Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunshine?? In England?? Yeah,loads of it!!

The evening after seeing the Queen we went out and had a couple of quiet beers the Airkix bar (The indoor skydiving centre where Mikie and James work). Mikies girlfriend Lucy was taking part in a competition in the tunnel – called a Scramble. What happens is teams of 4 flyers have a couple of minutes in the tunnel during which time they have to move into pre-determined positions as many times as possible. Each time they correctly get into position, they score a point. I sat and watched for a while as Lucy and her team took part and it was fun to watch – especially since one of Lucy’s team has a Spiderman helmet, which was really cool. I also asking questions to the woman who was doing the scoring and when she got interrupted by someone she ended up asking me how many to score one of the teams. 
Lucy's team flying with.....

...the spiderman helmet!!

James 'Driving', the tunnel

Saturday came along and it was a lovely warm sunny day, so we decided to find a nice pub beer garden and enjoy the weather. Unfortunately the pub beer garden we found was the Garrick’s Head and outside in the sun there was a group of local blokes getting pissed and playing loud music. That didn’t stop us enjoying a nice afternoon outside in the nice weather, watching the buses go by and having a good chat about loads of stuff. It started get chilly later on when the sin went behind the pub and so we headed inside where we watched the Man City vs. Stoke football game on TV – laughing at the City fans leave the pub quickly as they could only manage a draw. At one point I bent down for some reason and smacked my head right into the table - meaning I woke up with a headache this morning, which had nothing to do with a hangover! I also spotted a sign outside the pub that told a little of its history – Including that fact that during the 2nd world war The Glen Miller Band and Joe Louis, the boxer, visited and stayed at the pub whilst visiting US troops who were at the local hospital. That’s pretty cool. 
In the pub

Proof of its history

Cool, clear night with the moon and planets

Early on Sunday morning I was up to watch the Jets play again over the internet. Unfortunately the Jets lost, meaning their playoff hopes are nearly over with only 8 or 9 games to go on the season. Then only 6 hours later I was up again to watch the Malaysian Grand Prix, where due to the weather the race went on for ages and eventually finished after 11am.......It was another lovely spring day and so, after getting James out of bed, we went down to The Castle in the Air, the pub next door to the skydive centre, where Mikie and Lucy joined us in the sunshine for another afternoon relaxing outside. I have drunk far too much this week so far and so I spent the afternoon drinking coke and orange juice instead of beers. It was a good weekend, if a little lazy and easy. We have done nothing except eat crap food and drink booze – some would say that would be an ace weekend, but I am now thinking about going away again in just 8 days and so should really have done a little more – But thinking about it, it was really good to spend it relaxing and doing very little with the rest of my family here in Manchester and not doing any planning or preparing – I should really learn to relax a little bit more.

Monday was a great day – Chris works in the hospitals in Central Manchester and with a day off from work, he took me around to see behind the scenes in the hospital and where he works. We walked through all the plant rooms and the staff corridors where all the things you don’t normally see are done as well as looking at where the Queen visited last week when se officially opened parts of the hospital. Then we ended up on the roof, with a fantastic panoramic view over the city of Manchester, which not a lot of people get to see. The weather was again really nice and so we walked into and around town for a while before picking up my hire car from the city centre. Then we had a quick drive to Man Cities ground, where we saw a Man United fan taking photos of himself in his United top whilst pissing himself laughing...hehehe
The Heart sculpture at the hospital

A big fish

View of Manchester from the roof...

...and another one!!

Honey monster head in Afflecks palace

United fan at City!! Good lad.

After getting back to Chris’ house I spent a while sunbathing and dozing in eth garden in the hot sunny afternoon, before Mikie arrived to head down to Old Trafford with me and Chris for my final Man United game. After a walk we actually ran into my Aunt Catherine and Aunt Eleanor, who were also going to the match. I haven’t seen them in years and it was really nice to have a chat and catch up. I had a seat higher up in the stands from Chris and Mikie, but had a brilliant view of the pitch so really enjoyed it even though the game was a bit nervy. Luckily, United won 1-0 leaving them 3 points clear at the top of the league, but after the game I took my time to leave as it’s the last time I will get to Old Trafford in a while. I have really enjoyed visiting Manchester while I have been home, with Mikie and James here as well as Chris and his kids; it’s been a lot of fun hanging around here and messing about with the family. I am actually a little sad to be leaving Manchester again as I don’t know when I will be back here – but I hope it isn’t too long.

The journey to Skegness was an even nicer day that I had seen so far. The sun was shining and it was toasty warm, so instead of taking the motorway, I drove out of Manchester along the A57, also known as The Snake Pass. This used to be one of the greatest roads ever, a winding twisty road that heads up away from Manchester into the moorland of the Peak district. You pass by reservoirs and cliffs as well as open moors and behind you, you see the outskirts of the city below. It is a bit less fun nowadays since speed cameras were invented to spoil the fun, but it is still one of the best roads in the UK and as I was in a hire car – which we know means there is no speed limit – so I enjoyed my short drive, before pulling over and resting by the side of Ladybower reservoir, where I spent a good hour sunbathing on the grass on the rear slope of the dam.

My final view of Old Trafford.

Wednesday morning I had a good lie in and waited for my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Tony to arrive. They were planning on coming over for mums birthday in Feb, but couldn’t make it due to the snow, so it was great to see them arrive today. Once here we climbed into their car which has strange but fun backwards opening doors and after mum finally managed to get her seatbelt on we drove to The Lookout pub, in Winthorpe. This is a really nice big pub that does good hearty food and today was a bonus as with the weather and the calm sea, it could have been perched above any beach I have ever been to – It was gorgeous as the hazy sun reflected off the usually brown sea which appeared to be clear and blue.

Bye bye Taz

The snake pass


LadyBower reservoir

We all enjoyed a good meal and then took a stroll along the seafront enjoying the warm weather and a good chat. Finally after another drink outside in the sun, we headed back to the bungalow and a mess about with Skype, usb sticks and all sorts of other stuff before Tony and Joyce left for home at half 7. I always loved to see Tony and Joyce as a kid and it was no different this time, so I am really glad they managed to get over on the same day I was here.  
Tony, Joyce, mum and dad having lunch

On the seafront on a beautiful day

enjoying a drink after a walk....

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