One of the reasons we extended our free seven-day mooring in Liverpool South Docks, was to enjoy the ease of access to public transport to travel to our niece’s wedding in Cullompton. There we stayed at the fabulous Padbrook Hotel for two nights – so were grateful for even more luxury than the hook up at the mooring!
Dressing Up For A Change
I think we scrubbed up rather nicely – what do you think? I’d persuaded Barry to splash out on a new shirt, and the only shop we found open on Easter Sunday in Liverpool, sold vintage shirts. We’ve had so many positive comments because it’s brilliantly colourful and smart. But I also suspect Barry just doesn’t see a need to dress ‘up’ very often. He’s more a t-shirt and jeans man.
Difficult to tell from the photos, but I also treated myself to a haircut at Dot Hair, with Phil as I’d plucked up the courage to go short. He was fabulous and knew how to handle my wild locks. Most hairdressers shirk from naturally curly hair like mine. I’d splashed out on a dress from Phase Eight too, in Chester, after giving up finding one in a charity shop. It was a special family time that flew by all too quickly. My fascinator was bought in Christchurch, in 2005, for my eldest daughter’s wedding. It cost a fortune, but it’s been on my head for every wedding since then!
Loving Adult Time in Liverpool
We’d left the boat Monday morning and returned Wednesday evening. I had to work Thursday and Friday mornings, but we made the most of the afternoons.
Our destinations were the Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals, plus the Philharmonic Dining Rooms one day. On the open-top bus tour with Ewan, the commentator had suggested a ‘must do’ to visit the men’s toilets. They truly were something to check out. Barry took a photo of them – and one day I hope he’ll share it with you (and me!) …
We’d heard about Hamilton Square on the ferry trip, but as we had Ewan with us and a limited time to stay at Birkenhead, we waited till we could visit ourselves. Georgian architecture isn’t terribly appealing to most nine-year-olds either! It can boast the most Grade I listed buildings outside London and is well worth walking around.
A Kiwi/UK Visitor
For our final weekend, we had an unplanned but extremely pleasant visit from our friend Jill. Jill’s visited us in Gisborne, many times on Areandare, and we stayed with her in Nelson last May (the post about which is yet to be published!). We were extremely fortunate with the weather during the weekend. Luckily we only had one day of rain in two weeks!
Chatting to a few locals on boats they wondered what we found to do during our time in Liverpool. Yet we feel we hardly scratched the surface! While Jill was with us we visited:
- The Royal Liver Building and did the 360 tour. It was windy as hell, but the animated show projected on the inside of the clock tower was spectacular. The views from the 10th and 15th floors were fabulous despite the grey skies.
- We were all going to the Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre studio to watch Making It. Unfortunately I booked the wrong night and we missed it! I decided to buy the last remaining ticket for the Saturday night, and somehow managed to get the best seat in the house. At least it felt like it. The show was hilarious. There were lots of accolades to Ken Dodd at the theatre.
- Before the show, we ate at the Courtyard Bar and Kitchen – I got the correct night for that table booking!
- While I was at the theatre, Barry and Jill had fun at nearby Dr Duncan’s Bar. They chatted amiably to a young couple who had asked them to join their table. Sadly they departed just before I arrived after the show. The bar was most impressive. I loved the stories about its namesake who clearly did amazing things for the health of the people. He was the UK’s first Medical Health Officer.
- We eventually managed to hire one scooter – after failing to hire three. Ah well. We all took a turn at scootering along the waterfront like teenagers.
- None of us have ever been avid Beetles fans. But you can’t visit Liverpool without at least one delve into the famous fours’ past. We chose The Beatles Story. It was certainly interesting. I’m glad we did it, but it was horribly packed and not quite what we’d expected.
- Before Jill departed for her trains back to Tamworth( where she’s staying waiting for her daughter to birth her grandchild) we enjoyed lunch at Madre’s. It felt like we were in the Mediterranean. Superb place.
What’s Not To Love
We admittedly got rather accustomed to having unlimited power, hot water every morning, the ability to use the washing machine and electric oven at any time. It was sheer bliss. Plus the views were spectacular. Unsurprisingly, it was noisy close to the main road, but we adjusted to it. Even the blazing sirens at all hours! We had no trouble whatsoever from anyone during our stay. The only downside was the drain on finances – we spent a fortune. I decided to see it as a ‘staycation’. Hordes of people seem to be returning to the cheap flights aborad now from the UK. We’re choosing to explore this country instead.
Our two-week sadly stay came to an end on Monday 25th April. The outward journey begins early, with instructions to arrive at the first lock between 8 am and 9.30 am. Sid appeared beforehand and allocated our partner narrowboat. We were instructed to be at the lock entrance ten minutes following the first two boats.
I managed to do three live videos of us leaving the mooring. You can find them on our Facebook page if you’re interested. In the third one, we have the infamous Sid on board – who ‘Sid’s Ditch’ is named after. Sid made the inaugural journey along the link with CRT officials on board. It was a real treat listening to him share stories of his experiences.
We shared the locks with a boat called Geranium. As you do, I asked the origin of the boat’s name. The story was that it was called Geminian when they bought it, as the two previous owners were Geminis. He decided to paint it himself after undertaking a two-day boat painting course. They recommended to choose a similar name to prevent shadows. His tale inspired Barry to do a boat painting course. He’s considering painting the exterior himself sometime this year. He’ll have to find somewhere enclosed to hire to do it. Will that happen? Who knows … Even self-painting the outside of a 60-foot long narrowboat is expensive.
Where are we going now? Well we’re slowly meandering back to Anderton and the Weaver Navigation by 25th May. We’ll meet up with Helen and Andy from Wild Side Jams and Preserves, for a few days to catch up.
We hope to return to Liverpool. I don’t think we even got to experience a dozen things from the list I discovered after we left – “101 things to make you fall in love with Liverpool“.
Actually – we’re going tomorrow by Metrolink from Burscough! The Library is on our list, as we’ve heard wonderful things about it and it’s free. Plus Barry needs to get passport photos done to send away for his British passport. Not for a meditaranean holiday, but a return to New Zealand later in the year to meet our new grandson.