The best birthday thinking time

Free thinking festival

This weekend I made a long journey up the good side of the country to Newcastle to see some friends.

Conveniently this coincided with the bbc free thinking festival which brings academics and ‘thinkers’ from across the country to talk about debatably interesting stuff for free. It’s one of those things that sounds a bit snobbish to go to, but once you’re there, you love it and massively get into it.

Now, we had no intention of attending this festival but we were walking along the Newcastle quayside and decided that we should go to the Sage to check it out.

I’m not going to lie, I mainly wanted to visit the Sage because it looks like a weird metallic armadillo, but this gave us more of a reason.


Once we arrived, a programme was found and, lo and behold, a ‘speed dating’ session with the aforementioned ‘thinkers’ was about to take place.

If you’re wondering what this event is, it’s a bit like speed dating but they tell you an idea instead of some lies about their winning personality, and then you try and make their idea look stupid by asking questions. Unfortunately there’s no chance of a further date…

The ideas ranged from the slightly ridiculous: we should create an elaborate set of placebo drugs to give to patients (when delving further it became clear a dictatorship was necessary for this to work); through to the more reasonable: make children ride dynamo bikes to power their homes (probably would only work in a dictatorship as well but at least child obesity would be solved).

All in all, this was a brilliant way to spend an afternoon which was very light-hearted and funny! Like I said before, even though it sounds a bit snobbish, it really was fun.

On another note: I like my friends. They’re the best.

Just thought I should say that…