being a tourist in your own city

The best way to explore the city you live in is to have friends or family from elsewhere to come and visit you…

Last weekend my two childhood best friends came up from Birmingham to visit me in Manchester, and in typical Maddie fashion I was panicking about planning out the perfect weekend for them, but really I knew they’d be happy to do anything so long as we got to have a good gossip!!

A trip to my closest coffee shop, Esquires, got us fuelled up on tasty salads and avo on toast ready to brace a very rainy and windy Manchester.

What was supposed to be a slow wander around the Arndale (I’m kidding, there’s no such thing on a Saturday lunch time) quickly turned into getting caught up in the Halloween in the City celebrations, surrounded by a marching band performing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and dancers on stilts dressed as all things spooky. Although slightly overwhelming, it really reminded me of the spirit of Manchester and the reason I fell in love with this place 3 years ago. I adored how busy it was, how wherever you looked there would be something else equally as captivating going on.

We walked around until the cold felt too bitter, and headed back to my place where we gossiped and listened to the busy roads around us but felt as cosy as could be in my new student room.

As evening fast approached, we braved the cold and made our way over to V Revs where we were greeted by the most extensive vegan restaurant anyone could wish for! I’ve been before hence why I decided here for the evening meal, but was still worried that my vegan bestie wouldn’t be as impressed as I was…boy was I wrong! Never have I ever seen someone so conflicted as to what to get off a menu, because she just had so much choice which is unheard of for the modern day vegan who loves to eat out but are usually restricted to a couple of choices. After much deliberation we ordered food, took in the d├ęcor and got real life heart eyes over the odd dog that came in with their owner.

When the food arrived my vegan bestie couldn’t quite believe what she was eating was vegan saying she felt like she was cheating her veganism (she wasn’t – the whole restaurant truly is vegan!!). So I felt accomplished if I am honest!

The evening ended with all four of us cooped up in my room playing Manchester edition Monoply (obviously), and for the first time in a long time I lost…but moving swiftly on (not a sore loser I swear…).

Sunday morning with friends over means going out for brunch, right? We ended up in the same cafe as the day before, indulging in breakfast and coffee, feeling super cosy indoors despite the drizzly weather outside.

We took a walk into town and stopped by the Halloween in the City celebrations once again, this time it was a dog parade! From what we could see it was cute but I wasn’t wearing my glasses (shock), and then the heavens opened so we ran home instead and just had a big old chill out before it was time to catch their train home.

I loved having my friends here for many reasons. How bloody amazing does it feel to see two of your closest friends after time apart?! When they left I actually felt a little homesick, which is weird because generally speaking I don’t miss Birmingham, and for the most part whenever I’m there, I want to be back in Manchester!

Having them over made me make the most of a weekend for the first time in forever. My weekends usually consist of either being in Huddersfield or Manchester, getting uni and house work done, and getting a hefty food shop done. But taking time out this weekend, and still managing to do those things too made me realise that I need to start going out and enjoying this city that I’m living in, because in all honesty, I adore it here, and I won’t be here for too much longer which does truly break my heart.

What is your favourite thing about the place that you call home? Mine has the be the hustle and bustle of Manchester. For me it’s the one place that you can really make yourself into who you want to be, there’s no judgement and you can really live life how you want…

All the best,

Maddie

xxx

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Halloween 2017

Halloween is potentially my favourite occasion of the year. I love Autumn fading into Winter, all the orange hues, the cold bite alongside beautiful sunshine. Pumpkins, dressing up, spooky decorations, eating too many fizzy sweets, apple bobbing & getting together with friends.

Last year I didn’t really celebrate due to having to travel back to Birmingham for an appointment so this year I wanted to make the most of being in Manchester with friends.

A small group of us had decided to grab some tickets for a “Girls on Film” night at the Deaf Institute, a night they hold weekly but this time it was Halloween themed. The criteria was seemingly simple; to dress up as a dead pop icon, so we spent weeks deciding on who we’d all go as & perfecting our looks. We honestly spent ages researching different people, I feel like I could’ve completed a uni essay on it hahaha.

After much deliberation, we finalised our decisions on the dead pop icons we would be embodying. Max & I went for a couples costume of Sid Vicous & Nancy Spundgen (my mother was so proud), Amy chose Amy Winehouse, Travis – George Michael & Sara as the old Taylor Swift!!

Nancy

Sid & Nancy

Nancy & Winehouse

Nancy & George


Nancy & Taylor

On a last minute whim on Monday night, we decided to organise a flat party for the following night with some uni friends. I love a good spontaneous plan but I kinda regret leaving it so late to because most of the Halloween decorations in Manchester had already been taken! We managed to pull together some lights, balloons, cups, straws & coasters but nothing to OTT unfortunately. We told people that dressing up was a must, but we had no intention of going as far out as a few nights before!! I went as a unicorn aka my spirit animal, Sara as a cat, Amy the devil, Trav a vampire, Aidan a lumberjack, Abbie a traveller, Lydia also as a cat & Patti (my personal favourite) as a mushroom (she hates Halloween and dressing up, can you tell?!)

The girls made “Spooky Juice” a concoction of Vodka, Smirnoff Ice & the blue Caribbean Twist, the hangover sure as hell was spooky after drinking this!

I hope everyone had a fabulously spooky halloween!

M x

Halloween Playlist

Halloween is by far one of my favourite occasions of the year, so I definitely didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to create a spooktacular playlist for the day!

This year’s Halloween will be spent with some friends at the Deaf Institute, who’s theme for the night is “Back to Life”, dressing up as dead pop culture icon. Sara is going as the “old Taylor Swift”, why? Because she’s dead! Amy will be the wonderful Ms. Winehouse, with the tattoos and beehive to match, Travis has decided to channel his inner George Michael, and Max & I have gone down the couples route of Sid & Nancy. I’m so excited to get dressed up, play some games and listen to some spooky Halloween tunes before heading out!

Pop the soundtrack on and boogie the night away!

M x