Our So Called Life

Our So Called Life is a Scottish food, travel and lifestyle blog by Peter and Lauren

Although we love to travel and share our experiences with you, we spend the majority of our time at home, here in Scotland. We live simply, eat well (whether that’s at home or locally) and love to create easy to follow recipes that are full of flavour.

So, with this blog, we want to pass some of that love back to you and help you make the most of your journey to Scotland by showing you all of the amazing places to visit, things to do and perhaps more importantly, showing you the most incredible places to eat that Scotland has to offer!

We also hope to share with you some great Scottish recipes as well as a mix of easy, delicious meals and desserts that can be shared with the ones you love.

Whether you are looking for affordable or budget-friendly travel tips or some wonderfully easy home cooking recipes, we would love for you to join us!


Ask the Locals

My wife runs a restaurant. It is a Thai restaurant. A small restaurant.  Certainly not the best restaurant in town. But she is serving some of the best food you can get in the area. And to visitors who are constantly asking questions, who are planning what they want to do next.

For my part I produce a listings directory. It is a well established print directory that lists our local businesses. I also run an information service. And I am the one who has to try to answer the questions we keep getting asked.

Questions about special interest travel, activity based tours, destinations and accommodation, arrangements, trip reports, reviews, action adventure, volunteer and eco travel.

Driving in the UK

Have almost got used to negotiating my way through all the roundabouts and the fact that flashing lights do not mean proceed at peril. But it is the little yellow signs one sees that are scattered at random that make little sense to me.

It is an English thing.

Deciding where to live

I flew into the UK for the first time in fifty years in a pair of shorts from Thailand . I had an overnight bag and a reservation at the cheapest hotel I had been able to find on the net.

I had also booked a two week stay at a B&B in Bognor Regis.

Bognor for no specific reason other than it is supposed to be a holiday destination and is not quite as intimidating as Brighton.


North East

Thanks for stopping by my little slice of the internet. I write here about Newcastle restaurants, North East food & drink producers, and food-based events in my favourite city and occasionally beyond.

Newcastle Eats exists only to share my experiences of eating out in Newcastle restaurants with you. The food & drink landscape of this great city has improved enormously over the last decade, and it’s rewarding to see readers try somewhere independent that they might not have otherwise off the back of 500 words and some photos.

I endeavour to not be your typical demographic food-blagger. I’ve been doing this since 2011, and don’t just do shitposts about The Botanist like so many others. It’s not won me many friends, but people usually respect that.

This is my personal site. I work 9-5 in digital marketing, and could probably help you with your online marketing (especially in food & drink).

Current likes: bigger portions of non-fussy food, better availability of better beer, more relaxed dining options. Homebrewing!
Current dislikes: Insta “foodies”/blaggers who say “yummy” a lot, the copy/paste nature of high street chains, awful food trends, a lack of plates. Wine markups!

This is just a two-bit blog, so don’t expect Marina O’Laughlin standard here, and my photos are always unedited, and just shot on an iPhone, in the moment.

Integrity is really fucking important to me, so if you want to question it, get in touch and I would love to voice my opinions.


This site is deeply ingrained in my identity now, and this is what it means to me to write on here each week:

— jeff x Newcastle Eats


Pansy shell (Echinodiscus bisperforatus) – A flat, biscuit-like urchin with two closed slits in the back half of the test (hard outer shell of sea urchins). The short fur-like spines drop off after the animal dies. Tubefeet extend through a petal-like pattern of holes on the upper surface. The animal burrows just below the sand surface in sheltered waters, feeding on fine, organic particles sorted from the sediment. Occurs from Cape Agulhas up the East Coast of Africa.

Pansy shells are protected and should not be picked up or disturbed. Despite which it is something we will all do.