After my day of TLC and a bit of a shaky start, I set off for my first proper seaside stop, Whitley Bay. Driving through a depressingly drizzly rain I turned a bend in the road and saw the most fabulous rainbow, which I decided was a good omen. A brief stop, a quick phone pic and then I was on my way again.
Navigating roadworks, diversions and increasingly agitated requests from my satnav to turn back at every roundabout, I eventually arrived at my destination, somehow via the Tyne Tunnel, which twisted and turned and charged me £1.70 for the privilege.
First stop was a rather dated looking café, that I drove past twice by accident, and was eventually so overcome by thirst and the need for a comfort break that I parked the car and went in. Fate was once more playing a part. This was an unintentionally seventies style café, with characters to match. From a list of seventeen (yes, really!) types of scone I chose a white chocolate and cranberry (after trying for the treacle and prune – there had been a run on them – honestly, no pun intended; and a mango and date – I know) As I waited the twenty minutes for my (rather flat) scone to arrive I was approached by a man on another table. He was very anxious to know what I was doing in Whitley Bay, and proceeded to quiz me on photography, cameras, ’60s and ’70s pop music (his knowledge was exceptional), where I’d come from, and whether I’d ever photographed the queen (‘No’ Would I like to? ‘Yes.’) or any other famous people. I managed to dredge up Paul Nicholas, Michael Ball and Lesley Garrett. That seemed to keep him happy.
By this time, everybody in the café had joined in. It was like something out of a seventies sitcom. I made a tour of the tables and distributed some of the SAE Blackpool postcards I’d had printed, explaining that I’d like people to return them to me. These were really lovely co-operative people, who all nodded enthusiastically and put the cards away in their pockets and bags. It will be interesting to see how many are returned. Only Peter (the music expert) declined a card, telling me apologetically that although he could read, he’d never been able to write. He shook my hand and wished me well.
Off I went to the seafront (see a few phone pics below) You’ll have to wait till I upload the camera images to see what I got up to there…..