Friday, 29 March 2013


New to this? Check out the First Post

Isn't it nice to have a few days off? I hope that you all have a lovely Easter!

We have had a busy few days with one sad occasion and one happy one.

The sad occasion was the funeral of Nathan's Uncle Roy - who had lived in Manchester. I was sad that I had never met him and wanted to go - luckily Tracy offered to work all day so that I could take some time off.

We went up to Manchester on Monday for the funeral at the Crematorium by the famous Southern Cemetery. We went into the cemetery when we first got there and it is huge. There are many famous Mancunians buried there including Sir Matt Busby and my mum's favourite painter, Lowry.

Tony, Auntie Jean and Leon
It was a touching ceremony and the vicar, Ken, read out a beautiful eulogy written by N's dad. Afterwards we went to a local pub and there was a buffet. It was really nice to meet some of Nathan's family that I had never seen before. Several cousins were there , I remember one called Tony who (I think) sells sausages on Bury market. He was a lot of fun - and even brought some sausages for Nathan's parents - since hey had asked! They all sounded very familiar - as they talked like my parents too! I also met Christopher, Angela and Tracy - and Leon who asked N if he'd enjoyed the Paralympics. it turned out that he had been working for the company that sent out all the tickets and he'd seen Nathan's name and address on tickets he was sorting out.

N's mum and Tony the Sausage King!

Small world!

It was good to catch up with them. It was interesting to know that Tony had been to visit another cousin who lives in Las Vegas!! I asked if he liked to have visitors :-) Seems he does! He is an electrician there - which in a place like Las Vegas - he must be in great demand!

It was Nathan's birthday recently - and I like to surprise him on his birthday by taking him somewhere he has never been before. I think the favourite one so far has been Bletchley Park a couple of years ago. (I like to make sure it is somewhat geeky :-) )

So this time we set off in the car and headed East, over towards Derby then got on the M1.

It wasn't until be got close to Leicester and N saw the signs with a rocket on them that he guessed that we were going to the National Space Centre!

I hadn't realised that we had a Space Centre in the country until I saw it on "Don't Tell the Bride" where a groom had arranged a wedding there for his unsuspecting bride! It had looked pretty impressive so I thought we should go!

National Space Centre
Awesome cake made by N's mum
It was pretty quiet when we got there and we started by going up the four floors, next to the huge rocket, that explained the Space Race between the USSR and the USA. it was brilliantly done  - I especially enjoyed going into the secret session with the Soviets who extolled their many victories over the Americans. Mainly because the voice offered us vodka when we entered and sat down at the table - although it didn't actually materialise! Tell you something though - that Yuri Gagarin was a brave man! When he put himself in that rocket to go into orbit round the earth his odds were not great. The previous two tests had worked - but before that it was 50/50 whether it actually would explode or not. He didn't even tell his wife and kids - just left home without mentioning he was off to space. No wonder he was a national hero on his safe return!

Suits you sir!

Of course that led the USA to plan the moon landings to go one better. Shame I wasn't done for the good of all mankind - not just to get one up on the rivals!

This led to the floor with many interactive displays about the moon landings and the brave astronauts who undertook them. It was fascinating! I wanted to launch Nathan into space - but there were too many school kids playing on that one. Maybe next time :-) He does look good as an astronaut though!

One of the most interesting things was the mini-cinema where we got to see the first ever science fiction film. It was made in 1902 and was a French film called "Le Voyage dans la Lune" It had English subtitles and was only 12 minutes - but as amazing! The bearded astronomers were fired to the moon in a shell that looked very much like a rocket and encountered hostile moon men. They managed to return to earth by getting back into their shell and falling off the edge of the moon. I loved it!  We also went into the Patrick Moore Planetarium to see a 360 degree film entitled "We are Aliens" narrated by Ron Weasley :-) It was all about the possibility of like on other planets. It was 3D in[places as we whizzed through the galaxies to the ends of the universe. They did warn you that you might feel a bit travel sick! It was quite thrilling. We came back later to hear a live presentation from one of the staff about what we would be able to see if we looked out at the night sky at 9pm that very night. He showed us all the constellations, planets and galaxies that may be visible - if there's no cloud.

We stayed until 5pm but we still hadn't seen everything. We had a delicious lunch in the restaurant which is directly underneath the huge rocket. In fact, every few minutes it starts to smoke then there are red flames coming out of the bottom and there is a tremendous noise and a countdown through the speakers as if it is about to launch and take us all with it. As soon as it starts up excited kids run right under it and squeal with delight! So, I guess the smoke and flames aren't too harmful :-) It is quite spectacular!
Space food!
Before we left we had to browse in the shop of course. I got some space food! Freeze dried ice cream. I'll let you know what it's like when I've tried it!

It took us about an hour and a half to get back to Staffordshire.

No comments:

Post a Comment