I sometimes wonder if there'll come a time when the name of my blog no longer makes sense. At what point do I stop being the "New Girl in Toon" and become a proper fully fledged resident of Newcastle?
In a few months time I will have been living in Newcastle for 3 years and at the moment I definitely still feel like a newbie. I add to my Geordie vocabulary every day and still have to Google some expressions to understand what people are saying to me. The Newcastle Bucket List on my iPhone is a constant reminder that I'm still the new girl, and there's a shocking amount of things I'm yet to do.
So I thought it was about time we play a game of "Never Have I Ever". You may be familiar with the game from your youth, but don't worry I'm not going to start downing shots as it would get very messy by the end!
Never Have I Ever ...
Watched Newcastle play at St James Park
I loved football in my teenage years. I'd attend every Norwich City home match, would dress myself in yellow and green and knew the words to every song from the terraces.
Newcastle is crazy passionate about football and every weekend the Toon Army turns the city into a sea of black and white. Everywhere you go people are talking football and I feel like I really need to get myself to a Newcastle United game at St James Park before I can call myself a fully fledged honorary Geordie.
Been for a Night on the Toon
Sure I've had plenty of nights out with friends where we all drink too much Prosecco and I start talking rather loudly, but I'm yet to have a proper night out on the Toon. Sometimes after one drink too many I like to declare that I want to head straight to the Bigg Market but it's yet to happen!
Getting "mortal" on the Diamond Strip, a cheeky dance in one of the clubs and a kebab on the Bigg Market - can I really call myself a Geordie if I haven't been there?
Had a meal at Cafe 21
My restaurant wish list get longer and longer by the week but there are definitely a few in there that I should have tried a long time ago. Cafe 21 is one of those. I hear nothing but great things about the bistro and can quite often be found drooling over photographs on social media, so why haven't I made it there yet?
Been on a boat under the Tyne Bridge
I've been over the Tyne Bridge loads but I'm yet to go under it. I'm not sure if it's really a Geordie's right of passage but every time I see the very posh boats lined up along the Newcastle Quayside in the Summer I'm reminded how much I want to cruise the Tyne, even if it is on River Escapes tour boat rather than a luxury yacht.
Seen a show at the Theatre Royal
I love the theatre and when I lived in London I'd quite often pick up cheap tickets to West End shows and head out for solo theatre trips after work. So why haven't I been to the Theatre Royal in Newcastle yet? The building is gorgeous and I walk past it daily and admire how beautiful it looks but I haven't even stepped foot inside! I need to change that this year.
Drunk Newcastle Brown Ale
It's no surprise that I'm yet to try the broon stuff. You're far more likely to find me with a glass of prosecco or a fruity cocktail than a pint of ale, but Newcastle Brown Ale is such a great part of North East history it feels wrong that I've never tried it.
Climbed Grey's Monument
I'm obsessed with aerial views and I have already enjoyed seeing Newcastle from above at Newcastle Castle, Six at the Baltic and the Sky Lounge at the Vermont Hotel. The one climb I really want to do though is Grey's Monument. A handful of times a year Monument is open for the public to climb up the 164 steps to enjoy views across Newcastle. It only costs £4 and the next opening is in a few weeks. Someone make me book a ticket and go! If you fancy it yourself, ticket information is here.
Been on the Newcastle Tour Bus
I'm sure most locals have no desire to go on the Newcastle tour bus, but being new to these parts I have huge gaps in my Geordie history that I need to fill. How can I be a proper resident if I know nothing about how we came to be the greatest city on earth? Having not gone to school in the North East I missed out on local history lessons and that makes me kinda sad.
Enjoyed the EAT Festival
The Newcastle calendar is always full of amazing events, in fact the range of social activities was one of the things that really attracted me to relocating to the North East. The festival I promise myself I'll get more involved in every year is EAT!, a fantastic celebration of food. Yet other than blogging for Gareth Kyle during the festival last year, I'm yet to attend any of the events. This Summer that needs to change!
Seen the Northern Lights
We are very fortunate here in the North East to get the opportunity to see the aurora borealis from time to time. Every now and again my Facebook feed fills with gorgeous photos of green swirly skies taken by friends who've bothered to wrap up warm and head out to find them. I've lost count of the amount of times I've said I want to see them for myself and last week I realised they'd appeared very close to my house - doh!
Anyone else got any "Never have I ever" confessions to make? Please don't tell me I'm the only one with a big local bucket list!