Friday, 19 June 2015

The Beginning of Adventures

From right at the beginning of my life with Pop-Up Adventure Play, there has been one person which I haven't talked about that has been key to our success. She's a lady who has constantly reminded Morgan and I to keep our chin up and to confidently stride into our passion for play. The first time I started working with Pop-Up in NYC in 2011, I slept at this lady's house, and then she kept us fed and lodged when we were trying to work out the direction of Pop-Up Adventure Play, and figure out how we wanted our lives to be entangled within the organisation.

This lady is called Madelyn. I have mentioned her a few times, but not in great detail, but she is one amazing lady. She picked me up from the airport when I was fresh into the city, she acted as my tour guide in NYC because I was so new I was scared of the big city life, I cried with her as we went through tough times with Pop-Ups, and through it all, she has encouraged us to keep moving forward. She's helped us to focus our ideas on what we're good at: play. Morgan and I are forever grateful for everything she did for us right at the beginning of our journey together as both friends and colleagues, and Pop-Ups owes her big time!

So of course when I found out she was going to be in Manchester and able to meet me for exactly 2 hours, I totally jumped at the chance to go meet with her. Trouble is, I don't live near the airport anymore where I was going to meet her, and at 8:30am, there was no chance that the motorway (which is currently in build-mode) was going to help me with my journey. So what did I do? I took the Metrolink. I bought me a network ticket that opened up the entire Metrolink map to me, and then I was away.

It took 1hr and 45 minutes (including a short bus trip) but it was totally worth it. I was able to catch up with Madelyn after not getting the opportunity to meet for over 2 years. We talked and talked and talked, and almost forgot to eat breakfast! But that didn't stop us - there was a lot of life to catch up on, and a lot of Pop-Up news that I owed to Madelyn to talk about. It was a wonderful 2 hour meet, and I'm sad that it was so short, but I'm not going to let the next catch up be another 2 year gap. This lady has been so generous to us - I have been careless to let so much time elapse between visits.

Here she is, Madelyn. She is one wonderful lady. :)

After hanging out with Madelyn, I had the whole day to myself with a ticket to the entirety of Manchester, so I decided to go exploring! Manchester airport was the first stop, second stop - Chorlton! I never knew that there would be so many charity shops in Chorlton, but I was definitely very excited about it.

I also went to The Post Box Cafe - mostly because it was the cafe named after something I love, next to a post office itself. Made me so happy! Thank you Chorlton!

I had to head back into the middle before I could go to a new place, so I decided to take a few moments to relax in Manchester's very own Lost Gardens. I really like it there.

I particularly like the wooden pallets used to construct their temporary garden. I think my garden will look like this one day.

I next took a tram to MediaCity - Manchester's TV hub. I wandered around there wondering if any of the other people who were there were famous in any way. I wish I knew. I loitered around cooing at all the BBC things that are at MediaCity (I love the BBC) and I found Pugsey - he's pretty famous.

Pugsey is something I've known about since a child - the mascot for BBCs own charity for children. He's a big yellow bear, how can that not be a happy thing?

Time had got away with me so I decided to do a little shopping and call it a day soon after mingling with the rich and famous. I headed back into the middle of my city and was confronted with something that makes me very sad - the dismantling of the Manchester Wheel. I love that thing, but I guess it's time to say goodbye.

It looks bald like this. Aww. You have been central in many of my Manchester photos for such a long time. I will miss you, Manchester Wheel!

And that, my friends, was my day. My many adventures wouldn't have been possible without Madelyn - especially today's! I think that adventures begin when people with a passion are encouraged and believed in: Madelyn is one of those people for me. A big thank you to her and her husband for their continued kindness and generosity - I feel totally blessed to have these lovely people in my life. I will make sure that we meet again soon.

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