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14:24.

I had planned to work for a Client in London today but the capital’s weather wasn’t ideal so we postponed the job. That gave me the luxury of an extra hour in bed this morning! It also allowed me to make a start at editing the pictures I’ve been taking on my Scottish trip and getting some of them on my Zenfolio website.This afternoon’s rather different. I nipped into Halifax to sort out some chores before catching to train to Manchester for a few hours in order to meet up with a friend who’s coming over from Ireland for his stag weekend. Neil and a group of his friends have got the ferry to Holyhead then the train to Manchester on a ‘rail/sail’ deal which are excellent value tickets. I’ll add a link later.The train I’m on is one of the new Leeds to Chester services which is full of groups of women laden with a panoply of alcoholic liquids. You can tell it’s a Friday! I can’t work out if they’re heading for Manchester or Chester. No doubt all will be revealed soon…- and it was! The women were heading for Manchester. In fact, the city’s absolutely awash with women, young and more ‘matronly’. At first I couldn’t work out why until I started to see a common theme, ‘girl power’ T-shirts in abundance. Then the penny dropped. The reformed ‘Spice Girls’ are playing in Manchester this weekend!

18:51.

Having spent a few hours with the ‘stags’ (Irish railways must be particularly understaffed this weekend) I’m heading home for the evening. I have to say that I was really impressed by the atmosphere in Manchester this evening. The city’s teeming with people and the vibe is lovely. I can’t help thinking that’s because of the gender balance. Women outnumber men and the ambience is all the better for it. Apparently Olly Mus (who he? Ed) is also playing which has added to the attraction. Give me this over the testosterone fuelled football crowds and daft rivalries any day…

Such events can only be good for Manchester and the city’s reputation and economy. Hotel rooms are at a premium and the pubs, bars and restaurants are packed. It’s good for the railways too as many of these visitors have arrived by train. Victoria never used to look like this. A few years ago it was a place you definitely didn’t linger at – unless you’d missed your train!

A poignant moment was the display at Manchester Victoria which commemorates the very recent 2nd anniversary of an atrocity at a concert at the Arena above the station.

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