#Droylsden Day

So, I didn’t make it to Berlin

Long story, no I don’t want to talk about it!

So instead of sitting indoors and moping on such a glorious day, I decided to finally visit Droylsden.

What’s this obsession with Droylsden?

I hear you all ask. Well, Droylsden was the example of how little I saw of the Greater Manchester area in the 16 years before I swooshed up to Fleetwood. Now I’m back I am determined not to fall into the old trap of staying in my comfort zone and sticking to the places I know. If I went to Droylsden,  I was moving forward.

So today I moved forward.

My last little adventure was all about the journey. But I had a feeling this one was going to be all about the people, which was confirmed almost immediately, because

It turns out, it’s not that difficult to get to Droylsden.

Just two trams (change at Piccadilly). On the tram, I picked my first Sneaky Card. (click here if you want your own set, download and print for free – OR buy on amazon here)

Make someone copy you

is what it said.

So I did the easiest one of all, I yawned. Like clockwork about 30 seconds later, the guy next to me, yawned and I gave him the card. He tried to say that he would have yawned anyway, but I made him copy me heehee 🙂

He then chose the next card which told me to:

Learn an new word and tell someone what it means.

So I did

IMG_1404

And when changing trams at Piccadilly, I met Kath

IMG_3474   who then said,

Of course, Soma is Greek for Body…

So I learned two things 🙂

We had a lovely chat while waiting for the tram and she suggested that I visit the Marina in Droylsden. Information noted, I was going to put on my headphones, but she asked me if I knew Cheetham Hill. I don’t, but I was beginning to wonder if every one of my little adventures would start with someone thinking I was from Cheetham Hill!

It turns out she was trying to help a friend identify a street there. I replied that I didn’t and we parted ways. But not before she chose a new card.

Tell someone a riddle.

First, I had to find a riddle, I mean, who knows riddles these days?

Thank you Google, is all I can say to that.

So Riddle in hand it was off to… well get lunch, because I was hungry. Unable to chose which pub to have lunch in, I consulted Facebook, where my niece, Darbi , instructed me to turn right. which lead here:

IMG_3481

While ordering, I asked a young man, who I later called Positive Dave, for reasons which will become clear in a bit, my riddle.

What do poor people have, rich people need and if you eat it you will die?

(answer at the bottom, if you’re playing along!)

I’d barely got the first bit out before he gleefully said the answer. I gave him the card and we got chatting.

Me: So what should one do in Droylsden?
Positive Dave: Get the first bus out!
Me: no, seriously.
PD: get the next tram out.
Me: I’ve been looking online and apparently there’s only 4 things to do in Droylsden
things to do
PD: I’m surprised there’s that many. You should have been here a few years ago, there was all sorts, shootings and stuff.

And that conversation, right there, is why:

I LOVE BRITISH PEOPLE!

For any non-British readers, this is a  typically British response when people ask about their home-town. In all my travels, I have never come across a nation of people so willing to take the piss out of their own home-town.  Everywhere else in the world, people are proud of where they live and are eager to emphasise the good parts, to steer visitors away from the bad bits.

But you know, it’s kind of like your siblings, you can slag them off all day, but woe betide anyone else who does it in front of you.

Eventually after about a 30 second discussion, we whittled down the massive list 🙂 and decided that my next stop was going to be the Fairfield Monravian Settlement

After a short discussion about the dark past of Droylsden, which lead into a discussion of the TV programme Born to Kill  which I hadn’t seen, but Positive Dave filled me in – see I told you, you’d understand the name.

I asked Positive Dave to pick my next sneaky card,

Find a stranger who will take a picture with you

Which is probably an easier thing to do now than when it was written, thanks to our selfie obsession. So I got his mate Aaron to take a selfie.

IMG_3476

Aaron, then chose my next card

Give this card to somebody without them knowing

and I was off to find the Fairfield Monravian Settlement

Then,  I got a little side-tracked, because on the way to the Settlement, I saw this:

IMG_3507 And thought £15? Bargain, so in I went.

Inside I found Julie, who was having a manicure on her lunch break. Although, the amount of phone calls she had while sat there, I wonder how much of a lunch break she normally gets.

As I tried to secretly slip the card into her jacket pocket, I was seen by the nail technician, who was about to scream blue murder, but I managed to stop her as I went into an explanation of the sneaky cards and why I was in Droylsden. Julie was quite interested in this and asked about the cards and my blog, I just said inscrutably, knowing full well a card was in her pocket,

If you’re meant to find out about it, you will!

I hope you found it Julie 🙂

So with my nails now looking like this:

IMG_3483 Excellent Job, Joanne!

I asked my nail technician, Joanne to pick a card and I continued on my walk to the Settlement with a new task:

Secretly hide this card where it can be easily found

I first came to the canal and looked around for this Marina that Kath at Piccadilly mentioned, and when I asked a local woman, she pointed me in the right direction, laughed and said

Well, it’s not really a marina, it would have been lovely, but they ran out of money.

I took some lovely photos and continued on.

On my way, I found some more really beautiful things and as I was framing a shot, I heard a sound of pure joy and happiness behind me. It was unmistakeable, such a brilliant sound, I turned and saw a woman holding a pink mop and looking at it with a beaming smile.

IMG_3489

Now, I have never seen anyone in my whole life, so happy to be holding a mop,

so I told her so

and we had a lovely chat and she consented to a photo, but believe me the smile in the pic is nowhere near the beam that I saw when I first turned round.

Finally, I got to the Settlement and it was fabulous, but then again, I love architecture and old buildings.

Now, for any Droylsdonians (is that what you use?) who think that you live in a shithole (yes, I did hear that description), have a look at these pictures and you’ll see that actually it’s kind of beautiful

 

Tired from all the photography, I picked a new card

Sincerely compliment someone

and made my way back into town, where, of course, I couldn’t resist a sweet shop.

I spoke to Becky the owner, who only opened the shop a few months after she decided to “Just go for it!”

I am all about the just going for it! So I gave her a sincere compliment

“Becky, you are brave and you are a lovely person”

Then took some pictures in her shop

and decided to make my way home.

Before I left, she picked my next card:

Play the World’s largest game of Tag

Which I did after chatting to a nice woman at the tram stop. The lovely tram stop woman, picked

Defeat someone in a duel

So instead of going straight back on the tram, I decided to stop off in Piccadilly Gardens, mainly because the sun was still shining and who knows when we’ll see it in Manchester again!

I sat down, turned to the Ginger Lad next to me and asked,

“Do you want to play a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors?”

To my surprise, he said,

Yes, why not?

People are just so much happier and open when the sun’s out – another typically British thing.

I won!

And Ginger Lad said he had to go, because the sun was too hot for his pale ginger skin. (his words, not mine)

Before he went, he picked a card:

Buy Someone a Coffee

Which I did, for a lovely guy called, John Boyle.

Sitting in the sun in Piccadilly Gardens, listening to a band playing reggae in the background,  I heard all about how he came over from Creeslough in Donegal  and stayed despite his mother wanting him to return home.

He told me this poem which I thought was cute:

Mother dear,

We’re over here

We never will go back

What keeps us here

The pint of beer

The women and the craic

 

So after a long chat with John, I asked him to pick a card and said goodbye.

IMG_3514

The card he picked said:

Give this card to someone who fits your description,

which I thought would be hard, finding a short, fat, black woman outside of Cheetham Hill (remember, that’s where we keep them!), but luckily, you can make up a description, so I chose:

Wearing a flower – because I was wearing a flower
Polka dots – because there’s nothing more summery than polka dots and
Brown hair – most common hair colour- makes it slightly easier

Lo and behold, as I stepped on the Tram, I found a young woman who fitted the description, but when I gave her the card and description, she looked totally freaked, I indicated that she should read the card, but this didn’t seem to help, so I decided against asking her for a pic, so you’ll have to take my word for it –

unless she read the card, found this blog and confirms this in the comments, that is…

I then picked my final card of the day

Leave this card on the seat of a bus, plane or train.

Which I did.

Phew, what a fun day. I met and chatted to so many people, not all of whom are mentioned here, but all of whom confirmed my long-held belief that people are basically nice,

everyone I smiled at, smiled back,

everyone I greeted, greeted me back

To the Citizens of Droylsden, I would like to say thank you for making it such a fun afternoon. I will return…

Most likely to have my nails done again, they really were that good 🙂

If you were given a card, or found a card, I would love to hear from you either in the comments here or on twitter –  @timebomb44

Riddle Answer: Nothing

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