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Sunday, 25 September 2016

PixieMum updates

This blog is coming to you from my new iPad Air 2, purchased last Monday and now in a new red leather case, we were advised by JL and Apple to buy the case online.  Last Saturday Martha and  I had gone to the Mothership (aka John Lewis Kingston) to investigate why my iPad didn't like me clicking on links, it would sulk, expand everything on the screen before freezing. Basically, it was worn out. The store was so crazily busy that I returned with Ian on the Monday when all was calm. It had taken much persuasion for me to have an iPad nearly five and a half years ago, yet now it has become a tool for living and organising my life. For example, this afternoon I Facetimed Martha, she was sewing a fine seam in her sewing room, I was able to be there with her and crocheting whilst  she finished and modelled her skirt. 

Earlier in the afternoon  I was at JL (again) in their community room at a gathering of the Knitting & Crochet Guild, it was so useful to look up projects, there was a discussion about the Beekeepers Quilt so I could show hexipuffs. In a gentle way I was teased about the meticulous detail of the yarn I had used. As they said, once a librarian, always a librarian. 

Brief interruption of this blog construction whilst Ian and I swop our cars around; our drive takes just one car so the other lives outside in our suburban street. Overnight the big 3 year old Qashqui lives on the drive as per the insurance documents, it is slightly more valuable and bigger than the 20 year old Corsa. Interestingly taking the Corsa off the drive didn't affect the insurance costs, we can't physically have two cars on the drive and wouldn't sacrifice the garden for an old car. 

Other musings that have been occupying my thoughts include wondering why the notices in quiet carriages don't include requests to keep the conversations between passengers at a low level, there are just instructions concerning music and phones. Now, what happened to the rule about keeping to the left? It is ignored, especially in railway stations, on stairs and in tube and underground tunnels. Going up and downstairs I need to hold onto the handrail, especially on the upward haul, verifocal lenses are another hazard for steps but three more separate pairs of specs would be too much - I have reading glasses and prescription sunglasses in addition to two pairs of verifocals.  

Now to end as it is gone 10pm, need to go up the wooden hill, so to close a picture of grandson with whom we have spent a couple of days. When he is not teething he is a cheerful chap at the delightful stage when he suddenly realises he has stood up and walked. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016


When I was at Library School in Liverpool many years ago, someone mentioned that they knew I was from London by my clothes, I was reminded of this earlier this evening whilst catching up on the first of two programmes about Vogue magazine in its centenary year and recalling our visit to Liverpool this week.  

It is becoming a tradition for us to go away to celebrate my birthday, Florence a couple of years ago, Dorset county show last year, this year Liverpool to see the changes since my student days. For most of my life the weather has been good on my birthday, it is as if the weather gods know the Autumn term has started, this year the week has been warm, humid and sunny until today. 

Not sure I like the ride on West Coast line trains, felt bit unsteady if moving about but we were efficiently transported, no delays either way and on time. First shock was the openness of Lime Street station, glass instead of solid walls making the whole so much lighter, once in a taxi delayed by diversions caused by building works. No Skelhorn Street bus station where the maroon Ribble express buses gathered, also where were the Liverpool Corporation green goddesses? Gone, replaced by Arriva, or was it Stagecoach, certainly no longer distinctive from any other city. 

The view from our hotel in Princes Dock, overlooking the Leeds & Liverpool canal, this has been extended to run into the Mersey relatively recently, the river and Birkenhead can be seen in the distance. The hotel, Crowne Plaza had those tiny extras that make me feel good about them, efficient lighting for reading in bed, face flannels, fluffy towels and lots of fresh fruit on the breakfast menu. 

In my mind I had a wish list of places to see, assuming they hadn't been part of the great rebuild, one was the the then College of Commerce, now part of John Moore's University in Tithebarn Street. 

Here it is in all its scruffiness

On my birthday we went to the now finished Anglican cathedral for the 12.05 Communion service in  the Lady Chapel, seemed appropriate, it is some time since we have used the red Common Worship books and to await the announcement of which prayer was to be used, it was D. The Dean who had presided spoke to us afterwards, it was our impression it is unusual for tourists to attend this service. 

Ian took my picture in the cathedral cafe, I consider it my birthday portrait, 

and another on the roof of Liverpool public library, 

Big bag with handbag and knitting inside. The dome behind me is the roof of the Picton library, little changed except the old bound green catalogues have gone, however the rest of the library is a beacon for library buildings. 

What a lovely birthday gift I have been given, memories that don't need storage, cleaning, a chance to see more of England and to remember that very first train journey of over four hours to Liverpool for my interview for the college, an interview that lasted barely 10 minutes. Fortunately train times speeded up by the time I started my studies.