I’m not a girly girl (at all), make-up, shopping and fashion are not my idea of fun in any shape or form. But put me in a theatre with ballet and I suddenly become ‘a girl’
I can’t really explain it, I never did ballet as a child or even saw one. I enjoy the gracefulness of it all and the story-telling without words only music and movement.
Last month I went to see Giselle, a new one for me. It was beautiful, and some of the music I recognised, which was surprising not knowing this ballet. It’s a very romantic, love story and didn’t seem as long as other ballet’s I have seen, however they do say time flies when you’re having fun.
Then we noticed Matthew Bourne was touring with his production of ‘The Red Shoes’ later in the year and this was one that we couldn’t miss. Matthew Bourne’s choreography is spectacular, quirky and always worth watching. His ‘Swan Lake’ with an all male cast is amazing. The morning the tickets went on sale we were on the phone and booked them immediately.
A few days later we noticed an advert on another theatre in Liverpool.
Again we booked and got front row seats for opening night.
It’s was the craziest busy day and with a bus that never turned up we nearly didn’t make it at all, but I’m glad we did. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen, not just ballet but in general. It was superbly danced and acted. It was funny and sad (yes we laughed loudly). It is a walk-through of the pieces that have shaped his career and his life. Of artists that have impacted him through music or dance.
It wasn’t the longest ballet, each ‘act’ was around 40 minutes and we had two intervals but it was one of the best I’ve seen.
At the end as everyone was preparing to leave an announcement was made that a short question and answer session would follow with Matthew Bourne himself. That alone was worth the money we paid. He was a genuine, down-to-earth person. He refuses to be called Sir, even though he was knighted in 2016.
He explained how and why he’d put these pieces together and answered several audience questions about where his ideas came from, his inspiration and idols. He even gave some hints about his future plans and it would appear that we will be seeing more Matthew Bourne productions later this year and next, and thankfully they all seem to come through Liverpool.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
Finally one of my favourite nights has arrived ! I love Light Night, I love museums,galleries and all the fun performances around the streets.We only managed to get a brochure the day before so didn’t have time to study it as we normally would, so a quick glance and marking a couple of things that popped out and off we went.
This year it was just three of us, myself, Oscar, and my mum. We arrived at Liverpool central station at 4.30pm and straight onto Bold street. We had already decided to head up towards the Hope street quarter and the cathedral.
Our first stop was at FACT where we saw a beautiful sensory exhibition featuring electronic music and bass with stunning visuals by Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa. They also had a STAR LAB minecraft space and planets interactive game, which Oscar enjoyed.
Next we walked up past the ‘bombed out church’ St Luke’s to LJMU Aldham Robarts library. There was a lot going on here, first Oscar had his head scanned by a 3D printer and transformed into a miniature. We made faces and played at the ‘selfie’ station. Then we had another head scan and played with morphing and the science behind forensic research. Then had a go at laser cutting patterns. An amazing experience, finished off with a drama performance by Physical Fest who ‘kidnapped’ my child as part of the act. He loved it.
Starting to get hungry we wandered on to Hope street but all the cafe/restaurants were busy,busy,busy. I’m glad they were, we found the most wonderful place to eat by accident. Hearing music we wandered into Blackburne house, an old school that is now a college and spa. In the basement they have a cafe, only open monday to friday but it serves the most amazing food. I had spanish chicken with herby couscous and marinated beetroot salad, my mum had nut roast with coleslaw and lentil salad. Oscar had eaten earlier so had a slice of victoria sponge (his favourite) which he declared the best ever. In the cafe they had a band playing Russian Jewish folk music which was beautiful, they were very talented musicians.
From here we started to head towards the cathedral but spotted the Light Night bus so hopped on and headed to the Baltic triangle.
This is a place we’ve never visited before due to it being a little further out of the centre, but I’m glad we made the effort. Here we started getting very creative with an art session, making things from everyday household objects cutting, sticking and glueing. Always fun. We watched an African band and one amazing drummer.
Now it was starting to get late, so we jumped back on the bus and made our way back to the cathedral. In the darkness we noticed some strange lights and shapes so decided to investigate. This was LIPA lab, a hatchery with an experimental Liver bird breeding programme, an interactive puppet, live performance and light show. Great fun. Around the corner was another lab with a working giant heart, operated by placing your finger inside a monitor and making it beat in time with your own pulse. Strange and fun. Here you could also ‘play’ with electricity to change the intensity and colour of the lights. This was one all the kids loved doing. Disco time.
As it was getting near to 11pm the decision was made to head for home, we were all weary but had smiles on our faces. It was a great fun evening. Family time, creative, fun and free. Lots more to see in the year and looking forward to Light Night 2017