Lightnight

18th may was Light Night in Liverpool. We were able to see a lot of the venues opened for this event, but we didn’t took pictures every time. We started with a small display of cardboard houses on Albert Dock. It wasn’t very impressive.

At F.A.C.T. we admired the exhibition “Robots and Avatars”. The huge ball you can see in the picture has a lot of charcoal pencils that left marks on the walls. It was very interesting.

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The next on our list was The Bluecoat. Photographing was forbidden, so no pictures.

The Galapagos exhibition had a dead animal on display, stuffed in an unnatural position, and, on top of that, a movie with rooster fights. I found them very disturbing. But the other exhibitions were quite interesting, about different types of printing.

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After Bluecoat we went on Pier Head and stopped at Open Eye Gallery. A photographer talked about Polaroids, a nice and interesting activity. We saw the pictures displayed in the gallery and I liked the photos, even if they had an unnatural look due to processing. Hubby explained what changes made the photographer and it was nice.

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Liverpool Town Hall, grade one listed building, is one of the finest surviving 18th century Town Halls in the country. I love it.

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There were people dressed like in 19th century and this lady was singing. It was indeed a very nice surprise.

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In the large ballroom there was music and visitors started dancing.

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Next stop was St. George’s Hall. We saw it in march, but then we skipped the prison cells, so we decided to go back to see them. On the walls there were stories of the prisoners and trials.

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Can you spot the real woman?

The Black-E, launched in 1968 as the U.K.’s first community arts project, hosted Pillbox vintage fair. At the fair a muffin stand made from vinyl records that caught my attention, but I don’t think it can hold the weight of the muffins.

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The Black-E is near the Chinese Arch. The arch was made 10 years ago and is the tallest in Europe. It guards the entrance to Chinatown, home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

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The arch, from the Black-E.

We paid a quick visit to Liverpool Cathedral. It’s the 2nd time I visit it, but this time I could see more. It was a little crowded, so no pictures.

The last on our list was the Candle Lit Labyrinth, in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral. It was raining, but nobody was bothered by that.

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Her Majesty The Queen

The Queen celebrates 60 years as Monarch in 2012.

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Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Liverpool today as part of the Diamond Jubilee tour.

I was so excited when I’ve read the news that they will come here as part of their tour. I’m a monarchist and I was upset I missed her visit last year, at the opening of the Museum of Liverpool.

Here is the Duckmarine, ready for the Queen. We arrived in front of the Maritime Museum and went on Pier Head.

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I was very eager to see the Queen and, fortunately, I managed to find a spot near the fencing.

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After the car passed by us, we ran on Albert Dock and we were lucky to find another spot in the front.

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The Hummingbirds

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Pippin, the Owl

In the city center I saw once a bird of prey handler, so every weekend when we go in the center we have the camera with us. This Saturday we were lucky and I saw the same handler again. This time he had a different owl with him.

The first time I could hold Willow and this time I hold Pippin, a tawny owl (if I remember correctly). Here are a few pictures with Pippin.

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Did I mentioned I love owls?!

Palm House

Palm House was constructed in 1896, as a gift from Henry Yates Thompson to the City. It was designed by an Edinburgh firm, in the tradition of Paxton’s glass houses and was stocked originally with a rich collection of exotic plants.

At the beginning of World War 2 the building had been camouflaged in case the glass reflected the moonlight and act as a guide for warplanes. Matt oil paint was used on the outside of the building – grey paths were painted over the dome and the rest was colored green to blend with the surrounding parkland. In the blitz of May 1941 a bomb fell nearby and shattered the glass. It was re-glazed in 1950 and continued to be enjoyed by the people of Liverpool.

The Palm House was closed in 1980 on grounds of safety because the house was deteriorating. But in June 1992 a campaign named “Save the Palm House” started and 5000 people signed a petition that was presented to the City Council. A fund raising campaign was established and this led to the starting of Friends of Sefton Park Palm House (later Sefton Park Palm House Preservation Trust) charity.

The Palm House was re-opened in 2001 and I think it’s a popular visitor attraction with lots of events. It is a lovely and unique building.

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And a few pictures from Sefton Park.
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Election, anniversary

This week I was very busy, I had a new appointment for the NIN application. This is the 2nd time I apply and hopefully, the last. Considering the current situation, getting the NIN should not be a problem.

On 3rd it was election day and hubby and I exercised our right to vote. After carefully considerations and a lot of discussions, we decided to go with an independent. But, as usual, the guy I voted wasn’t elected (he was on the 2nd place).

I know here there aren’t ID’s, but, nevertheless, it’s strange to vote without one, just saying my name and address. The voting is different too, I had to put an “x” with a pencil.

On 4th we celebrated our anniversary. 5 years ago we had our civil ceremony, I called it “wedding number one” (we’ll celebrate wedding number two in less than 2 months, the religious ceremony). Among other things, we went for a half an hour to feed the pigeons in St. John’s park, near St. George’s Hall.

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The killer seagull… he attacked a pigeon. I was shocked, but hubby intervened immediately and he saved the pigeon.

I had no idea the seagulls are killing and sometimes eating pigeons, but after that incident I found on google this kind of attacks. They don’t attack very often, but, as usual, strange things happen to me.

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A lovely way to spend a half an hour, even with the attack.

The birds are mean, or at least meaner than I imagined. The penguins from Stuttgart Zoo were very jumpy and ready to fight each other, this seagull attacked an innocent pigeon, the gooses from St. Helens were fighting over bread.

Feeding birds can be a real adventure and it’s not suitable for kids or pregnant ladies.

The Hardman House

or 59 Rodney Street

Edward Chambré Hardman was a renowned portrait photographer. The house he and his wife Margaret lived in for 40 years is a museum now. Almost all of the rooms are opened for public, the cluttered living quarters and the spacious business rooms.

He was born in 1898 in Ireland, the son of a amateur photographer. By the age of fourteen he won a few photographic competitions. During the time he served in India, he met Kenneth Burrell, who became his business partner on their return to England.

He was a perfectionist and his work was very appreciated. Due to his reputation he was commissioned by the Playhouse Theater to photograph the up and coming stars of the time. All the negatives were retouch before printing, eliminating any flaws. He had collaborations with different artists that worked from home and colored the photos by hand. The artists were using samples of hair and textile and a detailed description relating to complexion, eye color, and clothing.

Although his business revolved around portraits, his real love was the landscape photography. So, he would take advantage of every chance he got to go out in search for landscapes.

Margaret Mills started working as an assistant in 1926. In 1929 she worked at a studio in Paisley but kept in constant contact with Hardman in Liverpool, exchanging love letters. In the love letters she mentioned her other interests like fishing, golf, opera and dancing.

In 1932 she came back in Liverpool and they got married. In 1948 they moved to 59 Rodney Street, where they lived and worked for the rest of their lives. In some rooms there are descriptions made by the former staff and clients. It’s really interesting to hear them.

She played a vital role in the business. The guide told us about them, they use to bounce ideas and work together, sharing the same passions and concepts. She was making her own clothes, but she loved fashion and she had 2 full wardrobes.

I loved their story and it was so strange. When the guide was talking, hubby and I were both thinking we have a lot in commune with the Hardmans: we work together and we have a similar working relation, no kids and a dog, we love photography and so on. It was strange for us.

We didn’t take pictures, but you can see some on the National trust website and on the Mersey-gateway.