This adventure includes touring the big-small city centre, meeting friends for the first time, the inter-crossing of acquaintances who ended up never meeting, seeing a long-haul traveller with a mission and conversing with a pirate. All this, plus being treated like a queen.
Tony (formally Tee Dot) and I were well enough to leave Piccadilly and get on our way home. To get there, we needed to take the tram, then the bus, then our feet.
The Manchester Metrolink (we got on at Piccadilly Gardens), the magic tram-bus system, is super-duper. The tram had that wonderful chunking sound, much like the tram in Toronto, but with a Mancunian accent. Tony began the trip with the notice of free Wi-Fi. Yeah, don't sniff a gift fish. Logged on we made our way to Bury, home of the world-famous Bury Market and its black pudding. Sitting with Tony, hearing him giggle as I tried to say Besses o'th' Barn, I felt like I was in a place I would grow to love. I could not stop looking around at the tracks, the apartment buildings and the bendiness of the machine we were riding in. My inside voice apologised to Tony for not speaking very much; I was in awe, honestly.
At the Bury Interchange Tony saved my life. I know the direction of traffic is different in the UK and I had, only a few times, tried to remind myself not to be silly and look both ways, starting with the right then the left. I failed. Tony pulled me back on to the sidewalk and pointed out the bus heading down the road in front of me. With a wave of a hand, he showed the direction to the market. I only understood the closeness when it appeared again the upcoming Saturday.
From the Interchange, we caught a bus to Tottington, our final destination. The vastness of the area in which Tottington lives blew me away, as on the map it looks smaller. Maybe it is and I was just overwhelmed. I rested my head briefly on Tony's shoulder. The bus stopped a few blocks from Tony's house. There was a church parked in front of the bus stop and I noted to take a photo of it before I left.
Making it home by foot, I was so glad to finally got a chance to be lazy and enjoy the rest. Tony showed me to my room, set all my things down, and we made our way back to get supper. Sorry, tea. The first tour of Tottington began as a walk to the Co-op. I can still make my way to the Co-op, with a little help from a map. I was introduced to the school which was not attended by Tony's children. I saw the cricket club, the lawn bowling green and conkers. There was a slight mist in the air, which did not dampen the mood (oops, a poorly timed pun). The Co-op was so much like the ones we have here, except there is a wine aisle. Saskatchewan is one of the last provinces do not have direct access to alcohol in their grocery stores. We picked up some chicken, wine and some other foodie things and walked back home.
Tea was at an earlier time than what Tony and his son was used to. He has two boys, the oldest being away at school and his youngest was video gaming upstairs. As the tea cooked, Tony poured the first set of wines. My misapprehension of finding subjects to talk about did disappear. We watched the World Athletic Championships (from Quatar); this was splendid! At one point Tony went back to get another bottle of wine. Or was that Saturday? Oy, I have forgotten. Day One with Tony was eventful and surreal at the same time. The seven-hour time difference did not effect me like I thought it would, mostly due to switching my clock at Pearson Airport. However, the day had to end and I was ready for a good night's sleep.