Saturday, 21 April 2012
South Shields and Newcastle
After a day in which Sean went exploring and I stayed home because of my swollen knees (but I found Pottermore and then it wasn't so bad), we had Chinese food and red wine with Nige and Anna and chatted and laughed at bad TV. Then this morning, we headed into South Shields. South Shields is not far from Newcastle (about half an hour on the metro) and Sean's grandfather is from there, so it was a special place to visit. We had a great time hobbling up the very trendy shopping district until we got to the ferry docks. We went for a walk along the waterfront, and Sean took lots of pics, before we got stuck in a rainstorm and ducked into a nearby pub. We then whiled away the next hour or so, chatting to the bartenders and two regulars about travelling and the UK and Aus and history and leather repair (Dad!) and beer and all manner of things. There were also some old photographs around the pub of what the area used to look like, which was pretty special. Once we made our farewells, we went for a bigger wander, all the way down to Ocean Rd, stopping to look in the pet shop, and even a small museum of South Shields (though it was closing and we only got as far as the gift shop). At about 6, we met up with Michael, Sean's great-cousin. He was really, really lovely. It's always weird meeting up with someone you have never seen before, but he was really warm and inviting. We had a few beers (cider for me) and talked for at least a couple of hours. On the way home my knees packed up from a day of walking. Even with crutches and compression bandages they couldn't stick it out the whole way home, so I went back to the house and Sean went and got us delicious Indian food for a late dinner. Cheers!