After a lovely sleep and shower we went for breakfast, and plenty of it. A good choice of hot food, cold meats, cheese, pastries, cereals and drinks. Never been let down by a Hilton breakfast. Then we checked out and moved the car into Manchester City centre and the AO arena.

We had most of the day so decided to have a look at the National Football Museum. It was right in the heart of the city. With a football themed play area in front for little ones to play.

The ticket was good value as it’s a year ticket, and they offered discount for NHS workers. It was really interesting, we found information about a local football team we had never heard of, even though they existed from the late 1800’s until 1986 ! We spent over 2 hours in here, lots to see, read and do. Plenty of football challenges, all included in the entrance fee.

After this we had a wander around the shops and went for a late lunch, knowing we wouldn’t be eating again. We headed back towards the arena and joined the queue. It was a little disorganised, the tickets said to arrive for 6.30 but they didn’t open the outer doors until 7pm then we queued again inside for airport style security. No-one objected, but the inner doors didn’t open until 7.30 so it was a lot of standing around in a cramped space. Finally all the doors opened and then we went to find our seats. Disappointed isn’t a strong enough word. Right in front of my seat was a huge camera blocking a quarter of the stage ! Over £100 ticket for this view, I called over a steward who confirmed I was in the correct seat and then went to get a supervisor, who saw straight away the issue and asked me to wait a moment and disappeared. He reappeared 10 minutes later with two tickets, he had moved us to the VIP section ! They realised some tickets had been incorrectly sold. Our new seats were closer to the stage and slightly higher from the floor.

The pre show lasted around 45 minutes, a French singer and band. Then the lights went off and Alicia Keys appeared. The show was amazing, she’s such a good singer and performer. My teen was in heaven, he danced and sang his heart out. She had Johnny Marr (The Smiths) on stage and sang This Charming man – I sang along to this.

After 2 hours of singing, dancing and cheering the lights came on and it was time to leave. Thankfully our car was parked in the arena and very close to the exit so we were on our way home by 11.30. The journey out of Manchester to the motorway was slow and steady, we got home just after 1am on Sunday morning. Very tired, hoarse but happy.