Oh England, my England

Posted: August 6, 2012 in England, This & That

Greetings from Old Blighty! I’m just back from a long-awaited holiday. It was about time for one, methinks. This was my first time back in England since 2005!!! As ever, we (hubby and me) stayed with the in-laws near Rochdale in Lancashire.

A view from Blackstone Edge over Littleborough and Rochdale

I live on the north side of the Arctic Circle. It’s basically empty of people, even in Finnish terms. Manchester alone has about the same amount of people as the whole of Finland. For years I’ve not seen crowds, and rush hour traffic means two or three cars.

We were picked up from Manchester airport and immediately hit standing rush hour traffic on the M60. It was 5pm on Tuesday and the motorway was like a car park! In about an hour I’m sure I saw more cars than I’ve seen in the past 6 years!! I didn’t remember how huge 8 lanes of motorway looks and how many cars fit on them! THAT was a culture shock! The next day I got another shock on Market Street in Manchester. I’m sure there were more people on that street than in the whole of our little town back in Finland. But you get used to dodging people around you… The northwest of England is, after all, my old home. It all felt strangely familiar and foreign at the same time.

A strangely quiet moment on the M62

There is a contrast to that busyness: the hills. I love the South Pennines!! I had been waiting to see them, and to walk on them again. It was well worth the wait. A big part of the just-over-two-week-holiday was spent walking on the Pennines. It was very muddy due to all the rain this year but that was ok. I love the quiet, rough and desolate nature of the Pennines. However, on a sunny day the hills look so gentle and lovely, and it’s difficult to believe how inhospitable and harsh they can be.

Peculiar northern folk spotted climbing on the rocks!

Back home now, I’m finding it difficult to sit inside and get back to the normal routine. I must be having a social jet lag! During the holiday I was ill, cold, wet, covered in mud, too hot and knackered with wobbly thighs from climbing up steep hills, and sore with sunburn; I almost got run over by an old motorist and a killer-dog almost ate me (yeah, really!). And now I miss it all (except for the part where the killer-dog almost ate me).

I have lots of pictures and many stories yet to tell… Watch this space.

This is my England!

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