Outside of the Hilton on each corner of the street, yell0w-jacket cops were stationed last night, as if anticipating a surge in riots because of the World Cup. But the meek, penalty-filled game provided few thrills, it was a shoving match with just one goal. Sigh. Now I am convinced that football will never conquer our shores, when the marquee game you wait four years for is such a snore.
But I was glad to be here in Manchester to join people who do care about the Beautiful Game enough to sit through the game with me. We went to a pub called Deansgate where there were five separate rooms for viewing. The beer here is the star–not so cold, not so fizzy, drawn by using a strong hand to tug down on that big old navy blue cask ale handle and waiting til it’s all settled to hand it over.
Manchester is an exciting city. It’s full of people all dressed up with somewhere to go. Many of them head for the 23rd floor bar here at this hotel. We finished watching the game and met up again, the writers and our host Emma for a late -night recap of the week. Good trip. Definitely going to be a good story. But once again, as I stuff my suitcase and try to fit this bottle of wine into the folds of dirty laundry, I’m glad to be flying home once again.