Before the trip to Canada, the excuse for all this traveling, we did a round of our regulars.
I have very fond memories of this trip. First of all our friends there are such good hosts that they always wait for us with a smile at the airport and a table full of food. We ended up doing a Mr. Bean Marathon for the weekend, have a couple of nice dinners and watch some more Mr Bean. Cologne is a nice city to walk around, so we did just that with a pit-stop at an amazing postcard shop Postkarten on Breite Str. and another to have a curry wurst to satisfy Husband Chris’ craving.
All our trips to London have fond memories revolving around family and friends and the word indulgence comes to mind to describe these encounters. This trip was no exception with the addition of a couple of new experiences. My sister-in-law treated us to a visit up the Shard, an impressive view on an overcast evening but quite spectacular as the sun broke the clouds into the sunset.
We also walked for the first time through Notting Hill. Us and a sea of people, mostly tourists snapping photos, looking at millions of souvenirs and slowly making our way to the lovely shop Books for Cooks. Mr. E, our friend/ travel companion featured in many posts here got me one of their cookbooks and three deserts I made from it were well appreciated.
London is always good for food. So we went back at Honey & Co. I love the food but this time I did not like the conveyor belt feeling. We were assigned a time for the table and also rushed quite a bit through the entire meal. We had a family and friends dinner at The Guilford Arms. These gatherings have such a double edge sword feeling to them. It is a reminder that we are very lucky to have such good amazing loving people in our lives. But it stings as you are saying goodbye and we are going to miss them for a period of time. Anyway, same old story really.
We didn’t have a plan to go to Manchester since we felt it would be too confusing to go back and not have a home there so soon after leaving. But I get excited and I promised we would stop by to see friends so we ended up having one day in Manchester, a day when the sun was shining. We walked around familiar places and I still felt this place is my own. I left and I am not part of it anymore but it is part of me. It was good the trip was so short , we didn’t have time to analyze things too much. But it was strange to walk around and see a few changes already. We were gone for 8 months only and the BBC building on Oxford Road gone, a building on Oldham Road burned down, and the huge Co-op building behind our flat was almost completed. I went to the Manchester Craft and Design Center, the place where we also had our wedding rings made and bought some lovely tiles from Lee Page Hanson Ceramics with local birds. Here I also randomly bumped into our yoga teacher, the teacher who gave me enough confidence to try and do a headstand. I very much miss her classes.
We went to Home Sweet Home for milkshakes, to Cornerhouse for coffee, to Marble Arch for dinner and Odder Bar for drinks with friends. This day felt more like a celebration of our time here, rather than the day we drove off with a car packed of boxes a few months earlier.
I keep saying that I write these posts months after their occurrence and although they are not recent, this delay brings a clarity to my memories and feelings. We are embracing our life in Toronto and with a ski learning trip booked for January, we are really discovering the beauty of Canada. This being said, there is room in my heart and mind to walk around Manchester whenever I miss it, imagine what new street art they are doing around Fred Aldous, walk around London trying to get to one place or another, and spending an hour in a postcard shop in Cologne. So I keep the memories fresh and carry them with me as a prized treasure reminding me that our time here is valuable and we must enjoy it and learn from it as much as we can.