I am currently sitting on a train headed back to Manchester, watching the sea fade into the Yorkshire countryside and I wanted to capture a snapshot of the weekend that I have just had.There are some places that are so ingrained within you that they become like a second home. For me, Newcastle is one of those places. Some would say it was because of my affiliation for the sea, others would claim that it is because of the people, however, I say that it is most definitely because of the dogs.
I have just spent a long weekend with the best friend (mate of my soul) in Newcastle visiting her family and two dogs. What a wonderful weekend it was; from unplanned road trips, to live music in Newcastle centre, to dancing in the kitchen to the beautiful music of Savage Garden. Every time I visit Newcastle I come away with new memories and a heart full of laughter.
On Saturday morning my best friend, her sister, mother and I took to the road for a spontaneous trip to see the beautiful Northumbrian landscape. We traveled through Northumbria towards Bellingham and headed onto Jedburgh. The city melted into mountains and lakes as we made it to our first stop, Carter Bar. At this point I was able to stand in two countries at once; being both in England and in Scotland. The view from here was breath-taking. Traditionally by this huge rock there would have a piper playing, a quirk which I found most endearing, however, there were no pipers; today it was atmospherically foggy and eerily quiet.
We set off once more, further into Scotland and came across a quaint town called Jedburgh, its buildings were spectacular and the air tasted like freshly cut grass. We spent a little time here and moved on to Bellingham, a delightful town of an old-fashioned degree. My best friend and I took a walk around the town and found an old book shop. We walked in to a small corner shop that was filled with wall-to-wall books from every category that you can imagine. We then met back up with the others and began our journey home.
I remember being in the car, tilting my head against the headrest and seeing endless mountains and green grass. I sighed and reminisced about my trip to Ireland, this place reminds me so much of home. I was snapped out of my nostalgia from what can only be described as caterwauling, the radio had regained signal and on goes Justin Bieber. Obviously my best friend had to serenade us all with her “majestic voice”. It was a moment that I shall treasure for eternity.
Later that evening, my best friend and I met up with another of our close friends and ventured into the centre of Newcastle, basking in its legendary nightlife. I cannot explain how good it felt to be reunited with our friend. We met at university around 4 and ½ years ago and even though all three of us have lived in separate countries; over the years we still manage to find our way back to each other. *cough* Anyway… we headed out into Newcastle, there the girls showed me all of the places that they used to go as “young people” and we had a good old time. We ended up in a new bar that had just opened called Filthy’s. We were drawn to it because there was an incredible live band playing, The Lewis Curry Band. They were phenomenal and made the night for us.
Sunday came all too quick and after our goodbyes we headed back to my best friend’s house to recover and spend some quality time with the family before we had to go back to our lives; and quality it was. After a chilled afternoon, we ended up in the kitchen, dancing and singing to Savage Garden, Roxanne and Shania Twain. This was my favourite moment of the trip. There were four of us joining in without a care in the world, singing at the top of our lungs and busting out the 90’s moves. It felt like family, it felt like home.
I’d like to finish with a story that my best friend’s mum told me that last night in the kitchen; it’s a charming little story that I thought deserved sharing. Here is how the conversation went that night…
Jess: “Look there’s a moth, he’s giving that light a proper good go.”
Newcastle Mammy: “He’s looking for his true love.”
Newcastle Mammy: “Have you never heard of the story about the Emperor Moth?”
Jess: “No I haven’t…”
Newcastle Mammy:“Well, once upon a time… there was an Emperor Moth and he was looking for his true love, he searched high and low, far and wide until one day he came across an abandoned room. It was a stormy night and lightning was striking high upon the hills. The room was completely dark; you couldn’t see a hand in front of your face. The lightning struck and lit up the room and for a brief moment, he saw the most beautiful creature he has ever laid eyes on. The room went black and she was gone. For the rest of his life the Moth would search the bright lights for his true love, but he could never find her. In the room that night was a mirror, the Emperor Moth had caught a glimpse of his own reflection.”
It explains why all moths circle the light, they are looking for their true love.
“It feels good to be free”