Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Leicester Through a Visitor's Eyes

It’s been yet another busy week but this time it wasn’t about work. My sister came to stay which is a rare treat as Sister is even more anxious than I am about travelling. This was our first proper visit together since our Mum died. Mum was greatly missed but it also meant that we had time to do some shopping and touristy things that we’ve not really done together since she left Leicester about 30 years ago.

Our Tourist Schedule:

Curve Theatre to see Barnum
Sister was surprised by the vast, bulging building that is our Curve theatre.  She reminisced about the days of The Haymarket Theatre. Sadly that theatre now stands empty. What a waste of a resource! Barnum was a bit slow in the first half, or maybe our expectations were too high, but we enjoyed our evening together and Sister went home with photographs to help her remember. (Like that children’s TV programme character, Mr Benn!)

Richard III

Leicester’s Medieval Area
Sister was amazed by all the preparations for Richard III’s reburial. Where there was once ordinary side street paving and a non-descript front to the Cathedral, the workmen are now creating tiled walkways between the Richard III Visitors’ Centre and the Cathedral and a landscaped garden complete with modern sculpture and statue of Richard III. The biggest change even shocked me. We went into the Cathedral for a quiet sit down only to find that the workmen have boarded off the Cathedral side chapels and the Choir while they excavate Richard’s final resting place. Sister went home with more photographs to help her remember.

Leicester’s High Cross Shopping Centre
Sister lives in a very small town on the South coast. It has only a few shops for ‘essentials only’. High Cross, therefore, provided a confusion as well as profusion of shops. Consequently, Sister went home with less money than she had when she arrived!

Singing and Chatting
We caterwauled our way through The Last Night of the Proms and it reminded me of when we were little. We used to make our Grandma and Great Aunts sit through ‘concerts’ every time we visited. They were very patient. And we chatted for hours about life and stuff. It’s good having a sister.

Down Side to the Visit
Many weeks ago, in order to make Sister’s journey a little easier, we said we would pick her up from Birmingham’s New Street Station. That wouldn't have been a problem if it hadn’t been for The Letter that we received only days before her arrival. The Letter was from the DVLA telling Mr A that they would not be renewing his driving licence due to eyesight issues. Before you ask, yes I can drive, but have you ever tried driving into Central Birmingham when you haven’t a clue where you’re going? It wasn’t a good experience… but I did it and, what’s more, I’m proud of myself!

12 comments:

  1. The only bit of Leicester I know is the NSPCC training centre (I used to run courses for them) and Bradgate Park, where I used to go to blow the working cobwebs away! Glad you and Sister had a good time.

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    1. Bradgate Park is still a good place for blowing those cobwebs! :-)

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  2. sounds like it was worth making the drive and picking up your sister - what fun! I enjoyed the jaunt about Leicester and can picture you two chattering away. Very nice indeed to enjoy family

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  3. Hi little sis, Magical theatre, fascinating Richard III Trail, marvellous
    shops full of delights, but the moment I will treasure above everything else
    (even the very expensive face cream I bought), is sitting on the sofa
    together singing our hearts out to ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ (last night of
    the Proms) followed closely by 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' - we
    may have been a tiny bit out of tune but we remembered every word and
    finished with a fabulous crescendo............. what fun. Yes really
    wonderful having a sister. And i thought you negotiated Birmingham
    brilliantly. Lots Love big sis x x x

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the visit and, yes, we certainly must have disturbed the neighbours with that song... "Um diddle iddle iddle um diddle eye!"

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  4. How nice to have your sister visiting. I would love to see what they are doing for Richard III, that sounds amazing. I know what you mean about driving. That's about how I felt when I had to drive my husband through the horrific traffic on the Los Angeles freeways this summer. But, like you, I did it and now I feel I can drive anywhere again. I had thought I was too old to deal with all that.

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    1. Knew you'd understand how I felt, Inger.

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  5. It's too many years since I had a day like that with my sister. The blog I have just been reading was also about a sister - do you think the gods are trying to tell me womething?
    And will you be posting your sister's photographs?

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  6. Hi Ros ... what a wonderful few days .. and yes driving in Birmingham is not funny. Congratulations on managing it .. I hope Mr A was with you to help with directions etc ...

    It does sound as though Leicester is becoming a place for visitors ... and once Richard's new buildings are all in place Leicester will be buzzing ... it will be so fascinating ... and I'm looking forward to my visit sometime - when I've no idea: but I look forward to hearing about his reburial and I sure hope you'll be at the service and 'jollifications' ...

    Wonderful to have your sister to stay ... and she must be very happy having seen the 'old town' again and gone home with lots of goodies!! Cheers to you both.... Hilary

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  7. I hadn't taken in how magnificent Richard III's memorial statue is .. looks great when the photo is larger .. cheers Hilary

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  8. It sounds as if you had a lovely time and no doubt sharing wonderful memories of you mum. I have always wished I had a sister. Leicester looks like the place to be.

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