100th entry - whoo!
09.01.2017 - 12.01.2017 6 °C
Museum Monday. We threw ourselves into Macclesfield’s heritage by visiting the Silk Museum and having a tour of ‘Paradise Mill’ (a silk mill that was operational until 1981) which was more interesting than I had expected. I’ll be honest, I was really just going because a) it was close by and b) it was something to do that didn’t involve getting wet or muddy. I ended up rather enjoying myself. Even if I did have to argue with Simon about the finer details of weaving. Let the record show that I was right – but Simon earned back some brownie points in the afternoon by finding a new, very pleasant walking route that involved a lot less mud than the other routes we’d been taking. And then after dinner, Simon embraced the proximity of the cinema and the availability of three pound tickets to go and see Collateral Beauty. Because when there’s a cinema across the road, you damned well make the most of it.
Our last two days of housesitting went by without too much excitement – just the usual dog-walking shenanigans. And on Wednesday night, our homeowners returned. On Thursday morning, someone new arrived to take our place – not as a housesitter, but as a potential tenant. Out with the old, in with the new. Such is life.
We trained our way from Macclesfield to Stockport, and then from Stockport to Liverpool. We left our suitcases at the train station for a modest fee – totally worth it to be able to roam the city unencumbered. First stop – lunch, and warmth. Second stop – find a big yellow superlambanana in the cold and the wind and the rain. Third stop – go to the World Museum and stay there until it closed because it was a) free b) warm and c) interesting. There was plenty of people-watching to be had, so I was able to indulge in one of my favourite hobbies in very comfortable conditions. One of the highlights was the lady wearing a mustard off-the-shoulder dress, an Akubra and a dead rat draped around her shoulders. Classy with a capital K.
As dinner time approached, we started reminiscing about our previous visit to Liverpool, way back in 2012. Those of you who are obsessively stalking me and committing every detail of my life to memory may recall that on that occasion we had dinner at the Pizza Express near Albert Dock, and ended up running back to our hotel in the rain. We were feeling nostalgic about the whole experience, so decided to make our way to that very same Pizza Express. We enjoyed the warmth, we enjoyed the pizza, and we enjoyed chatting with the rather bubbly Polish waiter. And then we enjoyed watching the rain turn into snow, until we remembered that we had to get back to the train station at some stage that evening. Bah. Seemed that we had cursed ourselves with all our ‘remember the last time we were in Liverpool’ reflections. Fun fact: you don’t get as wet running through the snow as you would if you were running through the rain. But it is bloody cold.
Right. So we made it back to the train station, collected our bags, and cabbed it to the Stena Line port. We checked in for our voyage, I had my luggage searched in order to meet the security guard’s quota for the night, and all five of us foot passengers boarded the bus, which then boarded the boat.
As we were about to set off for the evening crossing, the captain uttered the second-worst seven word phrase you could hope to hear: “Tonight’s crossing will be moderate-to-rough”. (The worst seven word phrase would be “Tonight’s crossing will be really really rough”, or maybe “Tonight’s crossing will be re-enacting the Titanic”.) We laughed in the face of danger, and set ourselves up for a game of cards, and then Simon went and had a private screening of the most recent Star Trek movie for FREE. What ninking! Probably lucky that it had been free because the noise of the engine made large chunks of dialogue inaudible. The movement of the boat also made keeping still quite the challenge, and I was glad to have a cabin and a bed to retire to for the next eight hours. Irish Sea – do your worst!