Sigh, the longer you leave blog posts, the more boring they are for all involved... So here goes a quick summary of what I've been up to in the last week or so.
Today we basically just drove around. We went up to the north into Cumbria and saw a couple of bits of Hadrian's Wall and the ruins of some Roman forts and stuff, then across into Northumberland for more of the same. It was freeeeezing cold and icy and horrible. We visited an ancient stone circle somewhere near Keswick, which was pretty amazing. It's set in this flat piece of land surrounded 360 degrees by mountains. Today, with snow covering everything as far as the eye could see, it was really impressive. You can see why the druids or whoever it was would want to hang out there. As scenic as you'd find anywhere in the world. Then we just drove back down through the Lake District and home.
Yesterday we went into Manchester... Chaos. It was Monday after Boxing Day so the sales were still going strong and there were just millions of people everywhere. It was quite stressful and nasty. You could barely even look at anything on the racks, there were so many people, let alone try stuff on or get to a till. After lunch we tried to go to the Trafford Centre, but all the carparks were full. Wikipedia informs me there are more than 10,000 parking spaces, so this is quite the feat. It took us about half an hour to get into the place, around a roundabout and back out again. Looks quite impressive on Wikipedia, but probably would have had a nervous breakdown if we'd actually managed to get inside the place. Slow-moving crowds, ugh.
On Boxing Day we went into Liverpool, and after a bit of a look around the city centre we were lucky enough to get tickets to the match. We had pretty good seats in row L, towards one of the goal ends. Best of all, Liverpool won 2-nil. Unfortunately the goals were up the other end and I didn't see them very well, but it was an okay match.
On Christmas Day I was hungover as anything. I don't think I had that much to drink on Christmas Eve, but there was a shot of sambucca at one point, maybe that did it. Christmas was uneventful. Santa bought me a new digital camera, much appreciated, and assorted other little presents.
On Christmas Eve we did some shopping in Lancaster. I bought myself a new netbook for Christmas. More an insurance policy than anything, as my laptop has already completely crashed once and now goes for max about three hours at a time before it overheats and shuts down. Having it crashed for a few days last time was a complete nightmare. More addicted than ever living in France, far away from everyone and most forms of entertainment. We went to dinner on Christmas Eve, to a nice pub with good food. This little 8 year old kid schooled me in the arts of pool, which enabled me to beat my brother, yuss! Then I played the kid, and he won, but only by a couple of balls, so maybe he taught me something. It was a fun night anyway, chatted to various locals, although perhaps not worth the hangover.
The day before Christmas Eve was spent shopping in Morecambe, nothing terribly exciting. I have managed to purchase a jumper and an angora jacket though, which have already come in handy considering it's frigid around these parts. It hasn't snowed for several days, but the snow's hung around, especially out of the towns. Everywhere is very slippery, I have no suitable shoes and not much in the way of warm clothing. Of course this just means there is more shopping to be done!
I think that brings us up to date with everything... Tomorrow we're meant to be going to Blackpool, shopping etc. I was supposed to be going to the midlands for New Years, but that didn't work out so looks like I'll be stuck up here with the rents for a super-exciting NYE. Oh well.