Dear Manchester

Dear Manchester,

As I write this, I think I probably have twelve hours left in your fine city. If that. I hope to spend eight of those sleeping and the other four finished packing and cleaning. These will not be my favourite hours in Manchester, but there’ve been countless more that I’ll really treasure.

I turned twenty one today. I’ve seen friends meet this age in the past couple of years and thought nothing of it, and I still don’t really think it’s a ‘big’ birthday as it were. But today felt important. And I don’t think it really was because of my birthday at all.

I had a party though.

I baked these…

Banana sponge, peanut butter cream cheese piped frosting and candied bacon. Recipe here.

Elvis Cakes: Banana sponge, peanut butter cream cheese piped frosting & candied bacon. Recipe from Beatrix Bakes.

This week, I also said goodbye to these guys…

Linguists: Long may we be asked "So what languages do you speak?"

Linguists: Long may we be asked “So what languages do you speak?”

And then this lot…

Ok, we didn't exactly take any nice photos tonight.

Ok, we didn’t exactly take any nice photos tonight.

I also said goodbye to you, Manchester.

I’ve probably only spent a year and a half here in total when you work it out, but I’ve done so much.

Freshers week, a sober haze of beach parties, baking and body paint, is still vividly etched into my memory. It doesn’t seem like almost three years ago. And yet living in Canterbury Court seems like a distant dream. And Welby Street seems like a mere blink of the eye. But the people made those times what they were. I’ve been fortunate enough to live with some of the loveliest people these past few years and for that I’m really thankful.

Academically, I’d be lying if I said I’d loved it all. I’ve learnt some incredibly interesting things alongside some of the most useless knowledge I’ll never come to need. I’ve had some incredible lecturers. On both sides of the globe. And this has been an amazing experience. But will I use my Linguistics knowledge ever again? I’m doubtful, but there are heaps of skills and fun facts I’m sure I can take with me wherever I go. After all, the world would be far worse off without Linguistics chat up lines.

Plus, Manchester gave me Melbourne. If it wasn’t for The University of Manchester, I’d never have had the best six months in Australia and New Zealand in second year. I’d never have got to make friends on the other side of the world or to build upon existing friendships. I’d never have become fascinated by Australian history and Aboriginal culture. I probably wouldn’t have been heading back there in six weeks, either.

Then there’s been the work side of things. From stumbling across ManCon at MFDF in Albert Square in my first few weeks in the city, to finding the best internship I could’ve asked for at Reason Digital in a tent on Oxford Road. Via the eight weeks of crazy, fun madness that was Pin Up Bowling at the beginning of second year. Without this work experience, there’s no way I’d be in the position I am today.

I didn’t get to do everything I wanted though. There are still things on my One Year, One City list left uncrossed (many I’ve done but not blogged about). But surely that’s just a reason to come back?

Manchester has been a city of opportunity for me. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people, do so many different things and to eat so much good food.

Thank you Manchester. I wouldn’t want to have been anywhere else.

Much love,

A soon to be ex-resident x

It's absolutely despicable that I don't have a single good photo of the city. Photo: Daniel Nisbet @Flickr

It’s absolutely despicable that I don’t have a single good photo of the city. Photo: Daniel Nisbet @Flickr