Wednesday, 20 July 2016

#ManchesterEngland, England Across the Atlantic Sea #BeautyRecommendations

I KNOW!  The Atlantic is an ocean-but for the longest time I thought it was a sea-not only because, dare I say it, MOST American High Schools don't have great Geography classes; but, also, I was in love with all things musical theatre in my teens-and 'Hair' the musical was an album I listened to a lot.  The lyrics in 'Manchester England', call the Atlantic a 'sea'-so, naturally, I thought that must be true!  I could write an entire thesis on 'Hair' as a musical-maybe another time.  The irony is that I never imagined during the hours I sang along to the soundtrack, that one day I would actually live in England-across, what we know lovingly refer to as 'the pond.'

When I moved to the UK in 1995 we lived in the south east in the town where Pocahontas is buried, Gravesend.  I lived there in the year that Wayne Newton was determined to find her bones and repatriate her to the USA.  For me it was wonderful to have her statue and grave site (though no one really knows where in the church yard she is) so close to me when I first made the move to a new life in England.   I used to walk to the beautiful church and just sit for hours contemplating pretty much everything, and feeling grateful to have a sense of her near me.    I do have several 'print' photos of her statue but I borrowed this one.  I used to imagine how alone and frightened she must have been and felt a comradeship with her in those first lonely six months.  While in Gravesend, my husband and I would take weekend trips around the UK.  One cold and wet October in 1998 we went to Manchester and I fell in love with the city.  It reminded me of San Francisco, definitely NOT because of the cityscape, but more because of the intimate feel and the warmth of the locals-and by 2001 we were living in the city center.
The change over the past 15 years has been remarkable-there is a vibrancy and quirkiness in the city as a whole.  I love the alternative culture that integrates well with high end established businesses-it is a nice rich mix.  I spent the day today with my cousin from Ohio walking from one end of the city to the other-another similarity to San Francisco is that it is much smaller than London and more accessible by walking and public transport than Los Angeles.  Maybe I try to hard to find the similarities, but I suppose that is human nature to ground ourselves somehow by bringing our worlds together.
Caffe NeroMy first stop in the morning was in Didsbury, a leafy and vibrant area three miles south of the city centre.  Urban Angels has been my favourite hair salon for the last eight years and if you are in the area and in need of some affordable expert colour and style, be sure to visit and ask for Fiona-really all of the stylists are excellent-Fiona's philosophy is basically 'love your clients' and the salon is charming and friendly where babes sit on their mums laps next to singing artists and business men and women.  Once my roots were done, I picked up my gorgeous cousin and off we went to the city.
On Peter's street is The Waxing Studio-Manchester Waxing Salon, which we hit, after a frozen coffee from Caffe Nero-the weather was perfect t-shirt and shorts day.  Only I don't wear shorts-I mean really, after a 130 something pound loss, the legs are not yet ready for the world!  But, that doesn't mean I need to be hairy.  The Waxing Studio has been my go-to place this year for quick, almost pain free (cough, cough) thorough Rio and half leg waxing.  The staff know their stuff and the website is user friendly.  You just book online where you will find clear descriptions of the many waxing options for both women and men-then show up.  It couldn't be easier.  Charlotte is someone I can personally recommend, but I do think they have a high standard among all of their employees-and a help yourself bowl full of candy will keep anyone waiting for you satisfied!
The buzz was brilliant as we walked through Albert Square to the high street, a main shopping area with Boots, Zara, Mango, Primark, etc. and The Manchester Arndale.  On a beautiful day, the collage of people really does sparkle.  I know that sounds a bit trite, but I can't think of a better way to describe how vibrant Manchester really is.  Between conversation about which phone size from Apple would be the best fit and a pop into Wilko to try to hunt down that eyeliner from Essence (no luck), we managed to find ourselves in Boots trying out all of the new Benefit Eyebrow options. My cousin is in her late 20's and we have decided to work together on comparing beauty products to mean show that though age does mean there are differences in our bodies, it does not mean we are both bound to certain brands-so, watch this space for up coming collaborative reviews!
Just as we were leaving Boots, I stopped in my tracks to see the huge NYX Cosmetics counter-I'd link their website, but it is still under construction. I grabbed the Taupe Blush that I thought I bought in the Trafford Centre-it was Beach Babe instead-which is going to be perfect for our vacation coming up-a bronzed blush with a hint of sparkle.
It was a fabulous day-I didn't go into the Northern Quarter-that deserves it's own post-but my cousin headed that way for the evening.  I walked back to the NCP near the Bridgewater Hall and headed home feeling a bit of Fibro Fatigue-but totally worth it!

Love on Day 17,

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