This weekend I broke out of my normal standard practices (i.e. going to the research club on Friday night followed by sleeping on Bob and Fiona's living room floor, followed by breakie at the Tea Garden) and went down to Manchester to meet up with some old friends from home. Manchester is kind of equidistant between me in Glasgow and the Londony area, where most of my mates are based. It also happens that my friend Justin and his girlfriend Kirsty have a house right near Manchester, which meant we had somewhere to stay for free.
I'd never visited Manchester before, so I didn't really know what to expect. As cities go it seems rather nice, with a centre not too disimilar from many other largish British cities. It's modern and clean, but still with a lot of nice old buildings and classic architecture. The general cross section of people seemed to come in your normal ratios of chavy/townie/neddy, trendy young professional, overweight, greasy looking middle aged couples, football shirt wearing types that you see across the nation. So it was fairly familiar territory as far as generalities go, but I didn't have my bearings at all - except for the up/down directions. I like having at least some idea of the layout of a place, to find my way around, but this normally only comes by doing a bit of vague wandering around, picking out landmarks and familiar sites. I've now got some idea of the set up of the city, so next time I'm down there I'll be able to stride about the place with an air of confidence - I'll probably still get horrendously lost though.
In our short time their, from my view at least, we managed to cover a fairly large chunk of the major night spots, and saw our prerequisite number of hen nights - bunny ears (or some other deely bopper type head gear) seemed to be the winning mode of dress. We went to a fair few bars and managed to consume a large variety of beers, shooters and other drinks and danced away like idiots to a selection of Madchester favourites (I couldn't help but sing along and wave my arms around in an Ian Brown style) and classic dance anthems. A great time was had by all and I definitely think I'll be heading back to Manchester at some point.