Friday, July 11, 2014

Eurocruise 6&7&8/06 Manchester, Singapore, Home

While we were pleased our ever so long holiday was coming to an end, it was awfully sad to leave to leave family behind in Newcastle, and as they are R's direct family, not mine, imagine how he felt. But he made a decision as a young man to leave and has no regrets, well not about leaving Newcastle, which was, and I quote him, 'a miserable place. There was no work and no future for anyone like me'. He did not have to live through the Newcastle riots, the Thatcher years when 'uneconomic industries' were shut down but he also missed the time when under PM Blair,  Pounds and Euros were pumped into Newcastle which led to its revitalisation and reinvention. Greater Newcastle has a population of over 1 million and my opinion for what it is worth, is that it's a sophisticated place, with a large number of foreign students and tourists and the locals are very friendly. It does have its underclass though, and I expect quite high social problem numbers. From what I hear, it is ever so much nicer than Birmingham, the second largest city in England. I won't mention the weather, beyond that the River Tyne no longer ices over.


Geordies were horrified at the cost of the huge sculpture, The Angel of the North, but then there were all the car crashes as people slowed and stopped to gaze at it. They now embrace it and I consider the work by renown artist Anthony Gormley a brilliant piece of public art. We visited it last time, so this was just a snap from the train as we left. Note the colour of the sky, as we were leaving.
 

Rough trade at Northallerton as we passed by.


We had to change trains at York. York has the National Railway Museum. R asked, do you want to see it? There was no time although I could have planned to see it. Always leave yourself wanting.


We stepped out of Manchester Airport train station and saw our hotel a short distance away. The station is at the far end of the path. We could not get across the road and couldn't see any way to get to our ever so close hotel, remembering we were pulling heavy cases along. We backtracked to the station and asked staff. Staff directed us to a phone to be picked up by a courtesy bus. What a pity that information wasn't supplied when we booked. We did not have to wait long for the bus.


From our hotel, we had a wonderful view of the Manchester airport station. We were really hungry because unlike the East Coast Train, the Trans Penine Express did give us anything to eat or drink. So that is Trans Penine Express first class? We just wanted a sandwich, but the prices at the hotel for lunch or snacks was quite high. We found a well worn path across the road, where there was a dirt track under a flyover bridge to a petrol station that had food. Aren't we all class? The hotel was very nice but no cooling. We were quite warm during the night.


As I may have mentioned, our friends arrived into Manchester the day before and were collected by a friend who took them to his village pub, in Wales............just an hour away. They returned that evening and we had fine, albeit quite expensive, meal at the hotel and caught up on their news. It was nice.

As soon as I heard the word aqueduct, I wondered. Could it be the the same as the one of a You Tube video I once showed you and at least one of you said it looked scary? It was. They stayed in a pub with almost a view of the aqueduct. That would be the Pontcysylite Aqueduct in the town of Llangollen. Don't ask me how these places are pronounced. Ask John.

Manchester, a pause at Munich, and a longer pause at Singapore. Please, I just want to be home. Singapore had some carp koi in a nice pond and a butterfly house.





Singapore's Changi Airport is huge and driverless trains ferry people from terminal to terminal.


Cases full of dirty clothes.


Along with presents to be given, in our electronic age there was much paper work and brochures and maps.  I am writing this on the 8th of July and finally I have gone through it and it is bagged and ready to be put away, into a large travel box that no one will take any interest in as they go through my life in paper form once I am dead.


Remaining Pounds, Euros and Forint were converted to AU$88. I had to tell the lass where the Forint, HUF, came from.

Bless the welcome home from Little Jo.


And the fresh flowers of no great merit but it was a lovely gesture.


16 comments:

  1. Andrew, definitely it is the most difficult decision to leave homeland but more people do it and they are happy.Definitely England ( some cities) in Thatcher times wasn't nice place to live. Newcastle is now a great city with the future. The same situation was at my place most mines were closed down a lot of people 2 million leave country and then when Poland joined to European Union the situation completely has changed. Curently a lot of Euros were pumped into Upper Silesia is now a successful province. What about brochures and maps you are right the paper form it means a lot of rubbish so the better option is an electronic diary as a blog. It will be exist for ever and it is the best solution. Litlte Jo is a very nice and creative girl.

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    1. Gosia, as Thatcher went about her work, I felt I had a good understanding of where communism comes from. While England's and Poland's mines were no doubt uneconomic, workers losing their jobs have to be handled with compassion. Good to hear your area is prosperous. Yes, my blog is here as a record. Anyone can just throw the rest away if they aren't interested. I only keep if for my benefit really. Little Jo is extremely creative.

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  2. Coming home is often the highlight of my trips away - no matter how much I have enjoyed the trip in question. Love your welcome home note and flowers.
    I have several books about the Ladies of llangollen, so that snippet piqued my curiosity. Some day.... Perhaps.

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    1. Thank you EC. It was a wonderful holiday, perhaps one of a lifetime. I too am intrigued about the Ladies of Ilangollen.

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  3. Always good to return home and for R home is where his heart is now. Those yellow roses are lovely and thoughtful. Isn't yellow the colour used for a homecoming?

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    1. Fun60, I recall he may have mentioned to you about his feelings about home here and the one he left. I think Mother might have suggested the flowers.

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  4. Newcastle obviously has changed since I had to go there for work from London in 1974/75. (Haven't we all?) In those days it was a very dreary place indeed.

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    1. Victor, I can imagine. Everything covered in soot for a start. I think R had left before you were there.

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  5. *nod* R was very fortunate that he did not have to live through the Newcastle riots and the hideous Thatcher years.

    I never thought I would hate a woman, but I loathed and feared Thatcher. Somehow when her uneconomic industries were shut down, her uneconomic families were shut down too.

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    1. Hels, she did not even govern here but we feared her. Her and Reagen's style of politics took a foothold here. Uneconomic families, nicely put.

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  6. I can sense your desperation to be home again, and now that you are I bet it will be quite a while before you go off again. Short trips locally maybe, but no long overseas jaunts. Are you going to pack everything away? Not keep out a souvenir postcard or anything at all to look at?
    That butterfly house in Singapore looks like something worth seeing. And I like the look of those driverless trains to ferry people around Changi airport.
    The welcome home note and roses were a very nice touch.

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    1. River, short local holidays are my plans but not necessarily R's. Being 8 years older than I am, he feels his time is running out and must kick high before it is too late and he can no longer travel easily. I expect we will compromise. I have all the photos on the computer to look at, and my blog. I went through the paper stuff about three times, sorting it out before I put it away.

      The butterfly house wasn't as good as the one at Melbourne Zoo, but quite good, and free of course. Singapore is a very sophisticated place.

      Tired, nay exhausted, we arrived home and we were so pleased Sister and Little Jo weren't here, and so pleased at the welcome home note and roses.

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  7. That indeed was a great tour ! I also didn't know what a Florint was and had to look it up ! Manchester became a nice town, but it's true in the 19 hundreds, it was not a nice place to live !

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    1. Gattina, Forint, or just call it the Huff. You are quite right about Manchester. It is similar to Newcastle in its reinvention. I shan't mention a place like Birmingham.

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  8. You sure did have a great trip - and a good long time away. But, it is always, always, so nice to arrive home.
    The flowers are lovely - you can't beat fresh flowers and a child's drawing to welcome you home.

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    1. Jackie, the trip seems a bit dream like now. Did we really do that? Were we really in that place? It was a nice welcoming homecoming.

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