02.04.23 — Journal
After my weekend in Prague a few weeks back, my next trip out of Madrid was to take me back to my parents place in the UK for a few days. This trip back to my home village, Worsthorne, was extended in the end so that I could attend my grandad’s funeral. He died a few weeks ago, so my visit also had a rather somber purpose.
On the bright side, this meant I would have chance to spend some quality time with my family and also catch up with some friends along the way. Before I headed off to the airport, I’d already made some plans for some meals out and a little trip over to Leeds to end my week back in the UK.
My trip began, as they often do, with a train from my neighbourhood up to Madrid Airport, where the setting sun was bathing the lovely Terminal 4 in a warm glow. From there I hopped on the bus to the rather less exciting Terminal 1, where I wound up hauling my backpack to and fro as they kept changing my boarding gate.
They eventually settled on a boarding gate and the ensuing flight was lovely in its quietness and uneventfulness. My dad then whisked me back to Worsthorne, the little village where I grew up and where my parents still live.
As my mum was working the next day, me and my dad headed out to spend some time together. Parking up by the canal, we took a stroll down the bridleway until we diverged off the beaten path and ended up traversing some fields before heading back up to the car. It was a lovely walk and a chance to explore some of the countryside surrounding Burnley that I’d not seen before.
The next day it was my dad’s turn to work and so time for me to spend time with my mum. The two of us spent some time lazying around the house and having some lunch together before heading down to Crowwood, a gym and spa complex. There we spent a good while in the hot tub, I swam a few lengths, and then we’d to head off in order to pick my sister up from the train station.
With my sister now in Worsthorne too, she dragged me out for what was initially going to be a quick wander around the village to make the most of a fleeting moment of sun. Both the sun and Ellie persisted, though, and so our quick walk turned into a couple of hours trailing over the fields and through the forests of my pretty home town.
I thought our plan was to turn back once we reached the first reservoir, but in the end we headed onwards and upwards to the second before beginning our descent back home. It was a lovely chance to catch up with Ellie amongst some beautiful surroundings though. Sometimes there’s nothing like a trip back to where you grew up!
We then spent an evening in as a family before the funeral the next day. As you can imagine, it was a very somber day full of reflection but also celebration, with lots of my extended family and me exchanging stories and anecdotes at the reception after the ceremony. A highlight for me was being asked to be a pallbearer, a touching moment and one last gesture to say goodbye.
After the funeral, Ellie went back to Leeds as she’d to work for the rest of the week, and so the three of us remaining headed back home to Worsthorne. There I’d to then work for the rest of the week, which I did from the back room with my legs wrapped tightly in a blanket.
On Thursday evening I’d made a plan to see Abi and Danni after I last saw them when I came home over Christmas. We met up at Ellis’, a burger joint in the centre of Burnley, where we had lots of food and lots of laughs. It was great to get a bit of comic relief after some somber days, with the tears this time coming from the three of us wheezing over the stories that were told!
The next day my sister headed back over to Burnley again. She arrived whilst I was napping and awoke me with the news that Jemma was coming to pick us up in ten minutes. I had to jump out of bed, splash my face with cold water, and shove a hat on just in time for our lift up to the pub for the evening meal.
This meal saw me, Ellie, Jemma, and Lucy reunited for the first time for at least a couple of years. Jemma and Lucy were our neighbours when we were younger and so are some of the oldest friends I have. We had a great chat and updated each other on what were were all up to, as well as making some plans for them to visit me in Madrid and a night in at Jemma’s place watching Pippi Longstocking, the film we always loved to watch together when we were kids!
Back home the next day, the four of us mooched around all morning before my sister, my dad, and me headed out for some post-lunch coffees at HAPPA, a lovely little horse rescue and café in the countryside near my house. From there, they dropped me off at Hebden Bridge, a lovely train station where I grabbed a train over to Leeds for the last stop on my weeklong trip back to the UK.
I then stayed with Em and Lincoln for a night, which gave us time to have a catch up, head out for some lovely pizza at a local Italian, and then spend a brief moment together in the morning before I had to call in an favour and ask them to drive me to Manchester Airport. There were seemingly no trains running!
So this brings us to the here and now, where I’m sat in Terminal 3 of Manchester Airport as the priority passengers begin to board. With a bit of luck I’ll manage to quickly check this post over and publish it before I go, but if not – see you on the other side!