A Mancunian Adventure

Well, it’s 6pm on a Sunday evening, I have been home for almost one hour after having a rather busy weekend, which considering how tired I am, feels like a vast understatement. The weekend started as a reunion with a friend recently back from Japan, facilitated by another friend (the infamous over-zealous tea-pourer), but turned into, at no fault of my own; two nights out, five meals out, three teas (not coffees) out, two nights out, two days of shopping and a trip to the Manchester Museum. Suffice to say I am spent out, financially, physically and mentally.

Saturday morning, following a night of very little sleep due to the most horrific snoring one has every heard, combined with inconsiderate university students playing blasting music until dawn, we headed to Manchester Museum.

The Manchester Museum, which is owned by The University of Manchester and situated on Oxford Road, was opened to the public in 1888, having moved from Peter Street.

The Manchester Museum

I have been to the museum on a number of occasions, however on previous visits, the fossils, rocks & minerals and living world sections were closed for renovation. I was dismayed to learn that my favourite section on Ancient Egypt was closed for renovation and scornfully declared that I will write a scathing review… an appropriate punishment for such insolence.

The new sections were quite pleasant, different in layout and design to other parts of the museum. The Living World section had quite a modern feel with black double sided display cases with varying contents related to the living whatnots, with white light labels. Here are a few photos…

Butterflies
Butterflies
Various jars of thingywhats
Various jars of thingywhats
Pompeii Person
Pompeii Person

With the Fossils section being closed on my earlier visits to the museum, I had been unable to see the T-rex Dinosaur “Stan”.

Stan
Stan

I really like the lighting in the photo above, and the architecture of the room.

After wandering around the Manchester Museum, we set off in search of nourishment and ventured to The Trafford Centre via the glorious Manchester public transportation system. I suppose one shouldn’t complain if you can travel on almost any bus within Manchester for £3.70 per day.

The Trafford Centre, the UK’s largest shopping centre in terms of overall retail and dining space, opened in 1998. It has a unique architectural and design approach, with numerous domes, marble effect walls and pillars, gold leaf and ornate painting. It half interested the architecture-enthusiast, half horrified the snob in me by it’s borderline tackiness. Emma would not have appreciated it’s design. Mrs Elton, I have no doubt, would have been in her element, albeit secretly.

After spending far too much money on a bag, tshirt, trousers and tea, we hopped on another delightful Mancunian bus and headed back to the City Centre to find food and prepare for the evening. Back at the flat, we decided to have another tea after doing so much walking and having so little sleep the night before. After a search for cups, difficulties in using the kettle i.e. the inability to press the on switch, this is what I was given to drink out of…

Chocolate Mug
Chocolate Mug

Drinking out of that was an experience to say the least, and not one I would like to repeat any time soon. As if the mug was bad enough, there must have been a tablespoons worth of sugar in it… dear me.

The rest of the evening was spent preparing for and enjoying the delights of a night out in Manchester, where I bumped into another friend of Mancunian descent.

I am now sat at my desk with a cup (an actual cup) of tea, with The Beautiful Blue Danube on repeat, pondering the numerous conversations that took place during my misadventure in Manchester. One particularly enjoyable conversation was on the topic of accents and pronunciation of words, such as look book nook and again which were pronounced as luke, buke, nuke and agen. Someone needs a lesson or two from Henry Higgins…

This blog has a distinct lack of Jane Austen, something I just cannot allow. As such here are some notable Austen related whatnottings from my weekend…

  1. I have something for you… a1930s copy of ‘lady susan and the watsons’ by austen, the cover jacket thing’s a bit old, but the inside is just fine and it has the pretty old fashioned curvings and things in the typeface. Lady susan was a novel she never published, and the watsons is a novel she abandoned after her father died. – Thank you very much Manisha =]
  2. Kate: “Yes, be charming and sophisticated… that comes naturally though I guess”. Me: “Of course, the epitome of charming I am”. Kate: “Mr Darcy!” Me: “Haha, he’s not exactly very charming at the start”. Kate: “Details details *swoon*.” Me: “I ought to buy you an I ❤ Darcy bag from the Jane Austen Centre and replace Darcy with Dean”. Kate: “:O yes!!! I’d so use it”
  3. James: “Did you have a good weekend?”, Me: “Yes, it lacked Austen though”, James: “We should have put Emma on for you whilst the rest of us were pre-drinking”.

I shall now spend the remainder of this evening resting, along with much of tomorrow, before my trip to Tatton Park on Tuesday… more things to blog about!

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