Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Long Weekend Oop North

Last Wednesday Family W and Granny set off oop north to stay with Grandma and Grandad for a few days.

On Thursday morning DC and I set off in our wet-weather gear to feed the ducks. DC took along some of his favourite Party Ring biscuits in case he got hungry on the way. He clearly knows the value of always carrying some 'in case of emergency' food items, as I never leave the house without some form of chocolate stashed in my handbag or about my person. I hope that soon he will also learn the value of always having a book and/or magazine at hand in case of an unexpected 10 minutes to yourself while waiting/queuing somewhere.

 Unfortunately, by the time we got to the reservoir it had started raining quite heavily so we spent most of our duck-feeding time sheltering under a large tree and throwing bread in the general direction of the water. George the Teddy enjoyed the chance to chillax in this rather tropical looking spot. Wigan, Bali, they're one and the same on a rainy day.
Later that day Granny and I headed out on the train to Manchester, where we spent a good couple of hours having a look round the shops and relaxing with coffees. For dinner we went all fancy and treated ourselves to a little bite to eat in Harvey Nichols. I had ham fritters with spiced cauliflower, which was delicious; Mum had Thai fishcakes (and we shared some chips.)
After dinner we had a wander round the food hall, where I found all manner of exotic and fancy things I wanted to buy (but couldn't afford)

And then it was on to the MEN Arena. For Christmas, darling hubby had given Granny and I tickets to see the Coronation Street musical: Street of Dreams. Here's our view of 'The Street' from up in the Gods.
You may or may not have read reviews of the production - basically it was a pretty his and miss affair, some good parts (Paul O'Grady was mostly very amusing; Russell Watson's fnale performance was excellent; Kym Marsh as Elsie Tanner was impressive), some very poor parts (Sean Tully's "butterfly" scene - WTF?!?; having to watch most of the action on the screens above the set because the venue is so large; no mention of storylines including Blance and/or Deirdre), all in all a bit of a disappointment really, which is such a pity as, surely, it has all the makings of something that could be so fantastic (if you're a Corrie fan like me.) And so it doesn't surprise me that the next few dates for the show (in Belfast, Newcastle and Dublin) have been postponed after the co-producer said he was "far from happy" with its present form. You might have thought he'd have worked that out at some point in the four years that it's taken to "cobble" it all together (pun intended.)

Anyhoo, putting that disappointment behind us, the next day Granny, DC and I headed to ths shopping mecca that is the Trafford Centre.

Lucky for me, DC looooves to shop; or should I say, he is very content to walk round shops, shopping centres, etc as long as we can stop for drinks/food/ice cream every now and again. Here he is in John Lewis refuelling.

The highlight of the day for me was the food hall in Selfridges, and especially this stand which was fit to bursting with all things Reese's related. Got to love some peanut butter and chocolate. And the piece of Salted Caramel Almond Cheesecake that Granny bought me from the patisserie counter was also spot on.
 Saturday morning dawned fresh and sunny and we arranged to meet some friends in Mesnes (pronounces 'mains') Park. After a spot of swinging on the swings (and a spot of falling off the swings, twice but with no apparent injuries, for DC), we headed up to the band stand which has been converted into a very nice cafe.

 What a gorgeous building, don't you think? Would make a lovely house...
Later that afternoon hubby whisked me away for the night to a surprise location which turned out to be Lytham St Annes, a classic seaside resort just up the coast. We stayed in this fabulous hotel, aptly named The Grand.
Lytham St Annes has five miles of beaches and a Victorian pier. The prom is VERY blustery, but makes for a great stroll!


And the Grand Hotel's restaurant serves wonderful food (we had some great tapas in the evening), and a brilliant breakfast over which to read the papers! What a fabulous way to spend 24 hours with my hubby.

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