07 September 2013

Never say never

After a lengthy break from the blog, dear reader, I am happy to say I'm back, with more news than I could possibly report!

I never did get to blog about the Manchester International Festival's performances of The Machine or Macbeth or Massive Attack v. Adam Curtis, but luckily, other Manchester bloggers have. Click on the links for fantastic writer-about-town and rabbit-lover Dave Hartley's reviews!

I don't necessarily agree with him on every point, but he does write excellent, critical reviews, and if you want to know about the festival, well, Dave took a whole damn week off work to go to things and blog about them, so, he's your man.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed most of the festival (except Long Grass - it doesn't really even bear thinking about how rubbish that was), I was incredibly sad to see it go. It's a short three weeks, the MIF, and I can never really get enough of the summery buzz it brings the city. On one of the last days, I sat in Albert Square with Jonti and some friends, eating ice cream and wishing it weren't over just yet...

But, I didn't have much time to be wistful– I had a flight to catch!

Atlanta was in a stormy mood when I first got in, delaying our landing by about 3 hours. But once I was home, I had a lovely time, hanging out with my family, and rushing about seeing all my friends. I met baby Atticus!

Jeremy and Katie are already great parents, true believers in the CTFD method. It was great to see Lemuel and Emma and Allen, too. I miss you all so much, every day.

And then my mom, my sister, my brother-in-law, my nephew and my niece all went to Hawaii! I'd never been before, and I was very excited about relaxing on a beach and snorkeling. We stayed with my cousin, who is an Army doctor out there. This is the view from her place:

In the end, I didn't get to do much relaxing, because we were dashing about seeing all these beautiful places: 


A lot of things in Hawaii look like they're in the past, like this post office that seems to be in a Western movie from the 50s. But that's probably because Hawaii's infrastructure doesn't really seem to have been updated since the 50s.  

Sea Turtle! Maxin' and Relaxin'. You know. Because this is HAWAII, y'all. HAWAII.

And pretty much every sunset looked something like this. 

The beaches are pretty nice. A lot of people don't realise that Hawaii has such nice beaches. Have you even heard of them?  

We spent three days on the Big Island, and mostly saw lots of dried lava. A huge lava flow once stormed through Devastation Trail, leaving things rather... devastated.

In Volcano National Park at twilight, you can see a volcano still slowly releasing hot sulphur into the night sky.

My favourite day in Hawaii was our last day on the Big Island. I woke up early and took a free yoga class that the hotel offered. I ended up being the only one there, and got an hour's free instruction! After all the traveling I'd done (across 11 timezones!), it definitely helped put my body back in order. Then, I sat by the pool with a coffee and a book, and then we all went to Hapuna Beach and played for a few hours, before heading over to Kahalu'u Beach for some snorkeling. 

I absolutely love snorkeling. I would do it everyday if I could. I first fell in love with it at the Great Barrier Reef. There is something wondrous about the quiet of the water around you, watching the silent fish swim around.

And then, after a few days back in Atlanta, suddenly, I was back in Manchester. It was colder and grayer than it was when I'd left, and I was glad I'd remembered to bring a jacket as I stepped off the train.

There he was. Jonti. I'd been talking with him on Skype nearly every day that I was gone. We'd been texting pictures and chatting and missing each other for two whole weeks.

"It's your job to keep me awake all day," I told him, "Because I have work in two days, and I CANNOT be jetlagged."

He did his job well, dear reader, and in the afternoon, we went for a pizza at Croma, just near the Town Hall, one of my favourite places in Manchester. 

He said, "I've been thinking about it, and I think we should get married," he said. "Sooner rather than later. I've looked into it, and we can do it at the Town Hall."

I looked through the window, at Waterhouse's incredible building, and for a moment, I wondered, baffled, if he meant we should go do it right now.

"We should talk about it," he said. I smiled and agreed, and suggested a day when I wasn't quite so tired. 

And so it happened that the girl who thought she'd never never never marry anyone, that she had no need or desire of it, has met the man she wants and needs to marry. His name is Jonti. I can't wait for you to meet him.