SERGIO !

The Sunday after the Champions League Final that I didn’t watch we popped over to Manchester to see Matt and Emma, for no other reason than it was a nice day and Manchester looks spectacular in that sun I always carry with me.

I knew you’d want to see my holiday snaps.

Matt and James had watched the game, on a mobile phone outside the Etihad, and Matt seemed surprised to see us on his doorstep at the unearthly time of 13:00. Young people, eh ?

We took a rambling stroll past the new murals dedicated to two of Manchester’s three heroes of the last 40 years. Tony has his own Square, of course.

I was disappointed to have missed a chance to say goodbye to Aguero, but of course if you read Blue Moon you’ll know we should have swapped him for Danny Ings years ago. And sacked Pep.

Saturday had, by all accounts, been the busiest day in Manchester for years, and some people were still walking the streets recovering from glitterball injuries.

We stopped at the Arndale to pick up the Vietnamese classics, peanut butter chicken and sticky chips for me,

and wandered past the town’s visual centrepieces to lunch on Cathedral Green. No-one seemed interested in my story about the Withy Grove Office Stores, so I’ll save it for Dick and Dave.

Oddly, while the pubs in the Shambles were as busy as I’d seen since 2019,

the actual “attractions” like the football museum were shut; perhaps they were making space for replicas of Liverpool and United’s 2021 trophy hauls.

So there’s not a lot to do if you’re not drinking and eating, admittedly always the highlights of a Manc trip. Oh, you can admire the architecture of the Green Quarter, I guess.

Mrs RM wanted a beer, Matt and Emma wanted ice cream, I just wanted local soda and a spoon saying D18.

Mackie Mayor provided all of those, and remains a bit of an underrated gem.

Since that trip I find there’s now a Vocation bar in Manchester, which will draw me back soon enough, but we really do need the whole array of Manchester’s many attractions open in time for the summer. Manchester needs football, gigs, nightclubs, theatre and museums.

Then the future is bright, even if we don’t get Danny Ings to replace Sergio.

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