Archive | April, 2011

We’re on two wheels, baby.

5 Apr

Last week I bought a bike, mostly because I really, really wanted one, but perhaps 1% of my longing was because I had a particularly tricky essay deadline that week and hoped a road accident would get me out of it.  Ok, maybe 0.5%. Possibly even less.  But I am pretty sure that no one in a hospital bed has ever had to write about the art of improvisation in 18th century Italy as they are considered miserable enough already.

I tootled down to my local somewhat dodgy but well-meaning bike recycling establishment, conveniently located in the arch of a railway bridge, next to what I think is probably a halfway house (I have never walked past it without getting heckled, usually by someone holding a bottle of cider at 10am) and a skip hire company.  All in all, I felt a bit like I was going to need a bike so as to escape the criminals trying to rob me.  After queueing outside in the rain for ages because people kept pushing in (for my view on people cutting the line, please see Liz Lemon, ep 1 season 1, 30 Rock, I tried to find a clip but the internet has failed me) I FINALLY got inside and found a bike that fitted both my gangly height and aesthetic needs.  Ever since I have been whizzing along the streets of Newcastle, and occasionally the pavements, when I get scared and realise I don’t really know how roundabouts work.  I wish I could drive.  Anyway, here are my bike pros and cons after a week of ownership:

+ much less time consuming than walking, especially when heading in and out of uni.
– I am supremely unfit and find myself feeling a bit sick by the time I get where I need to be.
+ I can pretend I am in Brideshead Revisited, pre-mental and physical demise of Sebastian.
– Hills. Hills and a three-gear bike.
+ Toned legs.
– Bruised legs, as I am completely incapable of not bashing myself on the pedals.
+ Spring bike rides around lovely areas of Newcastle.
–  the fact every lovely area of Newcastle involves the navigation of a massive hill.

Conclusion: Newcastle is hilly and I am unfit but my bike was a great idea.



3 Apr





It’s my birthday.  Here are photographs from my last four birthdays, or, a yearly hair-growing progress report, if birthday pictures aren’t your thing.  Anecdotes are my thing, so here are some birthday ones:

18: My friends Steph and Jess bought me the red balloons as we were all obsessed with Sex and the City at the time, and wanted to recreate Carrie’s birthday balloons  given to her by Mr Big.  Some absolute horror of a boy popped them with his cigarette when you were still allowed to smoke indoors, and I screamed in his face.  I was very drunk and silly and I seem to think there may have been tears before bedtime (always the way pre-18, the shame) and having to have a sit down at work the next day to stop myself from being sick.

19: Steph, Cakey, George and I went to Cleethorpes for the day, had fish and chips, and refused to be driven off the beach by the murky weather, which was far warmer than it looks here.  We had wine and birthday cake on the beach, and took lots of jumping photographs.  I think I probably said ‘best day everrrr’ about 100 times.  I was with Mike by this point, so I’m not sure why he wasn’t there.

20: I don’t remember very much at all about my 20th birthday, except that George seemed to have some wonderful Threshers (RIP) student discount vouchers, and we ended up drinking absolutely loads of nice Pinot Noir for very little money.  I think it may have ended in a silent disco which I hated.

21: Burst into tears several times throughout the day as I was a hormonal mess and also thoroughly depressed about reaching adulthood without achieving anything.  I think everyone got thoroughly sick of me.  You will be pleased to know that I rapidly got over it and grew a pair.

For my 22nd birthday I am going somewhere in Northumberland for a day out with friends, which is very much subject to change due to looming rain on the weather forecast, then invariably doing something wine related.  If all goes to pot, pub and cheap Chinese food it is, which would not be a problem.