Books I've read

Sandra's book montage

The Catcher in the Rye
The Great Gatsby
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
Little Women
A Tale of Two Cities
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Lovely Bones
The Secret Life of Bees
Under the Tuscan Sun
The Da Vinci Code
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Hobbit
The Golden Compass
Pride and Prejudice
The Time Traveler's Wife
Jane Eyre
The Notebook

Sandra's favorite books »

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Come On You Reds!

(Please be assured this entry is about cute, furry things as well as football).

Liver Bird above office door in Dale Street, Liverpool

I've had a great week.  First of all I found out that I had passed my final module for my degree in Literature and now had a first class BA (Hons) in Literature - very exciting!  Also Kings sent me the information to select my modules for the MA and have confirmed my place there so I must step up my reading for the course!

I went to spend a few days with my parents.  The picture and title of the entry should provide some clues as to their general location. 

I arrived on Thursday, courtesy of first class on the train (not quite up to BA standards but still lovely and quiet and on time!!)

On Friday we went into Liverpool to see the new museum that had only opened a couple of weeks before.  Not all of the floors were open yet but there was still absolutely loads to see.  It was really busy (great for the museum) and so would be good to go back later in the year.  There is a lot on links between Liverpool & China, the music and writers from the city and also the social history of the city.  There is a little on football, the Beatles and slavery but each of those topics is covered elsewhere.  I really enjoyed looking around but it got very hot and so after having a look through the amazing windows (which you can see in this picture and views from in the pictures below) we went down to the cafe for something to eat.  I have to say my goats cheese and tomato quiche was very tasty and, for a museum, an absolute bargain and it was lovely to sit with the sun coming in through full length windows.  So pretty much full marks to the museum & I look forward to going again.

View of the Liver building & ferry terminal from the museum

View towards the Albert Dock from the museum

After that we headed to the shopping at Liverpool One which still seems to be holding up well despite all the economic problems.  I did some shopping and some looking around, including in the Liverpool FC store which was full of scarves and mugs for the friendly match the next day (more to follow). 

On Saturday morning we went to Formby to see the red squirrels.  Although it is very rare to see red squirrels now in England there used to be 350 here but, tragically, two years ago squirrel pox (spread by grey squirrels) devastated their numbers and now there are only 120.  I had received an e-mail from the Red Squirrel Survival Trust on my way up to say that the pox was in Ainsdale (which is just up the coast) so I really hope they can develop a vaccine in time to save the squirrels!  Please try and help if you can - if you have only ever seen greys, the reds are our native squirrel and about a million times cuter. 

I really wanted to take a picture of one of the Formby squirrels for you but even though last time we were there they were running about everywhere and taking food from people's hands, this time we saw perhaps one or two in the distance and they were far too well camouflaged for photographs.  At least we saw one and heard noises in the trees to suggest they were there.  I suppose with fewer squirrels and the same amount of trees (they love the pine cones in Formby) there is less need to perform for the humans to get something to eat.  Never mind, I hope next time I go there will be higher numbers (please, please create the vaccine) and so we can see some more of these beautiful animals.

In the afternoon Dad & I went to one of my favourite places on earth, Anfield, to watch Liverpool play Valencia in a friendly (although I'm not sure Valencia had realised that this wasn't the Champions League).  After ensuring I was on the computer, ready to buy a ticket at 7.45 a.m. on the day they went on sale we had pretty good seats.  Just behind the 'posh' padded seats of the directors' box and nearly on the half-way line.  Some of the injured players were sitting just to the right and one row ahead of us and we had a great view of the pitch.  I like friendlies and testimonials, no stress at all, and so it was great to sit in the warmth with  a nice wall to rest my arms upon (the back of the directors box).  Liverpool won 2-0 which was good preparation for the start of the season so well worth the trouble to get the tickets (there was a good crowd, particularly for holiday season but the early bird gets the best seats).  We had hoped to see my brother as we were all in the Main Stand but the directors' box blocked access between our seats and his.

Sunday saw us off to Chester to use the vouchers I gave my mother for Christmas five years ago!!!  We had a delicious lunch in the Brasserie inside the Grosvenor Hotel which is lovely and posh.  I really enjoyed my lunch and we had time for a very quick look in the shops.  I had read that Chester was suffering because of the recession but it looked fine from what we saw and the main streets looked to be full of shoppers. I'm delighted to say Mum has one voucher left so hopefully we can put that towards afternoon tea sometime in the future!

We had covered a lot of miles by this point so I'm sure Mum & Dad were glad I went back to London on Monday so they could get back to their own lives.  I had a great few days and we were really lucky with the weather.  Although the forecast was for heavy rain for the weekend, it was kind enough to only intrude when we were in the car and as you can see from the photos we actually had blue skies.  There is loads to see in this part of the country and its far better value than London so if you're thinking of a weekend break give it a whirl (that's my bit for North West tourism!).

I'm sure this is enough for now so thanks for reading and see you soon!


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