Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. I have had a week off work and been away for a few days so this weeks blog is about my time off. So let’s get started.

A week off work and no commitments such as plays or family dramas meant I had this week to myself and I decided to go to Liverpool for a few days. Now it might seem an odd choice but I have never been to Liverpool and I had heard many good things about it. Another reason was because in the 80’s I are up on Liverpool TV shows such as ‘Bread’, ‘Watching’ ‘Brookside’ even ‘This Morning’ was originally broadcast from Liverpool. At the end of the day was still 3 nights away from home so I had nothing to lose really.

The Albert Docks Liverpool. The grey pillars show where This Morning used to be filmed
The Albert Docks Liverpool. The grey pillars show where This Morning used to be filmed

I got the train and decided as it wasn’t much difference in price to go First Class (Slightly ironic after last weeks post but at least I was picking a First Class carriage). Trans Pennine First Class though isn’t that much of an upgrade and they don’t even have serviettes (not sure of reference then read last weeks blog post). It is a nice journey on the train and I love going the Huddersfield and actors the Pennines. The train stopped for a time  outside of Manchester Victoria station. From the window I could just see red brick and grey skies and I wanted to get off and stay there as I love Manchester. Maybe one day I will spend more time in Manchester and deep down I feel I will for some reason. For now though I am Liverpool bound for a few  days at least.

I arrive in Liverpool and as I am getting my bearings in the station I spot Beth Tweddle (it turns out she was heading to Manchester for the TV coverage of the Olympic Parade). How she was walking in those heels I don’t know. Anyway after this celeb spot I headed out of the station to head to my hotel. I decided to walk and use the Maps App on my phone rather than get a taxi and I am not sure I made the right decision although I did get to see more of the city I suppose. I didn’t take long to walk but because of the route I went and the fact it had been raining so everything was wet I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision about visiting Liverpool.

My hotel was in a great location near the waterfront and the Albert Docks and I realised my initial thoughts were probably a bit premature. Once I had unpacked I headed off to the Waterfront to see the sights and get something to eat. I realised I could now start to relax and switch off from everything at home.

Selfie outside the Liver Building
Selfie outside the Liver Building

After the first day I realised two things. I started to ‘get’ the city. It is a tough city and by this I mean it fights for survival and that is reflected in the people and the architecture. It is a proud city and so it should be. At times it reminds me of seaside city and then other times like London. The other realisation that I came to was how much I needed this time off. I had let things build up and let some things go and now having a few days away I could see this. The things that have been getting to me are still there at home but at least for a few days I could forget them and spend time with myself and more or less achieved this.

One of the places I visited while in Liverpool was visit Crosby Beach to see Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’. I am a fan of Antony Gormley’s work and have wanted to see this for some time. Also it would be nice to be by the sea for a bit. I always feel better once I have spent some time by the sea. I used to do this a lot in Sunderland when I was in uni. Once I had arrived at Crosby Beach I was struck by how apocalyptic it felt with the statues and the heavy industry in the background. At the same it was beautiful and I couldn’t help thinking about myself and how I had been feeling.  Although the artwork is meant to represent humans and their relationship with nature for me repressed mental wellbeing. As the tide comes in the waves crash over the statues and submerge many of them until after a time the tide goes out and the statues are still standing there.

A statue (Iron Man) on Crosby Beach.
A statue (Iron Man) on Crosby Beach.

Looking out into the Irish Sea with the top of Wales visible in the distance and knowing Ireland was ahead and behind me was home and work on the East Coast I could breathe and it felt good to escape everything. If you get the chance to visit Crosby Beach then do so as it really is a great place to clear your head.

Another thing I did while in Liverpool was to go to the Everyman Theatre to see ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’. As a theatre geek I was quite excited about visiting this theatre as I know so many great playwrights and actors have made their names at this theatre. I was also looking forward to seeing some Shakespeare. It has been a long time since I went to watch some Shakespeare and lately I have found myself acting in Shakespeare plays instead of watching. This was a play that I knew very little about except it was a comedy involved two men and there was dog involved somewhere. All of this was true and it makes more sense when you watch it. I was on the front row so very close tot her action especially towards the end where a very dramatic scene happened and it felt as if I was part of the action and nearly asked the actress if she was ok after what had happened. It was a great night and it made me want to act as it has been a few months since Hamlet/Macbeth.

While in Liverpool a few things stuck out. First the Scouse accent. I am ashamed to say I struggled with it for a bit but now I totally get and really like and I never thought I would. I also heard ‘Sound’ and ‘Happy Days’ more in just 3 days than I have in my 35 years. The second thing is that there are statues everywhere and I mean everywhere. Anyone famous from Liverpool seems to have a statue somewhere in the city. It was like walking around the White Witch’s castle in Narnia. I hear they want more statues as well. I’m not sure where they are going to put them all.

No.1 Mann Office Building
The No.1 Mann Building opposite my hotel

One final thing that I found interesting during my stay was an office block directly opposite my hotel. It was really modern and each floor tis a different office/company. From my room I could see each floor and people coming and going. I became fascinated in it as it reminded me of an ant colony you had in school or a museum. I work in an office so it isn’t an odd environment for me but to see it in this context made me wonder about all the different people coming and going, their stories etc.  I know it might sound odd but it really fascinated me (probably another sign that I needed a holiday).

I had a nice time away but I realised how much I needed it (it scared me how much I did need it) and I have more work to do on my wellbeing. These few days  away let me stop and look at myself and realised how bad I had let things get. Appearance, self-esteem anxiety general health all need addressing . I suppose I knew this before going away but either couldn’t accept it or didn’t want to see it. Now I have I need to do something about it.

Coming home everything hit me within minutes of being home just like the waves on the iron men. But I know the tide will go back out and I can’t let it put me back to how I was before my holiday.

In other news this week I have hand my flu jab. It is the second year I have had it and I decided on it agin this year as I can’t risk passing it onto my parents. They do get but it still reduces the risk.

Anyway that is it for this week. Sorry it is a little bit late but there was a lot to get through. I will try to get this months book blog done this week as well.

Celeb spot at Liverpool like street – Beth Tweddle.

Top Programme of the Week – Class

Top Song of the Week – Cilla Black – Liverpool Lullaby

Books I Am Currently Reading – Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl