A family celebration for mum’s 80th Birthday.
The Birthday Girl.
We met mum off the train at Manchester and went back to The MacDonald Hotel which is situated just beside the station. Having stayed there before we requested rooms facing the front, which have a great view over Manchester. It used to be the old BT building and has massive rooms with lots of space for everyone to spread out.
Just time to drop bags and off to see her newest grandchildren in Didsbury. Then back to the hotel to meet my brother and wife who had arrived from London. We hadn’t booked a meal so headed down to Deansgate and despite being a Friday night we managed to get a table at Las Iguanas which suited the vegetarians in the party too.
Las Iguanas restaurant.
Next morning we went down for breakfast in the hotel and just as we were finishing, newly graduated grandson Ken arrived having driven up from Bristol. It was pouring down so we slowly left the hotel and headed for the shops. Arndale centre being indoors was first port of call. There was an event called “Hazard” going on and mum got into a long conversation about it. She had to smile at people and then they would put a pin in a map to show where it happened apparently. We did catch the “flash mob” later.
Hazard flash mob Manchester
After leading mother astray in the shops the sun had come out and Manchester brother and his family had arrived so we headed off to meet them by the big wheel.
It seemed like a good idea to go up on the wheel so after a quick deliberation we were off.
Manchester big wheel
The last time I had been on a wheel with mum was in Edinburgh at Christmas a few years ago. A rickety old thing which I had hated, but thought this might be ok.
Mum on the wheel
My brothers spent the time pointing things out to each other and seemed that they enjoyed the experience.
I hated it and clung on to my nephew’s T shirt as I was scared the doors would open and he would fall out!
Let me down!
Don’t get me wrong, the view from the top was great but it was windy! You can put me on top of a mountain and I’m as happy as anything because I am on my own two feet, but suspend me in the air and it’s another thing.
View from the top
I wished I had done what my sister-in-law was doing and stayed with the baby in the pram.
After going around more times than necessary, we finally reached the ground.
After a final cuddle with her newest grandchild for mother, and a final chat with his godson for my son, we parted ways.
Son and godson
The “older” members of the family headed back to the hotel for a rest, after being told exactly how to get back. A little bird tells me though that they may have got lost!. The rest of us did a bit more shopping as a trip to town can’t be wasted when you don’t live near shops.
Back at the hotel the others had been sleeping, but managed to rouse themselves in time for Birthday cake and champagne.
Cutting the cake
A friend had very kindly made a beautiful cake for the occasion. Unfortunately my planning slipped and I had forgotten to bring a knife, so yes, that is a spoon handle being used.
Mother, son and me.
A lengthy photo shoot then ensued as we don’t often all get a chance to get together.
Mother and Daughter in law.
And every combination of family was photographed!
Champagne in hand
It was amazing how many combinations of photos there could be, perhaps we should have just set the timer and all jumped into one.
Mother, daughter and grandson.
However, on it went, nearly there if you are getting bored.
Mother, son in law, grandson.
We had booked a meal in The Great Kathmandu in Didsbury for the birthday celebration. So off we set in two taxis. Had a great meal, but no one thought to take any photos there. Too busy enjoying the food probably. It had expanded into the premises next door since the last time we had been there and was packed out.
Trafford Centre Manchester
After not quite as large a breakfast as the previous morning, as we were still full from the night before, we had to check out of the hotel. The lift had been out of action and it was a scrum getting up and down in the only working one. Mum had had several long conversations with the repair men throughout the weekend and was getting quite pally with them. We left the hotel and decided to go to The Trafford centre as we could park easily. Mum was buying lunch as three members of the family had just had birthdays.
Guess what? No one was hungry, well apart from my son who I had noticed was having an exceptionally small breakfast, which as it turned out was because we were going for lunch, oh dear.
Costa Trafford Centre.
Everyone had a nice chat over coffee, while I ran up and down the marble staircase chasing my nephew, however diversion tactics came into play when he noticed the “marble lady”.
I think the fact she was minus some toes was the fascination factor.
Time for a rest
Then it was time for the family to leave for London, so we said our farewells.
Brothers. Got to love them!
My son went to stay with his uncle and cousins for a night.
Brother and son
And the birthday girl headed home with us (via Ikea, her request) to the Lake District for a holiday. The official birthday is this Thursday 22nd July. Happy 80th Birthday Mum x
Ps. Hope sister in law left this at the hotel!
A little light reading