Sunday, 31 August 2014

2014: No Summertime Sadness!

Summer for me usually brings a foreign holiday in the blazing sun, this summer I embraced Mother England for a change. I thought to myself, couldn't I be a champion without going abroad?! From South to North my summer is still standing tall! Newcastle, Blackpool and some of the South served me with some golden memories! Summer 2014 keep being that champion! 

I chose London to kick start my summer of enlightenment, I wanted something extra! Ten days in London gave me the opportunity to reconnect with family who had moved to the capital, surely I would be able to see the sights? London was the reason! I stood at the top of the Greenwich Royal Observatory, loving the sickening view over London's EastEnd evermore. I got hungry so a visit to Brick Lane served me with a meal to remember. I don't like to call myself a tourist by any means so I went Underground to get the most out of the capital during my stay. Strike up the band I wanted to see a musical! Alexandra Burke served Whitney Houston well in the Bodyguard Musical, the show was legendary! Leaving the main event I took the Docklands Light Railway to Woolwich for some West African food. What's up Golders Green?! Yes, my London trip consisted a lot of eating! That was the plan entirely. Almost home?!

London gave me glamazon realness! She's a strong and beautiful city that is in charge of her dominions, I knew that already? Yes! Stamford Hill brought the Hasidic Jewish vibe back into my life, that part of London had a vibrant pace but didn't give me my Kosher chicken soup! Whereas, Golders Green gave me exactly what I wanted! Woolwich had that yuppie type feeling, there's some serious development going down within the Arsenal. South East London served as the perfect contradiction with the gentrified areas finding a way to get on with the better known culturally rich neighbourhoods. London's Thames Path showed me so much more of London's riverside, learning to love my capital city some more. I was enjoying this no foreign travel lark a little bit too much! Hey Queen! You should try the Anchor Tap, set in the heart of Shad Thames I was impressed! London showed me that hipsters and pubs work, Shoreditch played my game, The headlines are true, I really loved London!

Brighton called my name! Choosing to spend twenty four hours by the seaside I couldn't get any more south! My writing had won me a free nights stay at any one of the Jury's Inn hotels, Brighton worked because I had just been in London. Getting the essence of such a bohemian beach town I trusted Brighton from the very first second I saw the Lanes. Taking things a little slower than I had in London, Brighton spiced up my life with the Royal Pavilion. There was something special about seeing the blue waters. I learnt fast that the townspeople of Brighton watch out for the seagulls, I didn't fancy my chances as I ate my lunch by Brighton's first pier. I usually endorse the main attraction but I wasn't satisfied with the new Brighton pier at all! I just wanted more but I knew that London had taken it out of me so I took it easier in Brighton that day and night. I would sure return for a night out in Brighton in the future! Oh, I will do! 

I tried hard not to get lost in the illusion because my time in Brighton had come to an end, meaning my return back to the West Midlands. The south had served a few days of rain but mostly sunny spells graced the days that I spent running around trying to see as much as I possibly could. If truth be told I was sad to leave Brighton, I guess goodbyes just aren't that cut and blow dry? Nevertheless, I really appreciated the Indian spice that Brighton's Royal Pavilion oozed, it served as a tasteful reminder of the British Raj. Suffering from a slight bout of tunnel vision I missed out on a sweet treat from Choccywoccydodah, I mentioned about that night out, I shall be back B! Who knew that I would win a competition based on my comedic writing skills?! I surprised myself if you must know the truth! I received some shade towards my 'Next Stop... Brighton, England' blog. You know I have no time for haters! How the beautiful south allowed me to fall in love with Brighton!

To the north! On a whim I booked a weekend in Blackpool. I had just received my degree results so Blackpool had to be the best place to celebrate! Leaving my dignity at the coach door I didn't know that B'pool could look so good! I was drunk! The legendary Blackpool Tower took the crown, she's still working it after all of those years. Comedy never got so blue! Nursing a hearty hangover I took a chance on Joey Blowers comedy show at the Merrie England Bar on the North Pier. He told a crude joke or twenty but I wasn't prepared to be pulled up to the stage! I was tired of waiting for a good night out, just wait a quick second Joseph! Blackpool broke it down to me like it was looking at me! Blackpool didn't need my approval because I left my judgement alongside my dignity at the coach door. No fish and chips for me that weekend, it was all about pie and chips. There was no diet that weekend Brit! No I didn't swim in the sea! 

Funny Girls kick started my Lancashire weekend with an injection of cabaret, I even got a selfie with DJ Zoe! The night was young, I had heard some great things about the Gay scene in Blackpool, getting my drink I hit the Flying Handbag and Kaos that Friday night. I literally crawled down to breakfast the next morning, who serves breakfast at 8am?! I felt delicate! I had almost forgot what pre-drinks were before that weekend, my student days had wrapped up just before that Northern trip. University was done so I reunited with a fellow student who I met at UCB's LGBT Society. Girl, we got our drink on! Yes! Hitting the up the same nightspots on the Saturday night I did see Amy! Breakfast didn't exist the following day, Blackpool showed me a weekend to remember or not! Time never stays still so I said farewell to the Las Vegas of the North once again. Talking of Las Vegas! Did Blacks measure up to that Nevada mecca? Go past the Stratosphere to understand the Vegas note. 

I made a promise to Newcastle Upon Tyne! Fulfilling my pledge I made the mammoth journey up to the Toon. Megabus got me to the North East without a hitch but I never want to repeat that journey ever again! The Tyne Bridge served cloud and cold rather than fog, beggars cannot be choosers. I was guilty to say that I was inspired to visit Newcastle because of seeing the reality series Geordie Shore. Money's been tight so I stayed at Newcastle Backpackers, it served the purpose of my trip perfectly and was located close to my chosen nightspot. The Geordie accent arrested me I just couldn't stop listening to the locals talk their talk! Grey's Monument had me at 'hello' yes I loved it! As Chinatown's go by, Newcastle's compact Oriental corner served me a budget priced beauty of a meal. I bet you couldn't tell that I'm easily pleased? True to say I had that Newcastle Upon Tyne state of mind. No fog on the Tyne!

I got my public transport hype on to reach Gateshead's Angel of the North, another key reason why I trekked from the Midlands to the North East, 'Cheryl Fernandez-Versini', formerly of Girls Aloud will always be the true Angel of the North for me. However the actual cast iron queen stood strong like a fierce looking glamazon! Now I say, take me to the Pink Triangle! I saw right through the clubs that were featured on Geordie Shore I wanted to party at Eazy Street! Newcastle Upon Tyne has a very chilled feeling in the day, people went about their business figuring why the night scene got crazy! Eazy Street served North East realness, Thursday night gave me the opportunity meet 'Beauty Killer' I got a shameless selfie with her! Friday took things up a few notches, the party people were out at Eazy Street for sure! There was no pretence at Eazy Street for it was all about having a great night whatever happened! I was in Crazy Stupid Love! NCL how did you do that to me? Take me home! 

No Passport Needed! 

Joseph Harrison 

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