Wednesday 4 September 2013

Narrative Inevitability at the Boiler Shop Steamer.

So, earlier this month, I roamed with some friends down to the Stephenson Works, to enjoy the Boiler Shop Steamer. One of my friends, A, had been raving about this monthly event for weeks, and it did sound good. Music, my favourite pubs (Wylam Brewery, the Cumberland Arms), my favourite types of food (who doesn't love a chilli paneer wrap?) and a great venue.

We arrived, settled ourselves at a table with pints from the afore-mentioned Wylam Brewery, and after half an hour, I remarked "Well, this is unusual - an Ouseburn-themed night in Newcastle and I haven't yet met anyone I know". We nodded, and commenced enjoying the night, which was not difficult. It was a great night, sunny and warm, the beer was flowing, the food was great, A was persuaded to go on a sponsored cycle time trial*, and we were entertained by the Most Unrehearsed Cajun Band in Newcastle, AKA Bob Stork and the Heaton Playboys, aka "Rob Heron of Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra's other band".

We'd seen Rob Heron performing at the Cumberland Arms a month ago as part of the NARC festival in the Ouseburn, and it was great to hear "Danse de la Limonade" again. The evening wore on gently, punctuated by debates over tattoos, which Wylam beer was best, and how long it would take a man wearing a black t-shirt and shorts to wander up a ladder and fix the lights when they went out half-way through and left us with only the emergency lights. (Twenty minutes, but we didn't much mind.)

As the evening ended, we stood, we danced our last jig, and we prepared to leave, when I glanced to my left. And turned to my companions.

"You know what I was saying earlier about not meeting anyone I know here, and how unusual that is for Newcastle?"


"You know my blog, you remember that post I put up recently?"


"Well, there's a very familiar back brace to my left."

We turned our heads.

Newcastle really is a very, very, small town sometimes.

* I was also invited, but declined on the grounds of having been to two circuits classes led by sadists in the past two days, and being physically incapable of generating speed due to having fuck-all glycogen left in my leg muscles.

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