Friday, 2 March 2012

England - my love

I love England. I always have. For its language, for the accent, for the multicultural big cities and quiet villages, for pubs, for sheep, for lakes, for mountains, for openness, for London, for… Well, I could list very many things or that list might never end. Yup, a hundred ideas a minute – that is me ;)

I couldn’t have been me if I’ve never been to England. Of course I have! Twice. Our history started with a strong infatuation when I was 10 and went there for the first time, evolved into love when I was 21 and started studying  English philology and burst into so many emotions when I was 23 and went there for the second time for more than three months. And I’m planning on going there once again this year for a longish weekend. We’ll see if I manage to do that. Well, I hope ;)

When we spent three months in England (yup, we stayed just in England, still have to visit Scotland, though!), we managed to experience the business and multiculturality of London and Manchester (or Greater Manchester even), the easiness, as I’d call it, of Leeds and the peacefulness and quietness of Cumbrian Lakes. Yup, we did travel a bit working at various places.

These were one of my best holidays ever. We had many problems there, I lost like 5 kilos during the first month (well, stress did its bit), but still I learned a lot and I don’t regret going there. I met so many people back then. Very friendly ones. Older, younger, native and immigrants from many different countries. Most of them really open and positive. It was back in England when I learned what it means to LIVE. And I mean live life to its full. And I learned that from a guy who tried to kill himself (and was almost successful). Never before in my life have I met a person so happy to be alive! And he was thanking me for making his life even happier.

What made us go to England at all? Well, my love for it was just one factor. Really long holidays was another. But willingness to experience something new, openness to adventure was the key one. We chose Manchester as our place to stay. At least for the beginning. Openshaw was where we lived for the first month and a half. Away enough from the city centre to be a quiet neighbourhood with a huge park a walking distance from home. Close enough to the centre to allow us to get there in a quarter. And the communication was well organized with frequent buses and stuff. Trafford centre is a must to visit. You don’t have to buy anything in there, but to see it and experience it… a MUST-DO in Manchester. We had a Manchester City stadium quite close to us, although we’re no football fans.We were just shopping next-by ;)

After living in Manchester we spent a week in Cumbria (some other time about that) and moved to Leeds to experience something new. Found a job there and could devote ourselves to experiencing the new, the unknown once again. Leeds is much, much, much smaller than Manchester, obviously. But more cosy at the same time. And full of brick houses. I mean we could climb a hill to see a sea of brick houses in the distance! Marvellous. Freaky. Fascinating. Fantastic. The city centre isn’t that big, but I’ll remember it for long. The hands, the owls, the fountain, the library, the townhouse, the shops. All of those early in the morning when there was almost nobody around. And all of those in the afternoon with crowds everywhere. Sun shining through the trees, rain pouring on us.

And I’ll always remember the atmosphere of the book shops! I have no idea what it was about the book shops in Leeds that I loved them so much. The lights? The colours? The exposition? No idea. But when I think about them I feel like I’m inside, finding the books I love, the books that caught my eye… 

 Manchester, a park nearby our house

 Left: what used to be (and maybe one day again will be?) a hotel. Spooky? Fascinating really ;) Right: our house (rented, of course)
 Manchester City stadium
  Trafford Centre, Manchester

 Leeds - the brick houses

 The Town Hall
 The library

 The owls - they're up there, on the top. The close-up on the right

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