At the weekend, I headed off to the north east to visit my sister Sabena and her partner Gary. We were trying to work out the last time I was there on my own, it must have been before I had kids.
I love Newcastle, but I love these two even more!
As with so many cities which have a rich industrial heritage, there is impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture aplenty.
Grey Street runs down to the Quayside in an elegant Georgian curve...
while the Central Arcade is an extravagently-tiled Edwardian hymn of praise to shopping.
A leisurely stroll by the Tyne in the sunshine was glorious.
We crossed the Millenium Bridge...
into Gateshead, to visit The Baltic art gallery.
The viewing platform offers fantastic views of the river and city...
as well as the kittiwakes which huddle along the side of the building.
Smiles all round!
Then on to have a nosey in the Sage, a live music venue on the Gateshead side of the Tyne.
On Sunday, we walked from Tynemouth to North Shields along the Tyne estuary.
The view behind us showed the Collingwood Monument and the two piers, marking the point where the estuary opens into the sea.
We saw a couple of people harvesting cockles on the mud flats.
Breakfast at Irvin's was delicious.
We strolled back into Tynemouth through the newly-renovated Northumberland Park...
(yes, the greens really were that vibrant in the sun!)
before a browse around the market held at Tynemouth Metro station every weekend.
The Victorian ironwork and glass roof made it feel as though the market was taking place in a greenhouse, but it was good to see so many people enjoying the event, and the sun.
And then it was time to go home.
I came back with a few finds from the market;
1970s Jean Allen shirtwaister dress
1970s floaty maxi
1960s handmade jacket
Two 1960-70s cotton day dresses
and also this 1960s dress. At a quid each, how could I leave them behind?
And the pendant is another 1960-70s stainless steel Lord Python piece, made in Sheffield by David Scott Walker. What were the chances of finding that in Tynemouth?
Or a swan brooch with the head of a diplodocus?
I'll be catching up with you soon, I promise.