Paying Attention in Grainger Market


“If you aren’t amazed most of the time you aren’t paying attention.”
Michael Lipsey

I came across this quote recently and fell in love with it.

I often find people comment on my ‘childlike wonder’ at the world, as I’ll get excited and be really happy with the most simple things which others so often take for granted, and my reaction is always the same. The world is a beautiful place, why would anyone ignore that?!

I’ve been really ill and busy recently (hence the lack of posts – sorry!) and as has been a trend recently, I woke up today not wanting to get out of bed and instead sit around feeling sorry for myself. However, upon drawing my blind I was met with a flood of blossom on the tree outside, and immediately had a spring in my step. Not sure what it is about flowers but they just feel so enchanting.

So I scrambled out of bed, threw some clothes on and headed out to enjoy the day.


And Newcastle did not disappoint me

In need of ingredients for tomorrow’s blog post (making up for lost time!), I headed down to Grainger Market, where you can get anything and everything and will be hard pushed to spend even over a tenner


I won’t give too much away but I spent a good long time in various greengrocers.


And plenty in this brilliant little stall with buckets and buckets of every dry ingredient under the sun. Whether you’re looking for simple caster sugar or suet or dried apricots or couscous or whatever else you could possibly dream of, you can buy it there in whatever quantity you like. It’s like heading back in time and I love it.

Absolutely no extra charges for packaging or fancy sourcing, just plain, simple ingredients.

Unfortunately I was too excited to remember to take a photo.


Exhausted from all my hunting & gathering (ahem), I found myself a cosy spot in a café in the main square of the market, ordered myself a pot of tea and got to the very important task of people watching, observing the daily hubbub of Newcastle.


I think this is where you see most a lot of the beauty of the world, when you sit and do little else than just observe. You’ll see an elderly couple bickering about who put the crumbs in the butter, you’ll see parents wiping ice cream of their child’s face pretending to be mad but actually being utterly in love with their mad little creature.

You’ll see the hilarious stuff, like Mr Important Businessman missing his mouth when eating, and you’ll see the sad stuff, like the old man sat alone in a cafe and you’ll have the heartbreaking realisation he probable came here years ago with his wife.

Everyone has their own story and it’s so fascinating and fun trying to decipher each of them.

And then you’ll just notice the places you’d always busily hurried past and never given a second glance and realise you really want to revisit them, like this lovely little French Bakery I noticed


Selling all different types of breads, cakes, sweet treats


Including various baguettes I’m dying to try (got my eye on the chicken, chorizo and mozzarella one)!


This is why I love Grainger Market. Everytime I’ve been I’ve discovered new stalls I need to visit and try.

I stumbled across a shop selling every different type of tea and coffee you could think of, with an ajoining café where you can try all the flavours! For a tea addict such as myself it looks the most perfect place ever


After spending a good while cooing over the tea selection and deciding to brew over the choices (terrible pun sorry) at home I meandered back, appreciating the architecture of Newcastle all the way.

I always find it amazing, in any city centre, just look up. Look beyond whatever company has moved into the first floor of the building and have plastered their branding all over the windows and signs, and look above this. The buildings are always a work of art in themselves and just scream about the beauty and history of the city, and I always find myself wondering what the city would have been like when each building had adopted their first inhabitants.. just a penny for your thoughts.


I took the longer route home through the park as the sun was shining and I didn’t want to get home quite yet.


The first signs of Spring have sprung and I love it! Daffodils lined the pathways and clustered together creating beautiful pools of gold here and there.


Honestly, pay more attention to the world around you. Admire bright colours, enjoy the heat of the sun, look at how water in ponds and lakes sparkles and shimmers in the breeze, appreciate the silhouettes of tree branches against the evening sky.


Make it your mission to pay more attention to the world around you and be amazed by it, you’ll be so much happier for it. We live in such an incredible world which greets us with surprises around every corner. Embrace it. Love it.

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