I got into photography at Uni. I like to take candid shots, so street photography, catching people unawares, documentary style. It’s tricky, but my new camera helps because it’s quite small, it’s not easily recognisable. I lost my passion for photography for over a year because I did some wedding photography and it became a job. But since February this year, I’ve got back into it. I went to Cuba just over a month ago and I got myself this new camera to go there. I took photos of local people in Cuba, a few classic cars. Everywhere you look there is a step back in time there. In Trinidad, down South, there were a lot of old cobbled streets, lots of horses and carts everywhere, kids on push bikes, but still with a bit of technology kicking about like cars. It’s a peculiar place, and a great place for photography. Now I take my camera with me every day at lunch time, I walk around and take photos in the street in Newcastle.
I’m studying media, film and TV studies. I’m a total film geek. Two of my favourite filmmakers are Wes Anderson and Christopher Nolan. I love the film The Grand Budapest Hotel. The way Wes Anderson films miniatures, the depth of field, everything. I also love the film Inception. Fingers crossed one day it will be me! I’m still studying though. I’m trying to prove myself. I’m the only girl in the class and all the boys think I can’t do anything. But when we did some documentaries recently they were like “wow you’re really really good!” I would like to be a director or a producer. I have a lot of film ideas!
I’m from Almeria in Spain, I’ve come here because it’s my cousin’s wedding this weekend. My dad is English but I grew up in Spain. In Almeria we are very hot now, 32 or 33 degrees. Here it’s more comfortable, there’s some fresh air. I actually like it when it’s rainy, cold and grey. I’m very tired of the sun. Always sunny in Spain, boring!
What makes you happy in life?
My constant drive to achieve things that I want to achieve. And it makes me happy that most of the things that I wanted to achieve, I’ve already achieved. Like getting a degree, getting a good job, or going abroad to study. I’m from Sri Lanka, and I remember when I was 14, our teacher asked who wanted to go study abroad, and I put my hand up. 5 years later I was here studying at Northumbria, and 10 years after graduating I’m still here. I think I’m one of these people, I always think “don’t reach for the clouds, reach for the stars”. Try and reach the highest in the sky.
I’m a podiatrist, a chiropodist.
I’d met a school friend of mine who had been a school captain. When I was little I went to an academy school in Glasgow, a catholic school. It was old fashioned, but you got to go home at night. I had a friend who was school captain. He took it on himself to befriend certain people. And I was a bit too sporty for my own good, I was in a lot of fights. And he looked after me, he calmed me down a lot when I was at school. For maybe 15 years I didn’t see him, but he’d gone to be a chiropodist with his father who had a business. I met him and he was driving a jaguar and I thought…I want one of them! And I decided I would go and study. I hadn’t seen him for years and I was more impressed by the car than by the job. But I still don’t have a jaguar. But that’s everyone’s life I suppose.
I wanted to be an artist and live on a boat. I now live on a boat, but I own a café in town, it’s called Mog on the Tyne, the cat café. I’ve had hair like that for ages, 20 years or something. I just like it.
When I was a teenager, I dreamt of being a good musician, and I’m working on it now. I play the guitar, and I just handed in all my work for my music degree at Newcastle Uni, so I’m waiting for the results. I play flamenco, rock, anything that you can play with a guitar. I’m from Iran. I’ve been in Newcastle for 7 years. I came here originally to claim asylum, I became a refugee, due to the problems that I had back home.
I’ve come over here to meet my dad for the first time. After 26 years. I’ve done that and now I’m on the road. I had spoken to him over the years, and I thought I’ve got to venture out, I’ve got to do something with my life. When I was growing up, all my friends had divorced parents but they were just a suburb away. For me dad was on the other side of the world, so all my life I wanted to meet him. I always wanted to look at the eyes of my maker. And yeah I finally did. But then I don’t want to stay stationery for too long, I want to get out, I want to get about. So I’ve brought my skateboard, I have all my clothes in my bag. I’ve got my girlfriend coming up next week, and we’ll fly to London and travel around the UK, and then tour the whole of Europe. I bought a one way ticket to come here so I’ll stay as long as I last. I have a British passport because of dad so I just take it as it comes.
I’m from Angola. I’ve been here for 4 years. I like Newcastle. When I was little I wanted to be a model or a hairdresser. Now I like to do people’s hair, I do my sister’s hair, my friends’ hair. What I like the most about Newcastle is the schools. Because back home we have to pay for school, here we don’t have to pay for school, and it’s a nice town, nice city.
About 2 years ago, I found it on a job search website. It just came up as “owl handler”, in capital letters and I was like “no, that can’t be right”. And then I was thinking that obviously you need all this experience, but when I got to the interview, he said he could teach us everything we needed to know about the birds, and train us how to hold them. He said it’s about communication skills as you work with children, and because I did quite a lot at school (voluntary work), I had that experience as well, so he was happy to hire me and train me. When I was younger, my dad gave me a really old book, a beautiful canvas covered book called “The World Book of Birds”, and I went through it every day as a kid, I was fascinated. When I was really young, I used to be able to tell the sounds of different birds, and figure out which bird it was, but as I got older all my friends took me away from the wild side of things, I played hide and seek, I kind of lost it all. Every now and then I can point to a bird and tell the breed of it. So I’ve always loved birds. So now I’m an owl handler. And then at night I work in a real ale pub. It evens my arms out, because I hold the owl on this arm, it gets really tired, and on the night I pull ale through this arm, and it levels them out!
What did you want to do as you were growing up?
Chef. I love cooking. I always loved cooking. My mum loved cooking, I got my sons cooking, we all love cooking. I like cooking anything. I’m a chef now.
I’ve always wanted just to do good work I think. I work now with people with learning disabilities, I like it a lot. I went to university but then I worked in the civil service, for Inland Revenue. But I left one day and I became a residential social worker (as it was called then). My job for Inland Revenue was boring and unfulfilling I suppose. Often I wish I was back there, because social work is difficult, but generally I don’t because it’s good. I think I’ve always been interested in that, trying to make the world a better place. For selfish reasons, but for good reasons as well. I’m not saying I’m some sort of saint, or a better person than anyone else, just that’s what I wanted to do I think. Sometimes you do things on the merry-go-round. But sometimes you stop, you get off and do something else. Well I hope that people do, they should do. Everyone should do that.
I wanted to be an airplane pilot, I wanted to fly airplanes. When I was a kid, fighter planes used to practice near where I lived. And all the other kids would be terrified, but I was just “wow!” I would come over to see the numbers at the bottom of them, they were that close. I just always loved it. But I never quite got there! That was a dream when I was really little. I had loads of other dreams along the way. I wanted to be a writer, and I still kind of do. Fiction, adventure. It’s the life that you don’t have, you can make it up on a page sometimes, to make life more interesting.
I’m turning 16 years old next month. I play football right now, and I would like to be a professional football player. I live in Scotland and I play for Celtic. I’m left wing, I’m a winger. My favourite football player is Raheem Sterling, he plays for Manchester City. I would like to play the way he does, he’s a winger as well, like me.
I’m from Valencia in Spain.
My partner is from Newcastle and we met 3 years ago when I was an Erasmus student here. But after 3 years I decided to move here. I moved 7 months ago.
I love it here. I was really looking forward to moving. I work here as a graphic designer. I knew that I had to be in the creative industries somehow, because everything else is so boring. I like to be creative.