Geth and I are back in Newcastle after a night in Leeds for the Tears For Fears gig! The gig was epic, and so was the restaurant we went to beforehand (Livin’ Italy), so we now have a new favourite place to eat in Leeds. There was pizza and ginger beer, both of which I will blog about soon, but it was the bruschetta that really made the meal – it was just immense.
After a relaxed morning in the hotel reading magazines (Geth had booked us on the 11:51 train back home, but my current sleeping pattern meant I was awake at 7am as usual!), we travelled back to Newcastle, and I did my Sunday long run on the treadmill. Other than the moment when I discovered the machine automatically stops after 100 minutes ’cause it doesn’t have space for longer on the time display, it was a much more enjoyable long run than having to dodge roadworks and cars like I’ve been doing for the past few weeks, so I think this is going to be my habit for the next few Sundays!
A quiet evening ahead before another week of writing and editing.
Today’s earworm playlist:
Yazoo – Only You Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know? Belinda Carlisle – We Want The Same Thing Tears For Fears – Change Howard Jones – New Song Sister Sledge – Frankie Culture Club – Karma Chameleon David Bowie – Starman Pet Shop Boys – On Social Media Pet Shop Boys – Heart T’Pau – China In Your Hand Ariana Grande – 7 Rings Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
It’s my birthday today, but I didn’t go out tonight. I’m thirty-four years old now – I have far better things to do. Things I did do today:
Got up early and went to Slimming World, because it’s important to keep an eye on things over Christmas even when it is your birthday.
Opened presents and cards under Mum and Dad’s Christmas tree, just as I do every year. It’s the tenth day of Christmas and that Christmas tree is still important! Nobody’s ever got me any lords a-leaping for my birthday though.
Drank prosecco and blew out candles on my birthday cake – it was a New York style cheesecake as usual, made by the world’s best dad as usual!
Packed up and left Edinburgh to go back to Newcastle after ten lovely days spent at Mum and Dad’s for Christmas.
Got on a train. Geth was worried about travel stress spoiling my birthday, but it was actually a really relaxed journey.
Got home and put on the heating and both fires to warm up our ice block of a house!
Ordered takeaway pizza and drank more prosecco. It’s my last non-sober birthday, and it’s been a double-prosecco day. I am okay with this.
Spent a perfect birthday evening watching ’80s episodes of Top of the Pops recorded off BBC4. I’m very nearly at the point in the marathon where I’ll get to watch the episode from Thursday 3rd January 1985! So glad I was born on a Thursday. That one’s going to be staying on the digibox and constituting my birthday viewing for many years to come.
It’s been a good day.
Today’s earworm playlist:
Alison Moyet – This House Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:
Kraftwerk – The Model
Plus my awesome birthday playlist that I made on Spotify earlier:
will.i.am and Cody Wise – It’s My Birthday 50 Cent – In Da Club Lesley Gore – It’s My Party Bowling For Soup – 1985 The Birthday Massacre – The Birthday Massacre The Crüxshadows – Winter Born (This Sacrifice) Altered Images – Happy Birthday Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Geth and I travelled back to Newcastle today after a few days spent with his family in Lancashire. It’s really nice to be home again in our cosily decorated house, especially given that we arrived back to so many cards on the doormat!
I’m now enjoying Geth’s videogame music and getting on with all my writing projects. Looking forward to a productive day tomorrow.
Today’s earworm playlist:
Pinkfong – Baby Shark
Clean Bandit, Marina & The Diamonds and Luis Fonsi – Baby
Kylie Minogue – Every Day’s Like Christmas
Tom Lehrer – Christmas Carol
Panjabi MC – Mundian To Bach Ke
Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
Ava Max – Sweet But Psycho
Duran Duran – Ordinary World
Geth and I got back from York today after a lovely pub lunch. We had a nice straightforward journey back to Newcastle, and I spent the afternoon getting some work done.
Looking forward to getting back to normal tomorrow.
Today’s earworm playlist:
Paul Young – Every Time You Go Away
Gladys Knight – Licence To Kill
Madonna – Live To Tell
Razorlight – Somewhere Else
Vanessa Carlton – Save The Best For Last
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
Five Star – Rain Or Shine
Duran Duran – Girls On Film
After a nice weekend in Edinburgh, Geth and I headed back to Newcastle today – with a very comfortable and efficient train journey for once! We’ve spent the evening watching Doctor Who, the Strictly results, and the coverage of this morning’s Cardiff Half Marathon. Nice to be back home and relaxing. Looking forward to another productive week!
Today’s earworm playlist:
Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know
Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
Sonia – You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You
Example – Won’t Go Quietly
They Might Be Giants – Particle Man
Returning from parkrun on the Saturday was a lot more relaxing than getting there had been! A couple of friendly fellow parkrunners gave us a lift back to Whitby train station, and we got on the GO train to head back to Toronto. I like the GO trains because they’re double-decker, like the trains in Italy:
We had some lovely lakeside views going back into Toronto.
Once back in Toronto, there were lots of interesting things to see on the way back to our hotel, including this insanely tacky dog-themed fountain:
After we got back to our hotel for a post-parkrun shower, we headed to Panera for a coffee and a pastry, having missed the window for breakfast at the hotel. The pastry was delicious and I can still taste it now. After tomorrow’s weigh-in, I may have to put aside some syns for something similar!
We then went shopping – Geth for shorts (which he couldn’t find in the right style at the right price point, so we gave up) and boxers (trusty ol’ H&M did some Star Wars ones!), and me for tops (H&M again) and underwear (on a good deal at Victoria’s Secret Pink, but Geth was not impressed with how expensive bras are these days). Geth’s habitual ‘Valleys boy’ reaction to spending a lot of money in the shops is to go and find a pub for a stiff drink, so we went to one of Toronto’s many ‘British’ bars and watched the sport on the TV again.
In the evening, we went out for Mum’s birthday meal at the Pickle Barrel, joined by Malcolm and Steff and Steff’s parents Mike and Antoniette – it was lovely to catch up with them. I skipped the starter this time so that I could be sure of fully enjoying the Brown Cow cheesecake!
Geth and I just got back to Newcastle…again. We’re back for a good while now though!
We’ve been in Scotland for the weekend, for the respective hen and stag parties of our friends Lisa and Kieran. We headed off on Friday afternoon, just a couple of hours after Geth’s Canada luggage finally showed up, and managed to beat the ridiculous UK train chaos caused by the thunderstorms by getting on an alternative train and sitting on the floor of the doorway section. Not hugely comfortable, but at least we got to Edinburgh around the time we were supposed to.
After a quiet evening at Mum and Dad’s, we had an uncomfortable night’s sleep (it was REALLY hot and muggy) and then got up for parkrun, which I will post about later in the week. On returning to the house, I grabbed the world’s quickest shower and got ready to be picked up by my friend Fi to travel to the QHotels Westerwood Spa near Cumbernauld.
Having also picked up our other friends Gemma and Sarah, we headed along the motorway to the spa, checked in and spent a pleasant few hours in the hotel bar, during which Steph, Lisa, Nikki and Becky also arrived. At five o’clock we went downstairs for the treatments we’d booked. I’d never been to a spa before, so I had no idea what to expect from my face and back treatment, but it turned out to be a lovely massage with lots of oil and exfoliation and so on. It was so relaxing, I nearly fell asleep! The only downside is that two showers later, I’ve still not been able to get the oils out of my hair.
After the treatments, we were taken to a relaxation room, where we were able to chill out on daybeds with glasses of water for a while, and then we all went for a swim float in the warmer, shallower part of the pool and a soak in the jacuzzi.
Dinner was at eight, but unfortunately, because the service was really slow and poor, we were in the restaurant for three hours, at which point they still hadn’t served our desserts and we ended up having them brought through to the room where we were booked to have a cocktail and DVD night. The poor service from the waiting staff didn’t spoil our evening, but it was very frustrating, especially as we kept having to go and chase up our orders (and when they billed us for exceeding our food allocation when we hadn’t!).
Still, we had a good time watching Moulin Rouge! and Monty Python & The Holy Grail, and I had two delicious cocktails – the second one was especially good, as it came with a drumstick lolly dipped in it, and I’ve not had one of those since I was a kid.
After a good sleep, we went for hotel breakfast – I resisted the bread table, as I’ve got to lose my Canada holiday weight this week, but the scrambled egg was amazing (much better than the egg in Toronto – sorry, Grand Hotel), the mushrooms and tomatoes were very welcome, and I got to have a tattie scone, which I never get to do as I’m rarely in hotels in Scotland.
We spent a good couple of hours chatting in the hotel bar again, but decided to skip the lunch we’d booked, as most people were too full for lunch/needed to get home. We headed back in Fi’s car again, this time with added Steph, and got back to Edinburgh in plenty time for me to go back to Mum and Dad’s and repack my stuff. I also caught up with Geth, who had enjoyed Kieran’s stag yesterday (they’d spent the afternoon and evening boardgaming – what else?).
We had a much more straightforward train journey back to Newcastle, and are now relaxing with the World Series Triathlon on BBC iPlayer.
Not a perfect weekend, but that massage was so good that I’m definitely interested in going to a spa again!
I spoke too soon about the jetlag. Last night, I got to bed about half past one, which is not too bad, but this morning I could not wake up for love nor money. I finally dragged myself out of bed at eleven, but I honestly could have slept all day.
Geth was also worried about his suitcase showing up in time today, because we were out this afternoon so wouldn’t have been around to receive it. Luckily it finally arrived a couple of hours before we were due to leave, so he was able to have a shower and get some laundry done. As this has also happened to Malcolm and Steff a couple of times when connecting through Heathrow, we’ve decided we’re not going that way to Canada anymore.
Hoping that parkrun tomorrow will sort the jetlag issue!
Geth had left on the Saturday – he had a conference in Toronto that we had used to schedule a family trip – but I headed off for my holiday the Sunday before last, carrying two very heavy bags that turned out to be a bad idea when I had to lug them up and down a railway bridge near where I live in order to get to the Metro station. After a cumbersome Metro ride, train ride and taxi ride, I arrived at Mum and Dad’s in Edinburgh and managed to get a few hours’ sleep before a 4am wakeup call.
The flight from Edinburgh to Toronto was nice and straightforward – I read my Kindle the whole time – and after collecting our bags and meeting up with Malcolm at the airport, we got a taxi to the Holiday Inn, where Mum and Dad were staying, and I dropped my bag in their room before going to the St. Louis Diner, where Geth was meeting us after his morning conference session.
A couple of ciders later – logged here – I went with Geth to our hotel, the Grand Hotel, where I was really glad to get out of my comfy plane leggings and put on something lighter (Toronto was a bit muggier than Edinburgh had been that morning). The Grand is lovely, and they’d upgraded Geth to a suite, which had an awesome view:
The suite was great – it had a separate bedroom and loads of space for sitting around. After I’d got unpacked, we headed back to the Holiday Inn for a meal to celebrate Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary:
The cider they serve at the Holiday Inn is Strongbow, but the bottle looks different in Canada, so I took a picture of it anyway.
After some amazing pizza (the pizza at the Holiday Inn is of the perfect texture, and the sauce is insanely yummy), a couple more Strongbows, some cheesecake (see my cheesecake roundup) and a bit of a wait while a heavy thunderstorm was in progress, Geth and I headed back to our hotel, where it turned out the view by night was pretty awesome too:
Then I got some much-needed sleep. Part two tomorrow!
Back in Newcastle this evening after over a week spent in Canada visiting my brother and sister-in-law. I had a wonderful time! I will be updating lots over the next few days with lots of pictures etc. – just have to get over the jetlag first!