liverpool

Giant's Farewell

I was off on Friday so took the chance to go hunting for Xolo and the young boy Giants in Liverpool's 2018 Giant Spectacular: Dream.

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These humongous marionettes are something else. It's difficult to describe how good they are if you haven't seen them for yourself (a bit like trying to describe what Glastonbury Festival is like to someone who's only ever been to V or Reading). The point is they are incredible and the who shebang that goes with it makes it seem more than the sum of its parts. Liverpool is lucky enough to have had three visits now from these wacky French guys and of course we had La Princesse (the amazing spider) too.

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Last time they were here was the summer and a ridiculous hot opening day, which meant that they ended up running very late. This time the weather was cool, grey and overcast and so the running was not delayed at all. My tardy arrival meant that I got there with a requirement to play catch up and I did over toward the Anglican cathedral. At that point I only caught the rear end of Xolo bouncing up the road and then waiting for the young boy who was travelling up in an open car. He only started walking again further up the road on the way to Prince's Park. After that it was breakfast, reading and writing and a couple of beers before catching them back on the way down.

In the afternoon I caught up with them on Duke Street. I stood on a bit of street furniture for a better view and this time caught Xolo and the lad. Xolo at one point running past before going to investigate a group of people sat atop a container. The controllers of these marionettes do a brilliant job of animating the character out of them. It does really do the movements you'd expect of a dog (giant or otherwise). Once more the boy was sat in the back of a car, but just after he passed me he was hooked up on the following contraption to begin the walk down the lower half of Duke Street.

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The crowds were enthralled and I met and chatted with people who'd travelled from all over the UK to see them. The hotels and restaurants must have had a boss weekend.

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Yesterday I was working (and had a horror of a day). The pictures of the crowds on the Strand looked incredible, but have made me have second thoughts about going down to see them this time - I'll never get a spot like I did last time they were here and in any case I'd have to pop away pretty early to get to a pub to watch the Man City match. So unless I have a last minute change of heart (or the company does and they return) then on Friday I saw the last of these wonderful creations. Incredible art and entertainment for the young and old. Thanks to all involved for this year and all the previous ones. Wonderful.

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The Weekend Starts and Ends Here

I've got me a one day weekend. Back in tomorrow. So will be out for beers later in Liverpool for a wee crawl, after buying a few bits and bobs, then it'll be time to catch some footy. Should be another great game between Liverpool and that Chelski shower with a quick retribution in mind following Wednesday night. May even catch some of the Mancs match. Expect I'll get to five or six top hostelries - you'll have to check out Twitter to see how I do.

Started beta-reading a FlashDog novel this morning. Up to the third chapter and it's really good so far. I shouldn't be surprised by now that there are such accomplished writerers within the FlashDog community. After meeting everyone via the very short stories we composed in Flash Fiction Friday and Angry Hourglass it is with great respect I see all these guys stepping on up and out to novels. Hoping to finish the book this week and get my comments out by next weekend.

In the meantime it is anticipated that 'DeadCades' will be released this week. Exciting stuff. And releasing a horror book in October... seems like it's almost by design. Many thanks to Steph and David in advance for all their work on getting to this point. Definitely top dogs (in a good way).

Went to the PO earlier to pick up a parcel from a couple of weeks ago. Er, I'd been sent me some cheese and biscuits. I wish I'd known I'd have made an effort to pick it up earlier. Not sure if the cheese is supposed to be this stinky. Will report back later... many more thanks for the surprising gift! You know who you are ;-)

Apparently it's World Guitar Day - who the hell makes all these things up? - perhaps I'll strum a little later. Made me think who are some of my favourite guitarists. It's a tough call, and if I thought longer or on a different day, my top picks (no pun intended) would no doubt be different and just as defendable. Here's today's top four anyway: Ry Cooder, Chuck Prophet, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

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As for guitars, I have two; a lovely dark green Telecaster (I know three of the four above are on Strats, but hey I love a Tele) and a Takamine 363 semi-acoustic.

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Museum of the Moon, Liverpool

On the morning of the European Cup Final before popping to Southport for a couple of beers with me da I took the opportunity to go and see the Museum of the Moon which was in the Anglican Cathedral. I'm glad I did.

Really impressive considering it's just a big balloon. Made from the Nasa photos it is the whole moon in glorious detail at 1:500,000 scale It is lit from within, which obviously works well in the enclosed space of the cathedral. The 'art' was created by Luke Jerram and has been touring the country and indeed the world. Looking at photos from other locations it has been in it clearly is a knockout wherever it goes.

It's on in the Anglican until the end of the month, so you've a few more days to catch it if you fancy it. Take your camera!

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On the Shoulders of Giants

There was fab news this week in Liverpool about the fantastic French Giants returning once more. Who'd have thought 'big puppets' could be so enthralling and illicit such emotions. But if you haven't seen them live then you'll be in for a treat if you do get to see them this time. We were lucky with the weather in June 2014. In fact it was so hot the puppeteers had to keep stopping to keep hydrated (it is heavy manual work moving these lovable monsters).

Took lots of shots and some came out okay. But it is difficult getting a good position with such enormous crowds. I was made up to get one of my photographs in the official book about the event 'On the Shoulders of Giants' (the fourth photo below).

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Gran Boat

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Winter(ish)

Not managed any writing this week yet. Been reading Calendark though - it's excellent! Should finish it tomorrow and aim to get a review on to Amazon and/or Goodreads during the week ahead. In the meantime I've been reading Sal's chosen sentences from each story on Twitter. These extra 140 characters are giving her more options aren't they!

The week at work has been a mixture of fences and ditches. Well, cold weather and breakdowns. Was fearful of the snow and ice in Snowdonia today when I was handed that route, but it didn't turn out to be the hospital pass I thought it would be. Ye haw! Just a wee bit of snow and no slip-sliding away into ditches or trees - always a bonus!

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Last night the forecast for tomorrow was heavy, heavy snow across Liverpool and the north west, and whilst I am off for the day I had two concerns 1) it better not bloody mean the Liverpool v Everton derby gets called off and 2) better charge my camera so I can get some nice pics of Liverpool in the snow.

That said, Snowmageddon has now been un-forecast and Liverpool is forecast to be a bit nippy but not under feet of snow. At least that means the game will defo be on, but the chance of getting some nice snowy photos looks to be postponed.

Really looking forward to the match, will get a few choice beers in Liverpool too - and finish off Calendark. At some point I need to do this week's FlashFeed; haven't even checked out the photo prompt yet.

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Photos from a Liverpool Day Off

My one day off this three day weekend and I went into a sunny Liverpool on Sunday to catch a bit of Folk on the Dock around the Albert Dock and popped into the Baltic Fleet to catch some singing there.

Glad I remembered to take my camera with me as it was a lovely day and there was loads of great stuff to see. It helps because this fair city is so photogenic. Here's a few of them. Many more on Flickr of course...


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And then I got to watch Liverpool smash a bizarrely poor performing Arsenal 4-0 in the Dispensary with a couple of pints of Rat Brewery 'Lab Rat'.

All in all a cool day on a warm day.




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A Different Day Today

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Last week I picked my Day to attempt to write a story for, for Shakes' CalenDark and then came up with a germ of an idea - I even wrote some words (really, I did). Today I've changed my mind and chosen another day. As soon as I picked it an idea formed more completely in my mind and it should be easier to write it with the story arc pretty well defined. Of course now I have 'just ' to write the fucker. A month to go: No problem. Err... anyway the aim is to get a couple of thousand words done over the next week - as a minimum. Will report back by this time next week.

Baltic

Of course this weekend it's a Bank Holiday and that means more time for writing with a three day weekend, right? Wrong. Worked Saturday and working Monday. So only off today. May get a few words down, but main thing was getting this idea sketched out - an achievement in itself. Liverpool being Liverpool there is loads on at the moment. Disappointed to miss the Mad Hatter Brewery Yard Party yesterday, but today I think I'll go and check out the folk festival at the Albert Dock and/or the shanty groups down at the Baltic Fleet for a bit this afternoon.

Salah

Then of course there will be a few choice ales watching the Liverpool v Arsenal match. Come on you mighty reds!


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