Sunday, 10 June 2012

Friday 8th June

Oh crap, where am I again?

After finally getting to sleep about 1am in the morning on my first night in the UK, I soon discovered that my body clock was still out with the sun coming up at 4.30am as was I.  I did however go back to sleep soon after as it was wet and windy outside, oh and to any intrepid Aussie, it was cold too. But needless to say I was soon up again at around about 8.30am.  I felt awesome.  Let’s take on the day and explore this god forsaken place!!!

I suppose I should really mention here that Andy’s flat was as spotless as his cleaning countdown has suggested, well apart from a healthy scattering of dust on the decorative balls on his bathroom windowsill (he is a man after all and therefore, he was bound by nature to have missed something), but the rest of the unit was immaculate.  OCD anyone?  The flat itself is gorgeous and it is very much a bachelor pad, no unnecessary clutter and very few ornaments or unwanted items.  There’s a place for everything and everything was in its place.  I tell you I felt like I was messing up his organised lifestyle while I was unpacking but he soon had me sorted.  After all, there was a day to be had outdoors and lots and lots of things to be done, so first I caught up on some emails and had a quick Skype chat with Madi, just to let her know I had made it here ok before showering and finally being ready to take on the sleepy town of Rawtenstall.

Rows and rows of roof  tops
We took the scenic route down to the town centre, wandering alongside a stream that wound its way through and around the local area.  Everything was so green, lush and just so beautiful.  It was never far off raining however; you could feel the odd drop of rain or two as we wandered down the path and then, right out of the blue came a squirrel scurrying across our path in front of us. It was, my first ever squirrel!!! He had a big fluffy tail and damn he was fast.  He was quite large too so I was told, about the size of a medium rabbit.  He was also the first thing I checked off my to see list. Squirrel.  Next is a chinchilla (Not native to the UK but available as pets) and then a hedgehog (sans fleas if at all possible). Not bad considering it took the pom 6 weeks to find his first Kangaroo.

Anyway, the first stop in Rawtenstall, was a much needed a haircut for Andy.  So we called into the first hairdressers along the way and can I tell you, it was like stepping back into the 80s?  The pictures on the walls were all of 80s style, flock of seagulls haircuts and they still offered perms as part of their services to womanhood.  WTF? Who perms their hair anymore (other than the blue rinse brigade)?  There were a couple of old dears under the hair driers with curlers in their hair there when we walked in.  Yep it was one of those hair dressers.  But Andy still really needed a haircut. I think the last time it was cut was when I attacked him with the clippers while he was staying over in Oz.

Haircut now completed, and a much more handsome (rugged & manly) Andy in tow, we were off to explore a little more on the way to the local Tesco supermarket.  There was the train station that looked like it could have been part of Hogwarts station, yes complete with fully working steam trains  (See a later post for that planned adventure).  A little pub, fabulous little terraced houses along the way complete with union jacks and bunting sprawled all over them (How did they know I was coming?).  It is just a beautiful little town, it still has cobbled stone roads in places and the town could easily have been in any Jane Austen novel (It really is that old).

Hogwarts Station?
I was still full of energy when we hit Tesco’s.  OMG more new to me offerings.  I have never experienced anything like their Tesco’s before.  It was HUGE!!! And this was only one of the smaller Tesco branches.  There was so much to look at inside there and so many things to explore of both a food and non food nature.  No wonder they are Britain’s largest retailer taking over £1 of every £7 spent in the UK at any one given time. And probably just like all the other punters there, we needed some food stuffs for the house along with some knicky-knacky type trinkets to take back home for Madi.

And then it hit me....

At the time, we were looking for gluten free crackers and the dreaded jet lag snuck up behind me and smacked me square in the head.  All of a sudden everything in my body began to ache and I could barely even walk.  I lost all co-ordination again and I just needed to go home.  Instantly I lost my sense of humour and I started to shiver.  It was cold but not THAT cold.  We had no choice but to finish up shopping and catch a cab back home because now it was pouring down with rain too.

Click here for the album from our first day out in Rawtenstall

I basically crawled into bed the minute we got home and Andy snuggled (I said snuggled!!) with me to help keep me warm while I fell asleep.  It wasn’t until 3 hours later when I woke to the sound of Andy cleaning the kitchen.  He had been cooking for the week ahead while I was sleeping.  I still had no co-ordination and this English twilight thing was further screwing with my head as well.  It was 9pm at night and still bright daylight outside WTF?  I felt like I should have been up and about doing things outside.

I stayed up for a couple more hours while we planned our next important outing together, a trip to Whalley Range in Manchester and the impending medical for Andy’s Visa application.  Tomorrow was going to be another grand adventure in the UK for me. Provided I could master the vagaries of this dreaded curse that is jet lag.


  1. Sounds beautiful. I love the UK. Wonderful descriptions, very evocative. How great is Tescos! If you like tea, get yourself some PG Tips. Amazing!!

  2. Trick to beating the jet lag--stay well hydrated. When new to wet places, we have a tendency to not drink as much water, and dehydration will just stretch it out.


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