53.4756° N, 2.2506° W
Friday 14th February 2020. The 4-something train pulls into Manchester Piccadilly, and I manage to capture Beetham Tower almost marking its superiority against the newest construction sites.
Breezing past the Scousers in rollers, I head to the 18th floor of the Hilton Deansgate after a rather flat champagne cocktail with unimaginative mini-tubes of Love Hearts. The chocolate cupcake didn't stand a chance. A check-in to remember? Not quite.
Then to the 23rd floor Executive Lounge for 2 hours of open-bar while gazing at the city below. 20 Stories appears small with its tacky pink love heart but I'm fascinated by this almost aerial view of Manchester.
Open-bar now closed, it's back to the room, a quick change and I'm Uber-ing to the Carlton Club in Whalley Range. Bottle of Prosecco in hand I settle down at a ringside table to take in Andy's psychedelic light show, pulsing to the beat of 90s techno not-so-classics.
Overnight Storm Dennis came closer, and I'm ready and poised with my Nikon.
It's Saturday afternoon in the Executive Lounge. We partied late and slept late. The shower leaks in this four-star rip-off. Housekeeping haven't hoovered and my knickers are on the floor 'WT-bloody-F'
In the distance, Rochdale Village (a rather inaptly named power plant) generates clouds to match those in the late sky. There's a ray of sunshine illuminating North Manchester's energy generator.
City dwellers and shoppers travel in and around the city via train and Metrolink. It's raining and I'm warm, sitting in the Executive Lounge again enjoying endless coffee and wraps. I'm contemplating The Hulme Arch, a rainbow devoid of colour, sitting astride the Mancunian Way. The typical bustle of a cold and very wet Saturday afternoon in Manchester.
Pretty soon I'll be doing a quick aller-retour home to feed and play with Missy; my cat's been pretty much abandoned for the weekend.
Back just in the nick of time for open-bar I head up to join Robert. I bump into DG who's being joined by PP. It's his birthday and he's full of his next his trip to Vienna to see Liam Gallagher.
The room smells. I think the air-con has backed up, whatever. At least we have two glasses in the room today, but the ice machine encastrée is seriously seeping through the melamine walls.
Another shower, another deluge. I'm talking bathroom not weather.
The Hilton Deansgate Executive Lounge is heaving with peeps and I've just missed some girl go flying in her heals. Damn!. My Nikon isn't welcome -none of these party-peeps wanna be Pap-ed but they're ell impressed with my camera.
Exec Lounge open-bar now dry, we head to Cloud 23 for complimentary buns, bubbles and some delicious peas in pods. Rob's Corner (without the peacocks) joins us with Paul. A round of cocktails sets us back £140+ WTF
Tonight we're ushered in past the queuing masses at Mayfield Depot's Warehouse Project (WHP), Hacienda & Circus for The Last Night On Earth with Sasha, Yousef, Jon DaSilva, Volda7 & Jozef K. The sets were amazing with some unforgettable progressive house and there's room to dance.