Rain and Manchester

It was raining pretty good this morning when we left, so a hard morning's drive for Ox. We were able to figure out the directions from the Marriott website and get to our next hotel. However, when I went to check in.... we were at the wrong Marriott. We were at one on the edge of Manchester and the one we had reservations at was one in the middle of the city centre. (i.e. the really really scary traffic part of town.) I looked the desk clerk straight in the eye and said that we'd just driven through Leeds and the traffic was frightening us. That none of us had ever driven in the U.K. and was there any possible way that we could change our reservations to this hotel. My sincerity won them over and they took pity on us and gave us a room.

Whitsworth Museum

Maggie really wanted photos of the seams of a particular shirt in the Whitsworth Museum in Manchester. But I decided I needed some down time, so I sent them off in a taxi without me. I lounged about the Marriott Worsley Park. Smelled the rain and looked out at the flowers. When the rain let up, I went for a walk, then took a nap. While I was posting my blog to the internet, the hotel staff kept asking if I needed anything (since I was sitting by myself in the lobby) and I kept telling them, "No, this is just where the wireless network is strongest."

Unfortunately when Maggie and Ox got back they said that the museum had closed its textile wing and hadn't posted that to the internet. Ox took some photos of some medieval sketches that were at the museum, but the lighting was funny so there are flare marks in most of them.

Sigh. Tomorrow will be another day. And a better one since there will be CASTLES!

Some Random Observations

  • The British are very direct. If I ask the wrong question, they just answer the question, but don't follow it up with extra information to see if I really meant the daft thing I just said.
  • Maggie will not eat pork-n-beans for breakfast. (They were on the buffet this morning at the Leeds Marriott.)
  • Road maps in England are in miles not kilometers. (Our planned expedition into Leeds today was killed off by this error on our part. It just wasn't possible to go to museums in two large cities that far apart.)
  • The British are just uncommonly nice to visitors.
  • Long toed boots with square toes are in style in London. (I kept seeing them in the subway.)
  • President Bush is blamed for all the world's evils in the Metro-newspapers.
  • Cathedrals are pricey to maintain. (I think it was Ely that had a sign up that said it costs them 3,000£ a day to keep it up. That's about $5,500.)
  • Napkins are called "serviettes"   (sounds French, doesn't it?)
  • Smaller towns are more fun to piddle around in than big ones.
  • Big towns have really cool museums though.
  • Hedgehogs are never seen in daylight unless they are sick or injured.
  • The advice to wear layers in England is just spot on. Gets cold very quickly, gets hot again very quickly.
  • The smallest coins are 5 pence. The next one up is 1 pence. Then, 10, 20, 50. They also have 1 pound and 2 pound coins. (Which would be $2 and $4 coins to us.) So a 5 pound note is the smallest paper money, which is about $9 our money.

Today's Photos