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.