I have been making my rounds and visiting with some family members. I have mostly been staying with my Uncle Stephen and Isla, and we set up my own area in their newly-decorated-soon-to-be-full-with-new-M&S-furniture room. I went to the Trafford shopping center and looked around while Isla ordered her new room. I was on a mission to find a new pair of running shoes, and after a long day of searching, I found a good pair of Mizuno’s. We also visited the Lowry another day, and went shopping through the outlets and the art gallery. It is a very modern looking area with all the BBC media city buildings. I walked into the city from Chorlton one day, and had a look around, where I was to meet up with Sandra and Ben and the little ones. It started pouring down, so I took the train to Stockport, and Sandra came and picked me up. We had a very nice dinner, and had a few drinks while playing childrens scrabble with Lilly and Tom. After they went to bed, we watched the movie “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” The next day, we all went out together to look at a new car that Sandra is interested in, then we paid a visit to aunt Shirley in Gorton. She was there looking after Billy. Simon came over later, followed by peter. After the visit was ove, Sandra took me back to Chorlton. I met up with Connor for drinks and we caught up on things, and then went on the big ferris wheel set up in Piccadilly Gardens! On Wednesday, I took the train to Bramhall and met with my moms cousin Marilyn and her husband Chris. She said I was easy to spot as I came off the train, because I look just like my mom. I could see some resemblance of mom in her too. I think it is the cheek bones. Who knows. We went back to the house, then one of her daughters came over, and we all wet to Hooper’s to have some lunch. Mom had already given her a warning about my eating style, so we went through the classic conversation of what you should and shouldn’t have. I had an Omelette at the cafe due to their large supply of toasties and small supply of fruit/veg. I love eggs, so it’s okay. We went back to the house and talked about Eddie, and the similarities of both sides of our families. There are miners on both sides of the family, and how Eddie and Edward were both very competitive sportsmen. I already knew this, but it was good to hear it again since my history is kindof a fog. We were also wondering if there is some trace of vikings in our blood because of the small bit of reddish hair that some of the family acquired! Later, Chris came home and was very full of energy! he turned on the TV to get ready for the city match, and was asking me about what I have been doing over here. We had a lovely dinner, then we watched the game together. He was a hoot. Screaming and jumping and clapping nonstop. The result was 5-1 City, so you can imagine all the excitement. Connor and I were talking earlier about city, and he is convincing me to start supporting them instead of united. It’s very tempting, city was a lot more interesting to watch rather than the usual slop that United has been putting out. The next day, Marilyn took me to Bramhall Hall, and we walked around the pond and gardens. It was very pretty, and I can imagine how popular it is in the Spring and Summer! We met her other daughter Jillian back at the house, who had her two year old daughter, Elana (I think) with her. We had lunch, talked about things, then watched the little one play with all her toys. They set off, and we went to John Lewis to look around. After that I took the train from Cheadle Hulme back to Piccadilly, and the bus to Chortlon, where we had a good stir-fry dinner to celebrate Chinese new year! Year of the horse, should be a good one!
Meanwhile, I have purchased my train ticket to go to London on Monday. I will be taking the 6:10 from Piccadilly, and will arrive at Euston around 8 ish. that will give me time to get to where I need to be by 10:30. I am very glad that I have a railcard! Jillian was telling me my £53 ticket was a steal compared to what some people pay. Her husband has to commute to London, I am not sure how often but still, that has got to be rough! Isla has also been helping me gather questions that I need to ask about the job/support/important things. She also helped me decide that leaving early Monday morning would be the best so that I am fresh and ready rather than looking hungover from a night in a hostel. Some family friends, Simon and Philip invited me to dinner for tonight if I would be in town, but we will just have to reschedule for a celebratory new job party 🙂 Fingers crossed!!