We were still eating that trifle well into the week, although I’m sure it was punctuated by an ice cream or two. We’ve snuck in barbecues around the weather, MOH managed a longer than usual bike ride after work and while my plan was to catch up with myself, I found myself potting up those dahlias instead. It was a good way for some reflection in a week that marked rage first anniversary of my FILs passing, just as the bike ride was for MOH. I’d forgotten the joys of getting soil under my fingernails during the week, but clearly enjoying the pottering I also got a seed trays worth of lettuce pricked out in one of my new pots and transferred some beans and courgettes into pots outside too. The next day was, of course, wet but a quick check on them proved they’d managed overnight without the greenhouse for protection. The chicken wire went back on, as I’m just not sure that the squirrels won’t take advantage.
The humid weather has helped the parsley seeds germinate too, I’ve half a seed tray ready to be pricked on. I usually struggle growing parsley, but it seems I’m in for plenty this year. However my basil had yet to germinate before we’d left for a long weekend away in Liverpool. It’s still not showing any signs of life so I’ll give it another go with some seeds I bought the other week. Not having fresh basil, especially as we’re hoping to fire up the pizza oven, wasn’t really in my plans. However, if I’m still struggling I’ll buy a supermarket pot of basil and plant that on.
So after five days at work, we’re off again. We took an early train to Liverpool Saturday morning and are back in London Monday evening. We had some firm, and some loose plans for our time in the city, and if you’re following me on Instagram you’ll no doubt have seen some of what I’ve been up to.
I’d briefly been to Liverpool before, and it was brief. I was there for the commonwealth games in Manchester, to watch the netball. There were no affordable rooms in Manchester for 10+ of us, and so we stayed in The Adelphi no less, which at the time had featured on one of those docu-dramas, though thankfully my netball group avoided all that. I remember walking to Albert Docks, the Tate was relatively new there and the This Morning weather map was still moored in the dock. We walked to see the Liver Birds and that’s about as much as I can remember. Looking back at commonwealth games venues, it was as long ago as 2002.
And a lot has changed in the city since then.
This time we stayed at Jury’s Inn right in the docks area, and opposite the arena for the Netball World Cup. We didn’t have tickets, and to be fair when I booked this weekend away I hadn’t realised the netball was on. But clearly my netball affinity is strong, and not only did I find myself in the very city, and in the hotel where many of the players were staying but I also had my own happy coincidence bumping into a netball friend who’d been Treasurer to my Chairmanship of the Surrey Netball League a good few years before.
But strange as that may seem, it wasn’t strange at all. I knew, through Facebook, that many of my netballing friends were in town and I’m surprised I didn’t bump into more of them. What was strange was that Some photos were being taken outside our hotel while we were having breakfast. Wondering what MOH was looking at I saw my friend who said she’d looked as she had the same T-shirt I was wearing, and then realised she knew who was wearing it too!
We explored the city mostly on foot clocking up over fifty thousand steps, the exceptions were the open-top bus to and from Anfield and the cab we hailed to get us back to the hotel Sunday evening when the heavens opened. We’ve had endless trips around the Albert Docks and the city centre, so much so that I could easily navigate my way around the place.
There was the England bronze medal match in the fan zone, having dashed back from our Anfield stadium tour to see the second half. The stadium tour was fantastic, even for this non-Liverpool fan. I did let on in the end that I was Palace and they were very gracious about that saying that Selhurst Park is the London ground with the most atmosphere and sound. I suspect they say that to most visiting supporters, perhaps with the exception of Tottenham, they weren’t overly popular for some reason…
MOH is a Liverpool fan having seen them many a time at Wembley, or as they said they called it at the time ‘South Liverpool!’ We were treated to the Scouse wit and warmth, and plenty of fabulous food. As well as sport, there was culture with a visit to the Museum of Liverpool and a 360 tour of the Royal Liver Building, including a trip up to the observation deck on the fifteenth floor. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but when it opened in 1911, it was one the UK’s first ‘skyscraper’. I’ve plenty of pictures (no surprises there!) including a snap of the most photographed statue in the city - the Beatles - and a wander around the John and Yoko exhibition, Double Fantasy.
There was so much more we could have done too, so it’s safe to say, I think we’ll be back!