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Sale

Manchester


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Dave and I have had a lovely time in Manchester with his family. Today we had a really nice lunch at Decker's at Sale Water Park; after lunch Dave and I walked round the lake a little bit and then crossed a field or two until we reached the River Mersey, the historic border between Cheshire and Lancashire. We walked along the bank for a while until we found a bridge and crossed into Lancashire and back before returning to the park.

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Before we looked round the centre of Sale - to get there Dave and I walked along the Bridgewater Canal. The houseboats on that stretch of the canal make a pretty sight. Part of the canal was frozen, part of it wasn't and part of it was in a state of inbetween.

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In Sale you can definitely tell that the local businesses lost a lot of trade after the Trafford Centre was built. I liked looking round the charity shops, however, although I didn't buy anything. From another shop I bought two pairs of trousers to take back with me to Bulgaria for work.

Posted by 3Traveller 12:38 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom christmas dave manchester Comments (0)

Manchester: Deer, dear?

Derby, Manchester and Dunham Massey Hall


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On the way north to Manchester Mum and I stopped in Derby to have a cup of tea/ coffee with my great-aunt, who I hadn't seen since January. It was really nice to speak to her and show her my engagement ring.

Mum and I carried on from Derby up to Manchester, where we spent a lovely weekend with Dave, his parents and extended family.

Yesterday we visited Dunham Massey Hall, originally built in the 17th century though some alterations were made in the following three centuries. Although it would be interesting to visit at any time, we went there this weekend for a specific reason. During WW1 Dunham Massey Hall was converted into Stamford Military Hospital; to commemorate the centenary of the start of the war, they have temporarily reconstructed it. We walked round the ward, recreation room, operating theatre, an extremely atmospheric Georgian library, complete with a carving by the famous woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (I'm not sure if the soldiers were allowed in this room) and one or two other rooms in the main hall, and then the kitchen, laundry and others in a separate building next door.

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There was lots of very interesting information given in each room, including background information about some of the soldiers and also the family who owned Dunham Massey at the time and worked in/ ran the hospital once it was constructed. There were also some actors playing the roles of one or two of the soldiers and nurses; at the start of the tour we were told that as far as they were concerned they were just going about their everyday life in 1916 - 1918 and could not see us, the visitors from 2014, so they would not 'see' or acknowledge us in any way. Every now and then they would do a small sketch of an interaction that could have actually taken place because they were based on the background information known about the soldier or nurse they were playing. They never announced any of these, of course, because officially they were not aware of any audience. If you didn't happen to be in the room at the time, then you missed it. I loved the way this was all set up.

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In the building next door there were two actors playing kitchen-maids who were also just going about their everyday jobs, but this time did acknowledge visitors if they were asked a question. They still replied in character, though; I thought they were excellent. While I was in the kitchen they were resting a little, sitting by a table doing some sewing.

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Dunham Massey also has a deer park. We saw some wandering around in one field and then a small herd/ group of them lying down close to the entrance to the main hall. I'd been very keen to see the deer so I was really happy I managed to see them so close up.

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That afternoon/ evening we had a family barbecue in the back garden; great company, lovely food (special mention to the delicious marinaded steaks) and sunny weather. Just before we went to bed there was also time to see the cricket highlights of England's amazing victory over India in the 4th Test.

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Today Mum went to Salford with Dave's dad to see the Lowry Centre, whilst Dave and I went into Manchester city centre. We popped into Manchester Museum for a bit...

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...had some lunch at a South-East Asian restaurant called Tampopo...

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...and had a quick drink at Temple Bar, a tiny underground bar famous for formerly having been a set of public toilets. Dave asked about their souvenir Temple Bar cigarette lighters, because although neither of us are smokers I'm thinking of taking some incense sticks with me to Bulgaria (I've accepted the Bulgarian job I had an interview for in Mindo), but their machine was broken.

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Posted by 3Traveller 13:13 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom museum dave manchester mum barbecue derby dunham_massey_hall Comments (0)

Manchester and Nottingham


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Dave and I went up to Manchester on New Year's Day to see his parents and grandma for our re-arranged Christmas visit (originally we had arranged to be there from Boxing Day to the 29th, but then of course events took over). It was lovely to see them, as always. We stayed the night and fitted a lot into the following day (today) before our departure.

In the morning we did some shopping at the Trafford Centre. I bought a special chocolate meringue and a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans from Selfridges and a pair of trousers for work. Dave had a good look round but didn't buy anything. Then time for some lunch in the food court - fish and chips from Harry Ramsden's - just what we wanted. For months I'd been looking forward to having some proper fish & chips once I was back in the UK for Christmas!

Then we managed to fit in one or two activities in the city centre. We walked through the Northern Quarter on our way to the Wheel of Manchester - interesting to see Manchester from a bird's eye view.

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We shared our pod with an thirtysomething Eastern European guy who told us that this was the first time in his life that he'd been so high up.

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A quick drink at Sinclair's Oyster Bar followed. This is the most atmospheric pub I've been to in Manchester; founded in the 18th century as an extension to the building that is now The Old Wellington Inn (which was itself built in the 16th century), after the IRA bomb exploded nearby in 1996 they were both dismantled and rebuilt further down the road. I love the wooden panelling inside. We couldn't spend long there though because we had to head to Nottingham before it got too late.

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We stopped at McDonald's for dinner at a service station on the way to Nottingham (Beeston). Today was clearly not a day for healthy eating! I only have McDonald's every once in a blue moon, but when I do, I do love a plain double cheeseburger with medium fries.

We were in Beeston for a flying visit to old friends, on our way back to St Albans. It was lovely to sit down and have a good chat for an hour or so. Thanks Amy and Dan! Thanks also for the Kahlua on ice!

Posted by 3Traveller 10:03 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged united_kingdom dave manchester nottingham historic_pub british_cuisine Comments (0)

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