The Old Trafford Blues for Man United

Trip Start Dec 02, 2011
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Trip End Jan 15, 2012


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, December 31, 2011

With tickets in hand and double checked then checked again to be sure, we set off in convoy style to Manchester where we would see Manchester United FC take on the Blackburn Rovers.  Louie had stuck behind us like a drover's dog the whole way until he couldn't go with me any longer as I somehow managed to cross a round-about from a left turn only lane, avoiding the guy beside me who decided to turn left across my path.  Louie was shunted around the round-about and placed in the lap of the sat-nav Gods to get him back on track.  Thankfully we all made it to Laura's friend, Jess's house to park the cars and catch a bus to the big game.

This was theoretically a David and Goliath affair and true to the story, United was dealt a surprise blow early from which they would not recover.  Despite the urgings of their supporters, and an incredible number of shots on goal, Man U couldn't find the net.  Both halves were played almost entirely in the Blackburn half and on the three occasions they ventured into Man U territory, they scored.  Final score, Blackburn Rovers 3, Manchester United 2.

Not being Man U fans we didn't take it quite to heart like the majority of the crowd.  The spark was certainly gone so the procession out was somewhat sombre.  Reminded us of when we were at the old Cardiff Arms Park and saw the Wallabies thrash Wales in 1984.  Now that was a funeral procession of epic proportions.

Being New Year's Eve the kids understandably wanted to go out in Manchester, while our mission was to go out of Manchester.  Having looked at little places not far out of town we set off in search of a pub and place to stay.  It's amazing how talking to people often results in unexpected and positive experiences.  It was dark and raining as we arrived in Littleborough which is where we thought sounded nice, but it appeared to be bigger than a small country village so we just followed a road which became narrower and narrower and eventually turned into a very rough cobbled drive with no lighting and nowhere to turn around.  We bumped along and reached the top of a hill and a clearing where we saw a lady walking her dog in the driving rain.  Not wanting to frighten her in the middle of nowhere, I wound down the window (despite the rain) and made a comment about the weather and why we were looking so lost (which we were!)

We asked the lady if she could recommend a local pub and B&B and in the most animated way she gave us directions to her suggestions.  She must have thought we were complete idiots to be driving around on such an awful night, lost in such a place so, as a conservative guess, I'd say she repeated the directions about six times and as she was half leaning into the car, shining her torch in our faces ('Carn, let's get a look at who we 'ave 'ere'), we couldn't even make a polite exit.  She was such a lovely lady with a classic accent and as it turned out her suggestions were excellent; good food and a beautiful B&B with the perfect host.  A long day, but again, one not to miss.  Happy New Year!
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