24th December 2019

More random diary entries as I wait for Matt to finish his first Christmas Eve as a wage earner.

I start in gorgeous Gorton, obliged to come up some flowers for two sets of parents to accompany the calendar dotted with pictures of their grandsons.

Google gives me the name of Bouquet and Balloons 10 minutes away.


On the walk past the reservoir I spotted a motto for our Old Codgers Days Out.

The loo is the main thing

An early Christmas present to myself of a stroll around Gorton’s heritage sites, and a pub selling Doom Bar.


Best inflatable snowman of 2019
Thanks for being open
Nicely done

Job done, I headed for central Manchester to wait for Matt to finish cutting the hair of hipsters and soap stars.

A quick lunch of peanut chicken from the venerable Viet Shack.



Before Dave asks, I’ve no idea why Maclure’s barbers shows up as Honeyz & Hustlers. None at all.

Maclure’s is tucked away in Brazennose Street opposite a town hall already stripped of decoration, and opposite the Hidden Gem.

Restoration e.t.a. 2024
Oooh scary alley

Two black coffees (only 99p) in Pret a Manger later, I thought I’d better find a seat close by with WiFi, and realised I’d never been in duttons.

Odd modern place, hardly a Lees flagship (Rain bar ?) but definitely attracting the grown-ups.

Not outdoor drinking weather
Not Sam Smiths

Drawn by the siren call of the smaller pump clip, I made a half of their Plum Porter (3/3.5) last 90 minutes, the longest I was in a pub all year.

Busy pump clips
Try Now

One group of tourists looked bemused by their pie, another sank into Christmas Eve oblivion, constructing a joke about Michelangelo and a “chip off the old block” that loses a lot in translation.

It was all pleasant enough, though the Lees pubs in Royton were probably more fun.


Top toilet art, though.

“BRAPA entering the gates of Newark”

Matt finished at 15:55 and headed to Spoons for a lone pint with his mates. It was either Punk or Shipyard. Should I be worried ?

Then home.


  1. Christmas Eve in Manchester and I’d have been in the Castle for a pint of Old Tom.
    I had four breakfast time pints of Lees in that Duttons last year, more than Pedigrees in the Lost Dene and more than in Lees’s Chester Duttons.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That peanut chicken looks gorgeous, even at 6.30 in the morning.

    Had some excellent Vietnamese food whilst in the States, back in August 2018, but not many such places in this part of the world.


    1. The street food in Arndale indoor market is some of the best in the world, dozens of small vendors and a GBG bar.

      There’s also a few excellent places on Oldham St. that rival the string of places on Kingsland Road in Hoxton.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Among the many glories of the RM blog is your knack for creating interplay between the text and the photos. The set up of the picture of the “Active Ageing” sign followed by “The loo is the main thing” really did have me laughing out loud!

    Liked by 1 person

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