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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Experimenting with colours

threads

I recently discovered that Amazon sells cross stitch supplies, which is useful since I haven’t found a place in Basel to buy them from yet. In the process, I learned that Anchor does a lot more multicoloured threads than were ever available in Karlsruhe. Since I have no willpower whatsoever when it comes to spending money, I decided to buy some to play with, despite not actually having any need for multicoloured threads right now! The following stitches were all experiments and I have no idea what I’m going to do with them yet. Also, they were all taken from magazines, although I’m not sure their original artists would recognise them now!

The first one I did was a hippo, using a multicoloured thread I already had. Based on the colours, it will probably end up as a new baby card for a little girl.

Hippo cross stitchFor the next one, I knew as soon as I saw the thread that I wanted to use it to stitch a lion, so I went looking for one in all my cross stitch magazines. I think it turned out quite well!

lion cross stitchNext, I stitched two hedgehogs using the same thread but different techniques. They were actually supposed to be the exact same hedgehog, but I messed up one and had to improvise, so they ended up totally different:

I used two different threads involving green for my next two items, a stripy dinosaur and a rather luminous snake! These were quick stitches and I got them both done on the same evening.

Finally, I used a many-coloured thread to stitch this rainbow bird. I’m really proud of this one – it actually looks like it’s meant to be this way! (The wing was done using a plain green thread – I thought making that multicoloured too would be a bit much).

Bird cross stitchWhich is your favourite? I think mine is either the bird or the lion.
Fellow stitchers, what would you use multicoloured threads for?

By the way, I will soon be starting a new round of “guess the cross stitch” (as requested by Linda). I hope you’ll all join in! Those who don’t know what I’m talking about can see last year’s here.

Travel theme: Multi-coloured

Another fun travel theme from Ailsa this week… multi-coloured. There are so many photos I could have used for this that I didn’t know where to start, but eventually I managed to narrow it down to the following few. A very Germany-centred travel theme this one, with only two shots taken elsewhere…

My first photo is from Dublin. We spotted this pre-school down by the river and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it. It looks so cheerful!

Dublin preschool

This colourful bear is just one of many you can find dotted around Berlin:

Berlin bear

I love rows of buildings painted in different colours and almost always take photos of them when we visit somewhere. These ones are in Würzburg.

Würzburg

Staying in Germany, but switching towns… I’ve posted this colourful lantern on the blog before but it fits so well with the theme that I wanted to include it here. I spotted it in Heidelberg when my sister came to visit.

My next photo was taken in Sweden – this colourful Dala horse stands outside the City Hall in Stockholm.

Dala horse

And finally, I would like to end my post the same way Ailsa started hers… with a rainbow. I didn’t have to travel very for for this photo… it was taken right here in Karlsruhe, next to the train station.

rainbow

To see how other people have interpreted the theme (including some much more impressive photos of rainbows!) and to join in yourself, check out Ailsa’s blog post.