Fail Whale Weekend

Contrary to the title of this post, I did actually complete a goal this weekend. It was just the failiest possible goal achievement ever.

Katie and I set off on Saturday morning for our long-awaited trip to Manchester. Google Maps said it was going to take just over three hours, and Brenda the Sat-Nav agreed. Nice, right? Well actually, no. It took us ALL OF SATURDAY to get to the god damned place, and when we finally did, the whole city centre was awash with road works and diversions and hell, and so after trying to find a somewhere to park for half an hour, I made an executive decision, and we ended up at the Trafford Centre. Best decision ever.

The Trafford Centre is to shopping what Vegas is to Casinos. I want to go back for Christmas shopping. I want to live there!

What’s so great about it? I don’t know, how about the flamboyant faux-Italian design (complete with gold-leaf and marble), the crazy food court with ‘China Town’ and ‘New Orleans’ streets, and the fact that it has all the shops. Well, except Primark. But at least it has something to work on.

We didn’t make the trip up north just to visit a shopping mall though, oh no. The real purpose of the weekend was to experience the Coronation Street tour. I’m not really watching Corrie at the moment – my TV watching has pretty much been reduced to ‘Oaks, Bake Off, and Project Runway – but I am definitely still a fan, and it was so weird to be on the actual cobbles, walking past the Rovers and Gail Platt’s house.

Coronation Street1

We got to see some inside sets too, as well as the green room, the wardrobe department, and have a photo taken behind the Rovers’ bar. I think Katie mildly enjoyed it, even though I’m not entirely sure she has ever sat through a whole 30 minutes of the show.


Unfortunately though, Hurricane Bertha decided she didn’t want to miss out on the fun either, and made her presence very well felt. It would have been so much nicer if the cobbles weren’t under an inch of water, and if every photo didn’t also include an umbrella. I guess that’s the UK for you though. She also managed to ruin the photos of me outside the Rovers, with her manky water droplets getting on my lens. Hopefully I can do something to try and sort that out in Photoshop before I add them to my 2013/14 photo book.


We managed to see a little tiny bit of actual Manchester too – the John Rylands Library being a high point. We also found a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the town centre. Bit weird. We both had horribly wet feet by this point though (why must I always wear pumps?) and so we decided to have a quick spot of lunch in Bills before making the journey back to the South.

wet feet

Bills was a bit of a fail too – I asked for no mayo on my burger, how hard is that? – and Kate totally burned our waiter when she asked him to remove the ‘optional 10% tip’ from our bill. To be fair, the service was pretty shoddy, and I am way more up for tipping if a restaurant doesn’t try and trick you into it. Bad show, Bills.

Manchester, maybe one day I will get over this weekend, and return to see what you actually have to offer me…. hopefully some better weather.

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