Manchester and more

Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

I left you as we'd been dropped off at Edinburgh airport for our early morning flight back to Manchester. The flight back was uneventful and Dad thankfully came and picked us up from Manchester airport.

Wednesday afternoon we went up to see my cousin Helen and her new baby Ben, then Wednesday night Lindsey got her first experience of an English football game. FC United v Flixton. I still can't believe that one of my must does on my return to England would be to catch a North West Counties game. It was good to head back to Gigg Lane and see that FC is still growing by the day. For once I felt like I'd actually been away as there were some new songs that I didn't know the words to. I soon got back into the swing of things and tried to teach Lindsey some of the words. Now anyone that knows Lindsey knows she struggles with the words of songs at the best of times, so it was no surprise that the only one she got a full handle on was Die, Die, glazer, Fcuking Die. It was a good performance by FC as they won easily 4-0. They seemed to have progressed from last season and the new singings added some extra quality to the team. Apart from the win, the other highlight of the evening was Lindsey discovering the delights of Bovril. Having said that, it wasn't much of a highlight for me as she managed to pinch most of it from me.

On Thursday, Lindsey was introduced to the wonders of Costco and the delights of The Trafford Centre. Thursday evening we made our way up to Byrnie and Ruth's who Lindsey had already met when they'd come out to Melbourne earlier in the year. We had lovely meal in the local pub, but unfortunately the evening was cut short, as Lindsey was feeling unwell.

Friday, mum and dad took us up to Disley to see Sharon, Stuart, Amelia and Penny. We then headed to Chatsworth Park, where thankfully the sun shone all day and we had a great day, having a picnic, visiting the farm and messing about in the adventure playground. I think my shoulders are still recovering though from having Penny on them all day. We had a nice dinner in the Romper, before we made it back in time to meet up with Andrew and the boys for a pre-wedding drink in The Winston.

The weather on Saturday was awful, which was no good for the wedding, but didn't really affect Lindsey and I as we spent the day shopping in Manchester. Saturday night we headed to Stanneylands Hotel for Andrew and Lisa's wedding. They'd decided upon a 1920's black and white/gangster theme for the wedding, and it was great to see so many people make the effort for it and everyone looked really good. It was a good night and great to catch up with so many people at such a happy occasion. The highlight of the night for me though was perhaps the briefest moment of the night, as I managed to grab a quick hug of Lisa's mum Betty.

Sunday was a nice lazy day, as Sharon, Stuart and the girls came round to mum and dad's for Sunday dinner. Well it was lazy for me, but Lindsey worked very hard and impressed everyone, cooking her famous Sweet Chili Salmon followed by Sticky Date Pudding!

Monday saw us again head out with Mum, Dad and the Smith family. This time to Southport where we to meet up with Lindsey's 53rd cousin Miriam. We went off and had a nice lunch with Miriam, before meeting up with everyone for an afternoon on the beach. Lindsey spent the afternoon wondering where the sea was, the girls had a donkey ride, whilst Sharon had to fend off the unwanted attention of a dog as it tried to pee on her.

Tuesday was the day of the trip Lindsey had been looking forward to most. A trip to Salford Quays to see the world famous bridge (well it had been in a Qantas magazine). Along with the bridge we had a walk round the Lowry Centre and then spent a good couple of hours at the Lowry Exhibition in the museum. Tuesday night we went round to Feysal's mum and dads for dinner, where we also caught up with Ali and Annya who I'd traveled up the West coast of Aus with. We had some wonderful Mauritian cuisine and we both left with heavy stomachs. On the way home, we called into the Farmers to meet up with Jan, John and Michelle who'd bought me a Ned Kelly t-shirt from a bar in Hong Kong.

We had a reasonable early start on Wednesday morning as we headed to York for three days with mum and dad. We had a great time as we did all the usual tourist things, The Minster, The Yorvik Centre, Boat Trip etc. The highlight of the trip though was going to the races on the Friday. Not only did we have a lovely sunny day, I actually managed to pick 4 out of 7 winners, so for once managed to come home with some money. I thought I'd treat Lindsey with my winnings so we met up with a few of the boys and took her on a pub-crawl round Northenden. I know how to treat a lady though, so I didn't take her to Fridays!

Saturday was time for Lindsey's second experience of English football, this time as big united played spurs. Andre had managed to get hold of two tickets together for us so off we went to the game with Michelle and John. Once again I know how to treat a lady, as we got the cans in and stood outside Macari's chippy. It's a normal match day routine for me, but Lindsey found it a bit bizarre. I think she enjoyed it though, even though we were nearly run over twice.

I thought the match itself wasn't the greatest, but United won and Lindsey enjoyed herself, which is all that really mattered. After the game we headed into Manchester for a drink. Whilst Lindsey enjoyed the game, I don't think she was too keen on the trek to the tram stop and then being squashed on the tram like sardines. It was all a bit crazy compared to getting away from events back in Melbourne.

We had a really good night catching up with everyone on Saturday night, first in Sinclairs and then in Walkabout (where else are you going to take an Aussie). The highlight of the night though was a trip down the curry mile to the Shezan. The food was spot on and we even got a vimto lolly afterwards. What more could you ask for?

Despite having a late Saturday night, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed on Sunday morning to get down to watch the Brow. Off all the games of football Lindsey saw, the best goal was saved for Wythenshawe Park as Mike White scored a spectacular overhead kick. After a comfortable victory, we headed back to the brow for a couple of pints. We couldn't stay too long though as we were heading home for Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding!

On the Monday of our last week, our intention was to head to the science and industry Museum. However, we ended up spending the day just walking round Manchester, doing a little bit of shopping. That evening we once again met up with Byrnie and Ruth only this time to sample the famous Armstrong's chippy, which didn't disappoint. Byrnie and Ruth then joined us in going to see the Maghoo family again, where we had a nice evening watching the dvd of Jo and Feysal's wedding, whilst telling Feysal's mum and dad and sister what they could expect in Melbourne when they come to visit later in the year.

On Tuesday we went to the Tai Pan for a lovely Chinese with Mum and Dad before heading to the dogs for the night. It wasn't the greatest quality of dog racing; though Lindsey did manage to win a couple of quid back a dog that looked like her god dog Muppet.

Wednesday, Lindsey got her final installment of English football or you could say her first installment of European football, as Andre had once again come up trumps and got us a couple of tickets for the united, Celtic game. To make it feel like an authentic European game we had a good afternoon session before the game. Somehow, Andre had managed to get us tickets near my old season ticket so it was good to catch up with the lads I'd sat with for years and United manage to scrape home in the end.

Thursday was our last full day in Manchester and involved, two trips to the dentist, a visit to see my Nanna and granddad, last minute packing, some of my dads curry and a family crisis as Penny was taken to hospital. It certainly wasn't the relaxing last day we thought it would be.

Friday morning saw us head to the airport for our flight back to Melbourne and once again it was with a heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to Mum and Dad.

As I finish this blog entry, I'd just like to thank everyone who I managed to catch up with for taking the time out to see me and apologise to those of you who I either didn't see at all or didn't see as much as I would have liked to. As you can probably guess from reading this blog, it was a pretty hectic time back in the country and Lindsey and I didn't really have a spare moment.
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