Monday, 19 January 2009

Back from Beatle-land

We've been away the past few days, in Liverpool; Bill for business, me to see the sights and to eat out! I met several of the other managers in Bill's company. They all expected I would spend my days in the shopping malls. Bill's boss, having experienced how careful Bill is with the company's money, teased me about Bill being so stingy. If he only knew.

In preparation for the trip I got a list of all the charity shops in the Liverpool area. Then I looked up the postcodes from a statistics website that gives information about virtually everything about an area, including the relative income. This allowed me to identify the wealthiest neighbourhood, which turned out to be a village called Crosby, about a 20 minute train ride north of Liverpool city centre. I did my shopping in the 4-5 charity shops there and did quite well: a purple velvet jeans jacket, a grey wool sweater jacket, a cashmere sweater, a pair of jeans and 3 tops all for £27 plus £3.20 for my return ticket.

The first day, however, I walked around the four corners of the city centre map and as you might guess I took more than a few pictures. For me, the fact that the Beatles came from Liverpool is probably the least interesting aspect of the place. I wasn't a big fan during their heyday, though I have come to appreciate what genius there was in the synergy of Lennon and McCartney's songwriting. There are far more interesting parts of that city's history and culture and I knew this before I went, having read
Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie. If I've not mentioned it before, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding more about Northern England.

The main reason I wanted to see Liverpool is that it beat out Newcastle for the European Capital of Culture 2008. When we lost out, people said they had thought it was about a city that
had culture, not one that needed some money to get some culture, a typical sour grapes response. I did begin to assume that it was about helping a city regenerate itself and perhaps it was in part. Having been there, however, much as I hate to admit it, I do see why they won.

I'll be showing you some pictures, of course!

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