5.00 am and still dark. I can see white small white waves outside the window and it’s lovely to sit in our room an see the dawn arrive.
Lucky the keys on my computer are lit so I can work without disturbing Keith.
We did make it into Liverpool even though we were later than expected.
As we left the ship it was blowing a gale…. you had to walk bent into the wind, the huge grey clouds skidded across the sky above us and the gulls whooped their way on the currents.~ winter weather for home.
I had on my coat that I hadn’t even worn all winter at home.
You know when a ship of 3000 plus enters a port the interesting sites are saturated with tourists. I’m not complaining about that, however, I just don’t want to spend my time “sharing” space.
Keith and I hopped on a train for Chester. I’d been there before when I taught one time…..just fleetingly.
There were a few other passengers who took the challenge as well and we chatted like old friends during the 30 minute train ride.
It was lunch time when we arrived in Chester so we sat on a bench in the Roman amphitheater and ate the croissants, cheese and hard boiled eggs I’d wrapped in the fancy serviettes at breakfast. It began to rain…. have you ever peeled an egg holding an umbrella? I don’t advise it… and I certainly won’t do it again….the umbrella died by bending at an uncomfortable angle.
Right next to the amphitheater was a church. St Johns, the oldest in Britain we were told…. and indeed it isn’t the finest we had seen, but it had character. They try to make money by selling coffee and tea and very tired cards in a little reception area set up with an old lounge and chairs in the left hand corner of the church. A small grey haired lady with a wonderful smile and charming accent engaged us with conversation.. “did you see the organ”? she asked smiling… “It was the one used at the coronation and wedding of Queen Victoria”
We felt obliged to walk into their reception area and began to read the text about the history of the church.
There is was. The information I had heard of in some books… The story of the end of the Battle of Hastings…. The tapestry shows that Harold was shot in the eye and died. Some historians say he was then brutally cut into pieces and his wife, Algitha, went on to the battle field to recover the body parts and take him home for burial. The story has the air of a gruesome movie.
Ha, but this Church has a secret. In an excerpt from the Polychronicon, Gerald of Wales wrote that Harold didn’t die but “had many wounds and lost his left eye” He was secreted away to Chester and remained hidden from the word in the Chapel of St James an Anchorite Cell.
How amazing…. to be on the very spot. The kind lady’s husband gave us a personal tour of the ruins near the church and I thought about all those people who were visiting the Beatles shrines in Liverpool…. and Keith and I in peace and quiet were privy to “things that I just needed to know.”
We walked the Roman walls that surround the city, and down through the town. No, it’s not stepping back in time, but how quaint, black and white Tutor buildings housing “modern must haves.”
I bought a cup, it’s fine bone china, and is says…”I’d rather be n my shed”
Traveling alone on the way back to the ship, we sat amongst an invisible blanket of thick Liverpuddlian accents. We were privy to the personal life of those who live near the train line. Tall row houses that look as if someone has drawn them and placed them neatly in place. The yards backyards were incredibly small but reflective of the personality of the owners…
Sunflowers were common…. tiny sheds, green grass and the obligatory colored rubbish bins…against a red or bright blue back door.
Crowds of people came to see the ship, they lined the wharf despite the cold blustery conditions. Somewhere the music of beatles was playing added to the ambience and I spent a few hours in that environment working on my illustrated Rhino….