My backpack strained my aching shoulders against the weight of rushed packing accumulating far too many items of clothing I didn’t possibly need. Here I was, back in Newcastle Upon Tyne, walking up the familiar Grey Street, a hubbub of activity of a high street, surrounded by old style sandstone buildings that stood proud either side of me. I didn’t care for the aching shoulders as I looked up the inclining street only to be greeted with the ‘hello’ from Mr Grey himself stood atop a pillar staring broodingly at the oncoming backpackers that puffed up from Newcastle Station to their destination at Euro Hostel just around the corner. These backpackers, accustomed to living in impersonal London, were wide-eyed at the beauty of this Northern city, friendly and welcoming. The twang of the Geordie accent, sometimes unintelligible to the untrained ear, rang with merry gusto from the hidden shop doors open onto the street. The weather was chilly but the sun warmed our faces, perhaps even our heart. These backpackers’ eyes lit up as I saw one by one, who came for an educational weekend, know that they were in for a memorable stay. But this backpacker, your RexyEdventures truly, came home.
Saluting Mr Grey as we reached the intersection with Market Street, memories came flooding back. There in the corner where the Pease Pudding Butties were selling was where I joked with my old housemates after a crazy night out, laughing at the expense of their hapless romantic life on the legendary night outs. Over there by the Town Hall, I remembered fondly of kissing a Canadian, only never to be seen again. Even under the towering Monument, I stamped my feet angrily as I waited for a late friend under the thundering rain. These dormant memories brought to flash before my eyes made me smile. It was almost as if I was seeing an old friend after a long time, only to be treat like I only saw him yesterday.
More memories were brought to the fray, excitedly making me want to visit the unchanged corners of Newcastle that I remembered from my days as a student at the University of Newcastle. Perhaps I shall go visit the Angel of the North where I groped its bum as a prank, maybe the iconic Tyne Bridge where I cheerily ran over on three Great North Half-Marathon Runs, perhaps grabbing a quick one pound pint at the studenty Hancock pub or maybe visiting the wind-blown beach of Tynemouth, a place where I spent many weekends frolicking.
Only a brief happy sigh betrayed my thoughts as Brenna of This Battered Suitcase prodded me in the shoulder, snapping me out of my reminiscence daze, impatient to get to our accommodation that I bid a lop-sided smile at Grey’s Monument, that silently said ‘Welcome Home.’
I already am home.
The photo was taken on a Blogging Weekend Trip at Traverse 2014 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, North England, made possible by NewcastleGateshead Tourism Board. Thanks for the new memories and the remembering of the old.