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Newcastle Student Summer Bucket list

It’s May, which means the sun is coming out and, for us students, the books are stacking up fast and thinking about the summer is perfect procrastination. For some, me included *tear*, this is the end of their time in Newcastle, but even between drinking your body weight in trebles and re-painting your stained walls to try and secure the return of that mystical deposit, there’s still plenty of time to squeeze in some of the best sunny day activities that Newcastle has to offer. Trust me, after the last month in the library, the vitamin D will be good for you.

1) Visit the Quayside Seaside

Now this concept baffles me. Newcastle is lucky enough to be located near a plethora of beautiful beaches, easily accessible on the Metro, so why do we need a fake beach in our already stunning Quayside? The truth is, we don’t NEED one, but we still WANT one, and what we want, we get. Despite it not holding a candle to the natural beauty of Tynemouth, the Quayside beach is still some of the most fun you can have on a piece of concrete, although to be honest there isn’t must competition for that title. Relax with a drink and look out over the glorious river or just take a break from all that strenuous Netflix watching you’ll no doubt be filling your days after exams end; and, while it certainly is a just a novelty, it’s something that everyone should experience at least once while in the sunny North East.

2) Picnic in Jesmond Dene

Yes, there are many other beautiful parks in Newcastle that are also acceptable to picnic in, I’m just biased as the Dene is about a minute away from my house and I’m very, very lazy. As well as it’s proximity to my bed, it also boasts plenty of space to eat, a petting zoo and of course, the waterfall, subject of many an Instagram post (including my own). After eating, you could always challenge your pals to a game of rounders, as we all know nothing says friendships like competitively hitting things with a large stick.

3) Spend the day in Ouesburn pub gardens

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Tyne Bar is my spiritual home. That’s a fact. I love the beer garden, I love overlooking the river, I love the music events, and most of all, I love that they serve weird ciders and mac n cheese. It’s heaven. But one thing can make it better, all of the surrounding pubs and bars are fantastic too. Most students don’t know about these hidden gems because the rahs are too scared to leave the safety of Osbourne Road and most other people don’t really like walking all the way there but it is just so worth it to spend all day there in the sun. Make sure you also check out The Cluny while you’re in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

4) Have a BBQ in your garden

Last year I lived with six girls and one guy, so when we decided to have an end of year BBQ we just assumed that Dave would man up and take charge. We were wrong. Turns out that living with us for a whole year has dried up the man’s primal urge to grill meat, so with much fear and very little confidence the girls took the reins. Two bottles of wine and litre of Pimms later and we sat down in our “garden” (the small patch outside our door) to eat a very successful and delicious meal. The point of this story is that if we can do it, then so can you. And to be honest, if it fails, or if you in fact don’t like waiting two hours for your food, then just put it in the oven and eat it outside. It’s the same thing really.

5) Relax at a festival

From laughing at Jesterval in Gateshead to discovering new local artists at Evolution Emerging, there are festivals for everyone in Tyneside over the summer. Ouseburn Valley is usually packed full of events at this time of year so take yourself, your sunglasses and whichever pals you can drag with you and head down there to hear some music you definitely won’t have heard of, but possibly might enjoy.

What will you be doing this summer? Any other events we should know about?

Katie x

This post is in partnership with Easiliving so if you’re coming back next year make sure you check them out before making that all important housing decision!

The Love/Hate Tag

This is something a little bit different for me, but I was nominated by Kelci from Kelci In Colour (thanks!) so I thought it’d be rude not to take part. Now the concept is simple, list ten things you love and ten things you hate, however, I don’t have a wide enough range of emotion for that so I’m going to change it slightly to become Things That I Tolerate/Things I Can’t Tolerate. Obvious things like friends and family have been removed so this isn’t dull and predictable. Enjoy.

Things I Tolerate:

  1. Food: OK I actually do love food. Food pretty much controls my life, my actions and my emotions.
  2. Ultimate Frisbee: But only with people I actually like spending time with, and if I can avoid everyone else.
  3. Travelling: To amazing places with amazing people. Ok it can be claimed I “love” travelling too.
  4. Popping Bubble Wrap: You’d think the excessive noise would annoy me but surprisingly it doesn’t.
  5. Penguins: They’re an extremely underrated animal. The should at least be worth a luxury cake rather than being confined to an, often discarded, children’s biscuit.
  6. Netflix: Without Netflix I’d have to manually find the next episode of a show and that’s just too much to ask.
  7. Any Film Starring a Handsome Man: Preferably that’s available on previously mentioned Netlfix.
  8. Giant Teddy Bears: They’re comfy and cute, what more do you want?
  9. Sarcasm and People Who Get It: This is more of a condition of my friendship than something I merely tolerate
  10. Children’s Animated Movies: Big Hero 6 is my current favourite and I want Baymax in my life forever.
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Travelling is definitely near the top of my love list

Things I Can’t Tolerate:

  1. People Who Are Too Happy All The Time: I think I may have mentioned this one before…
  2. Fish as Food: Or any sea food for that matter. Not going to happen. They’re slimy and they taste weird
  3. Fish as Friends: I’m scared of all fish. They can breathe underwater and I can’t…therefore they will beat me in underwater battle. I’m not taking any risks.
  4. Frogs: Why are they so warty and gross? There is literally no need for frogs in the world.
  5. People Who Think It’s Fine to Put Cranberry In Cheese: I don’t understand your brain. Cheese is perfect without your tampering.
  6. Vegetarians Who Try and Convert Me: I love bacon. No amount of guilt will ever change that. Keep your beliefs to yourself and let me enjoy my life, meal and all. Same goes for religion.
  7. The Fact That Candles are a ‘Thing’ Now: I seem to be the only blogger in the country that doesn’t own 328 candles and doesn’t tweet about each one individually using the words “so in love” every time. It’s 2015. Turn on a light.
  8. The Fact That After Dinner There are No More Meals: I spend all day looking forward to my meals and then after dinner you’re faced with a foodless abyss and that’s just sad.
  9. Horror Films: Being scared is a negative emotion. Why are you making yourself scared on purpose? It is not enjoyable.
  10. Having to Repeat Myself: How hard is it to listen to me the first time? I’m lazy. I don’t want to be engaging in meaningless conversation for longer than necessary.

I think I could go on all day about things I can’t tolerate. They were just the first ten I thought of. Now I’m raging.

I Nominate:

Katie x

5 Things Newcastle Students Should Do Before Leaving for the Summer

It’s June, which mean the sun is coming out and, for us students, the books are closing for the final time before we return home for summer. For some this is the end of their time in Newcastle but even between drinking your body weight in trebles and re-painting your stained walls to try and secure the return of that mystical deposit, there’s still plenty of time to squeeze in some of the best sunny day activities that Newcastle has to offer. Trust me, after the last month, the vitamin D will be good for you.

1) Visit the Quayside Seaside

Now this concept baffles me. Newcastle is lucky enough to be located near a plethora of beautiful beaches, easily accessible on the Metro, so why do we need a fake beach in our already stunning Quayside? The truth is, we don’t NEED one, but we still WANT one, and what we want we get. Despite it not holding a candle to the natural beauty of Tynemouth, the Quayside beach is still some of the most fun you can have on a piece of concrete, although to be honest there isn’t must competition for that title. Relax with a drink and look out over the glorious river or just take a break from all that strenuous Netflix watching you’ve no doubt been filling your days with since exams ended; and, while it certainly is a just a novelty, it’s something that everyone should experience at least once while in the sunny North East.

2) Picnic in Jesmond Dene

Yes, there are many other beautiful parks in Newcastle that are also acceptable to picnic in, I’m just biased as the Dene is about a minute away from my house and I’m very, very lazy. As well as it’s proximity to my bed, it also boasts plenty of space to eat, a petting zoo and of course, the waterfall, subject of many an Instagram post (including my own). After eating, you could always challenge your pals to a game of rounders, as we all know nothing says friendships like competitively hitting things with a large stick.

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3) Spend the day in Ouesburn pub gardens

Tyne Bar is my spiritual home. That’s a fact. I love the beer garden, I love overlooking the river, I love the music events, and most of all, I love that they serve Briska. It’s heaven. But one thing can make it better, all of the surrounding pubs and bars are fantastic too. Most students don’t know about these hidden gems because the rahs are too scared to leave the safety of Osbourne Road and most other people don’t really like walking all the way there but it is just so worth it to spend all day there in the sun. Make sure you also check out The Cluny while you’re down there. You won’t be disappointed.

4) Have a BBQ in your garden

As I’ve previously address, I live with six girls and one guy, so when we decided to have an end of year BBQ we just assumed that Dave who man up and take charge. We were wrong. Turns out that living with us for a whole year has dried up the man’s primal urge to grill meat, so with much fear and very little confidence the girls took the reins. Two bottles of wine and litre of Pimms later and we sat down in our “garden” (the small patch outside our door) to eat a very successful and delicious meal. The point of this story is that if we can do it, then so can you. And to be honest, if it fails, or if you in fact don’t like waiting two hours for your food, then just put it in the oven and eat it outside. It’s the same thing really.

5) Relax at a festival

Last month’s Unity Festival was a roaring success but if you missed it then don’t fear, there are plenty more great events coming up in the next few weeks. From drinks at Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival to free gigs at NARC Fest, there’s something for every taste going on in the North East. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter to find the latest goings on.

What will you be doing this summer? Any other events we should know about?

Katie x

Katie Reviews: Stornoway

The first time I encountered Stornoway was in my mid-teenage years in a small room in a rather quiet Liverpool O2 Academy. I left at 10.30 on the dot because my parents were waiting on double yellow lines to pick me up. Five years later, my ID isn’t fake, I’m in a new city and managed to master public transport all by myself. In this time, Stornoway have gained a lighting man and a guy that hits a block of wood with an axe on stage. So, you know, it’s nice to see we’re both moving forward with our lives.

In all seriousness though, they have come on leaps and bounds in those years. Although they still played some of the songs I heard all that time ago, their stage presence and confidence has grown and grown ,with lead singer, Brian Briggs’ own awkward brand of comedic relief filling the gaps between songs, interacting with the audience in a way you rarely see nowadays.

The crowd, made up of the classiest people to ever step inside Riverside, seemed mesmerised by Briggs. Maybe it was because he had the look of an old friend that you can’t quite put your finger on. Maybe because his voice is so unique and unexpected. I’d probably put my money on the latter. There was just something about him which made you want to listen to him all day.

They satisfied all tastes with a great mix of ballads, upbeat summer songs and even unplugged versions and covers, which were fantastic, even if the ‘Fog on the Tyne’ and ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble‘ mash-up sounded a bit strange in such a Southern accent. Stornoway knew what the crowd wanted and were more than happy to give it to them, with old favourite ‘I Saw You Blink‘ being the biggest crowd pleaser.

My favourite thing about getting to compare them to themselves five years ago is that it’s evident that they still love making music, just as much now as they did then. In a music world that’s often just about the money, it’s refreshing to see a band that’s making the music they love without caring about anything else. I hope I can see Stornoway again in another five years and have the same still be true. I have no doubts that it will be.

Katie x

Written for NE:MM