Our day out

Oscar went away with school for a week so mum and I decided to have a day of sightseeing in London. Train tickets booked and a few ideas of things we would like to see and off we went.

We left Liverpool, in warm sunshine and arrived in a cold, windy London a little over two hours later.

Our first port of call was the British museum for a brief stop and look at the Egyptian collection and the Rosetta stone.

What an amazing shaped building too. I will be returning to explore more inside here.

Next was the National portrait gallery, a favourite place with stunning art work.

Simply beautiful, then a quick stop for coffee in the crypt at St Martins in the field church. A walk down through Covent Garden and the theatre district, then on to Chinatown for some Dim sum.

Then it was time to start making our way back towards the train station, with tired legs but it was a fun, busy day.

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Behind the scenes at Dunham Massey

Sometimes misreading a calendar has it’s advantages, and this was one of them. Dunham Massey is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while, so whilst looking through the national trust book I ‘thought’ it said the house reopened to the public from February.

Off we set, a grey day with drizzly rain which got heavier and heavier the closer we got. Thankfully it was well signposted and easy to find as I forgot the trusty sat-nag (she drives me bonkers and causes more road-rage than any driver ever could)

So we arrived and made a quick dash inside, unfortunately the house wasn’t fully open but they had guided tours for certain areas. I was a little disappointed (at my mistake) but my mind was soon changed as we had a great time.

The first tour was all ‘below stairs’ the guide was beautifully dressed, very informative and hilarious. He told us all about what jobs we would be expected to do, conditions and even had the children getting involved. One boy (aged about 6) was perfectly dressed for his new role as a tiger in his orange and black coat. A tiger was a small stable boy who held the reins of a horse to keep it from moving around. Oscar and another boy were too young to be household boys, so they could have been scarecrows, running up and down the fields shouting to keep the birds away. At 12 they would/could have moved inside of the house for other duties. The first being silver polishing, which they both did very well.

Then we went into the kitchens and laundry rooms, time for us to get wet. The children had a go at washing using a tub and dolly, it lead to lots of splashing and laughing. They all agreed that washing machines made life a lot easier now. It was interesting to discover that gin was used for washing silk, I wonder at what point they decided to have a taste?

The next tour was the art of the house and the two tour guides made this tour something special, they were like a comedy double act. Even Oscar, who wasn’t looking forward to this one because it sounded boring, loved it. The half hour tour took 90 minutes and I’ve never laughed or enjoyed a ‘serious’ tour so much.

I learnt a lot from both of these tours and we are both looking forward to going back again to see the rest of the house and explore the beautiful grounds, weather permitting.

Getting home was an adventure in itself as following road signs for the motorway lead us round in a circle back to where we started ! At least we know for future reference which signs to follow and how to get home.

January

Where did it go ! The month seems to have flown by and quite a few things happened which kept it interesting.

We started the year with a broken boiler, thankfully it was replaced quickly and without us being without heating or hot water for very long.

The job hunting was still ongoing, applications being sent everywhere, every day and with very little in response. Then one of my old employers died and at the funeral a chance encounter led to a job offer. I met with my new employer and within a couple of hours I was registered for classroom training, online training and my work rota organised. I spent a good few hours doing the online training, thankfully my previous employment had prepared me well for this tedious task.

As well as my old employer we also lost my great uncle, a lovely man who is now reunited with the love of his life.

I spent an evening at the ballet – Giselle – with my mum. Not a ballet either us had seen before, it was very enjoyable. We also bought our tickets to Matthew Bourne’s production of the red shoes for later in the year, super excited !

A few good days out to some new places and some old favourites, mostly alone, the Lady Lever art gallery, Sudley house, World museum, St Georges hall and The Walker art gallery. Not bad for one month.

I’ve also been reading tons, watching films and updating all my challenge lists. more details to follow ….

I hope your January has been a good one x

 

Lady Lever Art Gallery

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve lived about 5 miles from this place for approximately 30 years and I’ve never visited, until today. I’m glad I finally did.

What a beautiful, interesting building in a stunning location. Port Sunlight, built by the Lever brothers to accommodate workers from their soap factory.

 

 

 

The building was commissioned and built to house William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme, personal collection of art, fine art and antiques.

It is split into 30 interconnecting rooms, which house both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The current temporary exhibition is Fresh Perspectives, art, embroidery and sculptures created by local school children aged 14 – 17 years old.

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Some of the rooms are set like bedrooms, sitting rooms, others are as you would expect an art gallery to be. Hanging art work, cabinets with pottery and sculptures. The central room is circular with a domed roof and filled with sculptures and busts.  On a sunny day, like today, the light in there is beautifully calming.

 

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Floors and the domed ceiling.

They have lots of activities for children around the galleries and downstairs they have craft rooms, a cafe and shop. A lovely way to spend a couple of hours and I won’t leave it so long before I return again.

 

Life and things …

Things have been a bit crazy for the last few weeks, obviously we had the wedding, then the shock of a job offer at the start of the half term holidays. Thankfully it helped take some of the pressure off and lifted everyone’s spirits.

Half term was a mixture of homework and fun days.

We started with a cinema day on Monday, 2 films, once again a freebie from Odeon, and lovely comfortable seats too. A lovely mum and son day.

Tuesday was another interview day for me, Oscar had an easy day, Wednesday we caught up on homework and had a minecraft building session.

Thursday we changed our plans a few times, we were supposed to be bowling but I forgot to book the lane and when we got there it was full of pensioners. We didn’t fancy hanging around for an hour so went to Spaceport at Seacombe ferry. We haven’t been here for a long time, although not much has changed, it was very interesting and the planetarium/space dome theatre was really good.

Friday we spent the day in Liverpool, first stop was the world museum to see the animal mummies exhibition. A quick bite to eat then a walk down to the Albert dock and Tate Liverpool to make our own piece of art and see the famous Tracey Emin ‘bed’, Oscar said ‘she’s very unhealthy because she drinks too much alcohol and smokes’ To be fair it was a pretty fair statement from what we could see.

The weekend was tidying bedrooms, sorting clothes and uniform, kits and generally getting ready for school and work !!

Monday was my first day, only a few hours but so much to do and learn. It went very quickly, everyone was lovely but I don’t think I’ll ever learn all the names or the computer system.

Today seemed quiet still waiting for all my required authorisations to come through but I think tomorrow I might be let lose on real people and the computers, thankfully with a shadow and lots of support.

I can honestly say I am enjoying being back doing something useful, even if it’s only a few short hours a week, fingers crossed the hours increase in the near future.

N is for …

Nature and being outdoors. Whilst I love to curl up in a corner with a book or some knitting I also love being outdoors and try to get out and about as much as possible.

Living so close to the river, beaches, woodlands, parks and the Welsh mountains is a real bonus and gives us many options to explore different surroundings at very little cost.

Of course there’s also the allotment (or jungle) which provides plenty of scope for strenuous outdoor time.

This summer has been fairly dry so plenty of time to explore the great outdoors and take advantage of some of the wonderful activities on our doorstep.