29 April 2005


hello chappies! gar! where to start?!

... OK, obviously with the **really important** stuff - i.e. ROSS! aka ROCKET/ROSSAGE/MR. ROSS/RANDY FARMER... etc. yay! he like the sticker-book! he is living alone at the moment, as a couple of housemates involved in his 'soap opera' life (his words) have moved out, and the lease is up soon. annoying for him, good for us, because we got a room all to ourselves. and it had a HOT PINK WALL, which, frankly, is always good. except for when it's not. but this wasn't one of the times when it wasn't good. so it was. he is also applying for REAL JOBS (take note, all of you slackers in australia!), so hopefully he'll get something good! he doesn't really have a mancunian (sp?) accent yet... but i think he's working on it. mainly because i'm sure he wants to be just like the gang of scally (again, these strange languages, what is spelling?) girls who attacked dan and i on the street outside ross' flat. now, before you have a hyperventilating fit (mum), we should let you know that the 'gang' consisted of three girls, and the 'girls' (esther noo) ranged in age from about 8 to about 13 (maximum). so, right little twerps they were. hopefully we haven't started something that ross is going to have to live with!

we didn't spend a lot of time in manchester itself (didn't even go into the city), but wat we saw was ... interesting. it seems like a more melbourne city than london - maybe it was just the area, though... anyway, we went to a sri lankan curry house with ross and john/ny (one of dan's friends who is living up there) on the monday night, and the food was delicious. on the tuesday night went to a cute vegetarian cafe/bar right near ross' house, which felt like the sort of place the nmtod people would hang out.

what we DID do, though, was go for a trip to the country on tuesday... this was VERY VERY EXCITING for me, because we went to macclesfield and alderly - where alan garner's books 'the weirdstone of brisinamen' and 'the moon of gomrath' are set. it was SO COOL to see all the places... first we went to macclesfield library, found the books, and photocopied the maps form them. then we went to the map section and found those places in the local maps - took a photocopy from a lovely map published in the 60s. it was exciting enough to discover that the places (wizard's well, stormy point, the beacon, shining tor, shutingsloe) relly exist, but to be able to actually GO THERE was so, so great! (you have to understand, guys, that i LOVED these books when i was a kid, and had always had a picture in my mind of what england is like, based on them!)... first we drove to shining tor, which is a great big bare hill with a rocky outcrop on the side, and a trig point at the top. we didn't think we'd get very close to it, but thought we might as well just go for the drive. however, about half way up we came across some tea-rooms and thought we'd pull in and have scones and tea (!)... unfortunately they were closed, but we spied a signposted footpath just near it. the lady (who we believe was a witch, because we think she put a drowsiness spell on us) let us park the car there, and we went for a walk... and, people, i've not been overly gushing about england so far, but I LOVE THE PUBLIC FOOT WAYS!!! ross told us that the tracks are hundreds of years old and are protected by law, so farmers have to let walkers through their properties, and provide stiles etc. for crossing fences. IT IS SO COOL! anyway, we were able to walk all the way to the top of shining tor!!! WOW! through a kissing gate, over some stiles, along some old stone walls (who *made* them all??? there must be thousands of miles of them!), up to the peak. from there we could see shuttingsloe (another peak), and probably would have been able to see macclesfield or the edge except it was all misty and grey (in this instance, the weather made it even more atmospheric - spooky goblin-weather!). i know i've gone on about this, but it was a special experience for me!... we also went to llyn-dhu/the black lake/lindow common that afternoon (after an hilarious lunch at some sort of chain pub, 2 meals for £10)... i can imagine a nasty magician sleeping for hundreds of years in there!

on the wednesday dan and i left ross (happy to have seen him, sad to be leaving) and went back to alderly edge to walk along the edge itself and find all the landmarks. it was sunny, though still cold, and the sunlight filtering through the delicate spring leaves onto the brown-carpeted ground was just magical. we saw several squirrels, and an abundance of birds - bluetits and robins and (dum dum DAAA) ravens (read the books, you'll know what i mean!), the wizard's well (which was filthy, so we didn't drink from it!), holy well (cleaner, but still!), stormy point and the old quarry and mines (definately goblins down there), goldenstone (not gold, but very sparkly)... all in all a higly successful adventure!

yesterday (as if we haven't had enough) dan and i went to aldbury (about an hour and a half drive from here) to do a walk from margot and aaron's AA book of selected walks... published in 1975, but still good! it was pretty fantastic - i am officially addicted to the public footpaths. my new aim in life (after becoming a doctor) is to make enough money so i can spend months just wandering these trails, and sleeping in the little B&Bs and lodges and inns that pop up EVERYWHERE. it is so, SO wonderful. the village of aldbury has a number of REALLY old cottages, with the wood frames (all wonky!) and one with a thatched (i think) roof. also the stocks!!! still standing, although not used for quite a while! on the walk we saw some historical buildings (yeah, yeah) and FURRY COWS (i kid you not!) foxes, rabbits, squirrels and A HERD OF DEER!!! yep! proper little deer, not like the enormous ones around orbost, but daintly little things... they ran through the wood less than 100 metres away, and there were SO MANY! even DAN was excited (i think he was more excited than me! although i think i was more excited about the furry cows...) ... ah, england!

last night we went on the london eye, and out for a meal as it was aaron's birthday. the eye is pretty cool, and i do recommend it... so long as you don't mind HEIGHTS (dad, i know you'll understand that!). the view of london was good (not spectacular, as it was a bit cloudy), but the most impressive thing is the eye itself - a very, very cool construction!

anyway, i've blabbed for long enough! i'll update again before we leave for spain on tuesday, and hopefully dan will upload some more pics of our adventures for your viewing pleasure.

did i mention that people here do 2 kisses when they meet? it's very confusing, and i always forget the second kiss, so the other person is left with their head sticking out like an idiot waiting for a kiss on the other cheek...

hope you're all well, and thanks for writing to us... we do read your comments, and are able to decipher who you are, even with your strange titles! you should ALL come and visit us!

1 comment:

  1. Ben G Maximilian8:03 pm, May 03, 2005

    Yes, tis me! Wow DanRachel blog thingy, you sound as though you're having a ball out there! And here's me stuck at home with the...lovely job. Those hilarious coppers! ;) Look forward to tales of those footpaths and furry cows! As well as all of that scenery stuff that you are mentioning here and there. Will keep an eye out regularly on your progress Raychool and Dan!