to be honest, the thing i remember most about newcastle is the beer. oh, the beer.
my stepbrother simon was married in newcastle on the 12th of march. this is a photo of stu, me and hugh at the ceremony.
these are my brothers and i love them. this shall be a reoccuring theme for the rest of my 'travel' posts, so if it bores you, you can just fuck off.
because these two are my favourites in the whole world. they are my best friends, my favourite drinking buddies, the funniest kids i know, the wisest, the most generous, the smelliest, the most comfortable and familiar.
to get to newcastle from melbourne, i got up at 4AM and took a 6AM flight to brisbane, then flew onto newcastle at 8.30. Naturally. why, what way does everyone else do it?! for reasons beyond my control (crazy mother who loves to make crazy plans), this is how it went down. and the best part about it was that hugh, who actually lives in brisbane now like a real person, caught the flight to newcastle with me. i have been on a lot of planes in the last month, and i can say without a doubt that company on a plane, especially long-lost-beloved-little-brother company, is the best kind. company on a plane is surely better than snakes on a plane.
although for some people, i guess snakes are company.
newcastle is a beautiful place. a large country town rather than a city. it's a little rough around the edges; in an attempt to cut down bingedrinking and resulting problems of violence, you cannot buy a shot, and after a few jugs of beer the barstaff start to make excuses. or maybe, ahem, that was us in particular. anyway. newcastle is all clean sea air and blue water, beaches for swimming, surfing or just admiring from afar whilst sitting in a coffee shop.
the wedding was beautiful and very sweet. tahlia and simon are a lovely couple, and if anyone suits being married to each other it's those two. stu, hugh and i sat next to each other, drank many jugs of little creatures bright ale (drool) and then, inevitably, danced.
words cannot recreate the magic of stu's dance moves. it's hard to dance when you're laughing that hard. i think the reason he pulls them off so well is the absolute seriousness of his face.
mum was worried that hugh and stu were going to start wrestling on the dancefloor (it wouldn't have been the first time) and suggested that i might distract them with something shiny and coax them into the taxi.
then we drank some more beer at our motel. then we slept (or, maybe i slept and the boys went out on the town again. we shall never know).
the brewery was the site of our sunday session, featuring such favourites as bec and nat from whistler days, and amy, of high-school times.
sadly, once you've been drinking at the brewery past a certain number of hours, and i shall randomly pull a number out of my hat here and cough *six*, it turns out they turn you out, as they, similar to mum the night before, are certain you will start wrestling.
in true australian battler fashion we found another place to drink, and more people to meet and be friends with.
the next day started with a pie and a vanilla slice, thanks to My Good Friend Phill's recommendation. $1.50 pies! crazy town! my kingdom for a meat pie! you just can't get them like that in canada. so are we keeping record here folks? coffee. meat pies.
i think the moral of the story, with "travel: newcastle" at least, is that most of all, i remember the beer.
there's another moral, but you will have to ask hugh, or otherwise file it in 'another story for another time'.