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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


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!

GUEST POST | 5 of the Best: Kids Films to Watch as an Adult

A great thing about blogging is meeting new people in all sorts of ways and I was lucky enough to get talking to Leanne, from Serendipity, History and Me, about guest posting. Despite our different lives (she’s married with children and I’m a lazy student), we have similar styles and senses of humour so thought that’d it’d be fun to each write a post for the other one’s blog. My post is coming soon but first, here’s Leanne’s 5 best children’s films to watch as an adult.

Because it’s almost the school holidays and I’m mentally drawing a list of things to do with the boys, the odd movie night is a must. Theme parks and adventures are all fantastic but we need a little ‘downtime’ too. If you choose carefully then a movie can be just as entertaining for us parents, or indeed any adult, as it is for the kids. After looking around Katie’s blog I noticed that she had written about her top 5 Disney Pixar films – quite an achievement given the superb array on offer! With that in mind, I had the perfect challenge for this blog post: choosing 5 of THE BEST kid’s films to watch as an adult.

5) Roald Dahl’s Esio Trott, 2014 TV Movie

Wow I loved this film. I’m talking warm fuzzy feelings that make you smile inside and out. This film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1990 novel which has been a firm favourite in the world of children’s books right from its inception. As we sat down to watch this film, I had no idea just how wonderful it would be. It kept my children giggling at the comical activities of My Hoppy and his tortoises yet had them drawn to the storyline just as much as I was. I believe the charm of this film could melt the heart of even the toughest person as they watch the twinkle eyed Dustin Hoffman and elegant Judy Dench fall in love. We would all very happily watch this film over and over again.

4) – Rise of the Guardians

I admit that I didn’t expect too much from this film when we watched it with the boys. I was wrong. This film was packed with adventure and tugged on your heart strings. There is good vs evil, mystery and intrigue and a good old fashioned happy ending. Childhood favourites like the Easter bunny, Father Christmas and the Sandman rise up to protect the innocence of childhood. It’s a fresh and unique view on something we all know and love. Our boys loved the adventure and were glued to the movie from start to finish. For us parents, it wasn’t just a decent film to watch but it was also something a little different. The ideas and perspectives about the ‘guardians’ and their perspective on childhood were interesting to watch, thought provoking and again made me feel rather fuzzy inside!

3) Harry Potter Films, all of them.

Who doesn’t love a bit of Harry Potter? Child or not you can’t go wrong with a bit of Harry Potter. The sheer magic of the wizarding world is a joy to delve into. Not all of it pleasant but it is all amazing. You’ll be gripped by the storylines and probably believe that you’re a wizard yourself. Everyone knows it, Harry Potter is simply awesome. I would argue that it is at least as good for adults as it is for kids, probably even better!

2) The Lego Movie

So the youngest spent most of last summer running about shouting ‘Awesome, awesome, everything is awesome when you’re part of a team’. I had no idea where he had got this from but began singing it myself. I soon found out that Daddy had bought The Lego Movie for the boys to have on their Kindles whilst we travelled to our holiday destination. Charlie was obsessed and later that summer he found it on our TV. So I let him watch it (again) but found myself completely drawn in. I had meant to be getting on with a few things whilst they watched but here’s a warning: you CANNOT drag yourself away from this film! It was so much fun. I loved hearing all the little jokes that were included and spotting all the cool things that they did with the Lego pieces. This film was clever and I must admit I do like a bit of ‘clever’ thrown in with a happy ending. Speaking of happy endings, this film has got that covered. Again it taps into the innocence of childhood and I’m pretty sure it made a frog jump into my throat (not literally). If you haven’t seen this film yet then watch it as soon as you can. It’s such a great kid’s film, for adults!

1) Toy Story, all of them.

Picking a No.1 spot wasn’t easy but when push came to shove it just had to be the Toy Story movies. I actually love all of them and when each once came out I didn’t think kid’s films could get any better. Each one did indeed get better. There’s not a person around who can’t relate to the wonderful world of Toy Story. It opens up that imagination, it makes you laugh and smile and it packs in a pretty great storyline to boot. When you watch this film as an adult it is guaranteed to throw you right back to happy childhood memories and that’s exactly what great kid’s films should be about. For that reason, it’s got to take the top spot.

So there you have it, 5 of the best kid’s films to watch as an adult, in my eyes. Admittedly there’s a theme there but what can I say? I’m a sucker for a laugh and a smile which finishes off with a happy ending.

Thanks for having me Katie!

Leanne is a busy working mum & Open University history student, attempting to dance in the rain and blog about it all as she goes. Find her at: serendipityhistoryandme.wordpress.com/about/ and about.me/leanne.goodall.

Be sure to check out Leanne’s blog here: www.serendipityhistoryandme.wordpress.com and keep updated on Twitter here: @DipityMe.

Look out for my guest post, coming soon.

Katie x


5 of the Best: Netflix Shows for Busy People

Working a full time job? Busy parent who needs some time to themselves? To many friends to spend your free time with? Life can be be hectic sometimes and we can all just need to take a break. But what quality programming can you watch with such a full schedule?

Now, I’m a student and it’s currently July so I definitely don’t fall into the category of ‘busy’, however, despite my virtually unlimited time, I do find it daunting to embark on a televisual journey which consists of 6 series of 25, hour long episodes, so I understand the plight of finding an enjoyable show which comes in easily digestible, sub-30-minute chunks (less than 30 minute episodes was my criteria for this list). That’s why I used the remainder of my spare time to compile this list for all you busy people out there. You’re welcome.

(Some of these shows may not be available on Netflix in all countries)

1) Community

I literally started watching Community because I needed a show to fill the 25 minute gaps I had in my day and now I’m hooked. The characters are fantastic and it has exactly the right amount of funny and feelings. You do need to have a certain amount of discipline though or you’ll find yourself watching for hours on end.

2) Archer

Archer is an animation which follows the life of a spy who works for the (unfortunately named) espionage organisation Isis, which is run by his mother. He is such a perfect character, somehow remaining likeable despite being ridiculously self involved, with very little thought for the safety or feelings of others. It offers a very specific kind of comedy and some of the references are pretty obscure so it could be very hit and miss. A basic understanding of sarcasm is a must.

3) Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Like high intensity detective crime shows? You probably won’t like this. This cop comedy focuses more on the lives of the detectives at the NYPD 99 precinct and provides light relief from other police dramas. The diversity of characters is perfect with each one bringing something unique to the fantastically written show, and you’ll instantly warm to the arrogant yet charming Jake Peralta played by Andy Samberg of The Lonely Island. #AmyandJake4ever.

4) Adventure Time 

Yes, Adventure Time is a children’s show but that doesn’t mean it isn’t appropriate for adult viewing, and with 10 minute episodes it’s easy for busy people to fit into their schedules. Follow Jake the Dog and Finn the Human on their journey through magical kingdoms, as they encounter pretty much anything and everything the writers could think of. Warning: if you like your tv shows to actually make sense then this probably isn’t for you.

5) Friends

Watching Friends is perfect for busy people because the chances are you’ve already seen every episode so very little concentration is needed. It’s perfect background noise for eating, working from home, or any other menial task you may need to engage in throughout the day. Look away and when you return you’ll still be up-to-date with all the gang’s hilarious antics. Chances are you’ll have recited the scene in your head while you weren’t watching. Haven’t seen Friends before? Your busy life is getting out of control and you need to re-evaluate your priorities.

What do you watch when you have a spare minute?

Katie x

5 of the Worst Things About Festivals by a Festival Lover

I LOVE festivals. I feel like being at a festival is like finding my one true place in the world. I love how separate festival life is from the rest of the planet and how nothing else matters other than enjoying music and having fun with your friends. However, a recent infographic from Pryers Solicitors  as well as an interesting piece by the great people over at 6/10 , made me realise that just because they’re my haven, doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. Even though I hate to admit to any flaws, here are 5 of the worst things about festivals.

1) Violence and Injuries

Festival goers are often well aware of the dangers of the drugs and alcohol they may choose to consume over the course of the weekend but other causes of injury are often overlooked. Above are some of the leading causes of festival injuries in the UK, many of which probably won’t have crossed your mind. Whilst most festivals are equipped with great medical staff, getting hurt is still the last thing you want; and the worst part is, most of these will probably be caused by some other idiot who’s just trying to impress his (or her, but let’s be honest probably his) mates. This is a huge reason why people are put off going to festivals, or, probably more frequently, parents stop their children attending. However, if this doesn’t bother you, or you’re just willing to play the odds (like me), then make sure you’re careful and cautious.

2) So. Many. Children

Now I’m only 20 and am very much in what I believe to be my festival prime, but many kids seem to disagree. I went to my first festival at 17 and felt like I was easily one of the youngest there, however recently it’s becoming more and more common to see groups of children (and yes I’m using the word children here, sorry if this offends you “young adults” but sorry to break it to you, you’re children) as young as 14 at top festivals. 1) DO THESE KIDS HAVE PARENTS?! 2) Being surrounded by immature kids who are taking advantage of having no one of any authority around is excruciatingly irritating. I really don’t want to have to see 14 year olds dressed in very little clothing do drugs and talk about sex because they think it’s cool. ENJOY YOUR CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE. It makes me sad to think that there are certain festivals I just won’t go to any more because I feel too old for them *cough* V Fest *cough*

3) Festival Style


I’m the kind of girl who wear ‘festival’ style clothes any time, anywhere, so when I went to my first festival I didn’t have to change anything…until I realised just how impractical festival fashion is at an actual festival!! Fringing gets caught on EVERYTHING you walk near! Why would anyone think that’s a good idea in a crowd of people?! If you wear dungarees or a playsuit then you basically have to get naked in front of the entire field if you need to go the toilet and let’s be honest, England is cold and will not go a day without raining, so a pair of denim shorts do not cut it 24/7 for 3 days straight.

4) Personal Hygiene

I’m not saying I’m perfect. There are times during exam season where I’ve been known to go several days without leaving my desk, never mind showering or changing my clothes, but I at least know that if I do want a shower I can have one, in a clean and private place. Same for going to the toilet. Why do people find it acceptable to piss in a bottle, on the floor or on other people just because they’re at a festival? All standards of hygiene and decency go out of the window, and it’s even worse if it’s muddy. My friend at Leeds 2013 got covered in mud on the first day and refused to change his clothes until we left. By the end of the weekend we could snap his shorts in half they were that disgusting. Even worse than that…I remained friends with that guy?! HOW IS THAT OK?!

5) The Price of Food/Drink

Now don’t get me wrong, the food at festivals is actually pretty spot on considering it’s come out a van. There’s loads of variety, it’s usually good quality and you never have to walk too far, however it is SO expensive. I understand that they’re there to make money and with such a captive market they really could charge us whatever they wanted, so we should be thankful we don’t have to pay them in solid gold bricks, but £10 for a burger?! No thanks. I’ll stick to my pathetic disposable BBQ and super noodles.

I never used to understand why people didn’t like festivals, but looking at them a little closer, I’m starting to see why. I mean, nothing is going to stop me from standing in that same muddy field for years to come, but I won’t judge you quite as harshly if you say isn’t for you.

What are your opinions on festivals? Comment below.

Katie x