• Author:Ben Jones
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Sunday, bloody Sunday

As the great Alan Partridge once said of Sunday; “……..you’ve got to read all the Sunday papers, the kids are running round, you’ve got to mow the lawn, wash the car, and you think “Sunday, bloody Sunday!”.

Despite being a huge fan of A. Partridge (in Paris), on this I cannot agree. Today, Team Jones showed how it is done. It was a perfect Sunday and a far cry from Sundays of old. Gone are the Sunday afternoon blues as the looming darkness of another week on the corporate conveyor belt comes into view; gone are the couple of hours of work to get ahead of the game for the Monday morning email onslaught ahead; gone is the dread, the loathing.

Instead, Sundays are now one of my favourite parts of the week. Team Jones always goes out for breakfast and generally tries to do something outdoors together – sometimes a trip out for the day (lovely Lytham the week before last) or a walk or some fun time in the garden. Today we incorporated all of these things, built around a trip to the north west’s second city, Manchester. Calm down my Mancunian friends – I was only joking. Manchester is of course our third city, after Liverpool and Salford.

We had a lazy start to the day; lie-ins for all of us. That means 07:45. For those of you with little people living in your house you will know how late that is! After the usual fun and games of getting dressed; our three year old is already deciding what she will and will not wear. We cannot complain as we have tried already to instil a strong streak of independence and confidence – although I do sometimes rue that when we are on outfit number four before we have set foot out of the front door!

Drove to Manchester. No eye-spy today – something beginning the colour – but a sing song. Miss J has taken to enjoying some iPhone shuffle action and making requests. Given it’s my iPhone I am generally happy with what the handheld jukebox serves up, even if we have to endure the odd ditty from little Mix. Yes, my daughter already likes Little Mix!

Manchester was magnificent as ever – a truly wonderful place and one of my happy places. We had breakfast in San Carlo’s in Kendalls (Cicchetti) – two great Manchester institutions. I have been going to Kendalls since I was a small boy; always loving Santa’s grotto as a child and wrestling with the annexe dilemmas as I got older – was I cool enough to buy from down the corridor?! No.

We breakfasted; we walked; we drank coffee; we shopped. Most of all we spent time together. Real, proper time together; not just in body but in mind. In the old days I was always there but not always present; emails, phone calls, thoughts, worries, anxieties. Not any more. We had a blast today and like slipping on a comfortable old jacket or sweater, Manchester fits like a glove. I know it so well – it was my home – and love its character, its charm, its confidence.

More singing on the way home; Miss J can now recognise a Beatles song which is a source of great pride; as is name checking Paul McCartey – close enough. Home. Some craic in the garden (including mowing the lawn – kiss my face!); a run for Daddy; blog writing listening to The Godfather Part II soundtrack; family dinner and then bath time and bed for Miss J. A packed day but a day packed with smiles; packed with contentment; packed with blessings.

We took a walk through St Ann’s Square to see the final few flowers that have been left to mark the events of 22 May. I didn’t need any reminders on how precious life is – I just looked at my girls besides me – the light in my life – but I did give an extra word of thanks in my mind as we walked hand in hand, in hand, across to the Shambles.

My Sunday, was bloody perfect.

#ben2b40

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