Sunday, 3 July 2022

Summery Things

Welcome to South Manchester where the weather is warm and cloudy with sunny intervals. I’ve actually just been abroad for the first time since 2019.

Mrs PM and I travelled to Estepona on the south coast of Spain. It is a resort that is more Spanish and less full of tourists and while there were a few fellow British people there, it is largely unspoiled by the mob-handed people who travel to Spain expecting it to be just like England. We were able to practice our Spanish, enjoy Spanish life, go for long walks and relax by the sea.

I have missed this.

And not content with travelling to Spain, we are off to Brussels and Bruges on Thursday where we will be exploring the two cities, sampling Belgian beer and chocolate and generally doing what we do best when abroad. It’s been decades since I went to Belgium last; in fact I wouldn’t say that I visited the country really – the only time I spent there was a few hours as a student, travelling through the country on train on our way back from Germany. We spent two hours waiting for a ferry from Ostend. It will be good to actually sample the true Belgium this time.

I can’t wait.

But for now, let’s dive into some silly questions, as usual from Sunday Stealing

1. Favourite thing to do during the summer?

As you can see from my introduction, I love to travel and we try to get away at least twice during the summer. This year we have been to Spain and we are going to Belgium next week and Greece in September – and I may be visiting Amsterdam again with my old university pals in October.

Other than that, I like to enjoy the weather, watch cricket, enjoy a cold pint of beer in a pub garden and explore the English countryside. We have a couple of trips around England planned too. We are off to Whitby soon and also for a weekend in York. No doubt we will head to places locally too.

2. Favourite cold food/dessert/drink that gets you through the summer heat?

I love a cold beer in the summer. Failing that I will drink water and fruit juice too. I used to eat a lot of ice cream as a kid but I only eat that rarely these days – though I still like it. And you can’t beat a good barbecue – we have to watch out for rain though in the UK because although the weather is generally good, we can be hit by short sharp showers that appear without warning sometimes. It’s best to keep an eye on the sky. This is one of the reasons we British people talk about the weather so much.

3. Gone to a drive-in movie

I have been to a drive-in once and it was somewhere in the urban sprawl that is Los Angeles. I wanted to see Star Trek V: The Final Frontier but my now ex-wife preferred K9 – so we ended up watching that (much to my annoyance). It was a good experience but I prefer the cinema. We have never had drive-in’s in the UK; the weather is usually too unpredictable (see – talking about the weather AGAIN).

4. What are you planning to do this summer?

I think I answered this in question 1.

5. Did the pandemic ruin any summer plans? If so, what?

It destroyed my summer plans in 2020 and 2021 completely. The holidays we have booked this year are the ones we were planning in 2020. We may well head off to Asia next year or the year after.

6. Rode on any water mobile (jetski, ferry, boat, etc)

I have been on a jet ski once – which Mrs PM was driving with me clinging on for dear life at the back. It was fun but I don’t really fancy driving one myself.

I have been on countless ferries and boats and even a couple of hovercraft – a local one in Hong Kong from the New Territories to Hong Kong Central and an “international” one from Hong Kong to Macau.

7. Gone to a summer camp

No. This is a largely American thing I think.

8. Been to any Asian country (if not, where would you go and why? if yes, where was your favourite?)

I have been to Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. My clear favourite is Hong Kong – but that is really part of China now. I think I have to say that as a large country, Japan is my favourite overall. It is such a wonderful, diverse and interesting country, that is strange, friendly, scenic, futuristic and brilliant. I want to go back as soon as I can.

It would be lovely to explore some other countries too. Our next destination that way will be Malaysia but Mrs PM is currently trying to sell Cambodia and Laos to me. I think I will probably agree if we can go to Japan after that.

9. Been to any African country (if not, where would you go and why? if yes, where was your favourite and why?)

I have been to South Africa with work and unfortunately got stuck in Johannesburg, which is most definitely not the safest city on Earth. I loved the food – I had the best steak I have ever had in my life – and the people I worked with were funny and friendly. It’s a shame I didn’t really have time to explore places like Cape Town – but maybe in future.

As for other countries - we will almost certainly go to Morocco at some point and I wouldn’t mind going to Egypt.

10. Been to any North American country (if not, where would you go and why? if yes, where was your favourite and why?)

I have been the United States many times and also Canada. In America, I have been to New York, Boston, Cape Cod, Washington DC, Atlanta, most of Florida, New Orleans, Tulsa, Richmond, Williamsburg, Seattle, Alaska, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Cleveland. Possibly some other places in Virginia and North Carolina too.

I think Canada is what happens if you cross the UK with the US. Canadians seem to have a similar sense of humour to the weird humour of the UK and I always feel like I am in an American city populated with British people talking with a funny accent.

I love both countries and we will no doubt head across the pond at some point in the future.

11. Been to any South American country (if not, where would you go and why? if yes, where was your favourite and why?)

I’ve been to Argentina for eight hours and apart from that I have only ever been to Brazil. I was stunned about how huge the place is. We spent three weeks there and the food was vast; I was used to huge portions in the US but Brazilians can give them a run for their money when it comes to food. Of course, we went to Rio de Janeiro – an incredible city that is lovely but also quite dangerous. I loved Iguacu Falls – they are better than Niagara Falls in my opinion.

Will we go back to South America? I am tempted to go to Argentina again – we were only there to see Iguacu Falls from the Argentinian side. I hear that Buenos Aires is a wonderful city.

12. Been to any Australian country (if not, where would you go and why? if yes, where was your favourite and why?)

Yes – I have been to Australia and I absolutely loved the place. It is enormous and we visited the east coast only. I discovered just how big it is because we drove from Brisbane to Sydney stopping off at a few places on the way and it took days! It was a proper road trip.

Earlier I said that Canadians are just like British people but Australians are even more so. I love those guys and there is a bit of a rivalry between us. I am known as a Pom and I was called one several times, especially when I mentioned that England had just won the Ashes at cricket.

“Bladdy hell! Just what I need – to find myself in a bladdy lift with a gloating Pom!”

I love them!

I want to go back but this time get across to New Zealand too.

13. Gone to a festival/fair

Yes – I have been to loads of them. Not so many these days but I do like them.

14. Gone to an amusement park

I’ve gone off amusement parks because there is nothing to do if you don’t want to be terrified by rides that basically try to turn you inside out. I avoid them these days.

15. Binge watched 5 different TV show series (what were they)

I’ve done this recently and I love doing it to wind down. Here are five I would recommend:



The Expanse

The Boys

Stranger Things


Elephant's Child said...

I am thrilled that you are able to travel again. And know that you are too.

CountryDew said...

The older I grew, the less I liked amusement park rides. They are violent and throw you about sometimes. I envy your travel quite a lot - when I was younger I fancied I would travel all the time, but I married a farmer who won't leave the farm, so here I sit. I would have to have a vast improvement in my health to consider major travel.

Roger Owen Green said...

I feel as though I should watch Stranger Things.

The Gal Herself said...

Your Summery Things are so much more international than mine!

My sister is a massive fan of Stranger Things. So are many of my coworkers. I guess perhaps that's a sign that I should buckle up and watch it.

Bev Sykes said...

So glad to read about your trip (s) and to know that you are finally able to travel again. If you go back to Australia, I hope you get to Western Australia. I was there for six weeks and it's so beautiful. I've always wanted to go to Brasil because we had so many Brasilians living with us over the years in the 1980s, but we've never made it.

River said...

Estepona? I may fly over via google earth and have a look for myself.

Bev Sykes said...

I loved Australia, but was only in Western Australia. It was springtime and so goreous. Never did get to Eastern Australia.

Bev Sykes said...

Forgot to mention...I have been to China and for some reason I have never had a desire to go to Japan. Everyone says it's wonderful. I don't now why it holds no appeal for me, even though we have had several Japanese students living with us.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

You bet I am. It was great to go away.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I can fully understand the desire not to leave the farm. It's a full time thing I guess.

I'm pleased to be able to get away.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

You should. I love it. Series 4 is still being dropped and I will wait until that is all there before bingeing it. It's very strange but utterly brilliant.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Gal Herself,

We tend to travel more in the summer - that's why I guess - although when we head east to Asia that would probably be in spring or late autumn.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

I want to go to South and Western Australia but I didn't spend enough time in Sydney so that is on the list too.

Japan is much better than China - though similar in many ways.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

While you are there - fly over Marbella too (it's about 30km away - and I olove that place).