It is Wednesday evening and I am sitting in a cosy little bar having a lager and typing up this blog. Manchester is not very pretty and the weather is as grey and drizzly as I remembered, but I jUst love being back here. It obviously holds so many fond memories and there are great friends here so it just feels like a second home for me.i think Dan feels the same even though he hasn't been here since 1997!
Sunday: lots of catching up with Rebecca about people we worked with. Dan and Jason went to watch the local derby at a pub - Man U v Man City. It was a very serious business. Rebecca and I prepared for a get together she had arranged and we had friends dropping in all afternoon which was such a lovely way to catch up with people who I hadn't seen for 5 years. Lots of food, wine, laughter etc.
Monday: R &J off to work and kids to school. We caught tram into the city and showed the kids the canals and other sights. Spent a few hours at the Science and Industry museum which is brilliant and very hands on so the kids loved it... Even better , it was free. I showed Dan the part of the city he had never seen because it was blocked off the whole time we were here because of an IRA bomb that exploded in 1996. It has many new big buildings and many old buildings and the cathedral have been restored. Had a drink in a pub that had been there for a little over 400 years.
Dan and I put kids to bed and walked up to a bar and joined Simon and Teresa for the weekly pub quiz. It was challenging but there were duller groups than ours as we won 30 pounds!
Tuesday: Kids rode Isabel and Jimmy's scooters and we headed down to Neale Rd and checked out the old haunts. I caught the buses into town and back and saw the changes that have occurred around Mosside and Hulme (they have lots of migrants, lower socio economic areas so even though they look bloody depressing they Look much better than in '97). Treated myself to a visit to the Manchester Art Gallery and came out at about 4.40 to find it dark. It is just weird that it is only an hours after school finishes yet it could be 10 o'clock at night. People everywhere obviously but it reminded me of how freaked out I was the first week of work I had here and I found myself walking home from school in the dark and I was so frightened, even though there were groups did school kids about and mums and their kids. It took me a while to get used to it.
Wednesday: very drizzly grey day so we didn't do too much as the kids just wanted to stay in and play games. Went into town to the cinema this afternoon and the kids and Dan saw the latest Chipmunk film and I watched the silent film "The Artist". It is lovely and the lead female is just delightful. I left the theatre with a big smile on my face and think the soundtrack may be good to buy