My boxing day last year was really rather rubbish, so this year i wanted to do something fun... And so i did a bit of research, only to discover that there is a grand total of three options for Boxing Day Fun in Newcastle:
1. Get up at 4am, then stand in a queue for 2 hours waiting for the Next sale to open. Then get black eyes and numerous other injuries whilst buying clothes you don't need in the wrong size.
2. Buy a half price sofa.
3. Do the Boxing Day Dip.
Of these options, I decided that number 3 would be the most symbolic and impressive activity. I roped in 2 other friends, but we missed the deadline to register for the official dip, so we decided we would just do our own instead.
We wanted to all wear matching outfits, (and were all very frightened of freezing sea-skin contact) so we attempted to buy some christmassy onesies, but there were none to be had anywhere in Newcastle two days before christmas. So instead, we thought we would just go with a pyjama theme. Off we went to the wilds of Northumberland, where we expected there to be no-one about to witness our pyjama-ed hypothermic frolics. However, it turns out that many people want to go walking along the coast on a blustery boxing day... all warmly wrapped in their sensible layers and hiking boots....
Cue three pyjama-clad, hip flask swigging girls appearing on the horizon!
Anyway, we all did a dip, and to be honest it was an amazing feeling. We were dead proud of ourselves, and i think we amused a number of passers-by, who gave us some shouts of encouragement... I think we may have even inspired someone else to get dipping!
Unfortunately though, this is the only picture which shows me entirely submerged... A pesky wave got in the way.
Of course there is only one antidote to the freezing cold North Sea, and that is copious amounts of cheese. I had a lovely Ploughman's lunch at Barter Books in Alnwick, while my friends had soup and a very delicious looking Northumbrian rarebit.
Same time next year, methinks.