Spring Break 2015… Part 02…

Here’s Part 02 of our Spring Break this year. If you have not read Part 01, go here to read it.

Yes, we were off to Liverpool – the place where my husband got his degree and more importantly, the city where his football team is. Yes, it is his team… hahhaa… The last time we went there… i had to go look it up; it was 2009! Almost 6 years ago! Read about that trip here.

This time the main aim of going to Liverpool was to watch a football match; Liverpool vs Newcastle. Initially, Tobias and i were not going to the match. Walter planning to go¬†with his colleagues and friends. But the match date got shifted and they could not make the new date. So it became a family event ūüėÄ

i’m just going to give you a day by day summary of what we enjoyed there.

We landed on Saturday, about lunchtime. Picked up our rental car from the airport, then headed for lunch, settling on the quick and easy option of KFC.

i thought it was such a cute car, all bright and yellow! Reminds me of the song Yellow Submarine.
Such a cute car, all bright and yellow! Reminds me of the Yellow Submarine.

Then it was off to the hotel to check in and rest. We had to get up really early to catch the 7 am train to Geneva for the flight in. And we had all had a late night the night before. So rest was needed.

Top: View from Holiday Inn Express Breakfast room. Bottom: View from our hotel room.
Top: View from Holiday Inn Express Breakfast room. Bottom: View from our hotel room.

After our little rest, we ventured out for a short walk and to get dinner. It was decided that we would get fish and chips (a must-have while we were in Liverpool) and bring it back to the room to eat. It made for a quiet evening in. As well as an early night.

We saw this cute vintage ice cream truck on the way. It was not open though.
We saw this cute vintage ice cream truck on the way. It was not open though.

The next morning, we headed down for a nice breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. (There was other stuff too but we like our eggs , bacon and toast.) Then it was a short walk down to the Museum of Liverpool.

The view from Albert Dock, looking at the Open Eye Museum (the modern building) and the 3 Graces; the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.
The view from Albert Dock, looking at the Open Eye Museum (the modern building) and the 3 Graces; the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.

This museum opened just a couple of years ago and is a great museum. So very very much to see inside. In my opinion, they had squeezed way too much in there, i hardly knew where to start.

Top: The Museum, looking at it from the Mersey. Bottom: An amazing painting of the Liverpool city area.
Top: The Museum of Liverpool, looking at it from the Mersey. Bottom: An amazing painting of the Liverpool city area, took many artists many hours to paint it.

They had exhibits about the docks and the life back then. Exhibits which traced Liverpool’s history to the very early years. A small area which showed off the overhead rail which used to run in the city (it was taken down because the company went burst). There was a special area which highlighted the Beatles story, of course. As well as a whole room tracing the history of the 2 football teams in Liverpool. We got to watch a very interesting film about how one team became 2.

We spent more than 3 hours in there and still had not finished looking at everything. But we were getting hungry and went to find food.

Darling hubby had researched (he doesn’t do that often) and found a lovely place (The Interesting Eating Company) which serves pancakes and scones all day (i love scones!). It took a 15¬†minute drive to get there but so worth it! And get this, they do gluten-free too!

It was a very rainy day so we just drove around a bit and then decided to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. We saw it the last time from the outside only. It is absolutely beautiful! Lots of interesting bits inside too.

My pictures were rubbish. These are from the Cathedral's website.
My pictures were rubbish. These are from the Cathedral’s website.

Dinner was another must-have; authentic Chinese food! We went down to Chinatown and chose a very small family run place. It felt like we were eating in someone’s home. The place could only seat 12 at the most. It was not ‘i-will-keeping-raving-about-it’ food but it was homely and we liked it.

Yummy REAL Chinese food!
Yummy REAL Chinese food!
A nice waterfall near the center of the gardens.
A nice waterfall near the center of the gardens.

The next day was Match Day! But the match wasn’t till late in the evening. So we spent the morning having a little wander around the Festival Gardens. The feel of it was a very lovely and ambitious project neglected over time. Or maybe it was just the time of day? But there were some nice bits and a little walk along the water’s edge gave us a good view to admire.

Then we crossed the Mersey or actually we went under it and into an area called the Wirral (yes, the English and their strange place names). We visited a lovely little village called Port Sunlight, which was built by Lord Leverhulme for his workers. You can read more about the history of Port Sunlight and Lord Leverhulme here and here.

i really like the village. They have preserved it so well, even the Tudor buildings (i really fancy living in a Tudor house some day). And we also spent time walking around in the museum built by Lord Leverhulme for his wife, the Lady Lever Museum. It houses a lot of the art they had collected over the years. According to a short history written on a display in the museum, Lord Leverhulme loved art, he collected all sorts and filled his many homes with them. The museum shows off just a small portion of his vast collection. There is also a sweet little cafe in the basement of the museum which served traditional great-tasting but rather filling English fare.

Love those timber framed houses!
Love those timber-framed houses!
There is this big boardwalk in the middle of the village and along it is this very interesting sundial, where the person is the dial! There was no sun that day so we didn't get to test it.
There is this big boardwalk in the middle of the village and along it is this very interesting sundial, where the person is the dial! There was no sun that day so we didn’t get to test it.
Tobias loved his lunch but could not finish it. Can you guess how cheap it was, compared to Switzerland?
Tobias loved his lunch but could not finish it. Can you guess how much it costed?

Then we headed back to the hotel for a little rest. It was going to be a late night.

At about 5 pm, we dressed in our reds and went off to Anfield!

i had not been to a live football match since i was a little girl and the atmosphere was quite amazing; brimming with the excitement and anticipation of thousands of fans.

The schools around the stadium open their grounds for fans to park, for a fee of course!
Just look at the crowds trying to get to their seats. The schools around the stadium open their grounds for fans to park, for a fee of course!
The teams getting warmed up.
The teams getting warmed up.

Before the match started, a moment of silence was observed in memory of all the fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough more than 25 years ago. The anniversary was just a couple of days after this match.

Then the match started! We sang, we cheered, we oh-ed and ah-ed.

What i found most amusing was the cheers from the Newcastle fans. i have to hand it to them; there were some really interesting rhymes they had come up with, some not meant for children’s ears. i am tickled¬†that someone actually thought up these cheers and people learnt them by heart and everyone shouted it out in unison!

The score! i know it's hard to read; 2-0. Way to go Liverpool!
The score! i know it’s hard to read; 2-0. Way to go Liverpool!

It was so very late after the match and we had to get back to the car of risk getting it shut in the school grounds. So dinner was sandwiches from a Tesco Express, which closed a few minutes after we bought our food!

Needless to say, we had a late start the next day, which was just fine cos we were on holiday. It was to be a day of walking. We decided to walk from the docks, through the city to the World Museum on the other side. This way we saw lots along the way, stopping off at various interesting shops and thrift stores.

Saw more vintage ice cream trucks!
Tobias photo-bombed my picture of the Pumphouse. Saw more vintage ice cream trucks!
There was this lovely open library - take a book, leave a book concept. It also served as a place for author appearances - how cool is that!
There was this lovely open library – take a book, leave a book concept. It also served as a place for author appearances – how cool is that! Right: Walking along Bold St.

The World Museum was spread across 6 floors and was quite interesting. It is not the most exciting museum we have been to, we do go to quite a number. And some of the exhibits were not well-maintained. But it did cover lots of topics, from bugs to bones, underwater creatures to space travel. The cafe did not sell very exciting food but it was enough to satisfy and had a great view of the city.

springbreak02_20150430r
Top: In front of the World Museum. Bottom: The Bluecoats.

On the way back, we went into an interesting place, called the Bluecoats. It is a whole building, dedicated to the arts. Artists could rent studios and exhibition space. There were workshops held there and various shops, selling wonderfully hand-crafted items, some very expensive but oh so very pretty!

There is a most amazing bookshop there, a place with lots and lots of books, not just normal books, very old and curious books. The place smelled thrilling Рi loved it! We spoke to the owner and found out they had just moved in a few years ago and would even find antique or hard-to-find titles for anyone and they ship internationally! Of course, we took his namecard!

We had bought 6 books for just £12! Most were from thrift stores. We would have bought more if we had the luggage space, especially from that wonderful bookstore mentioned above. And of course we bought some lovely food items too. We even stopped off at the Chinese grocery shop. We then dropped off our stash at the hotel, got into the car and drove to Crosby Beach.

It is a lovely lovely flat expense of beach, stretching for miles! Lots of people were out and about with the family and walking their dogs. There is a nice playground, near the parking area. And then you take a short walk and up a little hill and you can see the sea!

The interesting thing about this beach is the permanent installation art on it. It is called Another Place by Antony Gormley. There are about 100 iron-casted men standing all along the beach and up to 1 km into the water. It represents man standing against nature and in harmony with nature. It was interesting to see.

Top: See how flat it is! Bottom: Tobias standing with the iron man ;)
Top: See how flat it is! Bottom: Tobias standing with the iron man ūüėČ

We had dinner near the beach, at an American-styled pub. Then drove around and looked at the grand and beautiful houses in the area. Last but not least, we stopped and enjoyed the sunset.

Top: This house is faces the beach and was for sale - isn't it lovely? Bottom: The sunset made for a lovely end to the day.
Top: This house faces the beach and was for sale – isn’t it lovely? Bottom: The sunset made for a lovely end to the day.

Then next day we checked out. Dropped off the car at the airport and took a bus to Manchester where we caught our flight back. Why Manchester? Cos we were using Hubby’s miles to get ourselves a free flight ūüėČ

There were so many other places we wanted to visit, such as the Tate, the Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, the Fab Four Story, Open Eye Museum etc. And we had planned to ride the Mersey Ferry but didn’t get to it.

It looks like we will definitely have to make another trip ūüėČ

syc

Pause Custom Orders… Just For A While… Angel Crafts Shop…

As previously announced, we are moving. And because of the move, things at Angel Crafts Shop will slow down a little.

So please take note that Angel Crafts Shop will NOT be taking custom orders from TODAY (15th January 2015) till 25th January 2015. Orders of ready-made items will still be processed but may be delayed by a day or two. All normal business activities will resume as of 26th January 2015, including custom orders.

And now i want to show off my latest custom order, which is going out the door to the post office tomorrow ūüėČ

pausecustomorders20150115What do you think of this custom order? Which items in this order has caught your eye?

If something has caught your eye, KIV it and place your order on 26th January!

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

syc

Book Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult…

This is the first time i’m writing a review for a book on the same day i finished it. That shows you how much it has affected me. Usually i like to mull over a book for a bit after finishing to gather my thoughts but i felt this book has so much in it from page 1 that it would take too long and i wanted to pen down my thoughts in its raw form because it has left me reeling.

i have read several of her books but have never reviewed them. Why? Just because at those times i wasn’t writing book reviews at all. So just for the record, i have read Mercy, The Pact, My Sister’s Keeper, Vanishing Acts, Handle with Care, House Rules (the first one i read). The only one i didn’t quite like was Vanishing Acts, i felt that one lacked the usual intensity i have come to expect from Picoult’s stories.

So back to Sing You Home, it is a page-turner indeed! i was captured by her very real characters and the issues they faced. They were issues i have thought about, struggled to maintain a constant viewpoint/opinion and still seek an answer to – issues of infertility (close friends have experienced this), issues of divorce (again close friends), issues of faith, issues of depression, issues of the rights of the fetus (or in this story, the rights of the embryo), the rights of a parent, and in the forefront of the story, issues of gay rights.

i am a Christian and proud of it. My Lord is my Saviour, my Friend, my King, my Brother all in one. i love my Lord and believe His Word is true! But i have wrestled with loving the sinner and hating the sin, showing God’s love to everyone (regardless of who they are, what lifestyle they choose), yet standing firm and naming the sin for what it is – a sin in the eyes of God. i haven’t in practice had to choose sides – yet.

i’m a little sad that Picoult chose to show how un-compassionate the church can be. i’m not saying her portrayal of the church is wrong. There exist in this broken world churches and people just like in the book but i just wished that she had shown some of the church to be true followers of Jesus’ example of loving all. Maybe just one of the characters, Liddy (sister-in-law to the two main characters) showed some of this great love of God but it was vague.

i’m not going to give too much of the story away or the wonderful ending. So i’ll just give a brief outline. Max and Zoe have tried and tried to have a baby and have gone through so many treatments. She became pregnant. She lost the baby. They divorced. Now she has a chance to try again and build a family. But Max, with his new-found faith and religious family, stand in the way.

The other lovely feature about this book is that it has accompanying music, specifically written by Picoult and her friend for each major section of the book. i managed to only listen to a few because the QR reader on my phone didn’t work properly. The music certainly speaks from the heart of Zoe (who, in the story, is a music therapist). i liked what i heard.

This is a book which will leave you thinking and thinking and thinking some more…

syc

PS: i still am puzzling out the issues raised by this book… and maybe i will always do so till i arrive in Heaven. But i hope and pray that in my time on this earth, i will show God’s love to everyone i know rather than judge because who am i to judge, i am but a sinner myself. My role is to reflect God’s love to the world so that all may come to know Him.