So I'm standing at the top of the Baltic at the enormous glass window with the panoramic view across Newcastle, surrounded by assorted small children under the age of two, when a North American accent suddenly booms out "Nova Scotia?".
I look round. There's a fairly nondescript middle-aged lady with a blue neckerchief standing in the middle of the room, and rather worryingly, she's making straight for me. "Nova Scotia?" she trills again. "Are you from there? I'm Canadian, you see."
I try to look like a friendly ambassador for our country, rather than a bemused and harrassed 30-something mother who has no clue what the hell is going on. General tourist enquiries about Newcastle I can deal with. I have informed opinions on all sorts of things ranging from the delectability of Julian Rhind-Tutt's hair, the perennial argument about the Oxford comma or the merits of sippy cups for toddlers. Canada, however, isn't one of my specialist subjects.
And then I look down at my t-shirt.
In 2-inch high letters it says NOVA SCOTIA 9907.
I then spend the next five minutes explaining that this is in fact a very ancient t-shirt, purchased in H&M when I was a student, and still being worn for reasons of (a) sloth and (b) not enough money to buy a nice new one in Top Shop. I add that I have sadly never been to Nova Scotia, although I did once go to Vancouver and had a fabulous time.
Homesick Canada woman nods politely, and decides that the giant skeleton of a cat on the other side of the room is remarkably interesting and must be investigated forthwith.
I go back to pointing out the buses and trains to overexcited toddlers.