Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Saturday 29 August 2009

We had a gay old time!

Barry managed to find a water point hidden away round the corner from our mooring, so this morning we tempted fate and left where we were for a fill up and returned to Castlefield to take up a different spot – we like a bit of variety! It’s unusual for us to stay in one place for so long; it’ll be our third night tonight.

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The amazing array of bridges we had to go under for the water supply 

  P1110514 View from our new mooring at the other end of the canal arm, restaurants and bars abound nearby


Such a vibrant area with lots going on


Boats coming and going all the time

Barry's excursion took him to the rear entrance (excuse the pun!) of the Manchester Pride Parade entrants, so we walked that way and mingled with the crowd as they preened themselves and each other. What a fantastic party atmosphere there was all around. I’ve never seen such whacky, weird and wonderful costumes and so many happy people; it almost made me want to be gay just to belong to such a seemingly cohesive group!


One of the boaters was getting into the spirit, or may have been in the parade?

Even organisations such as the police, fire service, home office and The Royal College of Nursing were represented; awesome! It was lucky that the weather was a little brighter than yesterday, but unfortunately the chill remained in the air and there were some very skimpy costumes with people shivering before the parade commenced at 1pm. I wanted to go and put my fleece around one poor young boy whose teeth were chattering as he stood with hardly anything on apart from his angel wings and flag, bless him.  He should've been on the 'Manbear' truck being warmed up by those cuddly dudes ...

A montage of parade photos

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As the parade went past us, we gained a veritable array of goodies: sweeties, rock, balloons, leaflets, flags, hand clappers, a sash, a sherbet tube, lollies, pens and stickers. Everyone was in a happy mood with music blaring out – the theme of the parade was ‘Hero’s’ so of course there were many superman and wonderwoman costumes around dancing to the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Tina Turner and Freddie Mercury.

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I have to say that there were also some very tasty men cavorting around provocatively dressed only in their underpants; such a waste that they’re gay!

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The three day Manchester Pride event is called ‘The Big Weekend’, and I believe it was only ₤15 for a ticket which included entertainment each night in the gay village on the east side of Manchester City Bananarama were on last night and Human League are on tomorrow night.


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After the parade we went back to the boat so Barry could download his memory card. Lunch today was eaten at the side of the parade; maybe we’ll aim to find the most unusual place before we leave the UK!

In the afternoon we went back into town and ventured into the Museum of Science and Industry, or MOSI for short. Another fabulous place that’s free, and no sign of anyone trying to coerce us into giving them money which made a refreshing change.


An amazing exhibit was a replica of world’s first stored-program computer called ‘baby’, built in 1948 in Manchester, which was the prototype for the development of the ‘Ferranti Mark I’, the world’s first commercial computer. It was a huge, cumbersome beast, nothing like the palm tops seen today. Fascinating …


The Baby

Unsurprisingly we then had to visit the big engines and planes - I tried to look enthused but I have to say it was tricky, they just don't do anything for me!  Must be a girl thing ...

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Steam engine with cut away on one side to show it's innards!


The air & space section

P1110532 The old church ...

P1110531(1) ... right next door to this brand new building, couldn't be a bigger contrast

In the science part, however, a couple of interesting facts caught my eye:

· “1877 - Giovanni Shapareli publishes details of the canal system on Mars” - I wonder if they have narrowboats there too?

· “1826 – Joseph Niepce captures the first permanent photographs using asphalt on a pewter plate”

Enough of that museum talk …

I really wanted to go and visit Granada Studios as I’ve heard that they’re amazing. Unfortunately when we checked it out on the internet they're closed at the moment; so that’s the end of that, but also saves us the ₤15 each it would’ve cost so I suppose it’s a blessing!  I'm going to have to make up for the lack of 'female orientated' outings at some point in the near future.

We’ll be heading out of Manchester tomorrow; there’s 27 locks and a few swing bridges in the first five miles that we’ll be travelling, so we won’t be going much of a distance!

1 comment:

  1. Stunning photos from the parade! I've been to Canal Street which is the centre of the gay village (or so I was led to believe!). Is this where you are moored at the moment? It must be somewhere close by I would think.