Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bondi announces "I'm more popular than the Beatles now"

Called around to a few local vets to arrange Bondi's EU pet passport: the going rate appears to be about £70 to complete a form that the government doesn't charge for. Nice work if you can get it.

Drove to Liverpuuule today for a look and a continuation of my quest for palatable coffee. After the worst Starbucks extruded coffee product (TM)(Pat Pending) I've ever had anywhere in the world, I'm guessing that NW England has a preference for scalding, burnt stale java. I think I'll be using my tactic from Tasmania of ordering hot chocolates instead.

It's a relatively short drive from Shevington to Liverpool, but the drive to the heart of Liverpool seemed to take even longer, finally ending up at Albert Dock, home to the Tate Liverpool, The Beatles Story and a bunch of No Dogs signs that prevented us from getting any closer. The buildings are extremely imposing, competing with the more ornate edifices fronting the city's business district such as the Royal Liver, and Cunard Buildings. Architecturally, I was strongly reminded of Terry Gilliam's Brazil and the featurette from Monty Python's Meaning of Life - The Crimson Permanent Assurance. Full speed ahead Mr Cohen!

Many banners announce Liverpool's designation as Europe's Capital of Culture for 2008. undoubtedly a highlight will be the performance art piece entitled Latte-sipping art-lovers from the Continent taste local brew and throw themselves into Mersey.

Bondi and I wandered through the drizzle-swept CBD for an hour or so, acknowledging many unintelligible compliments from smiling locals: oo ee ah lookt tha .. I -e-ea- ouer i ah t-a ow o-- i- -e. A final hopeful cappuccino purchase from the Coffee Corporation foundered on the choc-sprinkled foam-covered rocks of despair. Liverpool's charms would have to wait another day to be uncovered. We headed up the coast to Southport.

Southport: 'Paris of the North' (not to be confused with the French 'Paris of the North'), 'Jewel of the North West' and home of both the TraumaTizer and the British Lawnmower Museum. For those of you who have yet to see the DVD of the latter, I hope it is not too much of a spoiler to mention that it includes the lawnmower owned by Diana, Princess of Wales. I have often wondered how she went about cutting othe people's grass. Nonetheless, it's only a few days since I saw House of Wax and I wasn't up for any Freddie Kruegeresque shenanigans, or even the possibility of a shrine to Groundskeeper Willie.

Forsaking all these possibilities, I bought some hot chips and promenaded with Bondi along the SouthPort Pier. An old couple up ahead of us stared open mouth for so long, that when I got close to them I couldn't help but ask if they had never seen a bag of chips before. Undeterred, they pressed on with the usual round of questions, but wouldn't accept that Malamutes were bred to be draft excluders for igloos.

Took a back road home via Ormskirk (which looks rather pretty and deserving of a proper visit).

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