Goodbye summer, hello autumn!

As we look out of the window at the leaves beginning to turn, we felt like now would be a great time to think about all the fab things we got up to over the glorious summer months! ☀️🍦🍹

Food…
We ate heaps of food – but when do we not? We devoured everything in sight at the Orange Pip Market summer special 🍊, and ate our weight in incredible desserts at Creams! 🍨

 

Since you can’t keep us from food, we also checked out Stewart Park farmers market, Mannequin Cafe, Fork in the Road, and the Green Room – all very highly recommended!

And we went back to some old faithfuls like Baker Street Kitchen, Bedford Street Coffee, Songbird Bakery and the Southfield too!

…culture…
As if anyone could forget, we finally got to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar 🐛 at Middlesbrough Theatre! If you’ve forgotten the amazing video we made, it just so happens that you can watch it here…

Sticking with Middlesbrough Theatre, Claire, our non-theatre-going Lass really enjoyed seeing Hopeless Romantics and self-confessed ‘massive theatre nerd’ Emma loved A Note to Myself. (I was a bad Love Middlesbrough Lass and went to Leeds instead to see Jane Eyre at the Grand Theatre, which was amazing!)

We ventured out to our wonderful museums to see the result of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum’s refurbishment, and the gorgeous Tokyo to the Tees exhibition at the Dorman Museum. Plus we were lucky enough to see some amazing dancers at the Cook museum, courtesy of Billingham International Folklore Festival, and have a wander around Stewart Park in the blazing sunshine. (It included ice creams, obvs. 😌)

We also went on a little road trip to Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar, to see their fantastically geeky Robots exhibition, and eat legitimately the most amazing cheesecake ever created at Sophellies!

 

Speaking of Redcar, we also went on a cheeky day out for chips, lemon tops, a climb up the Redcar Beacon, and a visit to the Lifeboat Museum.

 

…and more!
Among the other things we got up to were bouncing around in the sunshine at the ever-fabulous Mela, a visit to William Lane, Middlesbrough’s only remaining foundry, and a tour of the Town Hall renovations (more on that coming soon!)

You can’t have failed to notice that we’ve been a little obsessed with reading this summer, and as usual I’ve been posting photos at every opportunity I get. (If you love photos as much as I do, you can check out my thoughts on the top 5 most Instagrammable places in Middlesbrough, and my #worldphotographyday post.)

Phew, that’s one busy summer! We’ve already told you what’s coming soon to our blog in the next few months, and we hope you’re as excited as we are! In the meantime, this is Love Middlesbrough Lasses over and out!

Top 5 books from people in the know!

‘Tell us your Top 5 books’, the Love Middlesbrough Lasses asked. How hard could it be? Very hard, as it turns out…

Ha! We do love a good challenge, so we decided to ask Middlesbrough library staff and librarians what their favourite books are as part of our brilliant #BoroReads project this summer. They’ve come back with some great titles if you’re looking for some reading inspiration. As you can imagine from people who love books, it’s a long post so grab yourself a cuppa and a sweet treat before you start … over to you, lovely library peeps! 

favourite books

Ruth
As a librarian I read an awful lot of books and choosing five favourites took me a while! Here they are in no particular order:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery
As I child I loved reading about Anne’s adventures on Prince Edward Island where she’s adopted by a brother and sister and discovers what it means to be part of a family. She gets into scrapes such as dying her hair green and selling the neighbour’s cow by mistake but charms everyone she meets with her kindness, humour and imagination. Written in 1908 it continues to enchant and I recently read it with my daughter who loved it too.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. This is a book I’ve been recommending to anyone who’ll listen. Set in the near future teenage girls suddenly develop an extraordinary physical ability and the balance of power between men and women shifts with devastating effect. If you think you don’t like science fiction I’d give this a go – you might just change your mind!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Composed by Shelley when she was just nineteen as part of a challenge to write the scariest ghost story, Shelley examines what it means to be human and the monstrosity of man. Scientist Victor Frankenstein sets in motion a destructive sequence of events when he ‘plays God’ and creates a man. His creation is abandoned and subjected to the worst of mankind’s behaviour. The horror doesn’t come from the creature but from the men around him. A perfect introduction to classic fiction – it’s not too long and the plot moves quickly.

11/22/63 by Stephen King
Stephen King is one of my favourite authors but this time travel story broke away from his usual horror novels. High-school teacher Jake Epping travels back to 1958 and becomes embroiled in a thrilling race to prevent the assassination of John F Kennedy on 1963. King’s writing always creates empathy with the characters and this is no exception. From the first page I was hooked.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
This is a murder mystery novel like no other. Christopher Boone is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. The reader is drawn into Christopher’s world in this deeply moving but also very funny story. Christopher ‘s life is turned upside down as he searches for the truth about a dead dog and discovers truths about his own family. A great read for teens and adults alike.

library book shelf

Jenny
I work at Central Library and am so privileged to have access to a wide variety of books every day – it means I often have a pile to get through when I take too many home!

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
This novel is extraordinary, it centres on four characters whose lives all intersect during World War II. Moving backwards through the war, we are introduced to the complex lives of glamour girl Viv, big hearted and caught in an impossible situation; Duncan, who has a mysterious past that he is coming to terms with; Helen, always searching for true love despite a jealous nature, and Kay, who has never left the war behind and misses the comradery of the Blitz spirit. The level of historical detail and rich character portrayals make you feel as though you are living it with them and leaves you wondering what is coming next.

This must be the place by Maggie O’Farrell
This book is very funny, and O’Farrell captures perfectly and succinctly just how chaotic and weird families can be. In a criss-crossing story stretching across Ireland, L.A., and New York, to name a few, we are introduced to Claudette, an ex-film star who is prone to shooting anyone who ventures near her secluded property, and Daniel, whose love for another woman 20 years ago throws their lives into disarray. Can their unique family unit be saved? Full of warm humour and moving insight into the reality of relationships – this is a love story unlike any other.

Horrible Histories (the series) by Terry Deary
This series of books opened up a subject I had previously little interest in as a child. From the ‘Vile Victorians’ to the ‘Measly Middles Ages’, I couldn’t put them down. They are so funny and full of amusing facts, especially the cartoons that help to keep your attention and break up the text. I still love them, and recommend them to junior borrowers now, who have very often seen the TV show on CBBC.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
I recently read this book out of curiosity, having spotted it on our Reading Group shelves. This tale of double standards, rich and poor, longing and love, all set in the Dorset countryside, reminds you that though time and practices change, people and relationships never do. Naïve and poverty stricken Tess is put under the spell of wicked Alec D’Urberville, leading to events that will test her ideas of morality, and possibly the love of her beloved Angel Clare. This book has stayed with me, and I was rooting for Tess throughout. Classical literature can be a daunting prospect, but once you dive into such a book, you are completely absorbed in it and eager to see how it develops.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The central question of this novel asks what would the world be like if women had more power? What would happen if women ruled absolute, and could use electrical charges from their palms to physically shock and kill their enemies? Governments fall, rebel groups form, and women take their revenge on patriarchal society. There is Tunde, a young Nigerian journalist risking his life to understand the phenomenon; Allie who finds meaning despite her troubled childhood; Roxy, London tough girl who does what she has to in order to survive; and Margot, who is trying to make her way in the male dominated political world. This book is unique, and not always comfortable to read due to there being some graphic elements in the book, but it is a real eye opener. Fans of Margaret Atwood would love this, as she acted as a mentor to Alderman during the project. It also won the 2017 Bailey’s women’s prize for fiction. [LML Claire note: this was already on my list but with two library recommendations – I’m deffo adding this to my pile!]

favourite books

David
My top 5 books? Here goes…

Fair Stood the Wind For France by H E Bates
Contact by Carl Sagan
The Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C Clarke
Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
The Whales’ Song by Dianne Sheldon, illustrated by Gary Blythe

[LML Claire: ooh there’s some authors there I’ve never heard of *hurries to library catalogue to investigate further*]

book shelves

More books related content? 

Find out what the Love Middlesbrough Lasses love to read. 

Love libraries? Love Middlesbrough Lass Claire does too! 

Vote for your favourite books with #BoroReads

#comingsoon to the Love Middlesbrough blog…

We’re so excited – we’ve got loads of fab things coming soon to the blog and we want to make sure that you don’t miss a single post! So the good news is you can now follow us on Bloglovin which means every post we write will come straight into your feed – yay! 

We don’t want to give too much away…but here’s some sneaky peeks of what we have planned.

In October we’re celebrating 60 years of Middlesbrough Theatre with a theatre takeover… 🎭

We’ve got a new design planned which we cannot wait for…! 😍

Sneak peeks behind the scenes of Magical Middlesbrough Christmas… 🎅🏻

More from #BoroReads… 

More food…obviously 😋

And something top secret that we’ve only just heard about but are already completely fan-girling all over … ooooh, what can it be?! 

You know what to do – Follow my blog with Bloglovin 

See you soon! 

Your Love Middlesbrough Lasses

Curing House food

We love robots!: Love Middlesbrough Lasses on Tour

Claire 🐘

When we saw that a collection of robots, cyborgs and androids was coming to Kirkleatham Museum, we couldn’t plan a Love Middlesbrough Lasses on tour visit fast enough. I mean, ROBOTS!

Running until 10th September, the exhibition includes a variety of robots from movies including Judge Dredd®, Lost in Space®, RoboCop®, iRobot® and my personal favourite, Mars Attacks!® Oh and did we mention a dalek and a certain blue police box…? Yep, you read that right, you can get up close and personal with a dalek, and (oh joy of joys!) you can even take a selfie with it!

Yes we totally did.

No we’re not at all ashamed #geek for life

Housed in the exhibition space across the way from the main museum, Robots is quite honestly brilliant. You can wander around in any direction that takes your fancy and because the exhibits are not roped off or hidden behind barriers, you can really see all the amazing details of the robots – so cool! 😎 And you’re allowed to take photographs so you can basically turn it into your best afternoon ever on Insta Stories or Snapchat 😂

It’s hard to pick which ones were my favourites as there were so many options, but I definitely think Mars Attacks! and The Terminator ones were up there as top choice!

To pick your own favourite you’ll have to go and see for yourself. It’s a safe bet to say that we would highly recommend it! The exhibition costs £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for children, and a family ticket (2 adults + up to 3 children) is £8.50. The museum is open from Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm, and the last admission is 15 minutes before closing time.

Handing over to Love Middlesbrough Lass Rach now to go all heart eyes emoji over the museum, grounds and Sophellies cheesecake, though I deffo second the love in my eyes for that cheesecake – SO GOOD!

Rach 🐱

I’m reliably informed by Redcar and Cleveland council’s website that Kirkleatham Museum lives in a 1710 Queen Anne building, but really that doesn’t go any way to describing how beautiful it is.


😍😍😍

It was originally built as a Free School in the 18th century by Cholmley Turner, who was some kind of politician. I’ve tried to find some interesting information about him, but there doesn’t seem to be any, unless you’re interested in politics in the 1700s! Instead, let’s just marvel at the building again…

As if this beauty wasn’t enough, there’s also the absolute coolest fountain ever right in front of the entrance to the museum. If I could dedicate an entire instagram account just to photographing this fountain, I think I legitimately would!

The grounds are magical too; there’s cobbled paths and trees as far as the eye can see. I felt like a little Victorian child wandering around and exploring, but that’s probably (definitely) just me.

Plus there’s loads of nature…

… and white peacocks! White peacocks! I never knew I fangirled over them but apparently I do!


Apologies for the rubbish photo, I was trying to take it through a glass door without scaring them away!

It wouldn’t be a Lasses post without some mention of food and oh-em-gee, this was particularly amazing food – I’d like to just live at Sophellies forever if that’s at all possible! I don’t know how else to describe it, but it was like eating a light, fluffy piece of heaven. And in such gorgeous surroundings too; perfect for unwinding on a Friday afternoon!

Between the exhibition (I took like 3 selfies with the dalek!), the food and the surroundings, this was the best afternoon out I’ve had in a long time!

P.S. I was very much geeking out over the fact that they were playing Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds in the exhibition. I had to resist the urge to sing as I was looking around, especially when The Spirit of Man came on; it’s my fave 😍

Boro Books 1: The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper

There’s nothing we love more than celebrating all things Middlesbrough, so when we heard about a new book by a local author we knew we needed to get all over it quick sharpish. Lucky for us, Middlesbrough lass and now author (!) Roxie Cooper had a spare copy for us to read…

Tell us more, we hear you ask! The Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper is all about barrister-to-be Amanda Bentley. A blonde bombshell from the wrong side of town, she’s forever being told that she doesn’t look the part, or that she’ll never fit in with the other posh wannabe barristers, but being a proper Boro lass, Amanda is determined to make the most of her chance and make all her dreams come true! There’s only three things standing in her way: sexy Sid Ryder, her arch-nemesis Marty Gregg and the total fear that her big, dark secret could jeopardise everything that she’s worked so hard for…intrigued? You definitely should be!

Law of Attraction by Roxie Cooper

There couldn’t have been a better time to read this – the sun was shining, I actually had some free time so I took full advantage, hit the garden bench (properly protected with Factor 50 #palegirlproblems 😂) and settled in for a few hours – the luxury! First up, let’s talk Amanda. Full of sass and funny with it, it didn’t take me long before I was fully cheering her on over every page. The rest of the Attraction crew are equally loveable – even grotty Marty Gregg who’s so smarmy you can almost feel the grease…ugh! Set between Newcastle and Middlesbrough, my inner Love Middlesbrough lass got all excited every time I recognised a location, or had been there myself #booknerd And because it’s so rare to read books that are set in our fair town, it’s proper exciting when they are in print! ❤️

The Law of Attraction truly is the perfect summer read – funny, smart, with some genuine laugh out loud moments, and a total page turner too, I would highly recommend it! Read it in your garden, by the pool, take it to the beach, or just kick back on your sofa on a lazy Sunday and enjoy the ride; pair it with a bag of Maltesers and you would truly be winning at life 😎 And at only £1.99 it’s a total summer bargain too!

Read The Law of Attraction yourself: Kindle edition 

Roxie Cooper was born and bred in Middlesbrough. After studying Classics at university, she became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years before going travelling and living in Australia. When she returned she swapped dancing on a bar, to practicing at the Bar, and became a barrister for seven years. It was after being constantly told, ‘Ooh! You don’t look like a barrister!’ by absolutely everyone she met that the idea for her debut novel was born.

Roxie Cooper

Roxie’s a bit (lot) obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube. Her hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big (and blonde) as possible, and wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Follow Roxie on Twitter: twitter.com/toodletinkbaby

We would love to read more #borobooks! If you have any recommendations for us, shout them out in the comments below and we’ll add them to our reading pile.

Thank you to HQ Digital and Roxie Cooper for providing us with a review copy of The Law of Attraction. All opinions, love for summer reading and all things Boro are my very own.