Going out

The great thing about living in the North East of England is that we have the best of everything. This is the scene that greeted me when I went out to my car yesterday morning to go to work.


I step from my gate and I’m immediately in the countryside, and then a five minute drive and I’m inside the largest shopping and leisure centre in Europe . http://www.intumetrocentre.co.uk

We took advantage of the Metrocentre last week when a planned visit to Beamish Museum had to be cancelled due to a set of unforeseen circumstances. In any case it was raining, so we found ourselves in Namco along with my nieces, for them to have a game of ten pin bowling, while Heather and I discovered the joys of air hockey. Then it was tea in the Handmade Burger Co., followed by the flicks. My other half and I have reached the conclusion that we’re either incredibly bright or hopelessly thick. No doubt the latter. I’m not going to spoil things for you if you’ve yet to see the piece of cinematic excellence that is “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, but the plot revolves around humans trying to gain access to a dam and the apes taking exception to this. For the life of us we can’t work out why; a) The dam was so important to the humans; b) Why the apes could care less, and; c) What the dam had to do with getting the electricity back on. I quite enjoyed the picture, largely because I’ll watch any old rubbish if it’s in 3D, but it joins the list of many films that I simply don’t grasp. In the main these are anything with a space ship or where the word “action” appears in the synopsis. So, therefore, Star Wars, Terminator, and the entire James Bond series are pretty much out.

On Sunday afternoon we had a drive into the country to Edmundbyers for Sunday dinner at www.thepunchbowlinn  This is what I mean about living in the North East. Drive 10 minutes in one direction and we’re in the heart of Newcastle, travel not much further to the west and there’s nothing but sheep. We enjoyed our meal at the Punch Bowl and the service was good, unlike our experience in the Silver Giraffe last Thursday evening (see a couple of blogs back) where we encountered a very indifferent head waiter. He was hugely interested in carrying on a conversation with two ladies on the table adjacent to ours (it wasn’t work related I could hear every word) and not exactly helpful when we wanted to pay for a round of drinks separately, complaining they were very busy. There were 25 customers in the room at the time, a third of them consisting of my family. We didn’t receive menus until the third time of asking, and our order wasn’t taken until 35 minutes after we’d sat down. It would have been a lot longer than that if I hadn’t got up to complain. Our starters arrived after 55 minutes, and our main course took 1 hour and 25 minutes. We will vote with our feet and eat elsewhere. Not that we will be eating out anywhere much in the near future because Slimming World looms on Tuesday evening.  Slimming World members can easily eat out and stick to the plan, but they need to choose a little more sensibly than I tend to do. I’ve had a week away from Tracey’s group in Ryton to spend time with my visiting family, and I expect that when I go back on Tuesday night it will be all doom and gloom when I leap eagerly on to the scales.  Still, it will be nice to see Tracey and my friends.