Monday, April 23, 2007

Scouse and Home

Concluding the series entitled "What Groanin' Jock Did On Holiday", I will now recount our final day in Liverpool last week, following our time at the Grand National.

As with the previous days, we awoke to find Liverpool bathed in roasting sunshine. Regular readers may be aware that I am a huge fan of The Beatles. And, having never been to Merseyside before, I was eager to take in as many Beatles sites as possible.

Our first port of call was The Beatles Story at Albert Docks - essentially the 'official' Beatles museum. It gave a very good walk-through history of the band, from their beginnings in the 1950s as a schoolboy skiffle band, through the Beatlemania days and into their years as the most imaginative and boundary-pushing band ever.

As a self-confessed Beatles geek, I knew the ins and outs of the story before we went, but it was a great chance to see genuine artefcats from the band's history and to see footage of them performing.

Mrs Wife and I also took the opportunity to walk around the 'Cavern Quarter', the cobbled streets in and around Matthew Street where The Beatles took their first steps towards immortality. And it was here that I had my photograph taken with the statue of John Lennon, just like any other geeky tourist. (Liverpool has countless statues of the band, and most of them bear no resemblance whatsoever to John, Paul, Ringo and George - at least this one looks almost realistic.)

Afterwards, I decided that an ideal way for me to spend my afternoon would be to attend Everton's match with Charlton Athletic at Goodison Park. None of the others in our little party is a football fan, so I was prepared, and quite happy, to attend the match alone, but Mrs Wife decided that to accompany me and to see her second live match. (Her previous visit was to Hampden in August 2002 to witness the nadir of Berti Vogts' reign as Scotland boss, when a national side containing Kevin Kyle and Scott Dobie lost 1-0 to Denmark in front of 28,766 fans.)

Thankfully, we managed to get tickets high in the balcony of the main stand, so we were in the shade and had a great view of the match. Although the encounter was a typically scrappy end-of-season affair between a side aiming for Europe and another desperately clinging to its Premiership place, it was entertaining nonetheless.

However, I feared that, with ten minutes remaining and no goals, it might be enough to dissuade Mrs Wife from future football trips. Thankfully, a late burst of action saw Joleon Lescott open the scoring after Andrew Johnson's shot was saved, Darren Bent equalise with only minutes left and James McFadden, a second half substitute, score a contender for goal of the season in injury time to give the home side the win.

All in all, our jaunt down south was a great weekend away. We may have lost money betting on the races, but the combination of great weather, great company and great football undoubtedly made it a roaring success.

So now I'm turning my attention to deciding where to go on our remaining holidays this year - Mrs Wife and I are looking to head off for our anniversary and again in September. Thoughts and suggestions welcome....


Chickie Carmarthen said...

Eastern Canada is beautiful. I'm biased, however. ;)

BobG said...

One of these days I'd like to visit the UK to look up some of my distant relatives in northern England and in Scotland.

Groanin' Jock said...

Chickie: I don't think I've ever considered Canada, although Mrs Wife and I were going to drive across Canada when we were travelling around the world, but we ran out of money and flew from LA to NYC instead.

Bob: One of the benefits of travelling in Britain is that the country is relatively small and easy to get around, so you can see a lot of it in a short space of time without having to fly.

BobG said...

"...the country is relatively small and easy to get around..."

I should say; the state I live in is larger than the island of Great Britain.

Utah: 219,887 km²
Great Britain: 218,595 km²

Of course, we only have around 2,233,000 people in the state, so it has a lot of open space.