Monday 28 February 2011

Look at me, eating spicy food ;-O

First of all, Hello to sue15cat and welcome, glad you have found us. I'll take a look at your blog as soon as I've eaten my lovely cheap dinner.

Remember the Enchelada kits I bought from the Cash and Carry, three for £1. I wouldn't normally buy something like this, for a start I had never heard of them before, and I am not a fan of spicy food. But I read the instructions on the box, and on the recommendation of the man who works there, (yes I know he is trying to make a living, and I wouldn't normally fall for his sales chat), I thought I would give it a go, for that price it's worth a try.

I came back from taking Jessie a walk this afternoon feeling a little bit wobbly, got absorbed in making another cat food bag and forgot to eat. I spread some marmite on a Ryvita and stuffed it into my mouth while I got on with making this. The filling is onions, mushrooms, potatoes, swede, chick peas, and brocolli. I didn't want to spend time waiting for it to cook in the oven, so I fried the onions and mushrooms in a pan with a drop of oil and some margarine, then added fruit juice, (I always add fruit juice instead of water), and some of the packet sauce mix you get in the box. Simmer this for about ten minutes, during which time the other vegetables are steaming in another pan.

When the veg is almost ready transfer it to the other pan, add a drop more juice, and let it simmer for another ten minutes. Then make three rolls with it, drizzle the wet sauce on the top, add grated cheese, and microwave it for four minutes. Doing it this way saves on gas.

This is my dinner.

Jessie waiting patiently for any stray bits that might fall to the floor. I gave her the stalk from the brocolli which she loves.

Here's one cut open. You can put any vegetable filling in. I've just scoffed it all, now I am bursting.

I must get some more of these, hope they have some left. They are lovely.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Goodbye Liverpool

These four pictures are of the space between two warehouses which has been covered to create a courtyard joining them. There are modern stairs and a lift supported by an iron frame with a canopy to give full protection from the weather. A huge totem pole is lurking just inside the door to give you a fright as you walk in.

This is deceiving, I bet you think it is a church, well it was. It was built in 1831 and was bombed in May 1941, and never repaired. Here you see an empty shell.

I particularly like the way Mother Nature is slowly reclaiming her territory with the ivy creeping up the walls and over the broken windows. It's like she is smothering it in love to protect it, like a mother would hold a child that is broken.

Here is a splash of colour to brighten a dull and cloudy day. The entrance to Chinatown on Cornwallis Street. If you look through the arch you can see Mr Wong's shop.

An electronic billboard and the radio tower.
And one for cat lovers, especially Janet and Sue.

I went to see 'Corrie' the show at the Empire Theatre, while I was there. It was a whiz through some of the highlights of 50 years of Coronation Street, with Ken Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth, as the narator. I have followed it on and off since it started, but some of the scenes were a bit lost on me because I had missed those particular episodes. You have to be a Corrie fan to understand what the show is about. I must say that Ken Morley had a very posh voice which didn't sound right. It was a micky take, mainly comedy, so his Reg Holdsworth voice would have been more in keeping with the entertainment theme.

All the parts were played by just six cast members, who made a fine job of mimicking their characters. Linus Roach was spot on as he played his father Ken Barlow. You just had to laugh as yet another of Gails husbands bit the dust. Ena Sharples was a bit disappointing as the woman who played her was far too small and petite, Minnie Caldwell and Martha Longhurst towered above her. From what I remember Ena was the larger than life battleaxe.
Just before the show started two people claimed their seats in front of me, I thought, I know his face from somewhere. It was Jimmy Corkhill from Brookside, or should I say, Dean Sullivan who played him. I've just looked him up and apparently he now presents a radio show on Liverpool City Talk 105.9FM.
At the end of the show I noticed Roy Barraclough who played Alec Gilroy, he was married to Bet Lynch, in the soap. He was busy signing autographs and having his photo taken. I've had a peak at the Holy Soap website and it says, Roy will be doing his stint as the narrator of the stage show, but it doesn't say which venues he will be performing at.
Here endeth my Liverpool report, I hope you found something of interest.

Saturday 26 February 2011

Dressed to kill

Oh dear, I forgot to make a note of the artists for these exhibits, can't even remember where I saw them. Sack the reporter!

Costumes made out of wire and glass. Pretty to look at, but must be very uncomfortable to wear. Maybe something for Lady Ga Ga?

And look at the accuracy in this painting, someone must have had a very steady hand to paint all those straight lines.

She Loves You, yeah yeah yeah

I had to giggle when I saw this notice on a shop front. 'THIS IS A DOOR', oh yeah, I wouldn't have guessed. Well I suppose some unfortunate person did not think it was funny when they walked straight into the glass and smashed their nose. And the shop owner was probably not laughing when they were sued for all the pain and discomfort the person had to endure. Still think it was funny though :o)

A few doors up from the demon door, in Mathew Street, is this famous place. The Beatles are all over Liverpool, everywhere you turn, and as I was a massive Beatles fan, it's only right that I have to visit The Cavern Club. There are boards outside with details of future entertainment.

Lots of steps go deep down under the ground, all looking a bit grubby which is not surprising given the amount of people that must visit from all over the world. It was opened on January 16th 1957.

And this is the stage where the Beatles performed in February 1961. I can imagine it now, packed to the rafters, choking with cigarette smoke, and the famous four shaking their famous mop hair styles. Not forgetting Cilla on the cloakroom desk.

Lennons Bar is close by, and I also saw McCartneys Bar.

Well it's taken me 50 years to visit the home of my pop idols. I can remember nearly all the words of nearly all their songs, my only regret....wish I'd seen them play live.

Friday 25 February 2011

The Tate at Liverpool

One thing I like to do when visiting an art gallery is to make a note of the name of the artist, when I see a piece that particularly interests me. Then I can google it when I get back to see what other work they have created. I bet you can't guess what these three photo's are of. If you look closely you can see my camera in them. The artist is Yayoi Kusama, and she is obsessed by polka dots. This piece is called 'The Passing Winter'.

It is a cube, like a dice, about three feet square, sitting on a pedestal at eye level. It is made of mirrors, and you are invited to peer into one of the three round holes on each side, and this is what you see.

It's a bit like a kaleidoscope, but you can't tell if the inside is made up of lots of smaller mirrors or it is just a cube with six sides. The walls of the room are pink so that colour is predominent, but I don't know where it is picking up the other colours from. I love this piece, it certainly is dazzling.

This artwork is very simple, but effective. Apparently these steel rods, which have been welded together are hovering just above the ground, and are not hanging from the ceiling. They are covered in plaited strips of leather which hang loosely from the bottom. Then you look carefully and see that there are five or six narrow rods which are fixed into holes drilled into the floor, these support the whole structure. The artist is Eva Rothschild and the piece is called 'Knock Knock'.

Now this next one is very clever. Its a steel frying pan, a copper funnel, and a tea chest. The fork and the piece food has been cut out of the frying pan. It is painted as a piece of bacon on one side and a map of Africa on the other. The upturned funnel has been cut and the metal has been bent and painted to imitate the flames from a camping gas stove. The artist is called Bill Woodrow, and the piece is called 'Well Done'.

Hopefully these will enlarge if you click on them. Just a few of the exhibits at the Tate, I could spend all day in there.

Say a little prayer for me

There are two heavenly Cathedrals in Liverpool, and as I am of no particular religion, I find any place of worship to be quite spiritual. One can't help but gaze in wonder at the magnificence of these buildings.

I walked up Parliament Street and came to the Anglican Cathedral. This is the largest Cathedral in the UK, and the fifth largest in the world. I have just checked and didn't realise that it was only completed in 1978. As I approached, my view was spoilt by the modern houses and flats built nearby on a mini housing estate, it's a pity they put them so close.

The offices for the Cathedral are nearby, and I noticed the reflections in the windows.

This is the view of the back, to the right of it are the steep cliffs and gardens,

I walked though the car park on the left.

I think the inside is far more attractive than the outside, but not as easy to take photographs unless you have all the right equipment. I took these without a flash. The shop has a platform above it where there is a coffee shop and eatery.

The Alter.

Looking towards the front entrance from the choir stalls.

I would have liked to go up the tower but it was closed because they are upgrading the lift system. If you want to see more pictures try their web site
Annabelle took Anne Marie and myself to see the Metropolitan Cathedral which stands on Mount Pleasant. It has the largest stained glass panel in the world. This is a listed building and took five years to build, from 1962.
Can you see me mother?

Here I am.

I didn't take any photo's inside as it didn't seem appropriate. It was much quieter than the Anglican Cathedral, people were sitting quietly in prayer, everyone spoke in whispers, and as an invited guest in their space I felt priviledged just to be there.
I would say to anyone visiting Liverpool, do not judge a book by it's cover. This might seem like a concrete blot on the landscape, but inside is where the heart is. It is truly a beautiful place.
Two very different buildings but both with a heart of gold.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Liverpool Docks

The Wheel is situated next to the Echo Arena and Convention Centre at Wapping Dock. I didn't go on it because the weather was overcast and the pods would have rain drops on them so it wouldn't have been very good for photographs. OAP price was £5.50, and I don't think the ride is that long.

So I went to the John Lewis multi story car park and climbed to the top of that instead. Not very good for photo's either because of all the dirty glass panels and metal work blocking the views. I had to chuckle to myself as I walked around the top floor, I bet the people watching the cctv monitors were wondering if I was contemplating jumping off, ha ha.

There are a lot of these amphibious vehicles rumbling around, I saw four in the same place at the same time so I don't know how many there are in total. Obviously road legal, I wonder how much the tax and insurance is for them.

They go in and out of the different docks, it must feel quite strange to suddenly head for the water and plunge in. Too cold for me to have a ride.

Albert Dock is surrounded by lots of eating places and shops, nice for a stroll round on a sunny day. There is a Maritime Museum, and an International Slavery Museum, both of which are free to enter and very interesting. In one corner is the Tate, which I absolutely loved, some pics of that later. There is also the Beatles Story exhibition, but at £9 OAP price, I decided not to bother. I know the Beatles story anyway, lived it and studied it for years when I was a teenager.

When I think of what the docks were like when I came here in my lorry all those years ago, it's good that they have a new lease of life. The huge warehouses are magnificent, I would like to see them all preserved, and not bulldozed to the ground. In fact I would go one step further and get Banksy to adorn them with his amazing artwork.

A taste of Liverpool

I decided to visit Liverpool because there was a special offer at the Youth Hostel, £13 per night, and as I hadn't been for about twentyfive years and couldn't remember much about it anyway, I thought it would be good to go and have a look.

I started off on the the other side of the water at Ellesmere Port, visiting my friend Linda. It was great to catch up on all that's been happening. Her daughter Ellen was a small child when I last saw her, now she is a very pretty petite young lady of fifteen. Linda's fella Ollie was hovering around and seemed a busy chap. We went out for a meal to their favourite pub which had a lovely atmopsphere, busy and friendly. Sorry no pics, I forgot. Then I went under the tunnel to Liverpool.

The hostel is purpose built and ideally situated just off the main road at Wapping, very close to the everything. It was easy to walk across the road to the docks, and into town. It was very busy, lots of youngsters, most people were eating in the cafeteria, with just a few using the self catering facilities in the modern kitchen. There is a lounge with big TV screen, a quiet lounge, and a games room.

Liverpool, what to say about it, it's a mish mash of allsorts really. It shared the title of European Capital of Culture in 2008, with Stavanger in Norway, and is the fourth largest city in the UK. The waterfront was completely redesigned with a lot of new buildings added to the refurbished dock warehouses. This painting is in one of the galleries and I can't remember which, a magnificent panoramic view.

One of the newer buildings close to Albert Dock. I found it mildly amusing that there is a Gym on the first three floors, and you can see everyone lined up on the treadmills, running like mad while they have a lovely view to look at.

This is the World Museum. Even on a damp and drizzly Monday morning there were quite a lot of tourists around.

One of the old warehouses has been transformed into the Novas Contemporary Urban Centre. It's a shame there was no exhibitions on for me to see. The surrounding area was not too pretty either, other smaller warehouses and industrial units had not been touched, some occupied some not, looking a little unkempt and neglected.

Oh dear, I can't remember what this building was....

But this one is instantly recognisable, with the Liver Birds on the top.

I knew I should have made notes, this one was next to the Liver Building....

And this was on a busy street corner. The building looked a bit run down, but such lovely architecture. It is in desperate need of renovation. As you can see sandwiched in between two modern buildings, it would be lovely if it was preserved. If you click to enlarge it you can see all the little wrought iron balconies on the windows.

It was a bit too cold and damp to get my camera out, but I'll post some more later.