Hold, Please!

It was my last day of holiday which was really just a day of travel. My plans to get to the airport were thrown a bit of a curveball the day before when a traffic accident prevented people from coming to our Curryfest. Of course the family all rallied around and there were so many offers to help me out. In the end it was decided I would remain where I was for one more night and head off in the morning.

Steven drove me to the train station on his way to work. There was concern the train might not make it all the way to the airport so I left with a lot of time to spare. There had been so many stories about people experiencing really long delays at the airport; I figured it was better to be safe and early, rather than have to run through the airport with my no-longer-so-light bags.

I got to the airport in good time. It then took me only about 20 minutes to take the shuttle to the north terminal and make my way through security. I had booked time in the lounge since I had already been alerted that my flight was delayed but I was too early to go in. I looked for a spa, one of my favourite things to do when I have really long layovers in an airport, but they weren’t open yet. So, I wandered until I found a gate with no people and curled up on the benches to have a nap until I could go to the lounge where I ate, blogged, read and just relaxed in the big comfy chairs.

When they finally put the gate for the flight on the board, it said boarding. I think most people were panicked because there were a lot of people running in the direction I was walking. Luckily I have learned that boarding really means they are going to check your boarding pass and passport and move you all into a much smaller area where they will then make you wait for absolutely ages. I think they turn the AC off in those spaces too; by the time we boarded the flight most people were sweaty, a little woozy and a lot cranky!

I have to admit I had a little panic when I got on the plane and to my seat. When packing my bag the night before, I removed a fair bit of stuff I deemed extra because I was worried that my bag was going to be too heavy. Needless to say I was a bit surprised when I couldn’t for the life of me get my bag in the overhead compartment. It didn’t matter which way I turned it, or how hard I shoved it, it was not going in. I was putting everything I had into getting that bag in the compartment but it just wouldn’t go. I couldn’t understand how this was possible when it had fit with no problems at all on the much smaller planes I had flown on to and from Copenhagen. I was getting a little panicky, worried that they would make me put my bag in the hold, when I realized that the overhead compartments over the middle seats were deeper than the ones over the windows. It fit perfectly in there. Crisis averted.

As I settled into my seat by the window, I took out my phone so I could make my blog notes. As the years have passed, and after many an evening of trying to relive the day so I could write about it, I tend to make a list of key words throughout the day for when it is time to write.

Blogging is really personal for me. I started blogging in 2012 when I was going to travel around Africa for two months. It was going to be a way to let me family know what I was doing and that I was safe, and it was to be a way to keep in contact. It has since grown into such an important part of my travels.

When I first start a vacation I groan a little and whine about blogging. It’s true that it takes me a while to sort through my photos and then upload them, and then it takes a while to figure out what I want to say, and how. But as the days go on, it just becomes a part of my routine again. I complain less, start recording notes throughout the day, and listen more intently to what is going on in case anything stands out that I think is blog worthy.

I try to ask people first if I photograph them if they are okay being on the blog. As well, my blog is for me more than anything else, so it’s not a place where I would share embarrassing or cruel stories about others.

My titles tend to come from things people have said during the day that stuck with me. Often it’s something that made me laugh. Sometimes the title inspires a blog but often there is no understandable connection between the content of the blog and the title- other than to me.

Often there are things in my blogs that others would not even notice but I can go back years later and those small innocuous things trigger memories for me.

One of the best things about my blog is the comments that I get from people. I love connecting with people through my stories and I love to hear about the connections people make to their own life experiences. Sometimes people comment on the posts, and sometimes I get emails or texts from people. I love how connected I still am with people who started travelling with me years ago- it is always comforting having them along with me on my travels.

There are days when I think about putting my blogs into one big book. Most of them, until I fell behind a few years ago, have been turned into coffee table books with all the photos and words. Sometimes I think about doing a curated book of the best of Memoirs of a Wannabe World Traveller. The idea of turning some posts into a podcast came up recently. So many ideas…

In the meantime, I will bid you all adieu, until we meet again! Thank you so much for travelling along with me- it is always great to have company. Should there be any developments, I will definitely post an update here. If there aren’t any developments, then I will see you on my next travels!

The Legend of Pom Pom

It was officially the last full day of my holiday which meant it was also the day for Hinxfest (sometimes called Curryfest)- our own family gathering filled with delicious food and great company. We were on track with our preparations and had done a lot the night before but there were things that had been set aside for the morning of. There were close to 30 people expected.

The pizza oven had to be lit and heated (I had slight pizza oven envy), the dough rolled out and prepared, the drinks station set up and the hot tub readied for the bathers.

Just as Karen had the dough portioned and ready to be rolled Steve whisked me away to the studio of a local sculptor. I say local because he lives locally but I should be clear that John William Mills is a renowned English sculptor. He lives in the village and there are sculptures all around his home and garden- it’s like a sanctuary with sculptures appearing in the middle of trees and benches dotted around the paths so you could stop and just admire and enjoy. It was so tranquil and fascinating. And while I do love a good pose with a statue, I was mindful that that might not be appropriate with the sculptor present. I was instructed however, before I got out of rolling dough, that I needed to come home with at least one statue pose, so I of course obliged.

Shortly after we returned home the phone calls and messages started coming in. One set of cousins weren’t able to come because they had tested positive for Covid. And then the calls started coming in saying people were stuck in traffic. And the traffic only got worse. Paula and the girls had to turn around because they weren’t able to proceed. We were looking at all the food and trying to work out how we were going to pace ourselves (6 of us, and Poppy the dog) to eat 3 curries, two trays of curry puffs, 4 salads, 2 banoffi pies, gulab jamuns and ~40 pizzas. We were preparing for the challenge, changing into our stretchiest outfits when the first guests arrived.

It was a hot hot day but in the end many of the family arrived. Steve cooked pizzas for everyone. We ate, we drank, we laughed, we splashed around in the hot tub, we teased Mel… 🙂 It was a Hinxfest for the books!

Those who weren’t able to join us were missed. I was so grateful for all those who managed to make it. I know it couldn’t have been easy- some were stuck in traffic for hours. At least they were all gifted with some delicious leftovers for the journey home.

It is sad saying goodbye, especially knowing what the last few years have been like. I was good and didn’t get too emotional when any of the family left. I got the biggest hugs from some of the little ones and even from many of the bigger ones. I am tired as it has been a very busy holiday but I have loved every minute. I love my family. I promise to return soon.

Hurry Up!

As I finished typing up the blog while sitting on Uncle Barry’s bench, I could hear the two horses in the back. They had moved over behind me and they reminded me that I needed to get back. George was getting up to cook us breakfast before we headed out for the day. I got home just in time. The batter was made and one waffle was already done.

Just as my waffle was served, and bacon was put on the table, Karen came down to tell us that we were actually leaving much earlier than planned as we had gotten the train times wrong so everyone had to scarf down their breakfast. Of course Aunty Lin was too busy taking care of all of us so she took hers to go and we piled in the car. We were so rushed that I almost got left behind! We got on the train and headed to Finsbury Park. I always think of stories Mom told us of growing up about Finsbury Park and so we talked about wandering over to Scarborough Road to see the old house. Aunty Lin shared stories about her trips to school and about the area. I love taking these trips down memory lane.

We were headed to the Emirates stadium. Uncle Barry and I talked a lot during lockdown about how he was going to take me to an Arsenal match the next time I came over. The problem is I tend to come in the summer when they are on summer break. Our first stop was at Celebration Corner to see Uncle Barry’s plaque and of course to pose with a couple statues. George got in on the fun. Soon we will be seeing all the family with statues around the world- I am sure of it!

The tour was awesome and we saw parts of the stadium you would never be able to see otherwise. I am sure it wouldn’t be enjoyable for everyone, but for a football (soccer) fan, it was pretty damn cool!

We had some lunch in the city before heading home. It had been such a busy few days (weeks) that we were pretty tired by the time we got back. We had a pretty decent-sized list of jobs to do as many of the cousins were coming over the next day. Karen made a list and we all signed up. Many hands make light work, so they say. We ended the evening with some cheesy crumpets, Pimms and then Aperol Spritz. So awesome- I will definitely need a holiday after my holiday!

I Am Trying to be Social

I was up early as I knew we had an early start. I had checked the itinerary on the fridge and knew we had a full day planned.

We started with a coffee and roll at a local coffee roasters. So much has changed as a result of the pandemic and fortunately some of the changes are good. This location of the café Hot Numbers is one of those changes. A cinnamon orange pastry and a latte in an outdoor space were on order while we discussed the plan for the day.

Cambridge is a beautiful city with old buildings, the university, cute shops and so many people to watch. We headed for a wander as we had a table booked there for lunch. The last few times I have come to the UK, and to visit this set of cousins in particular, we have gone to Jamie’s Italian (as in Jamie Oliver). (Un)fortunately, the restaurant has since closed and it is now a Thai restaurant called the Giggling Squid.

We tried to get into a few buildings to have a wander around but found that most buildings were closed to the public because it was Open Day- a time for prospective students to go and have tours around the colleges to decide their place for the fall. Aunty Lin tried to see if we could get in anyway, but we were told to come back after lunch when the buildings would be open again to the public. Not to be deterred because her little niece from Canada was visiting, we decided that if we couldn’t beat them, we would join them. So, we joined a group of students and their parents and took a look around the colleges. When it came time to tour the students’ accommodations, we decided to break away from the group.

Unfortunately once we had broken away from our initial tour group, we weren’t able to join another. Security was tighter at the other colleges and we soon gave up our quest for a place for me in higher education. At the end I decided that perhaps University of Cambridge and all its colleges were probably not for me. So instead we headed back out and stopped for a drink by the water.

It’s funny how quickly the time passes when you are in good company. We bumped into Thomas and knew it was time to start heading back to our meeting place so we could make our way to lunch. Our step counters were clicking away and I was ready for something yummy.

Karen had booked us a gazebo which was like a private dining space but not! It was amazing how different it was from Jamie’s Italian. There was so much food but it was so delicious we didn’t leave anything behind.

George had school since it was Friday and so we headed back home to collect him so he could spend the rest of the day with us. My cousins gave me this awesome Arsenal womens’ training shirt so I decided it was the perfect thing to wear as we were headed to the Spain-Finland game of the Women’s Euro 2022. It was HOT HOT HOT!!! So much for British weather- it’s been sunny and hot my whole trip! I think it was 28 degrees and the sun was beaming down on us. It was a great game- we always talk about how when the women are playing it’s less dramatic- they get hit or knocked down and they get right back up and keep playing. Finland scored a goal in the first minute but then it kind of went down hill for them from there. Spain dominated the game (in my humble opinion) and ended up winning 4-1 in the end.

I have always said this holiday would be one that included tears, and it definitely has. Not tons, but little bits. The pandemic has been hard, for everybody. Everybody has faced new challenges. One thing I have always been aware of was that when we came out on the other side we would not only be stronger and hopefully more resilient, but we would also have to confront the loss and changes.

I know my parents have always faced challenges living far away from their families. Growing up we weren’t close enough to spend time with our cousins and relatives for special occasions like birthdays or holidays. Both my parents have done an amazing job of keeping in touch with the family in both England and Italy and I feel very fortunate that I too feel close to all those family members. As we have gotten older we have been able to come over when there are big occasions like weddings, or when it’s been time to say goodbye to someone. I have never felt like an outsider or like I didn’t belong. I am always so proud to say that I am close with my family overseas though we aren’t close geographically.

Obviously this couldn’t happen during the pandemic. My parents weren’t able to travel home to see their siblings and when my uncle passed away, we weren’t able to go over to be with everyone. We watched online and could see everyone and were sad we couldn’t be with them all. I found this really hard. Communication is easier now than it’s ever been and so I have been in close contact with my aunt and cousins all along, but it hasn’t been the same.

When Uncle Barry passed away, a bench was put in the churchyard in the village in his honour. It took a while to get there as it had to be approved by the Church of England but now it is a place for anyone to come and sit a while. I knew that on this trip I would visit the bench I had seen only in pictures. I would sit on the bench and write some words and have a chat with Uncle Barry when the time was right.

So here I sit this morning to write my blog. What a view on it as it is facing the church and behind it are the horses.

We came last night after the football match. I know he would have loved that I was wearing an Arsenal shirt when I first saw his bench. I can imagine him winding me up and trying to get a rise out of me and I can also imagine me falling for it. I am glad I have had this chance to come and say my goodbyes to him and to talk to him about the past couple of years. I am glad he isn’t suffering any more and I am happy to be with my aunt and cousins.

If nothing else, the pandemic has reminded me to be grateful for all that I have and to appreciate and live in the moment.

Turn into the corners and lean into the bends

It was a busy day today and as a result, I didn’t take many photos.

We went for lunch with my Uncle Al and cousin Harry at their place. I haven’t seen them in so long (as long as I haven’t seen the others, really) so it was really lovely to spend some time with them and catch up on all they’ve been doing.

After lunch, just as a baton is passed in a relay, I was passed on to my Aunty Lin who took me to my last stop for this holiday. Another big bunch of cousins greeted me.

It was prom night for Thomas so I got to experience the final preparation for the pre prom festivities. It was a beautiful sunny day and the lads all looked smashing. (I’m trying to speak more British- lose the Canadian speak! Not sure it’ll happen!)

After the youngsters all left, it was a chance to catch up with my aunt and cousins. We laughed, we cried, we drank Prosecco and we watched a little Love Island. The perfect start to Melly’s Hinxworth visit! I saw the itinerary yesterday on the fridge. There’s exciting stuff planned for the next few days! Buckle up!

Just a Bit of History to Start

Whenever I visit family, they ask what I want to see. They worry that I have already seen everything interesting but is that even possible? I remind them that I don’t come that often so don’t necessarily remember everything, even if I have been there before. Also, there’s always new stuff to explore and discover. I discover new stuff walking Sadie each day and we have been walking pretty similar routes for the past 9 years.

Today we headed into London and to Canary Wharf. I had seen Canary Wharf from a distance but had never been there, so this was all new!

Everyone plays the role of tour guide a bit differently. My Uncle Hugh is the tour guide I aspire to be. He has so many bits of information about so many different things and usually has the patience to answer all my questions (and there are always many). He often starts by telling me that there’s “just a bit of history to start”. Unlike me, I don’t think he ever makes up answers when taking me around. It is not unheard of for me to invent a little information when I don’t know the exact answer, especially when doing a tour in a language other than English! 🙂

In order to get into the city we took the new Elizabeth Line. It was so sparkly and brand-new! It is London’s first accessible railway, running 100km and stopping at 41 stations (though not all are accessible or ready yet). It only opened in May so it was pretty cool to be able to ride on it. Each train has 9 walk-through cars; there were very few people on it when we got on so I tried to get a photo through, but was not overly successful.

We were headed to Crossrail Place Roof garden. First we crossed over the footbridge which was an experience in itself. So many photo opportunities- the colours and lights were awesome. As you wandered through, the colours changed and the light changed. I imagine it looks different at different times of the day as the light changes. There was a tropical garden to wander through and at the end there was a short story station where you could choose to print a short story of 1-, 3- and 5- minute reading times. I chose a 5-minute story called Maisie’s Quest for the train ride home. I love that they were graphic texts and that they were just the beginning of the story. You had to scan a QR code if you wanted to read the rest. And of course they stopped the story in just the right spot so you were left hanging and wanting to know what happened to Maisie!

Maisie’s Quest by Fox Fisher and Lewis Hancox

What’s a wander around an area without some statue hunting? I love a “posable” statue, one I can incorporate myself into it. I was fortunate that my relatives were not only willing to find a couple of statues with me but also patient while I tried to strike a pose. My excitement was obviously infectious as soon everyone was posing with a statue. We wandered by the water, checked out the buildings and watched the people. I love some good people watching!

We took a stroll along West India Quay and decided to go into the Museum of London Docklands. So much to read and learn… just a bit of history! There were some interactive exhibits and of course I was happy to volunteer to try them out.

One of my favourite GIFs at work is the one where there are two hamsters on the wheel and they are running around and one gets thrown off. How excited was I to see the hamster wheel in the museum?(though I am not sure that was what it was called) I jumped in, tried to get it moving, felt like I was going to flip upside down but managed to rotate the wheel enough that I lifted the container. I exited ready to cheer and celebrate but could barely stand! Luckily the video wouldn’t upload.


We had done a good bit of walking and worked up an appetite so headed to The Big Easy for some American barbecue. There was so much food- we were all a bit exhausted by the end of our meal. Competition is a wonderful motivator and so knowing what our steps and kilometers walked were the previous day, we were not going to be outdone. We dusted ourselves off after our meal and headed out to find the traffic light art sculpture. How fantastic! Talk about confusion- you wouldn’t know which light was meant for you.

For a change of scenery on our way back home we headed to Lesnes Abbey, which was the ruins of an abbey. There was a huge wooded area and gardens. Just a little bit of history first… it was built to atone for the murder of Thomas Beckett. Someone was obviously feeling very guilty. What a construction! I loved the monks’ garden and the wooden sculptures that could be found around the park. It was a great space! It made me think about how much there is to explore even in my own neighbourhood.

That’s London in the distance
The Monks’ garden

After such a busy day we all hunkered down to watch some telly, capped off with a little Coronation Street before heading to bed.

And so this ended my visit with this set of relatives. Just as I settle in to a place and get comfortable, the time comes to pack up again and move on. So much family, so little time! How blessed am I?

Chile Will Be the New Saudi Arabia

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.

Chinese/Indian Proverb

RHS Garden Wisley is run by the Royal Horticultural Society and was our destination today. We packed a picnic lunch and set out with cameras, sunscreen and most importantly, comfy shoes!

Having recently redone the gardens at home, I was in awe of the beautiful flowers and plants and mentally taking notes of things I could do in my own space. Hopefully my garden will still have life in it when I return home!

We wandered through as many different areas as we could manage, making sure to stop along the way to sit on the benches and take in our surroundings. The smell of the flowers often accompanied us on our walk…especially in the sweet pea garden and along the lavender trail.

What is a trip to a garden without a lovely piece of cake and a coffee to round out the day? In fact, what’s an afternoon stroll without coffee and cake? 🙂

carrot cake and victoria sponge

It’s been a busy holiday so far, moving from cousin to cousin but I wanted to be sure to spend some time with each of them while here. When I booked my holiday, things were still uncertain. I wasn’t sure it would actually happen. It’s been lovely getting some time with each. Though I couldn’t manage to stay with all of them, I’m hopeful I’ll see most of them even briefly before I head home.

Of course now that I’m away, I wish I’d made my vacation longer so I could have hopped over to Italy to see all my other cousins. I guess it just means I have reason to start planning another trip when I get home.

A Flying Visit

So much time has passed since Nina and I were last together. Lots has changed. Shortly after we returned from our 2019 trip she started dating a man, Mikkel and I’ve been hearing stories about him ever since.

I was finally able to put a face to the name as Nina had errands to run in the morning so Mikkel kindly prepared breakfast for me. He told me he had done some reading about breakfast in Canada so I was bracing myself for eggs and bacon and pancakes and waffles, maybe some hash browns and who knows, possibly some poutine. It’s always interesting to see what shows up on the internet. Homemade bread, a delicious coffee, some yummy jam and a nice chat- it was the perfect way to start the day.

It was great to hear him tell stories about Nina, learn more about him and learn more about the two of them. I’m so glad I had this chance to spend time with them both.

Mikkel took me to meet Nina and she and I spent the day wandering around Copenhagen, laughing and reminiscing about our trips and all the things we’ve seen- we’ve seen a lot!

True to tradition, we stopped to take some pictures of me with statues. As usual we amused the onlookers as I worked to find the right pose and made my way around the statues.

We went for lunch at Aamanns 1921.

Here’s the description from visitcopenhagen.com

“The moderne gastro temple is ruled by one of Copenhagen’s most renowned kings of smørrebrød, Adam Aamann. Expect some of the best smørrebrød in town – actually the best in 2019 according to the association of Danish food critics – but also gourmet dishes that leave the ryebread out prepared with ingredients you probably know but in flavour combinations you probably don’t.

Last time we had a more traditional smørrebrød. This time it was going to be a little different. It was delicious! We started with the plaice, then had the mushrooms and then the beef tartare. So yummy!

24 hours isn’t long and I know some people questioned why I didn’t stay longer and why I went for such a short time. I’ve always said some time is better than no time and I was happy Nina and I had the chance to spend some time together and catch up. It was a quick visit but we managed to talk about ideas of where to go next and started talking about where we might go next summer- the 10 year anniversary of when we met in Beijing. Old habits die hard so shortly after we had said our good byes at the metro station we texted to admit we’d each gotten all choked up shortly after leaving each other. We are so cool and collected when we say good bye and then when we are suddenly alone it hits us that we’ve said goodbye. Until we meet again, my dear friend!

So now I’m back at the airport, ready to head back to the UK and on to the next relative. 🙂

Get ready, family- here I come!

Nina

In 2013 I took a trip on the TranSiberian/TransMongolian rail from Beijing to Moscow. This is where I met Nina, a traveller from Denmark. Who knew then that we’d become such great travel buddies?

In the past nine years, we have taken 11 trips together, travelling to 21 countries.

Then COVID hit. And then in February Nina contacted me to tell me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and so wouldn’t be able to travel for a while longer.

When planning this trip, it seemed strange that Nina would not factor in it. I struggled during the pandemic not seeing family and friends so decided if I could manage it, and if it worked with her treatment schedule, I’d somehow get to see her if she weren’t able to meet up with me.

And this was the day that happened. Daniel and I went for a fantastic post-concert breakfast before I headed to the airport to fly to Copenhagen.

When I got off the Metro, there she was- my travel buddy who I hadn’t seen in 3 years! We sat and talked and caught up and did what we always do. We used to see each other once or twice a year to travel so this felt just like old times. We even talked about where we might travel to next, when the time was right.

I love that a friendship borne out of a love of travel and a common desire to explore has flourished and stood the test of time. We stay in contact during the year but really our travel time is when we really connect.

I’ve missed her. This was just what I needed.

2013- the beginning of a wonderful friendship and still my favourite picture
2014 (with Anissa!)
2015
2016
2017 (we didn’t take a selfie together!)
2018
2019
2022

Those Who…

… feel the breath of sadness, find they’re touched by madness, find themselves ridiculous
Sit down next to me!

– James

This day had been in the plans for over a year. My year off was going to be about traveling to places I hadn’t been able to travel to during summer vacation, going to places I love so I could just stay for a while and following some of my favourite artists and attending concerts around the world.

When I read that my favourite band, James, were playing a special show in Manchester last year, I figured it was as good an excuse as any to get back to travelling. As lockdowns came and went over the past year, I never felt assured I would actually get there. But here we were!!

Daniel and I were up and out early to catch a train to Manchester. A quick wander through London to switch train stations, a fleeting worry as we heard the previous train was cancelled, and we were off. A delicious cheese and pickle sandwich, flapjack and a packet of crisps on board and I was ready to arrive and start wandering.

I often have the TV on at home but don’t really follow any shows. Except Coronation Street. I watch it regularly. Some might say religiously. And I have been doing so for quite some time. Luckily my cousin is amenable to suggestions so was willing to go with me on the Coronation Street tour. I can’t even describe how excited I was when we got nearer the cobbles.

The tour was great and we took tons of photos. The guide asked questions and a secret fan was exposed! Daniel knew more answers not only than me, but than most of the others on the tour.

We wandered back to the city centre, passing Old Trafford on the way. I didn’t see Ronaldo but we did spy an orange Ferrari so you never know which famous person may have been nearby.

Originally the only information I had about the concert was that doors opened at 5. Fortunately a few days before there was information about set times so we were able to plan better. While not old, neither of us are spring chickens so we made plans for a good dinner before heading to the bowl.

We ate at Hawksmoor which was huge and packed and fantastic! Caesar salad and carpaccio to start, a massive porterhouse steak with tomato salad, triple cooked fries and Mac and cheese. So much food and so delicious. We were ready to dance the night away.

And so we did! There were so many people there and as we chatted with those around us we heard stories of other James concerts and other people’s experiences. The atmosphere at their shows is always so awesome! So much love and happiness and joy! We danced, and sang, and laughed and before we knew it the band were taking a bow and heading off stage.

placeholder://placeholder://Because it was an anniversary concert, they had published the setlist. We still hadn’t heard my favourite song but as soon as they returned to the stage, they played it. What an awesome night and experience!

We were stood beside two brothers from Manchester the entire time; we had laughed, cried over spilled beer together and joined each other in song. James played two encores, a few extra songs but eventually they left the stage for good.

Phil and Steve invited us to a local bar for one more drink after the concert. Bunny Jackson’s was famous for wings. I wasn’t up to drinking any more so when they asked what I’d like to drink, I said I usually drank Prosecco, figuring I would be safe. Steve returned with a bottle of Prosecco and a single glass- not what I was expecting! We shared the Prosecco, stories of music and concerts and travel and then Daniel and I ventured on as he was determined to take me to a nightclub for a little bit of dancing.

I was fading; a sad side effect of a combination of getting older and not getting enough sleep means by the wee hours of morning I am usually running out of steam. It probably didn’t hurt that we had walked over 19km that day! Dan was right- the music was fun, the venue was good – after a few dances we decided it was time to pack it in.

I gawked at the posters of all the bands announced for later in the summer- so many concerts I would love to be at and so many bands that I love that don’t regularly come to Canada. As we walked past bars and pubs, the music was that of all my favourite bands. They say that On the sixth day, God created Manchester. While I’m not sure if that’s true, my brief experience has made it clear that I need to return!