Archive for October, 2012

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I’ve mentioned we love Liverpool.

One thing I really love is that they love us!  I enjoy all that lovey talk.  The locals often start or finish their sentence with okay my love, yes my love, cheers my love, here love, there love, lovie and on.  It is so so cute and I hope they never stop the love.  We so enjoyed this along with the Liverpool accent.  Now regarding the accent I am here to tell you at times even a lot of times it can be hard to understand.  You find yourself just staring which one time got us a reply of  “why’s your friend looking at me like I’m speaking Spanish?  well uh…. it could be ?  I don’t know?

Would I change it ? Nope not one word or lost in translation moment.   A fellow working at our hotel is a good example.  I have an interaction with I believe Matthew.  Matthew I say, I can’t understand what you said?  How come I understood the Beatles but can’t understand you?  Well he explains I’ll tell you lovey — very slowly.   Those beatles, well when they get on tv or in front of a mic, they start talking “posh”  now when they are speaking to their mates, they never talk posh like that and I’m shocked you don’t understand me because I’ve been talking very posh to you also and if you heard me talking to my mates, well……you wouldn’t understand us either.   I know I’m talking posh loves because my dad just called a bit ago and I answered the phone and dad says Matthew is that you? Yes Dad, why you talking so funny Matthew?  I have to Dad, I’ve got to answer the phone in a posh voice at work.  It’s the rule.   So you can ask my dad, he says to us , I’ve been talking posh to you he says eyes blinking with an adorable face.   Yes you have Matthew we smile back.

Our Day One – arrive by train , our journey from the US has started in London and Chris has secured train tickets for us and it’s an easy breezy ride to Liverpool.  Chris is staying by the docks, we are staying near the train station and Ellen has a hotel near us and the train station too.  Les who you met earlier in the trip report has driven on the wrong side all the way to Liverpool.  First thing on the agenda, the magical mystery tour.  Les described it best tho so if you didn’t read it, take a look at his report.

I enjoyed this tremendously and if you can imagine you can feel an “air” a “feeling” a “than” moment about something.  A moment when you are visiting something important to you and an era you didn’t belong too  but you love –  I had this feeling standing more in the front of  the Strawberry Fields gate more than any place on this tour.    The way the trees whispered?  the wind?  I don’t know what or why but that was my spot.  My Beatles moment.

My second beatles moment was during the Fab 4 exhibit.  You wander into the white room, see the white piano, see John’s photo, hear him and read his words.    It’s not a lot going on but what is……. is very powerful, sad, beautiful — gosh lots of things at once rapidly.  It made me bolt backwards.

(I will be back in a bit with more)  promise….I have a repairman issue going on

ok back like greased lightning!   To add a bit more about the exhibit I was moved with Elvis being there.  I’ve yet to get to Graceland why that is I have no idea I suppose because I have not made it happen but I made a decision in Liverpool I am going to Graceland.   This week I booked my trip to Memphis in the spring.   For me, it’s important just like Liverpool so I’ve got lovey Liverpool to thank for that push in life.  That night in all it’s pageantry was the Cavern Club, the Cavern pub and the Grapes.  I’m not a real bar person anymore because 11 pm is too inviting for bedtime it seems but once in a while I’ll make a spontaneous night of it and what a better place?  Like Les said, I did meets lots of people all thru the night, some local some visitors as well.  Some I didn’t understand either so I’d just nod, smile and say nice to meet you.   Did get Liverpool scoop I didn’t know, one being that Ringo wasn’t good to Liverpool which surprised me.   A fellow told me he dissed Liverpool and I am thinking maybe it’s a memory thing, something not pleasant he doesn’t want to revisit.  I don’t think it’s Liverpool necessarily but that’s pure speculation on my part.  Another told me Paul is good to Liverpool but you better not make one dollar (or pound) off him that he doesn’t control and mostly that’s for charity so I suppose that can’t be a bad thing?  George everyone loved, not one word. Same with John and someone said his sister is half owner of the Cavern Club.  Hope that’s true I like the idea of that.   I like that when you are visiting here you see the songs coming alive.  There is a Penny Lane, there is a strawberry field.  How did they see that and make such good songs out of it ?  I can’t do that so I guess that’s why I’m working in accounting and they are the Beatles.  That talent is pure fascination for me.  Les is right, he did get sick but I suspect from food and not the beer.  We didn’t really drink that much to cause such an illness.  He was green around the gills.

Liverpool is having its rain on, lots of it and soon we’re to be in Chester and I’ve been looking forward to the Old Warm Charm of it and I can honestly say no one tried better to get there but me.  I got on a train, off a train with notice we don’t know when we can go, I got back on a train, all while not moving anywhere, just sitting, I walked to a bus they said wouldn’t come, floods and people on boats, good golly you have to be kidding me?  Can I go to the left? right?  under?  Nope, no Chester for you.   back on a train….. The hotel is great about getting us a room and helping with cancelling the hotel in Chester.  Julie’s there with her friends waiting for us.  (in Chester)   I’m not a fan of rain but Liverpool looked so sparkling and pretty at night in the rain.  I can definitely come back to Liverpool.   I forgot to tell you about the exchanges with the little boys (one who was smoking) and I told him off about that but anyway…..they were cute, so cute, I could picture their little faces up on a movie screen with the film just on their faces fast stepping, walking and talking beside me :

them:  Where you from?

me:  “America”

them:  where at ?

me:  near Washington DC

them:  you like it ?

me:  sure !

them:  you like Liverpool?

me: yes very much, it’s a cool city

them:  ever been to New York?   We want to go to America.

me : yes and one ahead in the group lives in New York and one used to live in New York

them:  where at in New York?  ever been to Brooklyn?

me:   yes and one of the ladies I told you about is from Brooklyn

them:  REALLY ?  BROOKLYN?  who, which one?

me:  Pat I believe up ahead.   Pat I yell but she’s not in front, she must be behind me and didn’t answer.  They all chime in at the same time PaTTTTTTTTTTTT !!!!   with a big accent on the t’s,  she answers from behind and they run over with the biggest curiosity in the world, is it rough Patttttt?  did you see guns????     did you see…..  I can’t hear all of what they were asking, Pat can tell you about that but I tell you that these little boys, kinda rough around the edges, were priceless with innocence and complete mischief wrapped all in one!  I can still hear them now : PaTTTTTTTT !  and that long T sound

The story continues with guest writer Les.  See next link !

our Highlights included……

The Tower of London along with the key ceremony at night.

This you must apply in advance to receive the tickets.  It is free and for us a very unique evening.   The Countess of Chris arranged these tickets to be mailed to her for the ceremony.  She lives in the UK.  On my tower visit during the day, I was up for consideration to be a mistress to Lord Omelette.  He eyed me cautiously wearing his cloak and wig and told me he was seriously considering it but alas by days end, he chose another.  I believe he knew I was to be Mrs. Omelette or nothing.  Sighhh but at least I left with my head!    Jokes aside that tower is fantastic, it’s got it all, history, intrigue, architecture and some ghosts.  I didn’t get to see one though but at least they did have a tv screen that showed you if you were to be a ghost, what you would look like.

Buckingham Palace – this is wear I bought my crown.  Later I make my grand entrance wearing it while attending a high tea  in Chester.  Julie from Liverpool was my lady in waiting and attended me for the event.  She wore a lovely tiara.

(we love to have our silly fun while traveling)  keeps smiles on our faces I think?

Windsor Castle – in a word “stunning”  but the line to get in with a handful of ticket attendants was some kind of crowd control torture I believe.  Get a ticket in advance!  No matter, it was worth the very lengthy wait though I may still send the Queen a strongly worded letter regarding this matter.   🙂

Hampton Court and swishing

For one solid year, we girls daydreamed of swishing thru Hampton Court in our swish gowns.   Heartbreaking weight restrictions on the flight over made it impossible for us to bring swish gowns.  Henry saved the day by offering us free velvet cloaks at the entrance and therefore we did get to swish about freely thru Hampton Court.   Absolutely a day trip to remember.  I love Hampton Court.

What can you say about London that hasn’t already been said?    It is fantastic !!!

I was very happy to be able to visit in May and then again in September and like the energizer bunny, you could keep going and going and going…… could Lord Omelette….. (kidding)


Countess Chris – from South end on sea ( I think you say it like that )

Lady in waiting – Julie from near Liverpool

the Duke of Earl’s mistress la Ellen – who resides in NY when she’s not with the duke

my fair lady Kathleen from Ireland

my fair lady’s friend Karen – from the UK

Patrician Pat from Miami

Chamber Maid Kelly from merry Maryland

Thank you ladies for a wonderful trip!

Later I will tell you the tales of our adventures thru Chester, Liverpool, Dublin and Galway.  (stay tuned)

Love Lady J from Baltimore

for your viewing pleasure, the slide show (or click thru fast)

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(trip report on Liverpool & Chester) Guest writer :  Les

Scoused, soused and Yanked by Liver Birds.

Life goes on day after day

Hearts torn in every way” – ‘Ferry cross the Mersey‘ – ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers.’

“Liverpool ONE”.

The destination board on the front of the bus flashed just a little too brightly for my liking in the growing gathering murky Merseyside skies that threatened ‘a hard rains gonna fall.’ (The rain came down later that afternoon too for the Scouse football fans. The sign could have read Liverpool ONE, Man. Utd. 2)

And fall it would, as if Niagara herself had been towed Eastwards from three and a half thousand miles away behind my American friends London bound plane and she would then dump herself over this North-West area of the British Isles, which she duly did with the worst rainstorm to hit this land in thirty years.

But for now it was just the odd spot of rain that was trying to force its way through the still gently glowing skies and so for the moment it was just a mild midday threat this Sunday 23rdSeptember 2012 as I strolled through the heart of Liverpool ONE to meet a ‘Baltimore ‘bird’ (*) Jeannette, who was on a flying visit with three of her ‘sisters’, Kelly, Pat and Ellen, from the US of A, the three of them here for a few days to see the city that gave birth to ‘four lads who shook the world’.

‘The Beatles’. (‘De’ Fabs’ as scousers call them.)

(*) ‘bird’ in Scouse is a girl.

I had never been to Liverpool, never come close in fact and though I was aware that the city had changed so much this last ten years or so, I still had an unwarranted prejudicial view of the place, to me it was still an old Dockers city, rough and ready, a watch your step, watch your back kind of place. When I said to some workmates that I was meeting the sisters in Liverpool they said, ‘Liverpool? Why Liverpool?’ The Beatles I said, what more reason do you need?

“Az if”, they may have said (“Az if” – scouse for ‘I don’t believe that’.)

So I was just a little wary as I set off, as it turned out, way too early on Sunday morning on the road to Merseyside. Early because I had noticed the previous night that Liverpool were playing their arch enemies Manchester United on Sunday. Just my luck! The roads will be chock-a-block. So in my wisdom I set off from home at 9. 15 am, hoping to hit the Royal Nelson Hotel by 12 30, giving me time to check in, park the car and stroll to the Albert Docks where the Magical Mystery Tour would begin.

Well the drive was fine, the roads were fine and the extra traffic I anticipated was non-existent and so I arrived at 11 30 am, with time to kill. The hotel seemed good and I got my first real taste of a‘scouse’ accent from the female hotel receptionist. I was too early to check in to the room and she said there was no sign of four American birds, sorry ladies, yet, so I parked up at the nearby Liner Hotel (£6 for 24 hours for non-residents) put a few things in a flight bag, checked out the rolling skies and decided to ‘bundle up’ not really knowing whether the ‘plan’ would come together and I would be out in the howling gales and heavy rain that was promised later. In fact, what I was wearing were two ‘vests’, a‘Baltimore Ravens’ T-shirt, a thick (and I mean thick!) woollen jacket, topped off with a hooded sleeveless jacket. I was 20 pounds heavier than my body weight and looked like a man in serious need of a diet.

I paid the Liner Hotel receptionist my £6, signed the book with name, address and car registration number, asked how long I had to park before getting out (24 hours) and strolled off, anticipating returning later that afternoon to check in properly at the Lord Nelson and unpack the rest of my clothes from the trunk of the car.

Little did I know.

Liverpool was blood red by then. Everywhere I went I saw red, T-shirts were red, scarves were red, bags were red, hats were red, faces were red, everything was doused in red. Maybe some of the redness in their faces was due to the freshening breeze that was blowing off the Mersey. Liverpool fans were everywhere, like the red diamond and hearts sections of a pack of playing cards scattered after a game of poker, men, women and children were littered all around the Royal Nelson Hotel, queuing for taxi’s, hopping on to buses or walking to where they would worship their Gods of choice at their own sacred Temple, Anfield Football Stadium. There was an atmosphere about the place, excitement, anticipation. I felt it too.

The road drifted downwards from the Royal Nelson past the Railway Station, Lime Street, which features in the song that John Lennon’s mum Julia, introduced to John and which is about a Liverpool whore,“Maggie May” and which mentions Lime Street in the chorus. The song is a traditional Liverpool seaman’s song and makes up part of the soundtrack to the film “Nowhere Boy”, about, at least mainly about John Lennon’s teenage years, pre-Beatles.

The road opened up in front of me and a big Beatles guitar chord hit me.


16 Corinthian columns stared me in the face, flanking the side of a huge Greek neoclassical building. I had never been here, but somehow I knew this place. Of course, I know what this is, this is where the opening scene from ‘Nowhere Boy’ was shot, mimicking the opening scene from the Beatles film, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and that opening chord is from the song of the same name. In ‘Nowhere Boy’ a young Lennon is seen running through the colonnades accompanied by the scream of invisible adoring girl fans, but then he wakes up, he’s in a dream, only its more like a premonition.