Ending the day nicely part IV / Starting the day nicely part I….

It is 12.20pm on Wednesday and I am wearing my dressing-gown as I type.  As this snippet of information may indicate, I have submitted my thesis!  I took it up yesterday & got it printed, bound and handed-in with no major hiccups – in fact, the day went so smoothly that even with a detour on the way home, I was still back in time for tea. 

My detour was via Mow Cop in Cheshire, part of which – along with the stunning views from it – are shown in the photographs.  Earlier this year, my dad & I were working in Manchester at the same time, hence shared lifts.  On the journey home, we’d always comment about this strange ruin & the village surrounding it on the top of a hill visible from the M6.  As my dad very kindly took me up to uni yesterday – my nerves probably weren’t up for the drive myself & going via car meant I could get there earlier than I would on the train – he suggested we stop off at the place on the way home & finally discover what was there. 

Despite the pouring rain, it was definitely worth stopping off – it’s a beautiful place & paying a visit solved the mystery of what exactly it was that we could see.  Also, it was perhaps the last convenient chance to go and take a look.  Since September 2004, I have either lived in Manchester or spent a lot of my time there.  Now my PhD is in, the obvious link is severed.  Even many of my friends up there have moved on.  And so has my life. 

Although I am somewhat prone to bouts of nostalgia, rather than thinking about what has passed (or what might have been) since my link with Manchester began, I feel excited & focused on the future.  Someone remarked yesterday that a phase has ended & my instant response was yes, but at the same time another is beginning.  I don’t know what lies ahead in this new phase, but when opening my curtains this morning, I was greeted by the gift that my mum had given me yesterday to mark submission: a munchkin pumpkin, catching the light (also in the photographs).  It seemed an auspicious start: the end of one day and the start of another; the end of one phase and the start of the next; from rain and clouds to bright, beautiful orange and sunshine.  

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