The journey over was good but tiring. For unknown reasons, we didn't manage to sleep on the flight to Gatwick and had a drive north from the airport to Manchester ahead of us.
We had a hire car booked and after the trauma of getting through customs as Gatwick, finding the car rental bus and then waiting for the idiotic and pathetic customer service at the rental office (Which incidentally is called Green Motion - But when I saved the location on Google Maps the spellcheck corrceted it to Green Moron, which is really quite apt given the idiot that served us!) we finally headed north on our quest to find the promised land. The land of Gregg's pasties, Red football shirts, good pubs and great chippies.
First stop though was a little roadside snack van just north west of London where we spent the £5 we had saved from 934 days ago on two huge and delicious sausage baps, smothered in butter and ketchup - to make us feel at home and keep us awake on our journey North.
|Sausage and egg butties|
It was delicious and soon after we sat happily laughing and pointing at the silly people who decided to join us on the car park that was once known as the M6 motorway. We laughed and laughed at the wonderful position we found ourselves in as the google maps display on my phone showed the remaining on our journey increase by the second until it felt like we had gone backwards in time. Haahaa, this was sooo enjoyable I don't know how I kept myself from bursting with pride at just how good the English have gotten as queueing. It made me feel proud. The roads in England have definitely got easier to drive in last two years as now you just sit on the tarmac and don't go anywhere! Its so much easier to avoid a collision when you aren't actually moving. (Chortle)
Anyway, eventually we dragged ourselves away from the rest of the cars and finally arrived at Chris and Emma's house in Urmston, where we met up with Gareth, Tracey and Chris and Emma and of course Taz the dog.
|So shy Taz.|
Its great to see my family after such a long time and that evening we went to the pub quiz at the Urmston for dinner and to catch up with our old mate Dave. A tiny bit of Canadian bias meant we managed to win 2nd prize in the quiz, beating my nephew James and his missus Pimm. Then after nearly 30 hours without a sleep we headed home to Paul and Sophie's house, where Chris's best mate Paul had kindly let us use his bedroom for our stay for the wedding weekend.
|End of the pub quiz.|
Friday was a great day. We had a nice lie in and wondered how to adjust the blinds in Paul and Sophie's bedroom (It turned out they are part of the Internet of things and you need and app and Internet to move them, which is ace!) After a spot of breakfast at lunchtime me and Boof took a long walk to Chris and Emma's where we met up with everyone. The boys were headed to Manchester city centre and a concert of Manchester 'cover bands' singing Stone Roses, Smiths and Oasis songs, while the girls went for a meal out in Urmston.
|Bucket hats are go|
The first stop for the boys was typical Manchester - A beautiful old building once owned by Refuge assurance is now a huge and amazing pub. Serving great drinks in great atmosphere inside an open plan style pub with the original stone tiles covering the walls. It really is a beautiful bar and a great place to stop for a couple of pints. After one more stop on the way to the Academy we arrived and had a great 4 hours or so singing along and dancing to all our favour old tunes from the days of Madchester. Bucket hats were worn alongside the traditional northern Adidas trainers and lots of beers were drunk. It was a great night.
Sally Cinnamon - More manc singing!!
More videos from the night can be seen on my youtube channel.... https://www.youtube.com/user/rickdavey1
After midnight we took a taxi home and woke with sore throats from singing too much.
Chris and Emma were due to marry at 3.30pm, so the morning was spent getting things ready and Paul was seen still contemplating his speech close to lunch time.
Finally it was time to leave for the ceremony and me and Buuuuuufffff picked up my Aunty Brenda as she needed a lift to Sale Town Hall with us. We met up in the pub opposite the town hall (At least most of us did......) and enjoyed a beer (Apart from James who didn't get served as he had no ID) before a few photos and finally making our way across the road to climb the steps to the town hall and watch Chris get wed. It was a lovely ceremony, watched by about 50 friends and family. Emma looked wonderful in her wedding dress and Chris looked great in a new suit and tie. His red tie matching those of Paul the best man and both Chris and Emma's kids - a lovely touch.
|Chris and the kids|
|What you got here Abbey?|
|Paul Contemplates his speech.|
|Buffffty and Brenda wait|
A few photos were taken outside on the town hall steps before we all jumped back in our cars and drove back to Davyhulme Golf club for the evening reception and piss up!!
The evening also turned out great. About 70 people sat down for a lovely meal, with a few of us also following the United v Arsenal game on our mobile phones. After the meal there were the speeches - Emma's two sons - Alistair and Adam had asked to make a speech and had a few people near tears as they told of their love for Emma and Chris and how happy they are all now a fcomplete amily. The two boys did a great job of their speech and were followed by Chris and Paul, who both also nailed their speeches. Lots of laughter and chicks of glasses and toasts were made and then it was time for the first dance.
|Watching United v Arsenal before the party started|
We all joined Chris and Emma on the dance floor and I don't think there was a moment during the whole night where there weren't any people dancing. A conga made its way around the hall a few times and more people arrived to join in the fun including loads of our family. Eleanor, David, Sarah and Mark made it from Macclesfield and when Cath, Andrew, Helen, Jenny and Matthew arrived it was the biggest meeting of Davey family cousins ever! Even Tony and Joyce, with Sharon and Tracey with their hubbies made it over from Dereham near Norwich. It so good to catch up with them again!
|Our Beautiful Ladies.|
|With Tony and Joyce - Almost like my 2nd mum and dad!|
|All the Cousins together (Except Alex who was working)|
The night passed by far too quickly -The DJ stopped around midnight and after saying goodbye to everyone we shared a Taxi back to Paul and Sophie's where we enjoyed a great night sleep - With the magic blinds down! haha. We really must thank Paul and Sophie for being great hosts to us for teh weekend. It really was a fantastic wedding and a brilliant night, but our week in England was only just beginning - we had a few journeys to make and people to see, so take a look back here soon and see what else we got up to on our trip.