28 March 2011

Cracke, not craic...though it was.

So I want to apologize for my last post. My mood these days tend to change as often as the English weather in spring and I should have known better to write when I was at a low point. I was tempted to delete the post but fuck it; this blog isn’t all skipping through the flowery field all the time. This blog is more like getting a generic box of graham crackers and thinking, “this tastes like preschool” because in preschool they could never afford Honey Maid and it warms your heart a bit that you can actually remember a bit of preschool but disappointing because generic graham crackers just don’t soften up in milk like the real ones do. Maybe that really wasn’t a proper analogy but more of me describing a recent experience.

Anyhow, this past Saturday both Andy and I were convinced that I was going into proper labor. I won’t go into details but the day was mostly spent with me moaning and whining and wondering to myself how bad it had to get before we called up the hospital hoping that they’d to tell us to come in (which from what I hear, the midwives won’t let you come in until you’re crowning). Sadly, I made the mistake of “getting some rest” and woke up Sunday morning quite normal and definitely not in labor anymore. I did however feel great, probably better than I’ve felt in weeks, and we decided to make the most of a sometimes sunny, sometimes chilly, spring day in Liverpool.

We took care of the needed shopping first by going to the New Mersey Retail Park. Retail Parks are a pretty big thing here, both in actual size and in public enthusiasm. They’re a bit like a strip mall but 100 times bigger. Technically speaking, England doesn’t have anything like what America calls a strip mall. Most towns and villages here will have at least one of the following: a newsagent (basically a hardly cleaned and much smaller 7-11), a bakery, a grocery store (small), a pub, a charity shop (similar to Goodwill), a fish and chip shop (also called a chippy), and a bookies – but no strip malls. The bookies, as general information, will be the cleanest establishment of all those listed and it will also have a pretty clean bathroom that you can use if you pretend that you are using it prior to making a bet on the electronic horses. England also has proper shopping malls too, but when you’re after something big (like a bed or a couch) or for DYI stuff, you’re going to end up at one of the many Retail Parks; which we did. I suppose that was a really long way of telling you we went to BandQ Warehouse (Home Depot) for some couch cushions.

Oh retail park, how I love thee.

Afterwards, we decided to head towards the city centre as Andy has been going on about this place called the Ye Olde Cracke that he had been to many years before and absolutely loved. I have to say that Ye Olde Cracke didn’t disappoint. It was located on this tiny little street that we totally didn’t see the first time we drove past. It’s also located between two of the largest cathedrals in the area, the Liverpool Cathedral and the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (great naming there folks). The Liverpool Cathedral is the 5th largest cathedral in the world (and the largest in the UK) and the Metropolitan one looks like a gigantic wigwam (sadly sans Indians – native, Asian or otherwise). Check me out – I went from horrible whiny post last week to boring tourist information post – somebody give me a rubber chicken for fucks sake. ANYHOW, Ye Olde Cracke is supposedly one of the pubs John Lennon used to hang out in when he went to art school in the area. I can’t confirm that but I can confirm that they had a really awesome beer garden and a weird Chinese guy who will sell you a knock off DVD for 3 pounds. Actually, I can’t confirm that the Chinese guy will always be there but for 3 pounds, our copy of ‘Rango’ wasn’t that bad….not great, but watchable after you got used to the handheld camera shake.

Paying for parking...1 pound 40 for an hour in case you're interested.

Another random shot - trying to seem arty.  Failing.  Need rubber chicken.

Andy standing next to some art.  It has some meaning, this art, but I don't know what it is because I didn't bother to read the plaque. 

Nothing like a Super Lambanana to brighten one's day.

The Cracke!

The beer garden.  Also, the Facebook masses agree with me that Andy is in desperate need of a haircut.

After a pint, we headed down the road to Liverpool’s Chinatown. Well, technically we got ourselves a bit screwed up looking for parking so we ended up in a Chinese grocery store first. In California I was used to having the Japanese grocery store nearby so I was really stoked that there was a place here I could pick up proper ramen noodles, soy sauce, pot stickers and most importantly, Koala March cookies. We managed to find the entrance to Chinatown after a bit of searching but it was pretty much shut due to it being Sunday (fecking Sunday working hours!) but we did stop into this tiny little pub called ‘the Nook’ because I was dying for a pee. Of course we had to stay and have a drink and for the prices (2.80 for a pint of lager and a small 7-up) and entertainment – this was Chinatown after all – it was well worth it.

Chinatown...pretty but fucking shut.  Stupid Sundays!

It was a good day and it completely made up for the week’s worth of pissy good for nothing pregnancy mood swings I’ve been having. Well, I say that, Andy might feel a bit different.

On an unrelated\related note: Please send Honey Maid graham crackers.


  1. Trying to remember the name of the pub we went to near the Cathedrals that has gorgeous stained glass, and marble in the men's room - my photographer friend Jenn nearly got herself into trouble going into the men's room to take photos!

    Got it - The Philharmonic!

    That photo of a retail park looks like many places I've seen in MD and MA!

    Does the suitcase art perhaps have something to do with all the people who emigrated through the port of Liverpool?

    Hope the little one arrives soon and the delivery goes smoothly!

  2. AA: I never got the notification that someone commented! Better late than never I suppose...

    That retail park photo doesn't do it justice. I wish there was a 360 video to show how massive it is.

    According to Wikipedia: On Hope Street is the interesting sculpture “A Case History” by John King, 1998. Various items of luggage, cast in concrete, are stacked on the pavement – the labels on the suitcases refer to notable individuals and institutions linked with the local area.

    I personally like your explanation better!