the blog. I will say that the corridors of body bags did look good.
There were a couple of good things at Baltic that day tho. The ground floor had a piece that was a bunch of fridge-freezers covered in squares of mirror, like mirrorballs. That was really cool. We also saw the painting that was used for the cover of Sonic Youth's "Sonic Nurse" album, or if not it was definitely one in the same series of paintings by the same artist. That was cool too.
Back across the Millenium Bridge (Yes, London isn't the only place to have one) and on our way to an awesome little cafe/cinema for a sit down and a hot drink (very nice hot chocolate). Again I can't remember the name. I can remember the woman who worked there tho. I found her really attractive, and when she was talking to us upstairs, she was obviously really cool & nice too. I was totally smitten. I would like to be able to say that if she lived in Oxford or I lived in Newcastle, I would've asked her out, but we all know that's not true. I'd have just spent months really fancying her and never doing or saying anything about it coz I'm a massive pussy when it comes to these things.
A place called Tokyo served me a very good White Russian and had a very odd outdoor/indoor area upstairs. I wish I could explain it. Then we went to a dingy little italian restaurant that served really good food quite cheap. Then another pub for more real cider. I think Emma was a little concerned that we were a bit quiet at times on Friday, personally speaking I was just really enjoying having a nice relaxing day in the company of 2 of my favourite people. This visit made me realise how much I miss Emma, and how I should probably be a better friend to my friends back here as well as those I miss already, coz at times, especially recently, I can be a bit rubbish. A little epiphany, which may in the end count for nothing, but I think at least I'll try.
I really can't be arsed to talk about the hellish train journey back. I'm hungry and I want to watch more Billy Connolly.
P.S. Emma wasn't really going for a smear test, she has some kind of stomach bug.