A cold day in Liverpool

Friday 08 December 2017 – Liverpool.

I have lived in the UK for most of the past five years. In the mid-1980s I lived here for a further two and half years; and in those seven and half years, I have never once been to Liverpool. As that presidential moron, DT would say, ‘Sad’!

We have an office in Liverpool, planning to be in Manchester on Thursday for a party to celebrate the opening of a vendor’s new office a meeting with a key vendor I decided to take an extra day and make a quick visit to Liverpool as well. The idea was for El and I to meet in Liverpool, spend the Friday together and then spend the night with our friend in Macclesfield. However, our Macc friend ended up being unwell so we booked tickets home to London instead.

I worked from home on Thursday morning and caught the 12:00 train to Manchester. The meeting was great. I ended up leaving about 10:00pm, after discovering my favourite beer, Beavertown Gamma Ray, brewed not too far from home was on tap in the bar we went to. Yay! It was a mildly wobbly walk to my hotel.

There was one moment of low drama when I arrived at the hotel. I was advised that as I had not checked in by 6:00 pm my room had been cancelled. Luckily another staff member came to my rescue and found me a room, I think the first one was going to toss me out on the street!

I was in reasonable condition on Friday morning, much better that I expected I would be, red wine, beer and a terrible sleep are not the best combination for a sprightly morning. I left Manchester at 9:30 and caught a train to Liverpool, where El was waiting for me. I left Manchester under a clear blue sky and arrived in Liverpool to a bitter wind and grey clouds. El said she had seen snow out of the window on her journey up. There was no snow on the ground, the streets of Liverpool were clear of anything but puddles and reflections.

We walked down through the main shopping area towards the Albert Dock and the River Mersey, our first objective was Tate Liverpool.

We are members of the Tate and our membership included entry into the John Piper exhibition. I have not heard of him before, he was an English artist working in the last century, and we very much liked his work. There was also an exhibition of Roy Lichtenstein which we also looked at, and it seemed to be quite popular as well.

The view out of the window over a very brown and wind blown Mersey.

After a reviving coffee and a sit down, we ventured back out into that strong and very cold wind, there were not so many people outside! I liked the docks area.

Even though it was a day off work I decided I would take ten minutes and pop into the office. I have not met many of the IT team in Liverpool, though have shared emails and messages with most. Saying hello, introducing myself and putting faces to names was an opportunity worth taking. The office was not far from the Tate, and allowed us to walk past the Royal Liver building.

Following the quick office visit we walked randomly around for a while, there are some nice old buildings here, bits of it reminded me of Edinburgh new town with low rise sandstone buildings and lots of pillars. 

Hitting the main shopping streets again, we decided to head back towards the waterfront and the new museums. We visited a photography gallery, great to see such a thing, but the photography did not inspire me much. I was going to try and explain why I didn’t like it, but putting those complex thoughts into words that fit in a short form diary/travel blog didn’t seem to work. However, it has made me think about what I like and why I like it.

We then visited the modern Museum of Liverpool which was really cool, typical of the new breed of light, airy and interactive museums. Bonus points for anyone knows why this football shirt was on display in the music section!

It was drifting towards train time, I was hungry and it was too cold and windy to enjoy spending a lot more time wandering about so we decided to walk slowly back up towards the station. There is a very strange building near the waterfront. It looks like it belongs in a fantasy movie about ancient Egypt, where all the buildings are massive and domineering. We liked it a lot.

The clouds were lowering, darkening and threatening as we walked, it was only mid-afternoon, but it was getting quite dim.

As I was taking this photo of the magnificent central library building it started to rain. We were close to the station, under a hundred yards.

Though, I did stop by the war memorial for a quick photo.

By the time we arrived at Lime St Station the rain had turned to sleet and the temperature just dropped. It was nice to make it inside! Another place we definitely want to go back to, there is a lot more to explore in Liverpool. Though I will wait until summer next time.

The journey back to London was fine, it is only a couple of hours, the train was full, but we got our seats OK and it was reasonably comfortable. There was wine so I fortified myself with a small bottle of red, put my headphones on (noisy children) and dozed. As we passed through Stafford Station it started snowing, a little more heavily this time.

No such luck in London though. London was just cold and clear. A frost formed over night, my car roof was telling me something!