No ASDA this weekend so a completely free weekend. We had considered driving up to the north east for the weekend but the weather is bad an no one fancied looking at The Angel of the North/Durham Cathedral/the Tyne bridges/Bambrugh Castle/the Duchess of Northumberland’s poison garden (never cross that lady) in the rain.

So home it was. Saturday broke with terrific rain but dried up enough later for a trip into the city for a few treats to enjoy while watching TV and listening to The Last Night of the Proms tonight. It’s a poignant day today for Manchester. The Manchester Arena is finally reopening after the terrorist attack in May. There is to be a benefit concert with the money going to a fund for a permanent memorial for the 22 people who died. They are still working to repair the foyer area where the attack took place but it will be open to the public. It’s the main connection point between Victoria Station and the Arena so can’t be closed permanently, nor should it be. I usually record events that happen in the city but couldn’t bring myself to go up there and look and take pictures. It seemed disrespectful and the events are all too raw for me. And if I feel like that imagine how the families and friends of the victims must feel. Though I’ve heard they have already been to see the site. I, personally, will let fate take charge and when I next find myself naturally going to an event at the Arena will walk through. 

Moving on….I came across this group of people staring intently at their smart phones outside Barton Arcade . Asked what was going on, they were searching for Pokémon. Apparently, Barton Arcade is a good spot to find rare ones. We are all entitled to our interests but, honestly, some of these people are old enough to know better.

Dutch flags… Dutch Cookie Guy was back in the city, as he’d promised, selling his wares. I love his toffee waffles. I asked for two packs for £6 and he persuaded me to have four for £10. He’s good! I didn’t need much encouragement to be honest. I was a bit disappointed he didn’t have any of the new tins I’d seen in the summer but he promised he’d be back for the Christmas Markets with plenty. Only eight weeks away people! Start panic buying sprouts now!

UK flag…The Great British Cheese Company was selling truckles of cheese. I bought a Tasty Lancashire Cheese (tasty is part of the name of the cheese as well as a description of it) called Lancaster Bomber and a strong Red Leicester Cheese called Red Arrow. 

I had a trip to the Lindt store for some of their delicious truffles and went to Waterstone’s, the book store, or find a book called ‘Viking Britain’ that I’d seen reviewed in the Sunday Times. It sounded a good read and I thought I’d try it out as most of my knowledge about the period comes from reading the Bernard Cornwell ‘Uthred of Bebbenburg’ novels and watching stuff on TV. The guy who wrote it, Thomas Williams, is in charge of the Viking collection at the British Museum so I’m thinking he knows a lot. 

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