Saturday, June 04, 2016


The Lord of Chaos and I had a brilliant short break in Liverpool, visiting relatives and seeing the sights. It helped that the weather was glorious - in stark contrast to London. In fact, we got soaked to the skin in the short walk from our house to the train station, and were still a bit soggy hours and hours later when we arrived into bright sunshine at Lime Street.

On Wednesday we began with a tour of Beatles-related sites. Mossley Hill, is quite smart, even fancy with its posh bakery and coffee shops, so it's weird to think of young John Lennon tramping to school there. He's not quite the working-class hero of lore.

The Lord of Chaos was more excited to spot the word "poo" hidden in the red writing of the street signs.

We then caught the bus into town for a nose round The Beatles Story museum and took the brightly coloured ferry over the Mersey. On such a nice day - and at half-term - it was all pretty busy, but good fun.

The tour took us past the largest brick building in the world, its 27 million bricks now inevitably being converted into swanky flats. The ferry gave us a good view of how much Liverpool has been transformed in recent years, modern glass and towers dwarfing the older Victorian architecture, the famous skyline peppered with space-age design.

But then there's always been something of the future about the place. The art deco design of the buildings at Wallasey, on the other side of the river, look like something from Dan Dare and have been reclaimed as a Spaceport. I'd marvelled at that the last time I was here, but not ventured inside.

The museum turns out to be great, full of hands-on exhibits that - so rarely in this sort of thing - are not broken. His Lordship was entranced by the toys to demonstrate orbital mechanices and the hurricane machine. We could have stayed another hour.

In fact, his only disappointment was the shop which, after all the perfectly pitched imagination of the galleries, didn't seem as well thought out. There were the usual (boring) pencils, key-rings and whatnot, and some surprisingly expensive Doctor Who merchandise from about five years ago. We decided against £20 for a sonic screwdriver. Then there was late lunch in the Albert Dock, and a trip to a toy shop.

On Wednesday, we climbed the tower of Liverpool Cathedral - a genuine bargain at £5.50 for adults and his Lordship free. What's more, two lifts meant there was only 108 steps to climb - but those on a staircase looking out and over the dizzying spectactle of the bells.

The view from the top was amazing, and we spent a happy time leisuredly working our way round twice, spying out all the details. 

I failed to take pictures of the various other things we got up to, such as our trip to the very well run Storybarn, or much note of the various lovely bookshops I nosed round looking for something suitable as tribute for the Dr. (I am quite delighted with the 1893 third edition of Eric Brighteyes that fell into my arms in an Oxfam.)

And then, pottering about in Mossley Hill again, his Lordship spotted Roman numerals on this post box. It's apparently one of the 271 letter boxes made during the short reign of Edward VIII in 1936. It is a great help to have a pair of eyes at the right level to spot these things.

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