The Macdonald Hotel is situated right next to Picadilly Station and very close to Canal Street.
For the first time ever, we decided to book a hotel and stay in Manchester this year to enjoy the pride event. Alert was on, on the Friday night, so we decided to stay the Friday and Saturday so that we could go out, enjoy the event and not have to worry about getting back in the morning. I’d booked to stay at the Macdonald hotel by Picadilly and its a really nice place with big rooms and a nice view of the railway line. We had some friends also staying there, so it seemed like a sensible choice. I got the train from work and met Tony in Manchester, and we went out for a thai meal when I got there, to our favourite restaurant, Koh Samui.
I had been a little indecisive again regarding what I was going to wear out to the first nights event, but I settled on wearing my new neoprene trousers and neoprene vest underneath my nasty-pig trousers and shirt. They stretch a little so they are also easy to get on and off over boots, and I thought would be easier to change out of at the club. I love the german style zips on my neoprene, as they have an opening for your cock to go into, and then the zip flap can be drawn down for easy access to your cock poking through into a handy pouch!
We met up with Chris, and then headed to Eagle first, followed by a drink at the Rem, and then got to Alert. It was rammed, which was to be expected for a pride weekend, but surprisingly they were also only letting ticket holders in on the door. This meant a few regulars being turned away as we arrived just before midnight, so I was glad that Tony had pre-booked the tickets. Inside, the Rob shop was not there, which gave people a bit more room to get changed, but it was the normal setup, apart from the appearance of a single sling in the darkroom area, specially for Pride. The place was really busy though so access to the back area and dark room was really limited.
We met several of our regular friends there, but I started to feel a little self conscious in my neoprene gear. I cant quite place my finger on it, but with a lot of new faces in there, it was a bit of a weird atmosphere. Tony then chose an inopportune moment to decide to go outside and smoke, Chris wandered into the back area to explore, and our other friends had quickly gotten bored of being crushed so decided they were going to leave and go back to Company bar or Eagle. This left me standing on my own, in the main area for a good while. I realised that I’m not good at being on my own in a busy fetish night, with a lot of people looking for fun. In one way I was flattered by the attention, but when a drunken guy in rugby kit (who I think under normal circumstances I’d have found quite cute) wouldn’t take no for an answer, and even after i’d had a wander around myself to try and lose him, I got to the point where I just wanted to get changed back into my nasty-pig gear and leave too. When Tony returned, about an hour or so later (those cigars do take a time to get through), I was ready for the off.
The following morning, I felt like crap. Tony went off to a friends coffee and cake morning, and we arranged to meet up later at the parade. Several lemsips and ibuprofen later, I managed to make it out the hotel. The parade is my highlight of the weekend normally as I think its the best one I’ve seen, and its great to see so many local guys taking part in the various floats. Having floats also means that the themes can be bigger and bolder. Our friend Neil stood with us and took a load of photographs. As a professional photographer, he has a much better eye for great shots, and he’s posted a load of them of the parade onto his website.
The best walking group of Pride, the Rubber group really did stand out from the crowd.
After the parade we went back home to get changed into our leather gear to head out around the bars for the evening, in our leathers. We mainly hung around outside the Company bar and Molly’s because the atmosphere is great there and you are away from the main drag of canal street. When dressed in full leather you do get stopped a few times to be asked to have your photo taken, but I really enjoyed it this year making sure that I was pleasant with everyone that asked and I met quite a few nice people, including a mum who was so proud to be there with her newly out son and his boyfriend.
Drinking outside Company Bar at Manchester Pride
We met our friends from Birmingham whilst out and two new guys Malcolm and Dave, and we ended up in the Rem bar till the very early hours of the morning with them. Dave was particularly into boot licking and spent a good half an hour at Tony’s boots at the end of the evening. He then kept asking me if he could lick my boots, and was told no on several occasions because he never used the words “please” and “sir”. It was probably the beer, but no-one licks my boots without asking correctly.
On our way back home, we could have carried on and played for a bit but Tony was shattered. I should have gone somewhere else and had some fun, but instead I lay there wide awake for an hour after realising I’d drunk around 5-6 vodka redbulls and they were keeping me wide awake!
Chewing on @themoodybears well worn rugby socks *growl*
On the Sunday, we got up and had a nice Nero based breakfast and then went for a quick wander around the market again to catch up with @themoodybear – he’d been wearing some socks for me, for several days for me to enjoy, and i’d purchased a new cap and shirt from him the previous day. I love his gear, and its well worth checking out for the nerdiness of the designs. Check out his website at www.themoodybear.com and enter the discount code of “moodycard” at checkout for a 15% discount off all items.
That is where our weekend should have ended, because we then headed back to check out of the hotel and head home, but the previous night we had been chatting to a guy trying to start up and make the BLUF nights better in Manchester. He’s organised a pub crawl for BLUF members the following night to try and show that there is a good leather scene in Manchester (something missing from the parade this year). So after heading home, and chilling for a few hours, we decided to head back out into Manchester, but this time I decided (and Tony helped push me a lot) to go out in my leather trousers, waistcoat, puppy shirt and leather pup hood.
What proceeded was the best night of pride for me. We met the group outside of the Rem, and met up with some really nice people, including Richard – a guy i’d been introduced with previously (he didn’t remember) who didn’t have any leather attire on him but was in admiration of those that did. He borrowed several items from people during the night, and i lent him my waistcoat and gloves, which he totally suited. After a hour or so we moved from outside the Rem to the Company bar area, Tony then decided that I needed to put on my pup mask and pup out for a bit now we were out of the main canal street drag. I wasn’t sure at the time, as there were no other pups there, but we were with our good friends, so I did as told and was overwhelmed with the response. There were a few people who didn’t really engage with me as pup-bri, but a lot of friends did, and I enjoyed immensely the pup rubs, and the nuzzling I got to do (especially with Richard, who was very very good given he’d only just met me an hour or so earlier).
I stayed in my pup gear for the remainder of the BLUF pub crawl around to Eagle (where I was extremely pleased to nuzzle a few people!) but we had decided that we were not going to head over to Manfest as it was in the same location as Alert had been. We apparently missed a better night (as it was less crowed and had a better crowd in) which is a bit sad, but I was made up to finally pup out a bit in Manchester, something I didn’t think I’d ever do. Im definitely going to book a hotel now for Pride, as it made such a difference to the weekend, but I think we’ll do the full 3 nights next year, instead of just the two.