We’re presently in the house of John and Bea Rhodes in Maccelsfield, England about 20 minutes outside of Manchester.
But since we’d been without power for a bit I’ll tell you about two nights ago.
We went down the street and met a few interesting characters. (There’s that meet everyone you can McIlveen gene, Mom). Two girls from France, a boy called Iviu from Corsica, Jared from South Africa, Johnny from Manchester, and Craig from London. We were entertained by Iviu trying to practice his English. We made a trip to a curry house down the street from where we met them and spent a couple of hours with them laughing about cultural differences and country stereotypes. Craig bore a striking resemblance to Jon Stewart in his younger years. And Jared, some of you will be interested to know, was a Jason Latino looking fellow, though with a bit less hair. (Here are my details I’ve recorded about the evening in my journal)
“We talked for a bit before laughing at a 20-year-old Corsican boy called Iviu. Next thing we knew Iviu was sitting at our table practicing his English under the guidance of his Jason-Latino-looking flatmate Jared who hailed from Capetown, South Africa. Jared was a funny guy with a more pronounced face than Jason’s, he was also a bit slighter than Jason. After a bit Jared left us with charge of Iviu to help him work on his English. The language barrier was vast but manageable. The whole event was, of course, entertaining. Around 10 we were invited to join Iviu, Jared, and four others at a curry house. The 8 of us sat around the table laughing at our cultural differences and similarities, speaking in outrageous stereotyped generalizations, about stupid Americans, snooty Brits, goat-loving Corsicans, homosexual South Africans, and Rude Frenchies. Johnny, an attractive and typical-looking British man from Manchester, spoke humorously about how thick Americans are. He sat closely to the French and beautiful Geraldine, who was not at all “I hate you for being here” like I thought she’d be. In fact, she and I had a few silent jokes through eye contact. Across from Geraldine sat Craig who was of London about 18 years and a young Jon Stewart minus the comb over and a longer face. He kept his 30-something self closely wrapped around the shoulders of Matild, another beautiful Frenchwoman who insisted we come out with them to Pink Rubee. Se was not as chatty as Geraldine and spoke mainly in French. Next to her sat Jared who while perhaps not being as attractive as Johnny or Craig caught my eye first. Perhaps because he was in his late 20s and hardly any hair or because he did remind me so much of Latino at his chattiest or because I simply did notice him first at any rate. I sat next to him over Iviu as Iviu had much set his eyes on Bethany. I wish we’d met them sooner. It was just good to be with people.”
Next morning we waited around for ages to be checked out of our powerless hostel. Then we caught the second train to Maccelsfield which was delayed because a plane crashed on the rail. Whoops. Tragically three people were killed. Eventually though we made it there instead of having to get off nowhere near where we needed to be like they said would happen.
Had a lovely home-cooked meal last night. I’d forgotten really how great the Rhodes are. Chris reminds me so much in his appearance and mannerisms of a friend of mine. Won’t say which. (Brett, he reminds me of Collin. Think you’re the only one who knows who that is that’s reading this)
It’s been fun though. We went driving through the countryside of Maccelsfield and Buxton today and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was the England I wanted to see. The rolling hills with walls around all the fields and the foot paths all over. We took a stop at a chapel near Buxton just passed Bottom of the Alphabet called Jenkin Chapel where a scene from Pride and Prejudice was shot. It was remarkably old and remarkably still in use.
Last night we went out with Chris and about four of his friends. It was quite fun. Bethany got scolded by the bar maid. Ask her about it.
Went into Manchester today with Bea and John. Did a fair bit of shopping at Selfridges (bought you something, Lindsay). Then met up with Chris and went to dinner.
Back at the house now, watching Hot Fuzz. Simon Pegg. So good to be in the land of Simon Pegg. He was on the Sunday Night Project last night (which was a rerun obviously) and Simon Pegg was on it. Great, eh?
I should say more, but my thoughts aren’t too reasonable. But I will say that if I lived in this country I’d want to live i an area like the one we’re in now. Didn’t much care for what I’ve seen of London. I love the rolling country and the wonderful places to walk and just smell the air. I could barely stop smiling today at the beauty of it all. And John with his constant fun fact commentary of history and interesting grand details.