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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Reflections on Liverpool

Can't believe it's been a month since I wrote but have to admit I lost the will to live with it after I dropped my brand new iPhone 6 into the canal and lost all my recent photos except those that I had put on the blog or facebook. That should really have spurred me on to keep up to date but somehow didn't. Anyway, here we are a month after leaving Liverpool. I did start to write about our initiation into Liverpool .....

 It didn't start too well. You have to book an assisted passage into Liverpool. This is mainly because there are a few swing bridges on busy roads, so you travel in a convoy of boats to minimise the number of times the bridges are opened and hence the disruption to traffic. We also worried whether  it was anything to do with safety, given Liverpool's reputation. This fear was realised at the second of the four locks as you enter the city. There were police frogmen in the lock and we had to wait while they hauled what looked suspiciously like a body bag out of the canal! The "package" was bundled into a police ambulance parked nearby. I did ask our CRT escort if it was a body but this was strenuously denied. I didn't believe him. We nervously 

The rest of our stay was really good fun. It is quite hard to get away from the Beatles and we did visit john Lennon and Paul McCartney 's houses which have been restored to the period when they were living there. And done very well by the National Trust. Yoko Ono bought the Lennon house and bequeathed it to the NT knowing the it would be properly preserved and visited respectfully. 

Where John Lennon grew up with his aunt
Room with a view at Tate Liverpool. 

On the way out we passed through Parbold and caught up with my old friend Jane and her (fairly new) husband Ian. Lots of laughs and reminiscing over lunch and a few glasses of wine which went on into the evening. Hic. Jane's children were quite young when she left Harrow and look at them now!
Toothy grins!!

Manchester was next on the itinerary and we had a visit from our friend David from Wales. Another wild night followed. Hic. This is beginning to be a habit😊

Not quite up to date yet but will publish this now and write more tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Radio Stars

We have been moored up in Salthouse Dock in the centre of Liverpool for almost a week. In our travels, everyone we have spoken to has told us what a great place Liverpool is, so we have been really looking forward to this visit. There is certainly plenty to do even if you don't like The Beatles! Museums and art galleries, historic buildings galore and, of course, there are the pubs. All within walking distance. 
We have done some of the touristy things. The Cavern Club was great. Not the original but has been rebuilt in the same road and feels quite atmospheric. Hoping to see a good Beatles tribute band there before we leave. 
We have also been up St. John's beacon which houses Radio City. It was a good clear day so got some good shots. 

The weather has been pretty bad all week but today the sun is shining and it looks so different. We made the most of the good weather by.....
rubbing down and painting the scratches! 
While we were working we were approached by two guys from a radio station who interviewed us about our life 
on the boat. They were looking for  stories about Liverpool. We chatted to them for ages and they recorded everything, including some sound effects like the engine running, the horn sounding and chains rattling. They even recorded John playing guitar and   singing. Thank heavens it was for radio and not a TV crew, as we were in our scruffs and must have looked a         sight!  Sadly they were from a Swiss radio station so we will probably never hear the broadcast although they did promise to send us links to the programme. Not sure I want to hear it actually. They asked John to read something in French. I'm sure it was so they could have a good laugh at the accent!! 
One more day here then back to London for a wedding. It's all go! 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Hats off!

A little late this week with the blog but we have been off the boat tending to family matters. Dad is recovering well and Mum's eye operation went well too. John went visiting Canterbury university with Mollie so we got back to the boat last Thursday. 

Our progress towards Liverpool continues with a complete mixed bag of weather. Lots of sunshine but, oh my goodness, the wind!! We both lost a hat today on the same gust of wind. John's sank but mine floated. There was a bit of a price differential though - John got his in Vietnam for about a quid. Mine is a Tilley hat with a guarantee to float, a lifetime guarantee against wear and you can replace it for half price if you lose it. Cost a bomb but I really like it. 

We are covering some of the same  ground heading north and revisiting some of the places we went to last year, so whizzing through a bit. But sometimes you just have to give in to the elements and that's just what we had to do today. It was a pretty miserable day from the start in Wigan, got a bit brighter midday but then the wind and rain set in and we finally threw in the towel when we pulled over to go through a swing bridge and couldn't get off the bank. Happily there was a great pub on the other side of the bridge so after a lovely meal and a few drinks we are warm and glowing back on the boat. 
Not often you see a lighthouse this far inland!
Hitch hikers in Parbold. 
AMAZING chips at The Farmers Inn. 
Burscough. Does anyone know how you pronounce Burscough?? 

It's been a week of firsts. First cygnets. First goslings. Lovely😊 First RATS!😝 We were walking back from Wigan town centre and got to the bridge by our boat and it was teeming with rats. No exaggeration. Got into the boat quickly and locked the doors! 
Weather forecast for tomorrow is absolutely dire. We are within 6 hours of Aintree so can afford a day off tomorrow. Hobbies day!!