Even as I sit here writing with biblical style storms raging - you know the Proper Ones where you don't even get to count to one thousand between the thunder and lightening, where the dog is cowering, electrical things are unplugged and people are tweeting pictures of flooding (go to the hashtag #newcastleendofdays for amazing photos) I still love the north east.
As it's my adopted or second home (the first being a little corner of Yorkshire where I was brought up) I love that I live just a couple of miles from a gorgeous beach, on an amazing snaking coastline which if you come inland from has some of the most stunning scenery and fantastic heritage - castles and Roman bits a-plenty!
It's also only about 20 minutes into Newcastle, small enough to feel safe and welcoming, large enough to be buzzing and cater for all tastes. It's the city of my youthful party days, now the place where I exercise my more cultured side (ok and still the occasional party night...) One of the things I love is that there is always loads more to see, things I still haven't been to, or new stuff that come along. Oh and I absolutely adore the bridges.
At the weekend we went to the Baltic, once a flour mill sitting on banks of the Tyne now an international arts centre, which we've been to many times before but this time we climbed to the very top floor to have a special meal at Six, the restaurant there. I'd never been before and was wowed by the food, the service - and the toilets. I love checking out toilets in places (and I'm sure I'll write a Duff Guide to them some day) but the ones at Six will take some beating - surely the loo with the best view... What do you reckon? (and if you're interested in finding out about the food too I've written a review at i-rate.org.uk)