Quirky Quarter

A friend and their family had visited Quirky Quarter a few years ago and I had intended to visit but then Covid arrived and everything stopped. When things started to reopen I had looked to book but tickets had always sold out quickly and after a couple of months I had forgotten about it.

Then looking for something to do I asked for recommendations and this was mentioned. So off we went into the centre of Liverpool. We found it easily, a short walk from the train station, at the top of Chinatown near to the Chinese arch.

Inside we paid the entrance fee, not expensive and then took some seats for a few minute wait to go inside. People enter in their own groups allowing space between each so everyone has ample time to explore and experience everything inside. When it was time to enter, the door was opened and we were led into a small room with the instructions ‘you need to find your own way out, there is a door here somewhere’ and with that we were left to find the clues. It didn’t take long, a few minutes and we were released into a corridor.

The next few rooms were filled with optical illusion puzzles, games and photo opportunities. It was good fun with lots of laughs along the way. We made music from lights with our hands, had a scary virtual haircut, watched our faces merge together and watched our reflections swap directions when we moved.

Next we wandered into an Alice in Wonderland style house.

Some of the things required help from the staff, taking photos and positioning us.

The final part included mirrors and caution. This brought back memories from many years ago.

It was a fantastic day out, we spent around 2 hours inside making memories that will last forever.

A day at the museum

We gained a new museum in Liverpool in 2011, it divided opinion with its modern building alongside the 3 graces on the waterfront. It is the museum of Liverpool and as the name suggests it chronicles the life of Liverpool and its people, from music to industry, from poverty and unemployment to prosperity and activism.

People in Liverpool have never sat back and allowed life to pass them by, injustices are hard fought and we can be very vocal when needed, even against authority. We also have a great sense of humour and this has probably helped us get through those tougher times.

Liverpool is one of the busiest cities for film and tv, with many productions being filmed in the city regularly. It is often used as a replacement for New York, London, Russia and most recently Gotham city.

The museum holds everything from vehicles, including a full carriage from the overhead railway to shop fronts. It’s celebrates the multiculturalism in the city. Liverpool has one of the largest Chinese communities in the UK, this exhibition is currently being updated so is closed.

Other than music Liverpool is well known for sport, with football and horse racing, The Grand National being the most famous. But we also have cricket, rugby, golf and the international tennis tournament is held shortly before Wimbledon and often brings the big names to the city.

Liverpool was one of the most bombed cities during world war 2 and they have a display of photographs taken during this time showing the devastation caused.

My favourite in this museum is the suffragette statue. Created for the Turner prize.

Eat, Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Book 9 of the Reading challenge – A biopic author

This category was one I had to research a little as wasn’t exactly sure what fell into this category but looking at the list was interesting as several of the authors I had already read, and others I had seen the films. But this one caught my eye.

I came to this book via the film, which I had watched many years ago not realising it was non-fiction. As a lover of both Italy and India the film and book brought back very happy memories. However, I was a lot younger and in a very different place mentally when watching the film.

The book is a memoir, a 30+ writer with a good husband, 2 houses, and a successful career realises she doesn’t want children and is unhappy with her life. She spends many days sobbing on the bathroom floor, instead of discussing things with her husband, she packs up and leaves for Italy.

Here she discovers food, lots and lots of food. She also makes several friends along the way. Her descriptions of pizza in Naples should be used for tourist information. IT leaves you drooling.

Her husband, who had no idea about the problems and thought they had a happy marriage files for divorce and is constantly being referred to as ‘being awkward’ or ‘making things difficult’ because he’s arguing over properties.

After a few months and gaining some weight she leaves for India, for an Ashram, to learn meditation and inner peace. She isn’t very good at this and honestly, if it wasn’t for the descriptions of India and Richard the Texan, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this part of the book. She leaves India to travel in Indonesia and its here she finds love and balance within herself and her life.

This book will resonate with people who have ever felt alone or lost in life. A self discovery. Being financially stable and with no responsibilities (if you don’t include her husband) it is easy for her to walk away, be self indulgent and do as she pleases. I’m sure at times we’ve all dreamt of doing something similar, one of those ‘if I won the lottery’ moments.

This book will divide opinions, while I enjoyed some of the places she visits, the author makes out she is a victim, especially with the divorce and is very whiney in places. The film is better than the book, in my opinion.

Great Orme Bronze Mines

One of the hottest days of the year and we decided to have a day out. An impromptu adventure but somewhere we discovered during our visit to Llandudno in winter, but was closed at the time, one for The 100 list. And what a good idea it was too.

The mines had been discovered in 1987 almost by accident. The area was to be landscaped and turned into a car park by the local council. During these works the bronze mines were uncovered.

Engineers, cavers and archaeologists started to clear the mines, slowly uncovering more and more tunnels. Using carbon dating they realised these mines dated back 4000 years, much earlier than first thought.

On entry you watch a short video explaining how the mines where found, and the start of the restoration work and dating process. It’s a self guided tour, which takes around 45 minutes to an hour. Partly in the tunnels underground and partly above ground.

There is a sloping path leading to the entrance and then narrow, low tunnels with steps inside. The floor is damp in places and the tunnels are noticeably cooler than outside, a blessed relief on such a hot day.

Through the tunnels are boards with information explaining the process and what was found, used there.

Many of the tunnels had been mined by children aged 5 and over, these are very small and inaccessible so far they have discovered around 5 miles of tunnels over 7 floors deep but they are uncovering more and more as years go on.

Thankfully hard hats are provided and necessary, for me it wasn’t too much of a problem but Simon is over 6ft and several times I heard a ‘clunk’ behind me as his head bumped the roof.

It was good to see varied groups there, families with young children, groups of teen friends, older people, sensible shoes and an awareness of the steps, narrow passageways are a must, but I’d recommend everyone to visit if they are able. A fascinating place.

Llandudno

We took another trip out to Llandudno, it seems to be one of our happy places, although I’m not sure Simon would agree as every time I suggest it the weather forecast gives severe weather warnings ! Last time it was gale force winds, this time extreme heat.

Expecting it to be busy we set off early and had a quick stop for petrol and breakfast. We arrived to a very sunny but not too busy promenade, parked up and started to walk. Due to the hot weather we decided to take an easier route up The Great Orme this time. On the tram.

We got off at the top and walked around to admire the views, then stopped for a cup of tea (Simon can’t last more than a couple of hours without one) and wandered downhill. First stop was the Bronze mines (post to follow) then continued on round the back road to St Tudno’s church and graveyard.

It was beautiful and peaceful, although I did have a moment when I thought I heard a man humming, when no one was around (it was a jet ski on the water below) after a slow leisurely walk back into Llandudno we stopped for a spot of lunch, drink and cool down in a little cafe.

Walking back towards the promenade we spotted a boat trip about to leave and made a snap decision to jump onboard. It was lovely to sit back, enjoy the breeze and listen to the commentary about the area. It lasted around 30 minutes.

We wandered back towards the pier. The plan was to try and complete some of the items on The 100 list – fish and chips on a pier – due to the extreme heat we decided ice cream on the pier was a much better idea. So I’m counting it as half completed. But my favourite part of the day was going on the Ferris wheel, and yes we completed another from the list. We kissed at the top x

On the Ferris wheel, just before the top !