A day in Manchester

Ugh, I’m a terrible blogger! Not only have I not posted in daaays… today’s post is about a day trip we took in October! Between being busy and, quite honestly, sheer lack of motivation, I’m way behind!
Anyway… while we were in England in October, we decided we wanted to have a couple of days away by ourselves rather than spending time just with my family. I knew I wanted to see the Wave exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, so we started looking into other places in Yorkshire. Then Jan pointed out that Manchester is only an hour from there, he had never been and I’d only made it as far as the airport. Plus my ex-housemate from uni days lives in Salford. And so the decision was made… Manchester it was.

I know I have a few readers from the Manchester area, so I hope none of you will be offended when I say it’s not my favourite city. Sorry! Culturally, there’s a lot going on – if we’d wanted to, we could have spent a week visiting all its museums! But it’s just too… cityish for me. It’s crowded, it’s loud, and while there are some nice buildings, they’re few and far between. I’m glad we visited, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t want to live there!

It was fairly sunny when we arrived, so after parking the car, we decided to just wander around for a while and see what we could find. And, in my case, take photos.

Maybe too many photos?

We also managed to buy some blue trousers for Jan (which he needed for a choir performance), having failed to find any he liked that fit him in Newcastle… so yay Manchester for that.

You may have noticed the sky getting rather cloudy in the last few photos above. At around 2 p.m., the heavens opened… after it had been such bright sunshine all morning. Yep, we were definitely in England! Obviously we needed shelter! My friend had recommended the John Rylanda Library as a place to check out and earlier in the day we had noticed a sign saying it had an exhibition on the gothic, which sounded interesting, so that’s where we went. The building is pretty cool – it looks like a converted church, except it never was a church… it was just built like that. Again, I took too many photos, but when you see them you’ll (hopefully) understand why.

By the time we’d finished with the library, it was pretty much time to meet my friend. Luckily by that time the rain had also stopped since we were meeting outdoors! On the way to meet him we ended up down by the river.

My friend was slightly late meeting us (something to do with trams), so we sat in the little park next to the tram stop and I tried to take photos of rainbows. It’s harder than it looks!

Can you see them? Click the photos for a bigger version.

After we met my friend, we asked him to recommend a place to eat – that’s what locals are for, after all 😉 He took us to an amazing Thai place that I wish I could remember the name of! It was right by the Chinatown gate if that helps any locals. I ate incredible beef in a pepper sauce – so good it was all gone before it occurred to me to take a photo! Afterwards, we stopped at a pub around the corner for a few pints (by this time it was chucking it down again!), then it was time to leave my friend, pick up the car and drive back to our hotel in Yorkshire.

If anyone ever finds themselves in Manchester I would love to recommend a Thai restaurant for you to eat at… but unfortunately, I can’t 😉

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was nominated for this award back in March and am only now getting round to posting it on my blog. *Ashamed*. Thank you Briana! I am honorued. Now everybody go and check out her blog, A Beautiful Life.

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award1

To accept the award, the rules are as follows: 

  1. Provide a link and thanks to the bloggers who nominated you
  2. Answer 10 questions
  3. Nominate 10 blogs that you find a joy to read
  4. Provide links to blogs and inform the recipients that they have been nominated
  5. Include the award logo within post

QUESTIONS:

  1. Who is a woman from history that you respect? From history? Oooh, that’s difficult.  I think I’m going to say Helen Keller. She proved that any obstacle can be overcome with enough determination.
  2. Why is your blog’s name your blog’s name? Confuzzled means confused and confuzzledom can mean either a combination of confuzzled and kingdom (the kingdom of confusion!) or the state of being confuzzled… a perfect description of my brain most of the time! Plus I like the sound of the word.
  3. What book are you reading right now? A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I’ve literally just started so I have no idea if it’s any good.
  4. What’s your favorite drink? Homemade lemonade (when I can be bothered to make it), Dandelion & Burdock and, if we’re talking alcohol, Tia Maria mixed with orange juie. It’s called an Orange Sartie and it tastes AMAZING! Ooh, and I can’t forget a nice cup of tea (with milk, of course)… I am English after all
  5. Which is your favorite method of transport? I think train. Before moving to Germany I never took the train, ever. Now I take one to work every day. But what I love most about it is you can get on in Germany and then off again in a completely different country. France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic… even after 6 years in Germany (plus one in Austria) I never fail to find this amazing!
  6. What is your favorite food? You are kidding, right? ONE favourite food? There’s no possible way I can choose between potatoes, cheese and a nice big plate of curry with poppadoms!
  7. Do you ever sing in the shower? Occasionally… but I usually get distracted by the sound of the water
  8. Are you wearing socks right now? This is a rather odd question, but yes, in fact I am. They’re black with stars on (have I ever mentioned that I have a slight obsession with stars?…)
  9. If you could be given any gift, what would it be? This one is haaard, and is part of the reason I’ve taken so long to post this! I’m going to say my own library.. not a lending library, but the kind with shelves full of books and comfy sofas (preferably in red) for spending hours curled up reading in. Oh, and there would have to be a desk as well, with an old globe on it, of course. You can be given a library as a gift, right?
  10. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass it? Either on WordPress, on Facebook or frantically trying to complete a cross stitch picture… could people please stop getting married and having babies and give me a chance to catch up?!

And now for my nominations…

  1. Janey at Is That You, Darling?
  2. Heather at Heather Goes to Deutschland
  3. Elaine at I used to be indecisive
  4. Svenja at Happy Bluebird
  5. Ari at The Pace of It All
  6. Heather (a different one) at Fiery and Opinionated
  7. Rachael at The Pink Rachael (I really hope she takes part – I swear this girl is like my blogging twin. We feel the same about sooo many issues and I need to see her answers!)
  8. Fay at Fly on the Wall
  9. Sarah at Working Berlin Mum
  10. And finally, the wonderful Katyboo

I know not everybody likes to do these things, and I won’t be offended if you decide not to… but if you do take part please let me know. I would love to read your answers!

 

Reading for pain and pleasure

I’ve just been looking at UWE’s online area. The summer holidays are over now and my Masters course is starting again. Time to get back to the old grindstone… cos working full time clearly just isn’t enough for me…
So I was looking at the course material for Text Linguistics where I discovered that the nice man running the course has kindly pointed out that the books he wants us to use are available at the UWE library. Umm, has he not realised that this is an online course. The participants are scattered throughout the world… exactly how useful does he imagine a library in Bristol is going to be? So it looks like I’m going to have to buy some lovely expensive books that I have no intention of ever using again once this module is over. Oh, and he wants the first practical exercise in on 10th October. As in this Friday. Remind me why I wanted to go back to uni?

Ooh, speaking of books – I bought myself a present today. I didn’t mean to, but I spotted it while I was in Thalia having a browse at what kids books they’ve got (I need to start buying Christmas presents now if I’m going to afford them all!) And I’ve wanted it for ages as well. Are you all intrigued now? SHould I tell you what I bought?
It’s Thankyou for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern. Yes, I am aware that her books are pretty much Chick Lit, but who cares. I love them. And they’re not half as brainless as some of the stuff that’s out there. Anyway, wooo something new to read. And for only 6 euros as well – bloody cheap for an English book in Germany!

Right, I’m off to do something useful now…. errm, after I’ve caught up on everyone’s blogs that is…

Buying back my childhood

We moved around a lot when I was a child. Not as much as some army families but much more than the majority of ordinary people do. And things tended to go missing during these moves. I still remember a black haired doll called Lynsey who disappeared somewhere between our house in Northern Ireland and our new house in Aldershot. Then there were the books. We always had a lot of books. Even back then I loved reading and would sit all day working my way through a pile of books if the grown ups would only let me. There are so many books I remember owning back then that I now have no idea of the whereabouts of. Like my original copy of What Katy Did. My Grandma let me take it away from her house and I was convinced it must be really old because it had belonged to one of my aunts when she was a little girl. When you’re 8 or 9 aunts are ancient, therefore the book must have been too. The book disappeared at some point and I was devastated. Later I got another copy in one of those children’s classic collections but it’s just not the same. Then there were my Peter Rabbit books. My sister had the whole set in miniature. I only had two, big versions of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck. Gone. All gone. I had a puffin 50th anniversary collection of books as well, containing things like Ballet Shoes, Stig of the Dump and the Silver Sword. They came as a box set and when you stood them next to each other the sides of the covers made up the number 50. Three or four of those are missing now though, so that the 5 is missing part of its belly and the 0 looks weirdly deformed.

There are other books too. Ones I never owned, but remember reading during silent reading at school. Things like Ace (who was the sheep-pig’s great, great grandson) and The Way to Satin Shore. And books I borrowed from the library. I remember gradually taking out the entire Ramona Quimby series from our local library – the first one was chosen mainly because of the authors name. Beverly like me, except I have an extra e.

I’m slowly, slowly making a list of all the books I remember reading and adoring back then. Then once I’m earning a proper wage, I’ll start buying back my childhood. I just hope the world doesn’t go and end on us tomorrow as some people are predicting. I’d hate to be sucked into a black hole without having a chance to read When Marnie was there one last time…

Books!

I love books. In fact, I’d go as far as to say I’m obsessed with them. I have a whole list of books (it takes up about 6 A4 pages!) that I want to read someday. And that’s just the ones that a) Amazon have recommended to me and b) that I found on Wikipedia’s lists of books by year… and I only went back to about 1985. One day I’m going to have a library. Not the sort that people visit for the purpose of borrowing books – although I have no problem with people borrowing my books, as long as they bring them back. No, I mean the sort that you see in old posh homes, the kind with matching bookcases all around the walls and a big fireplace. Mine probably won’t have a fireplace, but it will have some incredibly comfy sofas and armchairs for snuggling down in with your chosen reading material. It’ll be great! Unfortunately at the moment I’m not sure I’ll ever have a house, never mind one with a library, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

Anyway, the point of this post… Yesterday, while I was at work, I received a package. I knew it was coming, but wasn’t expecting it to arrive so fast. I went to pick it up this morning. My dad sent it all the way from England and it contained a) my A-level and university certificates, which I need for my job hunt, and b) lots and lots of lovely books. OK, there’s actually only about 8, not exactly lots and lots, but enough to keep me going for a while. YAY! And they’re all books that my dad rescued from being mushed up and turned into toilet roll while he was working at a recycling plant, so I haven’t even read them before. Guess what I’m going to be doing in my free time for the next week or so?…