This website, which now showcases all my writing, was originally conceived as something quite different. It was a blog about Newcastle upon Tyne, a city in which I was a student for three years and with which I fell whole-heartedly in love. Through that blog, I was trying to show to friends at university and a wider audience that Newcastle has far more to it than a Southener stereotype imagines, or that most students allow their eyes to be opened to. Unfortunately, time caught up with me and I left the toon to do a master’s degree elsewhere. The blog remains unfinished – at some point, I hope to return to it. My heart is still very much in Newcastle, and the posts remind me of what the city did for me, so I have kept them as a part of this website. They’re backdated to fake, older dates so they sit at the bottom, for those who are interested. Although they’re immature, simple pieces mainly on places to go in the city, I’ll always have a soft spot for them. Most days I think about what I would do were it to be a proper project; I know I will someday live in Newcastle and write about it to my heart’s content. Until then, allow for my young university self keeping some nostalgic posts. Their existence is explained in full here, in what was my website’s old ‘About’ section:
Student at Newcastle giving the toon credit where it’s due. Explained:
In November, two friends came to visit me in Newcastle. Whilst taking them on a walking tour of the toon, they suggested that I share my obvious love for the city with others, by putting what I was saying and showing to them into a blog. Their suggestion was something I’ve been meaning to do for ages, and although the idea of being a blogger and writing anything like this is something I can’t help but find inherently hugely embarrassing, I’m going to have to get over that and just do it. Not least because I think that Newcastle is the most fantastic city, and not only do not enough of the students who live here appreciate that, but also far too few people outside of the city conceive of it as anything more than a series of roads linking trebles bars and Gregg’s shops to a football stadium and a university. In fact, it’s bustling with a myriad of alternatives to this one-dimensional view. Since being the geographic hub of the late modernist movement in the 1960s – a period of time when London’s cultural trends were lead by Newcastle’s – some would argue that the north has lost its cultural sway. They’re mistaken. There are funky theatres, bars, restaurants, and galleries, let alone the well-known places that deserve another showcasing. So instead of coming home and ranting to my housemates about the weird and wonderful places I find on my wanderings around the toon, I’m going to share them on here instead. I may also post some other, unrelated things. It may achieve nothing else other than giving friends in Newcastle an idea of somewhere to go for dinner or something to do on the weekend, but so be it, it’s better than nothing. So, here we go.