Going down to Liverpool
I don't think I can drive here if I tried. Never mind it being on the other side of the road or the drivers seat being reversed, I can't deal with the passing of cars by going into the opposite lane against oncoming traffic let alone parking any which way you want or all those roundabouts!
Left pudsey this morning where we've been staying the past two nights. Pudsey is just next door to Bradford so we stayed a night in bradford at our old fish and chip shop - I slept in my sisters old room in the attic. She had left for Canada when I was still a baby so I don't remember her there at all.
I do remember the window that overlooked the front door where all the customers came in through. If I'm repeating myself it's cause I'm blogging on my notepad on my iPhone and uploading when I get a chance.
I also vaguely remember a teenage boy who worked for my parents peeling potatoes and shelling the shrimp. I recall hanging out with him down in the cellar in his rubber apron and wellingtons. His name was Brian and my mom said I used to stick to him like glue. My first crush perhaps?
So I didn't get a chance to walk around Bradford. Not sure if I'd want to either. It does feel gritty and rough. It's strange to see a town in britain that is probably the least English I've seen. It's like little India exploded all over it. Gone are the cute shops and bakeries and in their place are Sikh temples, sari stores, and halaal restaurants. Add in an onslaught of eastern European immigrants and the locals have up and left driving down property values and the general aesthetics of the neighbourhood. I don't know if there's a correlation between the immigrants and the downhill spiral that the city has taken but what was once a thriving industrial working town now has streets riddled with garbage and graffiti and abandoned buildings
At the fish n chip shop, my mother made an inquiry about some old friends. Turns out they were in pudsey and came to rescue us on Saturday. Only 10 minutes away, pudsey is drastically different from bradford. It's dotted with fish n chip shops just about on every corner. I've definitely had my fill of fish chips and curry, which I guess Yorkshire is known for. My mom can make all this stuff and more including mushed peas and fish cakes. I'm definitely making her teach me when we get back home to Vancouver !
Yesterday we spent the day in harrogate where my parents had a laundry before the fish n chip shop. The building was still there and brought back some tough memories for my mother since that's where my second brother was born and suffered brain damage
We also visited the school where my other brother and my sister attended. Harrogate is a lovely town Its quaint but chic and historical. Bettys is a tea/ dessert place that had a huge queue out the door.
The friends that we stayed with in pudsey - mr and mrs ho - have not seen or talked with my mom in 30 year ever since we left. Phone numbers got lost, people shifted addresses and so it's a wonder that they connected. Mr Ho knew my dad before he married my mom. The two of them were dish washers in a Chinese restaurant in harrogate in the 50s. That simply blows my mind. The two lost touch but reconnected one day when my dad ran into him on the streets of Bradford The wives were introduced and thus began a friendship that would include long late night telephone conversations, one anothers kids playing together, and a reunion 30 years in the making
Two of the four kids came to see us while we stayed at their parents place. Kiu and Kevin both asked me about my brother and sister and gave me their email addresses to pass along. They all grew up together here in Bradford and there are even old photos of them together. It's amazing to go through these strangers old photo albums and see pictures of my sister brother mom and dad popping up every so often.
Today my mom gave a heavy hearted hug to mrs ho before we got on the coach bus to Liverpool. Mrs ho may be 79 years old but she's as feisty as a firecracker and I bet her nightly shot of brandy has something to do with it! So I'm sure we'll be seeing her again soon.