03.07.22 — Journal

A Week in England

With Madrid turning up the heat and a couple of events to attend, I recently found myself flying back over to the UK for a weeklong visit to be spent with friends and family. I’d to work remotely from there on the weekdays, but we managed to pack a whole lot in during the weekends and the evenings!

After being picked up from the airport by my parents, the trip started before I even had chance to nip back home and leave my stuff off. We headed straight for an outlet, where I’d to pick up a few bits and bobs – some decent sunglasses to face the Spanish summer, some new boots for my travels later this year, and even an outfit for a friend’s wedding.

Shopping over, we headed back home and through my village, which was resplendent with Union Jacks to mark the Jubilee celebrations that had just finished as I arrived. The abundance of flags and the evening sun on an unexpectedly warm day led me to take a few pictures around the place – as I usually travel for Christmas, it’s not often I get to see the place in this light.

I then unpacked my bag upon arriving back at my childhood home, testing out my new boots before putting on some older, much muddier ones in order to head out for a walk around the countryside. This evening wander took us over the fields and around the two very pretty villages close to where my parents live.

I didn’t stay out too late though, as I’d to be in bed relatively early in order to be up bright and early for the next day’s plans – we were off to Alton Towers!

To celebrate Danni’s birthday, she’d decided to take Abi and me down to Alton Towers, a theme park that I was obsessed with when I was younger but which I hadn’t been to since me and my mum had a random day out there back when I was at university.

We arrived under some threatening looking skies, but this didn’t bother us in the slightest – we were in high spirits and ready to take on all of the rides that we could squeeze in. After taking a few photos down Towers Street, the entrance area of the park, we jumped on the first of many, many rides that day.

With it being a Sunday and with the sky threading to rain on us the whole time we were there, there was barely anybody else at the theme park. This worked massively in our favour, as we managed to jump on ride after ride with laughably short wait times. All this in a theme park somewhat infamous for its long queues – it was great!

After my first ever ride on Wicker Man, the wooden rollercoaster you can see above, we decided to all chip in and buy an on-ride photo pass so that we could grab all of our silly on-ride photos throughout the day. As I say, the wait times were practically non-existent, so we managed to re-ride plenty of our favourites in order to get just the right photo…

The day wore on but we kept up our rhythm, managing to grab a few rides on one of my favourite rides, Nemesis, which we thought would be closed and so we were chuffed to bits to see it open. However, the most terrifying ride had to be the spinning barrels, which had me screaming the whole way round and actually left me quite bewildered and dizzy. Childs ride my arse!

We had an absolute blast of a day at Towers, I genuinely don’t think I’ve laughed and giggled so much in one single day for quite a while. We finished the day with a pit stop at McDonalds for tea before Danni dropped me back off at home, tired and wet and exhausted but with a huge grin on my face – and not just because I’d been corrected on The Smiler…

The next day I was back at work, albeit remotely from my childhood bedroom. After the working day was over, I headed out with my parents and sister, who’d joined us from Sheffield, for another quick walk around the fields. We had a proper good wander, heading past two reservoirs and spending a good couple of hours out whilst the sun set over the landscape.

The following day was spent as a family, as we headed off to Yorkshire to inter my grandma’s ashes. This was the primary reason for my visit over to England, and served as a lovely last sendoff after she died last year.

After the short service, me and my parents, sister, auntie, and uncle headed over to York, where we’d booked a table to have afternoon tea at Betty’s. We spend the afternoon enjoying our tea, sandwiches, and pastries, before spending some time shopping and snooping around York’s lovely winding streets.

York’s lively atmosphere paired with a lovely day made for a great afternoon out.

I soon got tired, and took to taking some photos from where I sat.

I then spent the rest of the week working from home, with the my evenings spent chatting with my parents, walking around my village, and a cheeky evening meal out with Jess and Amber in a cool restaurant in Burnley that I’d never been to before.

When Friday rolled around, I headed over to Leeds, where I was finally reunited with Emily and had the chance to meet her and Lincoln’s dog, Lando. Lincoln wasn’t around, but his mum was, and so the four of us (Lando included) spent an evening in before spending the Saturday wandering around the nature that’s on Leeds’ doorstep.

From there, Em kindly gave me a lift over to Manchester airport, where I’d been told to arrive hours in advance to avoid absolute chaos at security. After literally walking straight through security, I had plenty of time to kill on the other side, and so started work on this very, very delayed blog post whilst sitting in the departure lounge – or in the case of Terminal 3 of Manchester airport, departure corridor.

Saying this gives me pause to think that maybe it’s time to write another whiny quip about a very specific life experience, just like I did after completing jury duty – give “Purgatory” a read if you haven’t already.

And with that, I end my quick week spent back home in the motherland. I managed to cram a lot of stuff in without taking any time off work, so I’ve to extend my thanks to Erretres for their refreshingly flexible approach to hybrid working. I much prefer to work in the office, but having the option to work from wherever you want really is the future.

Let’s see where this remote working will take me next…