I was delighted at the fact that I regained some of my blogging mojo recently, only to then promptly trek up north to spend some time with family and friends for four days, most of which I didn’t have access to the internet.
A little while ago I received an invitation from some friends to meet up for a meal in Manchester. I’ve known them for twenty years, meeting them when I was sixteen and studying at sixth form college, and a few of us have kept in touch and meet up on an annual basis. I realised that it would also be a good opportunity to spend some time with my mum and sister, who I haven’t seen since before Christmas, and also arranged to meet my oldest friend (who lives in the city centre) for breakfast on the morning when I was travelling back.
I got the train up on Thursday morning, and it turned out to be better than I expected. After the rather scary incident the last time I was on a train I was a little apprehensive, but aside from having to adapt my journey to a different route due to messed up timetables it was ok. It was a strange feeling at first – I’ve never been uncomfortable or felt vulnerable when traveling by myself before – but I was lucky to find a table seat with a power socket and was opposite two really nice men who were off to watch the rugby, and they were really polite and kept themselves to themselves while I got on with some social media stuff to keep myself occupied.
Spending time with mum was nice – one of her dogs passed away earlier in the year and the remaining dog is still grieving so I felt quite sorry for him – but we talked nonsense, caught up, watched a film (I got her to watch La La Land and was surprised that she really enjoyed it – we have completely different tastes in films and TV programmes), I was made to watch some of her soap operas and then attempted to get my own back by making her watch Love Island. The joke was on me, however, as she fell asleep after the first ten minutes… Typical.
The only frustrating thing about staying at my mum’s house is that it is the place where the internet goes to die. She doesn’t have WiFi, using the excuse that she works on computers all day and therefore doesn’t need to use it in the evening, but there’s something about her house that makes it impossible to get any form of 4G (or even 3G) unless you position yourself at a very specific point on the sofa. There’s a signal available outside at both the front and back of the house, but the minute you step inside it completely disappears. Weird. I found it funny how frustrated I felt at the lack of access to it after a while – before I met The Bloke I didn’t even have a computer in my house – but now my job revolves around social media I had to keep going outside to get any work done.
Luckily the weather has been absolutely glorious – the heatwave still continues – but unfortunately this has had a monumentally devastating impact on the moorlands on Winter Hill near to where I grew up. Enormous fires (some of which has been started deliberately) have been raging for quite a while and the local fire services have been working around the clock in a effort to try and put them out. You could smell the smoke from my mum’s house. It’s rare that I wish for rain, but a good thunderstorm is very much needed right about now…
The few days after leaving my mum’s house were quite busy. I went to my sister’s new house (which was the first time that I had seen it since she moved in) and was greeted by the loaf-of-bread-with-ears that is her insane pug, Dougal. I was staying at hers overnight, so we caught up for a while, I did some work (hello, WiFi!), then got the tram into Manchester to meet my friends for dinner. It was a little confusing at first as I went into the wrong restaurant and wondered why I was the only one there (not the first time I have done that), but once I realised and finally found them we sat down at a long table and I started on the Raspberry Mojito. We talked, laughed, ate really nice food and took silly pictures. I always enjoy being around them – I may not have spoken to some of them in months but we always carry on from where we left off as if we had seen each other the day before.
I then got the tram back to my sister’s and her boyfriend very kindly picked me up from the station as it was late. I must have been really tired – I fell asleep pretty much straight away – only to be then woken up at 5.30am by a manic pug chewing my feet. Clearly it was payback for the loaf of bread comment I had made when I first got there… it’s a good job he’s cute.
I then got all of my things and then went back into the city centre to meet my oldest friend for breakfast. She’s been through an awful lot in the last couple of years, but I was so pleased to see that she seemed happier than she has been in a while. We talked while sitting in the sun and eating our breakfast, and after several hours I had to leave to get the train.
I arrived back home exhausted, but it had been fun. I always think that it’s a sign of a good time when you feel like you need a short break to get over the break you’ve just had…
What about you guys? What have you been up to?
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