A Travellerspoint blog

Penguin biscuits and prawn cocktail crisps

From Manchester to Liverpool

rain

We had rather a restless night's sleep last night - partly because of blocked noses preventing the usual approach to breathing, and partly because it was so hot. Heat was not a problem I had anticipated from Manchester, but the hotel's heating system seemed to go on overdrive and the cooling option was entirely dysfunctional. No windows could be opened, so poor Simon took it upon himself to get up and wedge the door open to let some cool air in at several intervals during the night. Not entirely the relaxing sleep we had anticipated... And I really do think I am allergic to flying. I have developed a magnificent case of cankles, as well as pioneering the world's first case of thees - where you don't really have knees, it's just a continuation of your thighs. Blobtastic.
Found a cafe with free wireless for breakfast - breakfast was good, wireless was dysfunctional, boo.
Wandered the streets of Manchester in the rain, and eventually discovered the amazement of Primark where I nearly bought a red jacket (surprised at the colour choice?) but then didn't... Would've been too itchy methinks. Also braved it and tried prawn cocktail crisps from M&S - which didn't taste as fishy as I thought they would. Or maybe they did - and I just couldn't taste it on account of my still-blocked nose. Gumboots are quite acceptable (and somewhat fashionable) footwear here, and I'm starting to wish I had a pair. The streets are also littered with discarded, broken umbrellas, and no I don't want to hear about all the sunshine you've been having back home, thank you very much!
Got to Avis to pick up our car as had been pre-arranged, only to discover they'd hired it to someone else because we hadn't turned up right on time. Grr. Luckily they had another car available, but only a two-door instead of the four-door that we'd paid for... Serves us right for being late I suppose. The next challenge is getting back to the hotel where we had left our suitcases. Try doing this in the rain, in an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar city and with a map where the target destination is right on the edge. Oh and don't forget that half of the intersections have "no left turn" if you want to turn left, and "no right turn" if it would be super convenient to turn right. Massive kudos to Simon's driving skills, we found it eventually - except that the ticket we needed to collect our baggage was no longer in Simon's back pocket where it belonged. After some extremely detailed descriptions, we were reunited with said baggage - Huzzah!
So off we went to Liverpool - and the car trip seemed the perfect time to crack open the packet of penguins. They are England's answer to the Tim Tam, and they have great penguin themed jokes on the wrapper. For example : "what do you call a happy penguin?" "a peng-grin". brilliant!
Still raining in Liverpool, but found a hotel with free wi-fi that works - things are looking up! Got energetic and walked into town (about ten minutes, which is a considerable amount of exercise when you're on holidays) to check out the Beatles story museum at Albert Dock. Interesting, and very clean*. Had dinner, hoping the rain would stop by the time we were ready to walk back to the hotel. It didn't. It got heavier. And heavier. Ten minutes of walking was suddenly a very bad idea.
Oh well, we made it back to our hotel and appreciated the appropriate temperature of the room, while plotting tomorrow's adventures. And I was thinking we'd have a drink and a penguin biscuit for dessert, but Simon has fallen fast asleep, so I guess I'll wait another day for another fantastic penguin joke.
So in summary - weather is wet, noses are blocked, but we are having fun and all Liverpudlians sound like The Beatles (except for the Turkish guy who served us at dinner). Next on the agenda - get to Wales, get a brolly and get healthy!!

  • this is a Beatles in-joke. Trust me, it's quite funny and a little bit clever.

Posted by Buccas 13:14 Archived in England Comments (1)

Flying...

...ah-choo!

sunny

Pleeze excjuse anny spelling missteaks in this blog entree... I haven't slept mutch in the larst forty hours so I'm fealing a bit tired at the moment!
The flight to Abu Dhabi was as painless as a fourteen hour flight can be - we whiled away the hours with movies, games, magazines and a random selection of airplane food (including mexican 'tortillas' with salsa). Overall I think the food and the service was better when we flew with Emirates a few years ago, but Etihad got us where we needed to go without too much fuss. The blankets provided are pretty snazzy, might have to acquire one of those on the way home...
Abu Dhabi airport is an interesting place - very star wars-esque! It seems a bit less organised than Dubai, but gets a gold star for the funky roof mosaics, comfy reclined chairs and lack of people sleeping on every piece of available floor space. There's even a smoking room in the middle of the terminal - kind of looks like a glass lift, but it doesn't go anywhere - there's just a queue of people lined up outside, waiting to get in to the room of smoke, urgh.
There's quite a bit of diversity in the fashions on display in the airport - the bloke with bright purple smurf pyjama pants, the girls with stilettos and very short skirts, the men with tea towels on their heads and the women in black from head to toe (including their eyes, fingers and toes). I hate to think what they're making of me in my red shoes :)
The customs staff at the Abu Dhabi airport are terrifying - one formidable woman in particular, who reminds me of the Trunchbull from Matilda. Lucky we didn't try to smuggle in any knitting needles...
The flight to Manchester is pretty ordinary - screaming baby, and either the beginning of a cold or some serious hay fever. Or maybe we're both just allergic to long distance flights?!
Anyway - we've now made it to Manchester alive, but tiiiiired and sniffling. Taxi driver is very friendly, and laughs just like Andy. Checked into our hotel, walk through the rain to find dinner at a nice Indian restaurant (good lamb biryani) and then stop in at the pharmacy where the very eager man tries to sell us every hay fever remedy in the shop. Tesco is where it's at for tissues and penguin biscuits, and maybe we'll be brave and try prawn cocktail biscuits another day.
A little bit of trashy British tv - emmerdale - and then off to sleep zzzzzzzzzzzz....
Ps Current Monopoly Deal scores - Alison:3, Simon:1

Posted by Buccas 13:08 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Departure day

Up, up and away!

Last Supper at the Buccheri house - it's going to be a month before we'll be eating home made meatballs and pasta again, so gotta make the most of it. Got plenty of packing advice from Di and Lisa, and think the contents of our suitcases have been given the seal of approval. Then it's off to the airport (thanks for the lift Jas) and we'll see if I can manage not to lose my passport this time.
It's about now that I am feeling pretty pleased with my decision to buy a four wheeled suitcase, as I can totally roll through the airport with ease. No awkward suitcase manoeuvres for me!
We make it through the duty free shop without damaging the credit card too much, but there will be grog to collect on the way home. Chambord and Baileys - Jam Donuts all round when we get back!
Also made it through customs without too much hassle, despite our obvious mafia connections. Simon does get reprimanded for smiling in his passport photo, but he's still allowed to leave the country.
First disappointment of the trip comes when Simon discovers that Sushi Sushi is all out of crispy chicken AND teriyaki chicken.. Boo. We head to Wok on Air instead - and spot our first celebrity! Looks like Jonathon Welch (from The Choir of Hard Knocks) is also a fan of wok-themed puns. And really, who isn't?
Bit of time now to stretch our legs before 14 hours of leg cramped awesomeness of flight begins - and then farewell Australia!

Posted by Buccas 03:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The very very beginning.

Farewell Camperdown!

sunny

Started the day by supervising the relocation of a very heavy table by some of the most impressive removalist men I have ever seen - who says finance and IT boys aren't super strong?! Gourmet lunch of nachos and whatever was left in the fridge and pantry, and getting some last minute tips from our resident Pom and Scots. And thank you for the suggestion Andy, but I think I'll give Blackpool a miss. I saw the look of horror on Lesley's face when you mentioned it! Penguin biscuits sound much more appealing.

So I have packed and repacked my suitcase a total of forty eight times now... But still we had to pull over the car to make sure we'd remembered the phone charger, and the camera and those other important bits and pieces! And now we have finally departed - currently making our way to Werribee, our first exotic stop for the trip.

Actually feeling rather excited now that there is only one more sleep until we fly out - and I'm sure Chuck is excited about being spoilt for an entire month by his grandparents! Let the holiday begin :)

Posted by Buccas 00:51 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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