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I was heading off to Manchester today with a couple of good mates, and three others that I didn't really know, to watch the last game in the England v Australia test match. I'd seen a one day international cricket match last year at the same venue and although cricket wasn't a sport I followed, or really had any interest in, it was a good excuse to get away for a couple of days and drink some beer

A long-winded taxi pick up schedule eventually saw all of us at the airport and through security surprising fuss free and we were soon on our way to Manchester and our Holiday Inn Express hotel at Salford Quays.

I immediately changed from the first room allocated to me as it smelled of cigarette smoke and there was a cigarette lighter and ash left on the window sill behind the curtain. It looked like housekeeping wasn't doing a very good job and I didn't want to be landed with a room cleaning bill for the smoke smell.

We then went to our favourite haunt in Salford Quays, the Lime Bar, where we had beer, lunch and more beer before finishing off with a meal at the nearby Chinese restaurant and making our way back to the hotel for the night.

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