Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Pensby flowers

Some of the flowers currently enlivening the garden.

And is there a more fresh green that that of newly erupting weeping willow leaves.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool has two cathedrals – the Anglican one and the Metropolitan (Roman Catholic) cathedral. Both were built in the twentieth century. The Metropolitan Cathedral is a 1960s/1970s piece of mo0dern art and is a fascinating piece of architecture – though not exactly my idea of a place of worship.

The Anglican Cathedral, built between 1904 and 1978, is described as "an awesome, spectacular, beautiful building and yet also a vibrant living church attempting to live the Christian Gospel; a community of daily prayer and worship; a home to great art and music with our 60 boy and girl choristers and now with exciting, new visitor facilities." I’m not sure that I agree.

Cathedrals of enormous proportions that were built in the twelfth century are awesome. How people with such comparatively primitive measuring facilities and scaffolding and so on could erect such magnificent buildings is truly awe-inspiring. That such a building could be erected in the twentieth century is much less so. It is too gloomy and chunky to merit the description beautiful – even the sandstone carved figures lack any elegance. The windows are mostly uninspiring though there are one or two that I really like.

One question I have never managed to solve is why the creators of major pieces of architecture – such as the cathedral – end up hiding some of the things they have created. For example, the window at the East end is partially hidden by the altar. Why do they do that?

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Garden Centres and their Shops

On Saturday Jo and I went to the nurseries on the top Chester road. We began at Burton nurseries which has a retail shopping mall in it. There is a brilliant rock, mineral and crystal shop there. We spent ages choosing a present for a friend, some stones for Jo, a Mother’s day present for Jo, and a bracelet for me. I thought I might be able to magnetise the bracelet (haemetite) as it is supposed to be good for pain relief. I’m not sure whether the one I bought is pure haemetite (which cannot be magnetised) or is actually ferrite (which most alleged haemetite jewellery is – and can be magnetised) but it looks OK and only cost £4.60 – less than a packet of pain killers!

If you have £3,000 to spare you can get this pair of amethyst geodes.

Then we went into Gordale and had a coffee and a cake before choosing lots of Dahlias and other late flowering corms and bulbs and getting some vegetable and sweet pea seeds.

After that we went to the pet shop in the water garden centre. We were after a very uninspiring cat litter scoop but they were too expensive. I’m sure the local pet shop will have one at half the price. I don’t mind spending money but I do object to wasting it. The pet shop did provide a brilliant number of marine fish and corals to be photographed and I spent ages doing so before we looked at tanks and I dreamed about the idea of owning an aquaria again.

Unfortunately many of the fish were not labelled but some I recognised or could identify from the Internet.

Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish

Green-spotted Mandarin Goby

Copper-banded Butterfly Fish

Clown Anglerfish

Dogface Pufferfish

Saturday, 21 March 2009

A trip to Liverpool

My first photo of Friday was taken in the early hours when a trip to the loo found this girl already occupying the bathroom. I evicted her on the basis that my need was greater than hers!

Around 11 o’clock I had a coffee break.

Jo’s clients were only booked in for the morning so when she came home I had a cup of tea on the patio with her and a few House Sparrows.

Jo then drove Richard over to Liverpool and I went along for the ride. I don’t know why we say ‘over’ to Liverpool when we actually go ‘under’ to Liverpool through the Mersey Tunnel.

The light at the end of the tunnel!

This statue of a man with a hod is not far from the entrance to the New Tunnel but what it commemorates I have yet to find out. It has only been erected in recent years and my trips to Liverpool have been very few and far between.

Nowadays it is rare to see roads with cobble stones or sets as most of them have long since been covered with tarmac but occasionally one finds a bit of unused roadway that still has these square stone sets.

I haven’t been along Edge Lane for years and I was delighted to see all these painted houses when we drove down there today. The houses have been compulsorily purchased for road widening at the end of the M62 motorway and as part of the Capital of Culture works last year all the boarding up was painted.