Things are starting to pick up at work as we get close to a delivery date (to testing) of the first cut of our product. None the less I had time for a flying visit to Manchester for fun and frolics.
As Fliss wasn't coming up (and Friday driving rarely inspires "fun") I drove up ridiculously early on Saturday morning. The drive itself was uneventful and got me to Manchester in plenty of time for the taxi to the Stockport Beer and Cider festival with Mark and Co. One of the things I really like about this festival is the stands are open to the public so especially on a nice day you get plenty of space to stretch out sitting looking over the grounds. I tried a number of very hoppy brews including some quite dark milds and chocolaty stouts. By four we left the festival and wandered down to The Crown for a few additional top up pints before heading into town. At this point I separated from the group (leaving behind Aidan and Gillian) to navigate the massively subsidised public transport to Bolton for Anne's bash.
The early start in the morning made staying up until the small hours tricky but I was kept going by the sparkling conversation. It was good to catch up with some of the old crowd, including people I hadn't seen for some time even when I was in Manchester. Jess and Fez also made an appearance so we plotted a bit more of the European adventure this summer. Unfortunately I only realised too late the promise of cake which proved elusive at half one in the morning. Met a few interesting new people although I was too tired to realise the full majesty at the time ;-). I headed back with Lee and Dave rather than returning to a rather bare house in Stretford.
Sunday was mainly involved with house related things. Lee helped me unload the Budda Bag (after it's brief holiday in Cambridge) so Will actually had somewhere to lounge. I picked up a few bits and pieces that had been missed in the move and after gluing the hover back together tried to make the house look part way respectable for the viewing today.
The journey back proved to more tedious than expected and the hopeful desire to get home early was lost to the whims of traffic jams for no discernible reason. Once home we began the task of building a 30kg stand and mounting a 40kg TV on it. There was a slight panic when we realised we didn't have a magic size of hex key to remove the old wall mounting but that was rectified by popping round to my parents where my Dad has more tools than I do. We now only have Freeview terrestrial digital TV but I was impressed by the number of channels it has including Dave which probably got as much viewing time as Sky at the old house. The rest of the TV situation will have to rely on pre-recorded shows and DVD's until the broadband situation* is sorted out. Having said that I'm sure I'll have plenty of other distractions to keep me busy.
* Mobile broadband is good enough for email and Listen Again, but TV is right out