The Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool is the largest Catholic Cathedral in England. It took a long time to reach fruition but was finally consecrated in 1967. The circular Cathedral is surprisingly light and airy when you enter. I was also amazed that it could hold 3000 people as it doesn't look that large from the outside. It is now a familiar sight on the Liverpool skyline and is affectionately known as 'Paddy's Wigwam'
The blue stained glass windows flood the cathedral with light. The tower above the altar has large areas of stained glass designed by John Piper (who designed the windows in Coventry Cathedral) and Patrick Reyntiens.
The blue from the windows is reflected throughout the Cathedral.
A couple of miles from Liverpool city centre is Crosby beach. A sandy beach, where swimming is forbidden due to the mixture of soft sand and mud and the risk of changing tides. But this is a beach with a difference as here you will find the 'Another Place' sculptures by Anthony Gormley.
100 life size, cast iron figures are spread out over 3 kilometres along the beach and almost one kilometre out to sea.
Each figure weighs 650kg and is a cast of the artists's own body.
They all stand on the beach and look out to the horizon. One explanation behind this installation is a response to the sentiments of emigration, the sadness associated with leaving and the hope of a new future in another place.
We arrived at high tide and realised that many of the figures were underwater by then, so we returned in the evening when the tide was out.
Although we saw more of the figures, they are so spaced out that it was difficult to get more than a handful in any one photo.
According to Antony Gormley, 'Another Place harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man's relationship with nature. He explains: The seaside is a good place to do this. Here time is tested by tide, architecture by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth's substance. In this work human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet.'
Blisters have now finally healed and this week I visited Liverpool in the North West of England. It is many, many years since I was last there so there was much to see. Liverpool was a large port and much of its history is based in that area. Nowadays, as in many of our cities, the docks have gone and the warehouses have been transformed into fancy apartments, hotels and museums.
Around the Albert dock is the Maritime Museum, which includes the Slavery Museum and close by is the Tate Art Gallery
Close to the Albert Dock is the Open Eye Gallery which is great for reflections.
This is the Museum of Liverpool overlooking the River Mersey.
Whilst in Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago I visited Malham Cove. It attracts many tourists but it was a miserable afternoon so was fairly quiet. Malham Cove is a natural limestone formation with a large, curved limestone cliff
A popular place with rock climbers.
Originally a large waterfall cascaded over the cliff from a melting glacier above. This dried up about 12,000 years ago. Below the cliff now is a small stream which emerges from a cave below the cliff.
Walking to the top of the cliff you see some wonderful views.
On the top of the cliff is this amazing limestone pavement.
Tin Pan Alley or to give it its correct name Denmark Street is off Charing Cross Road near Soho. In the 50s and 60s this short street was the centre of the UK music industry. The most important music magazines at that time, The Musical Express and the Melody Maker had their head offices here and the recording studios on the street were used by The Kinks, Rolling Stones and Elton John
Close to Tin Pan Alley there is major redevelopment happening and it is unlikely that this street will remain. A few shops and the 12 bar club closed at the end of last year. So marks the beginning of the end of a little bit of musical history.
There are more guitar shops around the corner on Charing Cross Road.