Thursday, October 26, 2006

Day 4

Started slowly on account of the fact the older two girls had what is laughingly called a sleepover, has to be said that K in particular longed for the sleep bit as she had to be up for Uni. Consequently K left the house like a bear with a sore head only to arrive and find the Uni car park full, not a good start to the day!

When eventually we set off the stop was at the prison (no not as punishment for keeping us awake all night) to drop off an Eid present for the Imam that I work with. I only had B with me as the other two were off doing there own thing. Only Sally came back with a suggestion for today a frankly well R could demolish a fiver in seconds in the Tr*ff*rd C*ntr* and she's only 9.

Anyway by the time we'd been to the prison it was lunch so it seemed fitting to go to my favourite coffee shop for lunch.

Toasted bagel with tuna mayo for me and the same in a baked potato for B. She also had a hot chocolate with cream, marsh mellows and chocolate sprinkles, this girl knows how to lunch.

After lunch off to the community farm to see the animals and take in nature.

However, when we pulled into the car park a bonus in the form of a large climbing wall. B was a little reluctant at first but soon lost her fear and was up like a shot (in fact she would like to again on day 5).

After she had scaled all four faces we moved on to the farm to look at the little cute animals. Pigs, bulls, chickens, sheep, birds and rabbits (alive before and after I left) however, I have to say it was this goat that I liked the most.

Day 5 will be less adventurous its my Mum's birthday so all the girls are off there and then staying the weekend as me and K head to Crewe for the Greenbelt Ops Weekend. Really looking forward to meeting up with everyone. They are such a great bunch of people but distance and diaries prevents me from seeing many off them as much as I would like. So no blogs till Monday now, when I will share stories from the weekend but I promise no pics!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Day 3

Day 3 was quieter started with a trip to the dentist, no fillings yay! Then me and K took R to the pictures whilst the other girls did homework. We went to see Hoodwinked a modern day cartoon version of Little Red Riding Hood. I’ll not give the plot away not that there was much of one, all a little dull really, although the squirrel that seems to be obligatory in children’s films these days was quite funny. Still R enjoyed it and I guess that’s what counts. Not planned day 4 yet, suggestions on a postcard to.......


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Day 2

Well day 2 and lots planned. Early start off to catch the bus to Manchester and a visit to Urbis. Urbis is a museum looking at urban life. Sitting listening to a review of the Manchester bomb and subsequent re building of Manchester left quite sad. The events of that day reminded me of my all too close involvement in the Warrington bombings. However, I did chuckle at the comment on the video that the IRA had done more for town planning in Manchester than many before them. It was also good to be reminded of the story of this post box.

It was seen on many news reports in the after math of the bombing still standing despite the best efforts of terrorist bombs. After the redevelopment it was placed back in its original location as a symbol of hope and defiance and that Mancunians can overcome adversity. I enjoyed Urbis perhaps more than R although she did enjoy the glass elevator that takes you up the 45 degree angle of the building.

So then off to Blackpool, I need to be honest I’m not a big fan of Blackpool. I put it down to going there as a child. My parents didn’t have a car so Blackpool usually involved long walk, cold and wet weather. Today did little to change my opinion on that score at least. However, to be fair overall I enjoyed the day, I still enjoy seeing the smile on the children’s faces as they marvel at the lights. So we arrived early and I parked up and bought my ticked from the machine (take note of this point). We had decided to take the dog so we battled getting her out of the car, watered and ready for her walk along the golden sands. Arrr bit of a problem it seems Blackpool is in the middle of a multi million pound revamp and access to the golden sands is restricted so we settled for squelching along the prom. To make matters worse when we finally arrived at the one place we could gain access to the beach we discovered that dogs were prohibited until the end of November.

Not wishing it to spoil the day K and my Mum took H and R on the pier whilst K and myself and the dog (who was once again prohibited) took refuge on a bench. Millie the dog cried for the entire time they were gone, she cried and barked at: horse drawn carriages, donkeys, other dogs, seagulls. They we were sat on a bench in Blackpool in the rain with the worlds most complaining dog things couldn’t get worse I thought, it was at this point the seagull scored the direct hit on my coat! K and I advanced along the prom and treated ourselves to a hot chocolate. Just then the rest of the group appeared with hot donuts yes its true another likeness I share with Homer. We started the walk back to the car ready for the drive back through the lights wish by such time would be switched on.

I know the illuminations have their critics but I always have and still do like them, they are different if nothing else and well the drive through and the stop for fish and chips at the end have become something of a ritual in our family.

So we stopped for our fish and chips and very nice they were to, I collected the rubbish from the car and put it in the bin. It was wandering back to the car again that I noticed the parking fine, apparently having paid you are then meant to display not leave the ticket in the pocket of your jeans, DOH! You know though despite its ups and downs (note the rollercoaster link) the trip to Blackpool was great bring it on next year!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Day 1

Day 1 saw a visit to the Imperial War Museum of the North. The first big plus was it met my first rules of engagement for this holiday in that entry was free of charge. The second bonus was that it is only minutes around the corner from where K is at Uni so given she had a four hour break she was able to come with us. We started off with lunch in the Lowry Outlet Village and then took the pleasant walk across the quays to the museum. The walk included crossing Salford’s very own wobbly bridge.

I was slightly sceptical as to how much I would enjoy this visit; I’m not a big fan of war stories and certainly dislike anything that appears to glorify war. I was pleasantly surprised far from glorifying war it highlighted the personal cost of war not just from long ago but recently. This had an effect on H and R and made them realise stories like these are more than TV images but real people. It was a good visit and good to spend time together. K bought a new teapot from the Lowry which meant the parking was free and seeing how the teapot was cheaper than the parking would have been I call that value for money! All round a good start to the week role on Urbis and then Blackpool.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


I remembered to do it, I booked a week off, so this week Daddy and the kids (K is still in uni most of the week) wiil be doing the mostly free tourist attractions of the North West. Promise to post with pics as the week goes by. Monday starts with the Imperial War Museum North and Tuesday sees us move on to Urbis and then with K, my Mum and the dog head off for Blackpool a walk down the prom and see the lights!


Learning New Lessons Part 4

I promise this will be the last blog by this title, its not that I am having my normal titlephobia it just seemed appropriate. So there I am on my way into Manchester to the charity where I work, it’s a charity working with ex offenders (note the irony). I need some money for the bus, so I stop at the cash point only yo find the cupboard is bare. Now I am the first to admit my job pays peanuts, that’s ok I knew it paid peanuts when I started, however I also knew I had money in my account. Yes I have become the victim of crime, well to be precise card crime. Some muppet (friendly word denoting someone who is primarily a tosser) has cloned my card and emptied my account. This you may think is the lesson I have learned, you are wrong however. No the lesson I have learned is when everything around you unexpectedly caves in you suddenly realise how many friends you have. Thank you to you all you know who you are!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Learning New Lessons Part 3

So the deliberations have been made, the visit completed and we have decided to stay well for the time being anyway!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Learning New Lessons Part 2

Never take anything you are told for granted! So should we stay or should we go!

The Happy Couple

Well he finally did it, which meant being his best man I finally did it too, marriage and speech I mean and in that order too. I did it 17 years ago on Saturday, marriage that is, oh this is becoming confusing so I will shut up and leave you with some pics. Oh who am I talking about, Nick/Neil/Mole (Delete as applicable) some of you may know him from GB!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Learning New Lessons

Had such a busy week. Karen started at Uni this week doing a degree in event management. All happened a bit sudden as initially she made an enquiry to start next year only to discover that she could still enrol and had the required qualifications.

As a consequence our lifestyle has had to change with me taking a bigger role in domestic responsibility. So Monday the new regime starts, up earlier than normal and take Karen to Uni. B brought back and taken to school, back home and make tea for tonight, washing, cleaning and then off to prison for a few hours as I had a couple of referrals to deal with.

I finished at the prison and had an hour spare before I needed to pick up B from school so I was able to meet Karen for half an hour as she had a break. She was buzzing with excitement and it was just so great to see so much life in her.

After picking up B I came home tidied up, helped with homework and sorted tea out for the girls. Picked up Karen at 6 well actually it turned out to be half six as she had been held back talking to the lecturer, honestly day 1 and apple for the teacher already. Will I ever get used to this hectic lifestyle, all I wonder is how did / does Karen keep this up on a regular basis?

Tuesday I had another prison meeting very messy lots of changes taking place in the chaplaincy team at the moment but I guess change is inevitable and if I am honest probably needed. Once they are all done then it gives a possibility for exciting times ahead. However, I’ll only be there until July before it’s time to move on so whether I will see them take place remains to be seen.

Today has been a day catching up with my diary, sending some emails and generally getting straight, something I’ve been trying to do for ages so I was pleased to get straight at last. Sometimes I find that you when you are involved in ministry you get so tied up with the doing the other stuff gets left behind.

Weekend sees N finally get married, really looking forward to it except for the fact I am the best man and still have to write the speech. Still that’s a job for Friday before going to spend the night at N’s house. I think I have been typecast as well as normal best man duties, I have a reading to do and Grace to say, oh well at least they are jobs I know I can do.

You never know perhaps next week will bring some pic’s and the tale of what happened, if you are lucky, oh and if I have the time!