Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Our 'visit' to Manchester is at an end. Its been a fantastic 20 months since we arrived via Iceland in August 2013.
It was our last night in the pub this evening, where we were joined by Paul, Sophie, Chris, Emma, Alistair, Cath, Andrew, Lorna and Sutton to watch the football and drink beer and a little champagne - a brilliant send off and the perfect relaxed last evenig before we leave tomorrow....
We are genuinely sad to be leaving. I was looking forward to our stay here, but never expected it to feel so much like home. Unlike most people, I haven't had a steady home since I was 16 and left Manchester to join the Army. Since then I spent my life moving around between units and in the last four or five years - as anyone who reads this blog knows - I have travelled the world and loved every minute. So it was a great surprise to me to feel so much at home here and now we are leaving I am pretty sad its over.
Buffy is sad too - although for her it is a sense of mixed emotions as she is going back to her home - full of her friends and family. Don't get me wrong - I am looking forward to it, as they are also my family and friends - but there is just something about this fine old city in Northern England that has grabbed me and will take a while to get out of my system. I will be fine once I settle in Winnipeg and get back into a routine, but for me its going to be difficult at first.
|1st United game together|
|Inside the Theatre of Dreams|
Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends. ~Richard Bach
Its only natural that I should miss my friends and family over here and this is feeling more and more like closure in relation to my mum and dad dying last year. While we have been over here there are memories everywhere of them - our old house and schools, dads old work and all the places we are familiar with - but that is now in the past and we and especially me - must move forward.
|I miss my dad|
|I miss mum too|
We never planned on staying with Chris for the entire duration of our visit - but circumstances changed and we did stay. So, Chris - we cant thank you enough. Its been a great place to stay and we have loved getting to know Emma.
Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again. ~William Shakespeare
Then there is Taz. I genuinely believe that the brown thing known sometimes as 'David Tazzelhoff' is possibly the laziest, brightest, most mental and best dog ever. He can hold his bowels seemingly for ever and loves to run until he cant walk anymore. Many many days have been spent lying next to hm watching TV and listening to his snores. He is a lovely dog and the person (yes, he is a person sort of) that I have spent more time with than anyone except Buffy. (She also like to be tickled behind the ear)
I will admit to being upset more about leaving Taz than any other person!!!
|How could you not....|
There have obviously been lows this last two years - mum, dad, Chris ankles and Gareths neck being the main ones - but there have been may many highs too - You can see some of these in the video attached but you can count many nights down the pub, quiz nights, open mic nights, trips to Barcelona, Paris, Lake District, Harrogate, Edinburgh, York, London, Calais, Dorset, Skegness, Middlesboro and even Bury!! We have been about a bit about a lot!
Then there is United.
Both Buffy and I have been members for the last two seasons and have had some brilliant trips to The Theatre of dreams to watch United win, lose and draw. At last count we attenede15 or 16 games and loved a good pie, pint and an amazing atmosphere every time.
Manchester itself just gets better and better - Pubs and beer - well there is a bit of everything and even Urmston now boasts two lovely real pubs as well as an amazing bookshop, great butchers and bakers as well as a lovely little shopping centre that has welcomed Buffy and her busking every Saturday morning for well over a year now.
Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would I’d never leave. ~A.A. Milne
I could go on for ages, but there isn't any point - I'm sure by now you have guessed and realised that I am really sad to be leaving and will miss this place a lot. But leave it we are and Winnipeg awaits.
Weekends at the cabin will help to keep us amused in Summer while winter snow and Ice, skating on the river and watching the Northern lights and are all parts of winter to look forward to.
Plus there is a wedding to plan and hopefully soon a house to buy - we have a realtor already looking for us and sending us houses which we may be interested in - Keep an eye out for more news on that front soon I hope. I may also get off my arse and get another job - you never know!!
|Dave and Buffy at the last Quiz|
|The whole pub saying goodbye - and two extra special mugs!|
Finally a little bit of up to date news - Remember I applied for Canadian Residency just over a year ago and have had to jump through multiple hoops in order to prove who I am, where I have been and that me and Buffy are a real couple? Well I can announce some good news - The effort has been worth it and yesterday a letter arrived with Buffy's mum and dad confirming that I have been successful and now have Confirmation of permanent residency. That means I can stay in Canada for ever, can get a job and also health care amongst lots of other good stuff.
|Proof of my Canadian Permanent residency!|
Its an exciting time in our lives and we are looking forward to you lot coming over to visit us at our new home. (Not all at once though please!!)
Thanks to everyone in the UK for everything - whether you sold us sausages, DJ'd the quiz, bought or sold our car, shared a beer, watched the football or did anything with us. We have absolutely loved it here and will be back to visit, but for now we are looking forward to arriving in Manitoba and settling in Canada.
Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.
Heres a little video I made of our best bits in England and what we can expect in Winnipeg....
Thanks for reading - remember 'Ricks Extra Long Summer' will continue as normal-
we have plans........
we ALWAYS have plans......
keep an eye out for updates soon! and see if Canada has kicked me out yet!!
Taaraa for now.....
A goodbye isn’t painful unless you’re never going to say hello again. ~Author Unknown