All in Teesside

Body & Pole Fitness Studio: An empowering world of poetry in motion

Regardless of its history, pole dancing is rapidly entering and breaking down the confines of dance as an art form to embody a celebration of the unbelievable capabilities of our bodies, its beauty and restrictions. I caught up with the inspiring Sarah Guthrie, owner and main instructor at Body & Pole Fitness Studio, to find out what makes pole-dancing such an amazing and addictive form of workout.

The Mockingbird Deli and the Sands of Time

The Mockingbird Deli had stood out from the start. The shop sign, a mockingbird hanging in simplistic splendour guarded a doorway to a place where time stood still. The regulars, sitting outside, watched the world go by in forgotten happiness, ice blocks slowly melting in their wine glasses. And in the window seat, a studious reader pondered over the news as he dug his feet in the sands of time…

The Revival of Teesside Cat

Quietness. There was a break. Unannounced. Not a crash. (Well, not quite). Delicate. Unexpected. So quiet that hardly anyone noticed. A sudden tweet-free, instagramless, social media wipe out. A slow disintegration. Cat disappeared. Swallowed up by the graceless reality of curiosity… I took a break from blogging. It was unintentional but unavoidable. So why did it happen? And what can readers expect in the future?

The Golden Smog: The Best in Real Ale & Smoggie Hospitality

Stockon’s first micropub, The Golden Smog, is the realisation of John Christie’s dream to offer fellow smoggies the best British and foreign beer around. Tucked away in a side alley, it does much more than uphold the original tenets of the pub. By offering the realest ‘real ale’, an open, warm atmosphere in which friendships are born and a sense of community is strengthened, it also represents the very best of Teesside and the hospitality of its people.

Bridge Diary 1.2: Newport

This is the second entry in my Bridge Diary, which I started in memory of a grandfather I wish I had known better. There was no doubt as to which bridge would be next in line to be taken apart, rivet by rivet, and turned into words. The Tees Newport Bridge — that red and silver marvel of engineering — was in fact the bridge that started it all ...

I came. I saw. I heard. Mouses.

Almost a month has passed since The Georgian Theatre hosted perhaps one of the most anticipated and talked about local music events of 2016: ‘The Mouses Album’ launch. It was not simply a string of anticipation connected to the release of their debut album, nor even to the upcoming live performance and all the wonderful wacky details expected from a Mouses's gig. For many there, mostly local supporters and bands ...

Bridge Diary 1.1 — Infinity

My grandfather toured the world's bridges, including those in the United Kingdom. He perhaps walked Middlesbrough’s streets long before me. If he had, I might not know what he thought of the town but I know he would've been transfixed by its bridges. The Bridge Diary series is a tribute to him and to the often overlooked beauty that these ingenious constructions bring to a region’s landscape.

Starting with Infinity.

Part I: Stockton Pirate Raid

A steady downpour fell on the riverbanks of the Tees on that seemingly ordinary Saturday morning. Townsfolk mingled in the streets of Stockton and went about their usual chores as Cat wondered from one market stall to the next until at last she found itself meandering alongside the river. Suddenly what looked like a rabbit appeared, a bandana tied around its head and a sabre hanging from a leather belt around its waist ... Before she knew it she was standing in the middle of a pirates' tea party, teacups overflowing with rum and Prosecco and plates stacked with fudge being passed between greedy hands, while the pirates swayed to rock 'n roll and techno-pop.

The Quornfields of Stockton — Did I hear someone say, ‘Vegetarian Paradise’?

Memories of burnt foil parcels of buttery sweet corn and the fluffy white peaks of mieliepap drifted into Cat’s dreams. No African cat can forget this particularly versatile white goodness in its various forms: the crumbly snow drops of maize drenched in tomato and onion sauce, or the milky porridge, swirls of honey and butter decorating its surface — a corny cappuccino. Cat went out looking for corn. Instead she found herself gazing out over Quornfields.

Dissolving the Boundaries of Theatre — Cat's First Play at the ARC

Most people have a strange relationship with theatre: some are fanatics — well, I’ve only met one of these so far — others have perhaps attended a handful of performances in their lives and will maybe attend another if a fanatical theatregoer invited them. Then there is the majority. Our everyday man — or should I say ‘young adult’? — thinks the word ‘play’ is a verb, has always been a verb and will always be a verb.

Here is a teasing view into the world of the Stockton Arts Centre — dare I say the least ‘run-down’ of all the buildings in town? — where you can attend experimental (and more traditional) high-quality theatre productions on a ‘Pay what you decide’ basis.

Cat Arrives in Teesside — is it really “the worst place to live in the UK…”?

“Location, Location, Location” — a TV show whose presenters apparently once claimed that Middlesbrough — my dear neighbour a.k.a. Smogland — was Britain’s worst city to live in. A much debated, outdated statement?

Well, here’s a snippet or two of how a lone cat, blown by an African heat wave across the Atlantic, almost straight into the River Tees, has experienced it so far. Snippets that might enlighten those still smothering in the heat of Southern Africa or might provide some amusement to better-knowing locals.