Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Learning to Live in England, Part 06

Thursday, 10 June

Demetrios' godson, James (Julia and david's elder son) and his girlfriend, Kim, came over, bringing their smallest television to lend us.  It's a flat-screen, and it's larger than any we've ever had. 

Then they took us to Liverpool for a day out on the town.

My image of Liverpool, which I suppose is widely shared, is of a grim, grimy relic of the Industrial Revolution. That would have been correct 20 years ago. But since then, enormus amounts of money have been spent to refurbish the city, and by now, I must tell you, it's well on its way to becoming a world-class city. No, it will not yet compete with Paris or Rome, but it's getting there. Blocks and blocks of the downtown have been made into pedestrian-only areas, making one giant, outdoor shopping mall. Some of the streets have been glassed-in, too, and within this complex there is at least one American-style, all-indoor mall. Shops range from bargain-hunters' magnets to up-scale, chic places, and so do eateries.

We saw the famous Liver building ('Liver' rhymes with 'driver'.) There are two Liver Birds atop them, about which there are various legends. One of them is that one bird looks out to sea, to welcome people arriving in port, while the other looks over the city, to see if the pubs are open.  (This image courtesy of Wikipedia)

We visited the famous Albert dock and took in a couple of its museums, including the one featuring Titanic and Lusitania exhibits.  Liverpool was the home port for both doomed ships, although Titanic was never here.

We had lunch at a spanish restaurant featuring tappas.  We don't have such places in Richmond.  It was excellent and moderately-priced.

We also passed the Cavern Club, the pub where the Beatles got their start.  (If you remember how they spoke, then you can 'hear' the local accent.)

Didn't get to see St. Nicholas, the Greek Orthodox church, as we weren't sure where it was but it wasn't near.

We did find a bathrobe for Demetrios.  Kim really knows her shops!  She can tell you where to buy anything.

We also saw the Everton home fields, Everton being the other, rival, soccer football club here.  'D'ya notice the smell?' James asked.  He's a supporter of Liverpool.

Back in Ormskirk in time to avoid the Liverpudlian rush hour, james and Kim took us to a store called Pound-Stretchers, to buy two pillows (for our guests) and a basket for Kim';s toletries.  Then on to Argos, a catalogue store, where they very quickly found us what we needed to get the television up and running:  some sort of special cable to connect it with the communal antenna, and a 'digi-box,' to allow this analog set to receive the now all-digital telecasts.  Tomorrow we will purchase a television license, to be able to operate the set legally. 

They plugged everything in and showed us to to work the remote. 

And then they stayed for tea and crumpets.  I made the tea strong this time, the way Julia does.  She uses two teabags per cup of tea!  So I used 8 altogether.  Six will be perfect for next time.  We also had some cookies biscuits, both shortbread and chocolate clusters.

We were so touched by the kindness of these two people, not only lending us a TV and getting it set up for us, not only taking us out for a look at Liverpool, but - just imagine ! - two people still in their twenties, willing to spend the entire day with two old fogeys like us!  And seeming to enjoy it, even.  Amazing.


margaret said...

When I was little (you didn't know Noah had a digibox on the Ark, did you?) I used to love a sitcom called 'The Liver Birds', it was about two girls sharing a flat in 70s Liverpool, Sandra was posh and Beryl was the child of Irish immigrants. Beryl's mother carried a small bottle of gin and an old tea cup in her handbag and later Sandra's mother took to carrying a tiny decanter and crystal glass. There, that's your useless information for the day :)

Emily H. said...

A license for your television? Why?

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Margaret, I love your tidbits (and you), so they do have some use!

Emily, that's the equivalent here of paying for cable service. It's cheaper here, though, £145 per year, or less than $300.