Saturday, 19 March 2016

Travels in The North and a Vintage Fair.

I hope you are sitting down for this but Himself and I have actually been on holiday!?! It seems miracles do happen sometimes.

It's been 5 long years since we last went to Newcastle but when 2 birthday invitations arrived right when we were looking for a vacation destination, tickets were firmly booked. It was lovely to be back, when we finally got there!

The plan was to catch a direct train from Oxford on Saturday morning to arrive about 3pm, check in the hotel, have a couple of hours to unpack etc then get ready and head out. Instead we had just settled into the sandwiches when the driver announced that Sheffield station was shut so our train was terminating at Birmingham.
We arrived at Birmingham and for 40 minutes hung around with about 10 million other people, all trying to head North, watching train after train being cancelled. *sigh*

In the end we were advised our best shot at getting to Newcastle was to head to Manchester and see what we could catch from there.

So that is what we did.

From Manchester we were advised to head to York, so we off we went to York with about 20 million other people who were all trying to travel North. We arrived at York and finally, after a couple more cancellations, a train for Newcastle was announced, it was delayed, but it would arrive!

We piled onto that with the 50 million other people who were trying to get to Newcastle and spent the whole journey wedged uncomfortably against the train doors, the only consolation was when we finally arrived in Newcastle we were the first off the train.

All in all this meant we arrived at our hotel with just 40 minutes to check in, change and dash back out. Good grief.

Anyway we had a bloody fab night, despite being a bit fraught and a tad knackered The night also ended with the added frisson of the night bus back to Newcastle.

Sunday dawned gorgeous and sunny so we headed out to the Quayside for a mooch alongside the Tyne before meeting friends for lunch.
I was delighted to find the added bonus of a food & flea market to browse. There I bought myself a vintage Rupert annual for the bargain price of £4
Of course I didn't have a bag with me so had to spend the rest of the day carrying it under my arm.
The sight of which made a busker break into "Rupert, Rupert The Bear, everyone knows his name"  much to the amusement of everyone else.

We ate lunch sitting outside in the sun before dropping into Wetherspoons for a quick drink before heading in our different directions. We finally staggered out at 9.30pm *cough*

We had already planned to head over to South Shields on Tuesday so spent Monday reacquainting ourselves with Newcastle and taking artsy fartsy pictures.

 There really are some gorgeous buildings, sadly many were empty and in gentile decay.
Like the cinema above which is where Himself first saw Star Wars, it was sad to see it it still boarded up as it had been on our last visit 5 years ago. Another gorgeous sunny spring day, so much so Himself had to go and buy sunglasses!

We ate a delicious dinner at Harry's Bar opposite the theatre before meeting more friends for a drink. We headed back to our hotel along the quayside after another great night out.
Tuesday was seaside day, so of course it was raining, freezing cold and generally miserable. We managed exactly 3 hours from the moment we stepped onto the Metro to the moment we stepped thankfully back off it again!

South Shields is not somewhere I would hurry back to if I'm honest.Bleak is the only word to describe it.
However I was determined to go to the beach despite the bitterly cold wind coming in off the sea. I think we lasted about half an hour before admitting defeat and going to buy some chips.

Wednesday was the day of the second party so after a walk and a big lunch I gave my poor liver another battering.

I had done a bit of research before I left but can only conclude Newcastle is a wee bit crap when it comes to vintage. Two of the shops mentioned on Google had closed, 2 just didn't seem to exist at all and one was just men's clothes. Bah, so I didn't get to buy any lovely goodies, I was hoping for at least one handbag, but it was not to be.

At least I got to go to a vintage fair with Soo today to make up for it.

Bizarrely set in the upstairs restaurant of an out of town garden centre it was small compared to many I've been too.
It also meant you got an interesting mixture of families and pensioners as well as the usual vintage fans.
Soo was a vintage fair virgin but thoroughly enjoyed popping her cherry. We both bought some goodies.
For me
  The elephant brooch was £6 and the two gold tone ones were £1 for both! (The cards and super cute buttons came from the nearby town where we headed for lunch.)  
The floral jug was £4 and the quirky barrel one £1.99, I just had to put daffs in it. (yeah that's my toaster in the background! I'm all about classy settings me.)

Finally I shall sign off with brogues.

They are knocking down a shopping centre in Oxford, to build a bigger and better one of course, I picked these up in the New Look closing down sale.
Well how could I not?


  1. You packed a lot in and picked up some fab buys too; the elephant brooch looks super cute and those brogues look like they'll get a lot of wear.

  2. Oh gosh, your journey sounds epic and painful!! Best stay home for a bit now eh?! xx

  3. Blimey lovely, you packed a lot in. Love barrel jug and those brogues are a bit blummin'

  4. I bet you were glad to get home for a lie down after all that activity. I've never been to the North East - I have that pleasure to come!

    Lovely finds/purchases especially the brogues!


  5. I have a real soft spot for the North East, especially the coast, even on bleak days, and Newcastle is a brilliant city. I found a charity shop with a good vintage section, but of course the name escapes me now... Tynemouth has a great flea market every weekend with lots of vintage stuff.
    Glad you finally made it up there and had a good time! Nice finds too. Xxx

    1. I was trying to get Himself to go to Tynemouth but it wasn't to be.

  6. I've been following your blog behind the scenes, but now that I've starting blogging myself, I can finally comment on yours. What a hell of journey you had to finally get to Newcastle. Love the brooches and buttons you found, I would have gone for them myself. Have some super cute elephant brooches myself. I love it that you're from the Oxford area, as I've been holidaying there for a few times. We were staying in Standlake near Witney. xxx

  7. We were discussing Newcastle on Thursday and Curtise & Tania couldn't believe I'd never been that far north (yet know South India like the back of my hand!).
    Love the elephant brooch and the barrel jug.
    A quick drink in 'Spoons and emerging hours later sounds suspiciously like my life.
    Groovy shoes. xxx

  8. Interesting - I've got a friend up there who reckons I should visit because Geordie girls rarely rewear anything so I'd have my pick of Old Tat. Maybe they squirrel the vintage away somewhere...

    Rupert FTW!

    And that train journey sounds like a nightmare - I hope you got a refund on at least part of your tickets.