In Manchester with the mighty blues!
I'm in Manchester with my chum Rob. We've been to see City play Arsenal at the City of Manchester stadium, which is one of the most impressive football venues you can imagine [I am heavily biased, of course]. City played OK-ish; Arsenal played very well - the result, 3-1 to Arsenal, flattered them slightly - their first goal was soft, their third came when we were chasing hard in the final minutes. I have to admit that Arsenal are a great side, and City could really do with a striker like the awesome Adebayour.
It was an early start to get here, though, for a 1245 kick-off time. And that was after a heavy Friday night out with the school dads in Twickenham. We started out at the White Swan (three pints of Tribute), proceeded to the Barmy Arms (a Bombardier and a London Pride) before finishing off at the Eel Pie for a final pint. At this stage I had to bail out while the others went off for a curry. This is what happens when old blokes who don't get out very often are let out for the night.
So we got to Manchester in good time, went to the stadium and parked without any hassle. Because the COMS is located on an old brownfield industrial site, there's loads of parking. It's a really well thought out stadium and copes pretty painlessly with 48000 crowds.
Rob and I are staying over, making a bit of a weekend of it (indeed, this match was a present from our respective spouses, which was very kind of them). We're staying in the Radisson Edwardian, which used to be the Free Trade Hall. It's pretty central, and an excellent place to stay, with a great spa.
We decided to grab some food and watch a film. We ate at Wagamamas, and it was good food - simple and fresh and with plenty of flavour. Then we watched a remarkable, unusual film - Cloverfield. It's about huge, wantonly destructive aliens who invade Manhattan (why always Manhattan?), but it's entirely shot as faux camcorder footage later recovered from the scene. As a result, it's incredibly jerky (there were wet patches on the floor of the cinema where they'd cleared vomit up from people who'd experienced motion sickness), but it has a really greast sense of realism. I really enjoyed it - it was silly, a bit scary, and quite fun.