Monday, April 24, 2006

Mike in Manchester

I’ve just been to my first ever blog meet.

The first one since I’ve been a blogger, that is. A blog meet of those who guest-blogged on Mike’s blog was my first but that doesn’t count as I only started blogging a year later. However, the reason for the blog meet had nothing to do with blogs as the purpose of the occasion was to tie Mike up in clingfilm, polish his bollocks with boot polish and have him parade around Manchester wearing an L-plate. Yes, it was Mike’s ‘stag night’. Not that it’s a term he likes but in the absence of anything better, it’ll have to do. That makes another first:

I’ve just been to my first ever gay stag night.

And, it being my first visit to Manchester, that makes a third first. But this isn't about me, it's about Mike, so let me get on with the story.

Three of us (Mike, James and I) took the train from Nottingham; Chig took the train from Birmingham.

Four queens booked into the Princess Hotel. After a drink, four queens went shopping in Selfridges. Before long, four queens had freshened up at the hotel and were prepared for a long night of indulging.

We started with ornate cocktails at Socio Rehab where we were joined by Clare. The event only became a fully-fledged blogmeet once we were joined by Elizabeth and Stuart at Moon where we ate dinner. Apart from Mike having met Elizabeth before, none of the out-of-towners had met the locals before. Andrew, James’ colleague, was the only non-blogger who joined the party towards the end.

It must have been about 10.30 by the time we got to Canal Street. Taurus was chilled and laidback, the right sort of place to drink and converse, probably the best sort of place to go to before getting caught up in the pumping noise of Queer and Essential. By arrangement, I met C, a friend from my Newcastle days, at Queer. He was very drunk and surprised me by his attention and the nice things he had to say to me. Apparently he used to park his car outside my old flat in Newcastle as it reminded him of me. Poor, misguided boy!

Essential was loud, crowded and great fun even if populated by gorgeous, muscled boys who seemed to have been created from the same sausage machine. We could have stayed until 8am but left just after 4.

Only James made breakfast the next morning.

Manchester, allegedly the wettest city in England, was bathed in glorious sunshine yesterday so our last few hours were spent sitting outside where we had lunch.

Despite the lack of debauchery, I had a great weekend. I slept like a log last night.

Mike's first drinkCocktail hourMike and ChigCanal StreetHooded James
New sunglassesWine reflectionsSpringtime in ManchesterLet's walkWish we'd called a taxi


Blogger Frog with a Blog said...

Mr. F, all this is very nice but I can't see a picture of you in here! or have i missed something?
Now, I have a question: is it easy to communicate live with people you usually meet in comment boxes? I've always wondered how it would feel to meet other bloggers. hm... I guess this is a tough one 'cos maybe you felt you all had absolutely nothing to talk about, but you can't possibly write it here...

11:57 pm  
Blogger Babsbitchin said...

Yea, what Frog said? It sounds like a fab nite, Kodak moments and pure memories. Just a tad jealous but I'm glad you had a good time. We want picks of you Nomad, pronto, post haste!!

2:03 am  
Blogger andrea said...

Having fun with that phone-cam aren't you? I love it when people mention Selfridge. I used to work about 2 minutes' walk from there, and had a second piercing in one of my ears there after one too many lunchtime drinks! It's been the repository for my single earrings ever since...

4:36 am  
Anonymous patita said...

ooh it looks like it was fun. such respectable photos!

4:59 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

It's 6am and I need to shower and get to work soon so no answers to any comments until later. However, I've only just opened this page with Explorer - it appears that the pics don't display unless you click on them. I shall have to look into why later. How annoying!

6:14 am  
Blogger mike said...

Ah, instant nostalgia! Nice bunch of pics you've put together there, although I wish there were some of the Manc contingent as well.

To reply to frog with a blog: the more you meet "people off the internet", the less weird it gets. In fact, pretty soon it just feels normal. Particularly if you've both been reading each other's stuff for a while. What happens is that you somehow skip some of the early stages of tentatively sounding each other out, and lurch straight into animated conversation like people who already know each other.

Which, of course, you do.

9:33 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

frog: you can't see any because there aren't any and I'm very happy for that to be the case. Chig may have some pics of me but, if he has, he can keep them safely hidden somewhere.

Mike's answered your question and he's had lots of experience of blogmeets. Of the three people I hadn't met before, I'd only read Clare's blog and she was much like I expected her to be (and more!) but the other two were very easy-going so there was no more awkwardness than you may get when introduced to friends of a friend. Mike being the friend in this case.

babs: NO!!! No pics of me!

andrea: Selfridges in Manchester or London? The camera phone is very useful!

patita: respectable gentleman are the subject of respectable photographs, didn't you know that?

mike: glad you like pics. I do have a few of the Manchester contingent but I didn't post them in case they prefer anonymity. I'll be sending them to you soon but am happy to post them if they don't mind.

10:47 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

It seems that I've sorted out the display of the pics in IE now. It all had to do with the interpretation of quote marks by IE - took a while for me to work it out.

10:48 am  
Blogger Alan said...

Glad that you had a good time. The pics are a little tame for what I know of you lot !

1:14 pm  
Blogger whatalotoffun said...

Did you have some red wine. Met anybody. Glad you enjoyed yourself

1:34 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Great to see that you are making such good use of your new camera with distance talking widget attached.

Sounds like you had a good time...

opzax - an operation to remove the saxophone accidentally swallowed whilst on a stag revel?

2:42 pm  
Blogger rhino75 said...

Looks like TOP fun!! Do you know I've not been to Manchester in about 25 years? That's scary; I missed out on the whole gay village thang. I went to my first blogmeet recently, and was very pleasantly surprised. Everyone was really friendly and easy to chat with and what I thought was cool was that we didn't talk about the blogs at all. I came away with two new friends whom I've met twice since, so that's not bad going.

4:57 pm  
Blogger andrea said...

That's what I get for not reading properly (busted again). I had no idea there was also a Selfridge's in Manchester!

5:42 pm  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

Sounds like a blast! I'm jealous! I went to something similar years ago and it was fabulous to meet the people you talk with but have never spent time with.

6:09 am  

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