Tag Archives: Liverpool Tate

The Lasses Come to Liverpool…

So this is normally the point in the week where you get to have a nosey through other peoples bookshelves, however that is on hiatus this week. This is partly due to the fact that I cannot find some of the emails that you have sent with pictures and the questionnaire, due to a full inbox not my own ineptness (well not completely) and also as I might start making it bi-weekly. It will be back though. This week though it is time for something a little bit different and a little bit more personal.

003This weekend just gone was possibly one of the best weekends I have had in ages as two of my closest friends Polly, of Novel Insights, and Michelle, who is soon (tomorrow) to be thirty, came to stay for the weekend. Recently I have been missing London a little and so it was lovely to have two of my closest friends from that era of my life come and stay. It also meant a chance to go to some of Liverpool’s tourist attractions that I hadn’t even been to myself, and so I thought you might like to join us all.

After picking up these two lasses from the station the Beard very kindly drove us on to one of Liverpool’s most famous landmarks, the Metropolitan Cathedral. As you can see it looks like something out of a science fiction novel, or possibly the wonderful land of Oz. Despite having been wanting to go and see it ever since I moved here, partly because it looks so odd and partly because it reminds me of the credits from Brookside, having the delightful duo up meant I finally could as, believe it or not,  the Beard has never ever wanted to go in – ever. Well, Captain Stubborn is missing out as what greets you inside is something rather wondrous. It just leaves you slightly breathless and what I loved it that each alcove around the circular congregation is in a completely different style almost reminding you of buildings and eras from the past. Stunning.

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Liverpool boasts not one but two cathedrals, which is really rather greedy isn’t it, and I hadn’t been to the other one and so decided now was the time. Despite the fact that it looks so much older than the metropolitan one it was actually finished later, who would have thought it?

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On arrival we noticed a rather spooky looking path and because we are quite nosey (Polly famously ‘accidentally’ broke into the building that is said to be ‘Wuthering Heights’ when we went to Yorkshire many moons ago) we decided we had to go and explore and discovered a very old cemetery, now park, which reminded me very much of Highgate and soon I was rattling on about what all the Victorian symbolism meant.

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We also thought it would be a great setting for a crime novel scene, probably where a body is discovered. Polly seemed to be an ideal amateur sleuth, don’t you think?

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If I was impressed inside the previous cathedral then this one nearly blew my socks off, it is huge and incredibly grand. I actually almost fell over from dizziness trying to take this picture…

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We would have gone ‘up the tower’ to the top however Michelle doesn’t like heights and announced she gets the most uncontrollable urge to throw herself off them and so we moved quickly on… to the pub, set in the old Pump House down by the docks.

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Then it was time for the Tate Liverpool to see the new exhibition ‘Glam’, where I got told off for taking pictures, and the regular exhibits. I must go there more often; I am amazed that I have not been to the Liverpool Museum even actually, anyway…

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The day whizzed by and after a train ride and walk through Birkenhead Park, which was what Central Park based itself on believe it or not, it was party time. We had just discovered lambrini, a horrendously cheap alcoholic drink, was made in Liverpool and so couldn’t start with anything but that could we? Oh and a few canapés from The Beard’s shop of course…

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Then came the cake, not made and iced by a five year old child but by me, and candles and champers and soon it was time for bed.

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Next day, after the Beards signature French toast and bacon, it was off for more culture at the seaside as we went to Another Place and saw several of Anthony Gormley’s statues in the sand.

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They are quite an eerie site from a distance and the mood of them changes on the day, as you can see though today was all sunshine and jollity…

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Then all too soon it was the end of the wonderful weekend and we had to head back…

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Despite being a little down in the dumps after they had left I realised what a wonderful and fun filled weekend we had had and the lovely memories that we have to share will stay with me when I miss them most next. That said though we will be meeting again for Polly’s hen weekend, which I am organising heaven help her, though I am not sure I will share pictures from that weekend!

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A Lovely Trip to Liverpool…

On Monday I had the pleasure of going to the head offices of The Reader Organisation to meet them and see what they do and if I might be of any use/benefit/something to them. The meeting wasn’t until the afternoon and so as it was in Liverpool, a city I have been through but never actually wandered around, I thought I would make a day of it. So I thought, with the power of the virtual world, I would take you all with me, especially as it has become a ‘city of culture’ in the UK in the last few years.

Liverpool is a city that really I know nothing about which is rather naughty really considering that part of my heritage is from there. Granny Savidge Reads and her routes are in fact from Liverpool, the Wirral and Southport, so there is some Mersey blood in me somewhere. I am sure that my Uncle Derrick (Gran’s brother who used to tell me Sherlock Holmes tales on long walking holidays) once told me that if you see ‘Hill’ on a drain cover in the north that’s because that side of my family made them. How true this is could be debateable knowing the sense of humour of my great uncles and the fact that he was known to exaggerate, I will have to ask Gran this weekend. Anyway as I left the station I was instantly hit by the grandeur of the surrounding buildings, mainly museums.

I decided that my first port of call, pun intended, would be the Albert Docks down by the Mersey. It was weird walking around the city because when I was younger the only soap opera that my Mum and I would watch was Brookside and so I kept seeing buildings from the title sequence and so the theme tune was in my head for most of the day. If you haven’t seen it you can here. When I reached the docks I was stunned by what greeted me, the mix of modern and older buildings is quite something.

The reason for my visit there was to see the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Knowing that I don’t like boats or books based on boats you might find this odd. However there is an exhibition on the Titanic there and as I have something planned for the blog on the 100th anniversary I wanted more insight into it, more on that soon…

After being submerged/immersed in the history and events of the Titanic I popped next door to the Tate Liverpool…

I had a good old wander round; art is very subjective so I don’t want to bore you with everything I saw, looking at the permanent exhibitions. I have to say I do prefer going around art galleries on my own, I think it’s a very personal experience and some things you walk past and think ‘meh’ and others you feel like staring at for hours. I find if I am with a group you are all at different paces and I either rush… or get bored. I did pop and see the temporary exhibition but I didn’t think you would want to see what was inside. Is this sort of thing really art?

The other reason I was excited about the Albert Docks, and this is quite sad to admit, was that when I was a teenager this was where the UK’s breakfast show ‘This Morning’ was filmed. Who knew that this very spot would be where the Richard and Judy Book Club was started… sort of. I was sad to find that Fred’s floating weather map was no longer in the middle (if you are thinking ‘what??’ the weather man on This Morning used to do the weather in the middle of the dock on a floating set of the British Isles, whenever he jumped over to island we all watched in case he fell in.)

Now of course I couldn’t mention, or really go to, Liverpool without paying homage to their most famous export, The Beatles. I have to say I am not a huge fan (I think my Gran might have seen them at the Cavern, again this could be an Uncle Derrick story) but I do like some of their songs and it would have been foolhardy of me not to have found the cavern…

Only that wasn’t The Cavern, this was…

Oh no that’s not right, this is where it used to be…

I got very confused. The morning had whizzed by and so it was time to head to The Reader Organisation’s headquarters. I don’t want to talk too much about what went on, in case I jinx it, but it was wonderful to meet the staff and hear their stories of how the reading groups they run aren’t changing lives but are making them fuller and happier, plus then the Director of the company Jane who discussed why and how she set it up. I will admit at some of the stories, which were incredibly touching, I welled up. I then had to swiftly compose myself as I was taking part in a reading group, reading aloud (eek) and reading Shakespeare and poetry (my heart dropped) yet reading it and discussing it was wonderful (I am not quite converted, yet) and really got me into it, because there were no right or wrong answers.

A few hours later and it was time to head back (I did manage to pass, and fall into, a bookshop on the way but I will report more on that tomorrow)  as I was due to meet a certain Polly of Novel Insights, as we were off to have a lovely dinner before going to see the singer Caro Emerald. She was AMAZING, if you ever get the chance you must see her. Stunning.

There was some boogying in the aisles from me and Polly but all too soon it was time to say goodbye.  After 26 years of friendship we were both discussing how scary it is now we are thirty… before we then started to pretend we were auditioning for Spooks in Manchester Station while we waited for her bus.

I am not sure I am ever going to really grow up. Anyway, what a day! Liverpool I thoroughly loved you, I will be back very soon. Have any of you been to Liverpool, is there anything I missed? If you haven’t been to Liverpool do go! Where have you been off to for a visit recently? Shall I take you on more of these trips, by the power of the internet and a bit of imagination, in the future?

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