I can’t believe how quickly the last month has gone by! Hebden Bridge was definitely not a tourist/vacation stop for me as I was able to nearly make up for the very long dry spell I’ve been in with work since since mid-December. But I’m pleased with what I was able to have seen and that I got to enjoy this quaint village for a short time. I really loved the cute little house I was minding and the cat was inordinately affectionate. She’s the only cat I’ve ever known that I could shove off my lap multiple times in an evening and know that she’d come right back and curl up once I sat back down.
My next stop is Shrewsbury, only about two hours total from Hebden Bridge. With the schedule of the hosts there and the fact that I wasn’t in any rush to vacate the Hebden Bridge house since the host was coming in very late, it made sense to stay in Hebden as long as I could, head to Manchester for the night, and go on to Shrewsbury Saturday morning. This way, I was able squeeze in two last jobs for this week’s paycheque with a client who has been going through a very slow phase but was slammed this week.
By three this afternoon, the house was ready for my host’s homecoming. My train was at 4:07. Of course, little last minute things popped up and by the time I was dragging my luggage up those stairs, it was 3:38! I was not pleased with myself as I really had to hoof it to the train station and was not able to get in one last meander through the village. By the time I’d collected my train ticket and crossed to the Manchester-bound platform, I had literally one minute till the train arrived! Phew. I cut it way too close!
Even with the cost of the bus to Levenshulme and back into Manchester, the dump where I stayed in January was still by far the best deal for an overnight. I was not keen to go back there, but needs must. However…
I’ve been doing some testing for a new position that unfortunately did not pan out as I lacked experience for part of the work and there was no time for on the job training. That was a bummer since I spent most of a day doing the tests. Well, to my immense surprise, the testers compensated me for my time! I was shocked! They sent enough to cover an Airbnb in Manchester right by the train station (about 20CAD more a night than the dump) and part of a real dinner out, which I hadn’t planned on doing since I had a meal out in Haworth. There are some really good people out there!
The only flaw in my plan is that my Airbnb host had something come up and the earliest someone could meet me with keys was six, when I was arriving at Manchester Victoria at 4:45. Changing my ticket would have been very £££. So I ended up spending only ££ on a snack at the Starbucks where I could wait in relative warmth and comfort. Slight problem, my host thought I was coming into Piccadilly. It was past six when the hosts’ friend called to ask where I was and then almost 20 minutes to get to Piccadilly and then almost 20 minutes to find the apartment 5 minutes away because Manchester is obviously having fiscal challenges and doesn’t believe in street signage. Yes, I was very grumpy by the time I finally found my room. 🙁
Then, it was time to find dinner. It was past seven by this point and between the lack of signage and my stupid phone misbehaving worse than usual, I didn’t want to go too far. I went back to Piccadilly and wandered looking for a pub, going into the first one I found (Piccadilly Tavern). I liked the set up that I had to find a table, decide what I wanted to eat, then go order and pay at the bar as that meant I wouldn’t have to hunt down the cheque after. I ordered a regular beef burger with a pint of bitter and almost fainted when I was told the price was only £5.69. The pint was free since they were doing a burger and beer deal! So that bonus money 100% covered my stay!
It wasn’t an amazing burger and fries, only a few steps up from McDonald’s, but with the high quality bun and huge pile of veggies, the meal still felt like an incredible deal and was very satisfying. I nursed my pint for a long while, watching the footie on the telly. Can you tell that I’m really struggling with fitting into the UK lifestyle. 😉
I’m back at my Airbnb and going to attempt to get to bed early. I’ve been going to bed past midnight for the last month and I’m pretty sure that won’t be sustainable when I’m responsible for a puppy!