Friday, 15 January 2010

Back together again.

A trip to England by The Americans would never have been complete without a trip back to Manchester. How could we not, it’s where we first met!

When The Americans announced they were coming over, the crazily anal part of my brain kicked in to gear. I would ORGANISE them. There would be an itinerary. I would sort it all out.

And thus the Manchester Reunion was born.

We all lived together in graduate accommodation in Manchester and to be honest I think we all lucked out – we were all (fairly) normal and all got along and, most importantly, are all still in contact now. And though we are now spread around the UK I figured we could get everyone together for a bit of a knees up.

I was a little bit worried though. You know what it’s like when you haven’t seen people for 3 or 4 years – what if it’s painfully awkward? What if they’ve changed in to a complete weirdo? What if there’s just nothing to talk about now that you’re no longer scabby students? Still I was looking forward to it and was very excited that the plan was coming together. Everyone could come. The hotel was booked. Sorted.

And then.

One person couldn’t come because his work was flying him out to America.

Then someone else couldn’t come because...well....we never really figured it out (but were secretly not bothered because this person also happened to be the winner of the Worst Host of the Year award).

Was everything starting to fall apart?

Well no actually.

BUT in my brain. It was. You see the trouble with being a fanatic when it comes to organising and planning things is that when they start to go wrong your brain ceases to function. Or maybe that’s just what happens in my head. “THIS IS GOING TO BE THE WORST TRIP EVER” the brain repeated over and over in my head.

Add to that the fact that everybody was looking to me to tell them what we were going to do – what time were we meeting? Where were we going? What were we wearing? – and I was on course for a full scale meltdown. I didn’t want to be held responsible for the Worst Reunion of 2010 award!

Luckily for me, the people around me are normal human beings who pointed out that I was bordering on becoming a mental person.

I soon realised everything was alright once people had turned up (and you know what? I think the best people came anyway). And once we’d made our way through a bottle of vodka everything was looking much rosier. Funny that. We were ready to hit the town!

Now let me take a break and tell you about the snow in Manchester.

Epic is the word I would use to describe it. And we were there about a week after the skies had done their worst.

Have you ever tried pulling a wheelie suitcase through 14 foot of slushy snow? It’s not easy. (But is a good workout for your arms incidentally)

It wasn’t so much the snow as the ice. Which. Was. Everywhere. Now you’d think that Manchester being a prime shopping location they’d have gritted everything in sight?


They’d gritted up both sides of Market Street but not the middle so you were sorted if you wanted to only visit the shops on the left hand side, but trying to make your way across to the other side was like taking your life in to your own hands. There was no chance you were going to be able to look cool and retain your dignity. The most you could hope for is to not fall over and break something and hobble like some kind of demented hobbly thing.

You know what wouldn’t be a good idea?

Going out in high heels.

I’m not a particularly graceful person at the best of times if I’m being honest with you. Most of the time it’s a miracle that I can stay on my own two feet. So I’m not entirely sure what ran through my head when I decided “Sod it. I’ll take my heels. It’ll be alright.”

I’m not sure what posed more danger - actually walking on the ice and risking a broken ankle or wetting yourself laughing at what you must look like.

We revisited our old haunt The Oxford, the pub opposite the Halls of Residence we lived in and made our way to a very empty Deansgate Locks. I’ve never seen it so empty – bit of snow and everyone just stays indoors – ridiculous!

Fun was had. Alcohol was drunk. And we stumbled back to the hotel to put on Anchorman (the film that would define our time living together) and order about 12 pizzas too many. Thank heavens for late checkouts – we had plenty of time to return to normal on Sunday morning before making our way back to Hull and Lily and Fred and the boyfriend.

Nearly done recounting the tales – just one more post. And it’s a sad one. It’s all about saying goodbye...

Note: I cannot recommend the place we stayed enough. It’s called The City Warehouse Apartment Hotel and is pretty much slap bang in the centre of town. You rent out a whole apartment, the biggest can sleep 6 people – there are 2 double beds and a double bed-settee – all for the sum of £180 per night. A pricey option if there are only a couple of you but with 6 of us that worked out at £30 each which was amazing. There’s a TV and DVD player and stereo, fully equipped kitchen, iron, washing machine, you name it! It was basically like pretending you were a yuppy and living in the fancy pants city pad. If you have a big group and are heading up to Manchester then go there. (I booked through so I don’t know if that made a difference to the price, but I booked it way in advance – as if a planner like me would leave it to the last minute!)


Petit Filoux said...

Haha great post!! Glad to hear you had a good time! Love the bits about the heals - I'm absolutely useless in them regardless of the weather!

Trish said...

What wonderful relived memories! And new ones too for sure! I am glad you got to visit the old special the time you had together!

Diane said...

Fabulous!! That apartment sounds great! So glad you had a fabulous reunion. xxx

The Curious Cat said...

Wicked tip on the hotel - I'll definitely remember that! Poor you - I can see you wobbling on the ice in those least the worst host didn't come...I didn't like the sound of him/her from previous posts! What a lovely scene - despite the snow! I do love how you describe things! :) xxx