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Posts Tagged ‘Debbie’

The Australians set off home again today. I will drive them to the airport shortly.

This will be my seventh trip to Manchester Airport in just over a month – I’ll be there again tomorrow too!

My brother Andrew and his partner Debbie have been with us since June 1st. They came direct from Perth via Dubai and were met with rain. They have endured a month of rain, always noting that back home the temperature is still in the 20’s despite it being winter over there.

They accompanied me on my trip to Glasgow at the beginning of the month and whilst I worked [this is what I did] they visited Luss on Loch Lomond. They visited York and Bridlington one weekend with my other bother Peter and his wife Linda. They liked York (even in the rain) but thought that Brid was dire! Seventeen fish and chip shops on one road apparently! I wouldn’t know, it’s years since I went to Brid.

They also spent a great deal of time with our parents, staying with them occasionally, driving them around sometimes and organising family get-togethers.

But the most memorable part of their stay, for me, was our trip to Spain. [I’m not sure I will ever complete that particular journal]. We were only there for five days but what a five days. We had sunshine, sea, sand, views, trips out to Gibraltar and Ronda – all in all a jolly good time.

It will be sad to see them go, Australia is such a long way away and getting to see them depends on Sharon’s ability to get away from the straightjacket that dictates academic holidays. But we have enjoyed having them with us and look forward to seeing them again – whenever.

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This was the final weekend that my brother and his partner will be with us, before their return to Australia.  They fly out on Thursday and return home via a short stay-over in Dubai.

Their first weekend with us was the Jubilee weekend and lots of ‘stuff’ was going on. One of those days we heard noises (music) which appeared to be coming from across the valley, so Andrew and I set off to see what it was. When we got there (across the valley) we realised that the noise was coming from our side of the valley – the side we’d set off from (doh!). In fact, the music was coming from a couple of houses in the bottom of the valley – but the point of telling the story is that whilst we were trailing about Golcar Andrew noticed the Golcar Ginnel Trail  signs. I’ve catalogued my own sightings over the years on Flickr but a couple of the plaques have remained elusive. We said that we would ‘do’ the Ginnel Trail before he set off back home.

Now that was a month ago and a lot of rain has fallen since then, so yesterday was really the last chance to undertake what seemed like an easy task. The local information leaflets say that it’s about 3km long with some tricky uphill climbs. Now, being local I thought the uphill description was spot on but that the 3km was something of an understatement – which I think it proved to be.

We set off in a short lull in the rain and only experienced short bursts of wetness as we trailed around the hills and vales that make up Golcar. The trail starts by the church and then weaves its way down and along the hillside until it reaches the railway line. This is the main Trans-Pennine line which flits folks backwards and forwards between the east and west coasts of northern England (but mainly Manchester Airport and the big cities of the north). The trail then drops further down the hill to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.  At this point it would seem that the odd plaque has been removed/stolen/misplaced [delete as required] as there was only one at the TOP of eight and at the TOP of nine – each of the other trails having a plaque top AND bottom. This bit of the walk is also longer, with much more distance between the markers. From nine to ten, you could easily become lost and disorientated, so do make sure you have the guide with you to make sure you don’t become lost.

From here on the overarching direction is ‘UP’. Up the steep hillside to Golcar itself and for Andrew and me, even further up – to the Golcar Lily Restaurant where we were meeting family for a meal. Next time I’ll do it on a slightly warmer day 😉

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Sharon and I have just returned from a short break in Spain. We were accompanied by my brother Andrew and his partner Debbie. We stayed in a small apartment about a mile inland from the Torreblanca coast, a little east of Fuengirola.

What a difference the three hour flight from Manchester to Malaga made!

Since they arrived from Australia, where they live, Andrew and Debbie have had to suffer one of the coldest, wettest springs we have experienced in the UK, so getting off the plane in Malaga to a pleasant 30°C was a real pleasure for them as well as for us.

We’d hired our car from Car Hire 3000, but the actual providers were Centauro who are based some way from the airport, so that necessitated a minibus ride to their depot. Everything went smoothly, so I’ve no complaint with their efficiency but I have to warn anyone who reads this about the fuel scam everyone over here seems to pull. Although we’d paid for everything else in the UK, we still had to pay for a full tank of petrol – €93! Now, that’s top price for fuel, and there’s no option to choose where you fill up, they do it before you pick up the car. I also doubted that the tank was really ‘full’. There’s also an ‘Excess Cover’ insurance to pay (optional), which is not part of the collision waiver (etc.) insurance you pay in the UK. My friend uses Malaga Car Hire when he comes here and they have a ‘full to full’ policy, which means you can refill at the best price you find (which for my friend will probably be Gibraltar @ 96p litre, with a small top up here in Torreblanca, which is only 15 miles from the airport).

We arrived at the apartment in good time to unpack and have a cup of tea before braving ‘the front’ to find a supermarket. The roads around here are narrow and winding, and there is something of a mañana feel to the local driving!We stocked up on basics and then came back to dump the car.

We walked back down to the seafront later for a walk and to find some food. We had had The Royal India restaurant recommended, so as we had no real preference that night, we ate there. It was dire! It seems to be one of those Indian restaurants where they use one base sauce for every dish. My Rogan Josh had very little meat in it and tasted like a red lamb korma – it was SO sweet (which a Rogan Josh shouldn’t be). Debbie’s ‘butter chicken’ and Andrews ‘madras’ seemed to come from the same pot with just a little flavour change en route (and no more meat than I had).

No one was impressed!

The walk back to the apartment was warm and pleasant enough, despite the steepness of the climb. That was day one.

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