Thursday, October 19, 2006

Northern (de)lights!

I'm rather disinclined against air travel at the moment. I do appreciate the extra security measures are there to protect us but it taken much of the joy out of the experience. Also travelling to and from the airports can be rather a bind, especially if it's one of the far flung ones (Stansted) and you're travelling there by train for example. In fact the more I travel from London I realise how awful it all is if you have anymore on you other than a newspaper and a bottle of Evian. How someone in wheelchair or with a pushchair manages is beyond me. The tube in particular seems to have been designed in a series of small flights of stairs arranged to confound and frustrate the weary traveller. Clearly I could travel lighter but when a week is planned somewhere not so hot and exotic a girl is going to need more than a little black dress and a toothbrush! Perhaps if I was heading to the beach I could manage with a bikini, a few sarongs and sunglasses (as if!) but a city holiday in weather that looks a little dubious, much more challenging. My last three trips away - Cambridge, August bank holiday, huge thunderstorms; New York in September otherwise known as the rainy season and La Vendee France, October in the torrential rain. Hmmm I am beginning to see a pattern here, perhaps I should always find room in my case for my leopard print wellingtons; it seems that I encourage rain! And now I head up North for Manchester, the city full of umbrella toting people, famous for 'gentle precipitation', 'light drizzle' or even 'huge downpours' I think I can safely say I will get damp! And I am going by train this time, so I've still got the staggering through underground tunnels with my luggage but at least no-one I going to tell me what I can carry in my handbag.
There are various foodie trips planned, I better pack my fork!

The first night is catered by Ocado. Despite there being no Waitrose in the vicinity (well not until next year anyway) they are happy to dispatch a little apple covered van with a collection of Waitrose goodies for our delectation. I had been keen to try the new range of Bigham's pies and had plumped for the "Indulgent Beef and Green Peppercorn" one. It seemed very appropriate as my love of pies comes from my Northern roots and the much loved pies (normally meat and potato) from the corner chippy. The Bigham's pies come in nice individual white ceramic dishes which they encourage you to re-use, so much so they are putting all the best re-uses on their web-site.
It was very tasty with a bit of creamy sautéed cabbage. Though M felt there were just too many vegetables in the pie and thought that she may have come across a chunk of a much despised swede! Ahh M and her love of vegetables! I thought it was very fine and look forward to trying the others in the range. A great start to being 'up North' again.

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