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Eight things in the Toon that are none of my business

None of these things are in The Bible…

Student life in the Toon is simple, right? Most of our stresses revolve around the ever increasing price of Tesco zesty wine and keeping uni attendance just high enough to avoid a warning.

However, there are some things in Newcastle that just… don’t make sense. From weirdos on Northumberland Street to taxidermy ferrets, this is a comprehensive list of things in the Toon that are truly none of my business.

1. The actual flavour of blue trebs

Trebs are a pillar of student life in Newcastle, and your choice of mixer says a lot about you; pineapple, cranberry or even lime and soda are respectable, but nothing screams fresher like a blue treb.

Does anyone know what it’s meant to taste like, though? Is it blue raspberry? Mouthwash? Lemonade and food colouring? If anybody is ever sober enough to ask, let me know.

2. The ferret man

Until I’d seen him for myself, I’ll admit I didn’t believe the rumours about ferret man. Picture it: A bottle of wine deep in The Holy Hobo and I catch a glimpse of what can only be described as a man offering a taxidermy ferret to groups of girls, then making it “bite” them.

Fever dream material. At least he’s got a hobby x.

3. People painted random colours on sports nights

“What are you dressed as?”


Oh – it’s Wednesday. Makes total sense. Silly me for asking.

4. Northumberland Street

Describing Northumberland Street to someone who hasn’t been is nearly impossible. Look to your right and there’s a man doing some kind of juggling parkour act involving swords. Look to your left and there are climate change protesters beefing Mormons with “the end is near” signs.

Need a punnet of grapes or a discounted Newcastle United beanie? Plenty of stalls for that. And why is there a Greggs inside the Primark– and a sausage roll swing?

I once braved Northumberland Street on a particularly bad hangover, me and two flatmates got talked into buying animal hats. Scary place.

5. How much money I spend on a night out

Two trebs and a bomb? Three VKs? A round of tequila? Get me into Soho after a few drinks and I’m tapping my phone on the card machine like Steve Jobs himself is footing my Apple Pay bill. What else are student loans for?

Just don’t tell me how much it actually comes to. That’s between HSBC and a higher power.

6. Popworld

Speaking of nights out, Popworld seems like the worst spot in the Toon. I’ve never been in, and I’d hate to judge a book by its cover, but every time I walk past I see the same crowd of dads whipping their shirts around to Sweet Caroline and demanding shots of apple Sourz.

How is it always so empty yet so attractive to people who look like they’ve been plucked from the X Factor over 25s category in 2009? Newcastle’s own time machine is located in the heart of Bigg Market.

7. 24 hour Greggs

Another place responsible for my ever depleting bank balance.

Most students end their nights with a dodgy kebab or a carton of chips greasier than a rugby boy’s hair, but of course, the Geordies had to go a step further.

How long have those steak bakes been sitting out? Why are the bouncers always so aggy? I suppose the constant inflow of drunk freshers scrapping over sausage rolls isn’t great for the stress levels.

At least it can be a refuge from the hen parties and scrapping bald men coming out of Cosy Joes..?

8. The hygiene of Newcastle clubs

The way I’ve seen sports societies absolutely violate the Floho pole, the Sinners cage, even the bar tops… I’m gonna need a biology student to conduct some kind of study.