Oh. My. God. I am on a complete and utter high after this weekend’s Tall Ships Event held in my very own hometown of Blyth!
Seen as though I am on my ‘summer holiday’ (private uh-hum ‘joke’ between me and the OH. Won’t bore you with the details but yes we did join the whose-had-the-hardest-day-brigade. Something I vowed I would never do. Bah). Sorry where was I? Oh yes, so seen as though I was off on Friday and I live right across the road from the beach, I thought it would be a marvellous idea to troop on over and watch the ships roll in (!)
So, having fed, washed and dressed both myself and the baba in record time we managed to get out the house and over to the beach just after nine (major woohoo and high five). It was perfect timing to get caught up in the build-up atmosphere as staff, volunteers and visitors were trickling in.
The weather was unreal – blue skies with that lovely sunshine shimmering off the sea. Perfect Tall Ship Hunting Weather. Although there was a slight breeze which meant I couldn’t put the parasol up on the pram (had an experience down the beach once where this nearly blew off towards some unsuspecting sunbathers. Needless to say I was impressed at my most unlikely ninja reaction and I caught it just in time. Very unlike me).
So we sat and waited. I was a bit frightened In case I mistook random boats as Tall Ships – I mean, how tall are they anyway? Plus Ella was restless once we stopped so I did a lap of the beach, only to find I’d missed one as I came back to our Hunting Spot.
Never mind, like buses, none came and then two came at once. Just after an old lady pushing a dog in a pushchair asked me the way to the harbour (true story).
Yey, I got my Ship Fix and we went home, saving ourselves for the evening where we could scoot off down to the harbour as a family to see them all.
As soon as the OH was in from work, we scrambled out the door and headed towards the Harbour via Ridley Park. Being a resident of Blyth and so close to the event itself, I was anxious that there’d be utter chaos with traffic and the temporary one-way system. Needless to say I was impressed the whole weekend with the organisation of not only the Tall Ships Event but for the traffic and parking measures that were put in place. As a resident it was minimal disruption and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing Blyth come alive these past four days.
Ridley Park was a hive of activity itself with fairground rides, market stalls and it’s oh-so-famous playground water feature. We ventured along to the Quayside and swooned at the ships (and I also at an Orlando Bloom look-alike from the what I call Pirate Ship. I’m not too sure what it’s actual name was?? I couldn’t see the side or the flag on the top properly).
My other favourite ship was the ‘Dar Mlodziezy’ near the end of the harbour right next to the stage and the bar
Where I spied them serving prosecco hurrah.
A bit pricey (£9 a round for fizz and beer) but what the hell – what maternity leave? Remember I’m on my s-u-m-m-e-r h-o-l-i-d-a-y. So we had two rounds of drinks. YOLO
We finished our night with a beer and a burrito (from the Zapatista stall). We got to eat in peace after Ella’s grandma kindly offered to take her back to hers and feed her while we ate. We sat in the lifeboat hanger where there was a band warming up and (selfish mother alert) I relished in the pretence of our old life and that we were out on a date.
Saturday we did it all again (minus the alcohol) with some friends and more family.
This time I purchased some amazing Cheesy Peasy Pease Pudding from the Pete’s Puddin Stall. Nom Nom.
Sunday we gave it a miss as it rained in the morning and by the time the sun got out we resigned ourselves to the fact we were going to have a lazy day. So we stayed at home and ate Sunday dinner and drank wine.
As we have a baba it meant we missed out on the fireworks at 9pm (although if you stood in a certain part in our garden you could see them between the houses).
You could hear them though.
Which made me want to see them even more. By the time I decided to change out of my pj’s and run to the front of the estate to catch the finale, it was over and I was just a strange lady standing on a street corner breathless. Not something I want to be known for.
So Monday I desperately needed my Tall Ship fix. We made a day of it; getting up early and heading to Coastline for our breakfast and then walking down to the Harbour.
This time we walked through the back of Ridley Park car park to the Harbour which we’d missed entirely in our previous trips. This was really good as it had the navy ship and helicopter’s.
We walked into the town centre to see the fair at the market square, then back along the Harbour to see the ships one last time before they set sail.
We had a pit stop at Ridley Park where tea and pudding was sorted for the evening by purchasing Sausages from The Geordie Banger Co and a Chocolate Tiffin Brownie from The Brownie Bar.
For a Bank Holiday Monday the weather was unbelievable – perched on deck chairs by the water park while feeding Ella with all the hustle and bustle you’d have thought we were on holiday abroad somewhere.
It seemed like everyone else had the same idea as us – to watch the ships sail out from Blyth Beach. Which is obvious really I don’t know why I was surprised. Despite the crowds we still had an amazing view of watching them roll away again (!)
What else was there to do now it was all coming to an end?
Sit on the dock of the bay wasting time? Or sit in the back garden drinking vino blanco? Guess what we chose.
Well done to everyone who was involved – you did Blyth proud and no doubt well and truly put us on the map.
Love Missuswolf xxx