Anyway, enough moaning about Britain's roads! We had a great time in Manchester and it was nice to visit a new place even though I feel like we only saw a very small part of the city as it's so huge. The England Vs Uruguay rugby game at the Etihad Stadium was good, great atmosphere despite the fact we're already out of the World Cup and we had fantastic seats too (should be for the price - honestly, I'm setting Jack a budget next year as he's spent a fortune on rugby tickets this year!). After the game it was a 1 1/2 mile walk into Manchester's city centre but felt nice to stretch our legs anyway and we rewarded ourselves with drinks in a bar before getting a taxi back to our hotel later on.
Yesterday morning we decided to check out of the hotel and drive back into Manchester for an early lunch and the boys had fun being big kids in the England Rugby fan zone (bungee cords, virtual kicking, you name it). It was also nice to see more of the city centre in the daylight as it has some impressive architecture. We then had our nightmare journey home on the busy motorways but eventually made it home by 6pm where our excited puppy was waiting for us having been baby-sat all weekend by my brother and his girlfriend. I'm not sure who had more fun, my brother or Barry! Sadly despite warnings of Barry's latest 'trick' the new doormat did not survive and a big chunk from the corner has now been chewed with bits of rubber and bristle hiding underneath the now-frayed mat (was that Barry attempting to hide the evidence or my brother?), so I have yet again purchased a new door mat and I've threatened to duct-tape Barry into it and roll him down a big hill should he dare to chew this new one! He's never been a chewer (I think Jack Russell Terriers have enough going on without adding 'chief chewer' to their job descriptions), but he's reaching his adolescent stage and is testing his boundaries (or the quality of my mat purchases?) at the moment. He's like a teenager on walks; listening to commands after the third repetition and only needing us for lifts to see his mates (walkies) and food! We can't complain though, he really has been a good puppy (most of the time!).
Cute when he's asleep!
My brother's girlfriend bought me a beautiful vegetable crate, I've been after one for ages and Jack won't let me buy any because he says he'll make some for me. Jenna also bought me an orchid, my first ever orchid. I've heard they're not easy to look after so I do hope I don't kill it! I have a very good relationship with my house plants and haven't yet managed to kill one (except one that blew off the windowsill), so I hope I can keep the orchid happy too.
Finally, a photo of Barry this morning as happy as ever racing around the field on our morning walk, with the sun rising in the distance. It's a beautiful day here today, chilly but sunny, which is just how I like Autumn days to be. Best dig out my gloves and hat.