A trip to Newcastle: Great North Run, Baltic Centre and the Coast

I walk along the coast and I hear the waves join the seagulls in a soothing song. It is early, so the crowds have not started arriving yet. I look ahead and feel a sense of calm. This is a déjà vu of a moment that came and passed.
I walk back and meet S and T, my brother. They were both running the Great North Run so they were stretching, grunting, stressing and buzzing with excitement and anticipation. I on the other hand could not take part on account of dodgy knees, so I had to settle for the role of the supporter (which in reality suit me just fine).
We had a lovely time. S is from South Shields so his family is there. We might have broken up a year ago but I still feel close to them, especially his mother who I consider a second mum. She was there for me at both good and bad times for the last 10 years so a breakup would not alter our relationship – I still feel connected to her and every time we meet is like old times.

The day before we went to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. They had two exhibitions on.
The first was a psychogeographic piece from Fiona Tan entitled Depot. The work draws from Newcastle’s forgotten history as a major whaling port and revisits ‘Jonah the Giant Whale’, a preserved whale exhibited inside a lorry which toured across Europe it is now turned into cabinet of curiosities.There was also a showcase of Leviathan 2015 (an archival footage projection of the stripping of a whale) and Disorient 2009 (a meld of fantasy and the reality of the trade route between Venice and Asia).

The second exhibition was ‘when we look outwards in space we look backwards on time‘ an installation of site-specific sculptures by Jack Lavender. Using a mixture of techniques, material and motifs, the results were truly striking and his work was the perfect balance between pop and eclectic.

So, the day of the race S and T started, run and finished. We watched the RAF Red Arrows (I was holding my breath throughout) We went back and had lunch, they stretched, we went from an overcrowded metro to an overcrowded train and arrived in King’s Cross shattered yet elated.
I would love to be able to run it next year. Maybe it could be a new goal. When S was running I felt very emotional; it has been a difficult year for him and this is a great accomplishment. I am so proud of him it makes my eyes water. This must feel like a great achievement and if I can I would like to be part of it. For now I am happy to be a spectator. Someone that walks down the beach seeking a moment of calmness.



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