If you’re a regular reader of Life in Geordieland you’ll know quite a bit about my love for North East England. From nights out on the Toon to fun family days out, I regularly share my adventures with you and hope to inspire you to explore more of this region for your self.
However, my best bits of the North East aren’t necessarily the same as everyone else’s, so I’ve decided to interview some other residents of Geordieland and ask them what they love most about living here. ‘My Kind of Toon’ will feature an interview with a different person bi-monthly and offer new perspectives on this wonderful part of the world.
My first interview is with Tony Phoenix-Morrison (aka Tony the Fridge), someone who caught my attention recently when I spotted him running across the Tyne Bridge with a fridge on his back! Turns out Tony is actually a charity fundraiser and his current challenge is to complete 100 Great North Runs in as many days. His 100th half marathon in a row will take place on Great North Run day on Sunday 11th September. I doubt I could manage one, let alone one hundred so I wish him all the best!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m best known for taking on impossible journeys carrying a 42 KG Smeg Fridge in aid of various charities. I love my wife and family, I am a very lucky, happy man. It was this deep feeling of inner fulfilment that caused my need to fundraise & volunteer. I am very thankful for my life. Although I have had hard times when I was young, after the death of my father I found myself a runaway, living on the streets of Tyneside. Experiencing such a low ebb so young made me who I am today.
How would you describe your Life in Geordieland? I live a quiet life and I am really quite reclusive. Running, climbing, yoga, writing, fundraising and volunteering takes up a lot of my time. I am a season ticket holder at NUFC and have been for decades! God knows, I have tried to stop going but still find myself supporting the Toon!
Where are your favourite places to eat? If it was my last meal it would be at the Botanist, but I’ll eat anywhere on Grey Street. We are spoilt for choice!
Where would you recommend for a fun filled day out? I love the coast, South Shields has everything from surfing to night clubs and live music. A good weekend includes all of the these with a bit of beach running thrown in.
Do you have any go to places for relaxation? I love to climb and my bolt hole is Climb Newcastle and Byker Bouldering (climbing without ropes). Climb Newcastle is the best, the coaches are amazing and the climbing community in the North East is so friendly.
What about romantic places for a date night? My wife and I love Grey Street in Newcastle, we start at Lady Grey’s bar and meander down the hill. We love the people, the bars and the restaurants in this area of the city.
Is there an annual North East event you simply can’t miss? The Great North Run of course. I also love the live music scene, particularly local bands and musicians such as The Craic, The Moobs and Courtney Dixon.
What are your top tips to someone visiting Geordieland for the first time? I would say stay at the Hilton NewcastleGateshead, it has great views of the Tyne Bridge. Visit the Quayside and Grey Street for a great night out and go to Whitley Bay or South Shields for the beaches.
How do you keep up to date with what’s going on in the North East? To be honest I don’t keep up to date with what’s on but Tyneside has so much so just get out and explore!
Describe Geordieland in 5 words: Welcoming, kind, passionate, exciting and beautiful!