Hi, I’m Kate….a one…two…a one….two…..three…four…
Last week a close friend from Leeds came down to Liverpool on a work trip and to liven up a post-work drink he set me a challenge, he asked me to show him something all tourists should see and something only locals would see/know.
Luckily the sun was shining, I was having a particularly good hair day and felt quietly confident as we ambled towards the waterfront through the serene St Nick’s churchyard chatting about work and family. When you mount the sandstone steps to St Nicholas’ church you’re met with a breath-taking view of the Liver Building, up close and positively beaming in the late evening sun. I felt triumphant, tourist destination number one for Liverpool...check. He smirked, shrugged his shoulders and nonchalantly walked on. Hmmmph clearly not good enough for Mr Yorkshire.
We dodged the rush hour traffic on The Strand (giving up prayers to the god of Zara for creating comfortable heels) and rounded the corner to the sight of the magnificent Three Graces, the Albert Dock in all its maritime splendour and the futuristic looking Museum of Liverpool.…tourist heaven. He lifted his sunglasses, took it all in and smiled. Stage one complete.
We pulled up a pew at the Pump House pub and sipped ice old Archers. I rattled on for over an hour about my wonderful city and all it has to offer from the Grease-style drive in cinema to the free museums and galleries.… until the wind picked up from the Mersey and the sea shanties got a little too rowdy to hold a normal conversation....got to love our maritime heritage, always a ship or boat moored by the pub blasting out Kaiser Chiefs. I wonder if ‘I predict a riot’ comes under the folk genre on ITunes?!
The stroll over to the bustling Liverpool 1 development was a little wobbly, yet I managed to stride up the steps to Chavasse Park with the help of the sturdy handrail. Wandering aimlessly, taking in the sights and sounds of chilled summer tunes at Palm Sugar, the green was buzzing with activity, sunglasses and suits enjoying a balmy post-work drink. I prattled on like a demented Thomas Cook tour guide hoping my incessant talking would distract him from part two of the challenge which I'd not yet figured out (Plus the cocktails at the Hilton bar had killed off a few more brain cells)
Then, to my utter delight, when I thought I had lost the challenge.…and would have to suffer a no-doubt humiliating forfeit and admit to being an adopted Scouser on account of my woeful knowledge of ANY in-jokes.……there in front of us stood the Queen Victoria Monument in Derby Square.
Cheshire cat like I took his arm and steered him across Derby Sq to an unremarkable steel bench next to the 10A bus stop. He looked at me like I'd gone nuts. A couple passed by and gave me a knowing smile, because that's what Scousers do, they're just naturally friendly people.
I stood on the bench (sorry mum) put my hands on his shoulders and slowly turned him around to face the statue. It took a minute but when he realised that Queen Victoria was holding a strategically placed sceptre in her right hand, which when viewed ONLY from this EXACT spot made her more of a king than a queen.......he burst into laughter and took out his iPhone to take a pic. Stage two complete.
I wobbled off to hail a cab feeling really chuffed with myself. I might have been born elsewhere, but Liverpool is my home.
Kate The Challenge Thrasher!