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21 In lifestyle/ travel

me and trains | misadventures in manchester

Eating paella at Manchester Christmas Markets



An alternative title for this post would be ‘Chronicles of Lily’s misadventures of public transport’.  More on that later.

Sunday was a spontaneous Manchester trip for me and Matty, and we had a pretty fun day out!  Bit of Christmas shopping, quick browse of the famous Christmas markets, lot of waiting in the Apple store for phones to be fixed.  (I’m still Nokia brick all the way, FYI).  As you can likely tell/predict from these photos, and the fact that this is England, we weren’t blessed with a crisp dry winters day.  Meaning I was very thankful for Duvet Coat, as it’s become known.  I almost feel like this coat needs a formal introduction; it’s been in my life for many years already and has not let me down once.  Not like any of those other pansy winter coats keeping you only just above freezing whilst the wind whips through your sleeves, and perhaps protecting the back of your head from a light drizzle.  Not Duvet Coat.  Duvet Coat is stuffed with feathers, sleeves well and truly snuggly, and has a lined hood reaching all the way down over your forehead.  When zipped to the very top, the person inside has a viewfinder approximately 2×6 inches to see through.  Ain’t no wind/rain/hail/snow any match for this one.  It’s also great if you’re going for a Michelin Man-esque silhouette, but hey, it’s belted at the waist!

Unfortunately the same ode cannot be given to these shoes.  I love the style, colour, etc., but boy did they take some breaking in to be manageable for any length wear.  Seeing as we’re titling clothing today, these are deserving of The Most Uncomfortable Flat Shoes Of All Time.  Funnily enough they’re not brilliant for sprinting in either, but again, more on that later.



coat: Murphy&Nye | shoes: New Look | bag: Primark


The market stalls make the cutest backdrop!  Quite a few of our photos had other peoples’ faces front and centre though, as seems to happen when you can’t commandeer a whole area just for blog photos.  Can’t help accidental photobombing though can we!  Makes me wonder how many strangers’ photos I’ve accidentally photobombed haha.


Paella for me!  Nom.



Told you I was well swaddled!



Posey as this looks, it actually wasn’t!  Certain someone was quite getting into this sneaky photography thing.


So, the misadventure.  We’d planned to catch a 2:30 train home, and headed to the Apple store at 10 to 2 just to pick up a phone.  Leaving 40 minutes just to pick something up is pretty reasonable, right?  Naturally ‘picking something up’ turned into considerably longer than we’d expected, and despite speedwalking to Victoria station, the 2:30 train was missed.  The next was due to arrive at 3:06.  Didn’t fancy waiting around cos impatient.  Next was the first daft mistake: thinking it was a good idea to try Piccadilly station on the assumption that there’d be one from there sooner.  (No 3G connection to check train times, BTW).  There was one from there sooner, we found after very briskly walking/jogging across the city centre.  ‘Sooner’ being 2:45, we discovered on turning up at 2:46.  Wasn’t our day!

Then was probably the most stupid mistake.  The next option from Piccadilly was at 3:35, which would’ve been an even longer wait than in the first place.  We umm-ed and ahh-ed for a couple of minutes before deciding to chance it and run back to Victoria for the 3:06 train.  We’d made it there in 20 minutes, we could make it back in 15!  Erm, next joke.  Absolutely legged it this time, full on Usain Bolt the whole way.  Still wearing Duvet Coat of course, and this was the first occasion I haven’t been thankful for its warmth.  Oh and Uncomfortable Shoes (let’s nickname) really aren’t made for sprinting, my god that was painful.  Too focused on making our way through the crowds of course to notice though!

I’m just imagining what any of the hundreds of shoppers we whipped past must’ve thought, seeing two teenagers red faced, soaked through from the rain, running full pelt through the markets and the general busy-ness that is a city centre 11 days before Christmas.  This was no speedwalk, this was a an all out Olympic dash.  Must’ve been hilarious.  Especially as Mr Sporty with me was always ahead and carrying my bag as I had the shopping bags, so in all likelihood looked it like he’d stolen mine and I was desperately chasing after.

Anyway, you’d think that after all this effort, we’d actually make it in time for the bloody train.  Turned out 3:06 had been the expected delay, which it had made up somehow (?), and therefore arrived at 3:03.  We flashed our tickets at the ticket guys at 3:04, thinking we’d just made it (the train going from the platform furthest from the entrance, OFC) only to watch it pulling away.  You have no idea how annoying that sight was.  Yep, that was our third missed train of the hour.  This was one of those times when you immediately regret every moment spent deliberating and curse every pedestrian who dared to take their time window shopping at a leisurely pace, how very dare they!  Some of us have a train to catch don’t you know!

Anyway, the next from Victoria was at 3:23, so two sticky panting teenagers piled themselves and their baggage onto a waiting seat.  I have no photos of myself with a wet curly fringe slapped to my head, the most out of breath I’ve been in a long while!  Jeez I thought I was fit until then… I can usually jog for an hour straight, but that 1.62km – Google Maps’d it when I got home – really finished me off.  So yeah, it wasn’t exactly a life changing disaster being an hour later than usual, but I felt the need to tell you all.  This is vintage Lily for you. 🙂

I’ll let you decide the moral of the story!

lily kate x
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  • Reply
    15th December 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Oh dear, that sounds very frustrating! Better add that run to your workout log 😉

    Have a nice week,

    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Frustrating indeed! That’s what I thought haha, definitely the hardest cardio I’ve done in ages!

  • Reply
    15th December 2014 at 9:25 pm

    My mum and sister went to the Mach xmas markets the other week, but I couldn’t go, so gutted! It looks amazing and you look so cosy and festive! I’m so jealous of that paella, it’s my favourite dish!


    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:09 pm

      That’s a shame! I guess I was kinda festive with the tartan and cosy coat. 😛
      Paella is my fave too, defo the best option there!

  • Reply
    16th December 2014 at 3:09 am

    What an adventure! A calamity of errors! Why do I find it incredible that you were on a train no more than an hour after the one you planned to take! All that missing of trains only took one hour? Less? So I take it I should not get those shoes? I love your coat though. I love down filled coats! Yours looks so perfect and stylish. It sounds like afun day. And the frustrating missed trains makes a great story!

    I need to do some shopping too. I have been crawling all over the dining room floor cutting fabric for two Christmas dresses, but I think I need to go round the shops for other people on my gift list.

    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Oh it was an adventure alright! We weren’t even an hour delayed but it felt like an absolute disaster at the time haha.
      I probably chose half a size too small with these shoes (I’m a 5.5 and went for a 5) so maybe they’d be fine on others! Another of my silly mistakes. 😉
      I’m hoping to make rather than buy as many Christmas presents as possible too, especially the edible ones!

  • Reply
    16th December 2014 at 8:48 am

    Looks like you had a lovely day, except for the train fiasco of course! Have a good day 🙂
    Hannah x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:21 pm

      It was a lovely day thanks! Didn’t even mind the rain too much with my coat! 😀

  • Reply
    16th December 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Haha, love how you turn out some bad-fated even into a very funny adventure! The moral might be: never run after a commute, always wait for the next one. It’s been my personal motto for a few months now, along with “I’m already late anyway” 😀
    Also, great outfit! Didn’t know such a coat could actually be fashionnable, that Michelin look is one of my worst childhood memory!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:23 pm

      I thought there must be a blog post in it somewhere; that someone would find our misfortune entertaining! That should’ve definitely been our motto, saved our legs and the stress 😉
      Thank you! This coat was such a lucky find!

  • Reply
    16th December 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Two morals:
    2.sometimes, if you’re fighting really hard for something it might be worth considering that it isn’t meant to be. First sorted that out on relationships but find it applies to the mundane a well!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      16th December 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Patience really isn’t my strong point! One to work on. 🙂
      That is actually really good advice for this kind of situation! Just accept that it isn’t gonna happen and don’t convince yourself you’re capable of something you’re not!

  • Reply
    17th December 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Ahhh that sounds so crazy! I hate public transport so much. I was once trying to catch the bus home from work and there are two possible stops, one at the bottom of the hill and down the road and one at the top. My work is located in the middle of the hill. Thinking there wouldn’t be a bus for ages I started to walk down the hill, only to see my bus turning the corner. So I legged it up the hill to the bus stop, but obviously wasn’t quick enough so I missed it. Frustrated, I began to walk back down the hill to see ANOTHER bus coming, so I turned and ran again and missed that one too. Anyway, I hate public transport too 😛 Your day looks wonderful otherwise!!

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

    • Reply
      lily kate
      17th December 2014 at 6:12 pm

      It really was crazy!
      That sounds like a funny but annoying story haha, sod’s law will always be against us!
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Reply
    Ellie Adams
    17th December 2014 at 5:31 pm

    You can’t beat a good paella 😉 So glad I discovered your blog Lily, your photography is absolutely stunning!


    • Reply
      lily kate
      17th December 2014 at 6:13 pm

      You really can’t! I could just eat a paella now in fact 🙂
      Thank you! I’m really glad you like too!

  • Reply
    17th December 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I have such love/hate when it comes to trains. They’re great when they run properly but when they don’t – they are the most frustrating things ever!

    Also, those shoes look so lovely but too bad they are one of those killer flats! I have owned many a pair of those in the past! Sometimes they never break in……!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      18th December 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Exactly! They can be so convenient when all goes well, but an absolute nightmare when it doesn’t!
      Oh I’ve owned many pairs too but these definitely take the title. Fine for most of the day now though, so long as I don’t try running in them!

  • Reply
    19th December 2014 at 5:57 pm

    thanks for the smile! even with the rain I would love to visit someday! the markets look lovely.

    • Reply
      lily kate
      20th December 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you! With my hood up I barely noticed the rain; it was lovely anyway!

  • Reply
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