Saturday, November 25, 2006

Canals, Christmas Markets and Curry

Next weekend will be P&S's last weekend in Manchester. Sadly however I will be in London, so this weekend is our last joint weekend. On the plus side I guess this does at least allow us a private goodbye period.

Despite a house in Wolverhampton still badly in need of decorating attention, P&S head back to Manchester this morning and so S and I can have a girlie day out together.

We head to Castlefield where we find a very polite protest being undertaken, with canal boats blocking the entrance to the Duke's cut.

A lunch in Duke's 92 and time to catch up. An unfortunate phone call midway, brings up the past and for what must be the first time in over a year a few tears come. Thing is there is still anger and remembrance of the pain of back then, but I know the tears owe a little to PMT and a lot to the circumstance of this weekend. But I don't want to ruin this day with tears, so I fight them back.

Moving on in more ways than one, we head onto the tow path and walk along the canal.

This has to be one of my very favourite urban walks. The area has changed so much in the 17 years that I've been in Manchester. The changes continue and the new Hilton tower now dominates the skyline.

We emerge from this slightly subterranean world onto Oxford Road and from here head past Central Library to Albert Square.

It's fun to explore the continental markets here and on Brazenose Street, though I'm still not tempted by the array of white and blue Dutch porcelain.

On the other hand I think Shaun might like this:

We head back down Deansgate and unsuccessfully search in various outdoor sport shops for the elusive non-breakable cafetiere for P.

Then back to Castlefield to pick up the car and then I drop S home - a few hours downtime before we meet up again, with P for a meal out.

As I drive back to mine the tears start to fall again. The reality of them not being just a mile away in future is really starting to hit home.

In need of a buddy, I ring Stuart, who provides me with much love, support and a firm talking to about still having 'family' here in Manchester. It works a treat, I'm still sad about the end of an era, but I don't feel so alone anymore.

Feeling stronger I pick up P&S and having failed to secure a table at the Cedar Tree we decide on the Punjab.

Unfortunately, what should have been a lovely meal at our home from home, is marred by some decidedly lack lustre dishes. After so many years of sterling service and consistently fabulous food, it's been so sad to see this place lose its touch over the last few months. But it's the company that counts.

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