Things I’ve noticed about Newcastle

I’ve been in Newcastle for about two months and whilst finding my way have made the following observations:

  • Male/female friendships aren’t as common here. At least not as they were at uni in Birmingham. The other day I was walking home with some male friends and some boys biked past and yelled ‘FOUR ON ONE!’ Despite this theory, I’m very much lacking girly friends! The music scene is rather male dominated, but when I go out it tends to be for a gig or a post gig drink, so I’m mostly around men.
  • The aforementioned music scene is delightfully strong. There’s a fantastic sense of support between bands; local gigs are often packed out. The instrument of choice is the guitar – pedalled up with minimal distortion and lashings of reverb. I’ll be posting about local bands soon.
  • Clothing is less fussy here. Unless you’re on a night out (huge heels and tight dresses are the uniform of female choice it seems), people tend to make practical style choices. In Birmingham the fashionistas come and go with the Summer, but I’m hoping it’s the opposite in Newcastle.
  • I’ve been told it’s ‘cold but doesn’t rain much’ up here in Newcastle. I think I’ve been lied to.
  • Housing tends to be fairly priced. Admin fees, however, are sky high. In Heaton (where I live), most properties are upper and lower maisonettes (three bedrooms.) I like living in my upper flat – I feel like I’m less likely to shut myself away when I’m at home now.
  • Morrisons in Byker is the world’s worst supermarket in terms of layout. It’s nonsensical.
  • All the landlords must be using the same bed shop. Everyone has these strange 3/4 beds. You can’t get sheets to fit them, although my double duvet drapes nicely over the top…
  • There’s a convenience store on every corner. In town there’s a Greggs bakery on every street.
  • Every shop window seems obsessed with the price of milk. I’ve seen so many convenience stores with ‘Milk, 2 pints – 79p!’ handwritten on stickers.

I like it here, but I’m still getting to know it. Town’s not as disorientating as it once was, but I’m not sure it’s sunk in that it’s my home – quite possibly because I have no set time for being here. It’s not like uni. I knew I’d be in Birmingham for three years, but with Newcastle I don’t know!

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