Deja Vu. 30th July

Salthouse Dock

P1090651smAs the sun went down last night it cast a wonderful light across Salthouse Dock turning everything golden in it’s path. Mike on NB Lady Baltimore had also picked up his camera, a far superior one to mine with huge lenses.

P1090654smP1090660smA slow morning and a cooked breakfast. Since the 16th of June when we left Hanwell we have moved everyday but three (interview check on the house and hand Lillian over) so we deserved to sit around for most of the morning. We’d missed the boats leaving to do the link at 8am, as our eyes had still been firmly shut, we’d drifted off to sleep last night as music still blared out from the pubs and clubs on the other side of the dock.

More washing was done, got to make use of being hooked up especially as it’s free! By the end of the day our water tank was only a quarter full!

During the morning we got news of a sighting of Lillian. I think everytime Tim and Elizabeth take her out past Crick Lizzie will be waving at them from NB Panda like a loony woman. She says she’d have introduced herself if she hadn’t still been in pyjamas. The report was that Lillian respected Panda and was the slowest passing boat all morning.

P1090702smBy the time we got our act together to go and get some culture it was most definitely afternoon. I’d had a quick look at The Tate’s website and noticed something to do with the mural we’d seen yesterday on our way in which finishes tomorrow. So we headed over to Albert Dock to see some art.

P1090672smP1090674smOn the ground floor was part of an epic wall hanging by Aleksandra Mir Space Tapestry, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Halley’s Comet in 1066. Large sections of paper hung on the walls asking questions relating to our home and space, is there anybody out there? In the room there is getting on for 40m of the work, but in total there is 200m. The work took two years to make with the aid of 25 collaborators all using black marker pens. It was strange standing in a room in Liverpool looking at images of where we have travelled from in the last two months in East London.

P1090679smP1090687smP1090689smFurther up the gallery are rooms showing various art works from the collection which all have links to each other. A constellation map connects the artworks to a trigger piece. The works stretch from Grayson Perry to Lowry,  Duchamp to Paul McCarthy and his Artist video. Some of this we found interesting, other parts not so. Certainly Paul McCarthy’s video was strange, slightly amusing yet very disturbing (we didn’t watch it all the way through it’s 50 minutes). The Felt Suit by Joseph Beuys was a calm moment after the video and had connections with Michelangelo Pistolettos Venus of the Rags. My favourite piece was in the Lowry room by Ghisha Koenig, The Machine Minders (seen above).


Up another floor and an exhibition that was co curated by Tracey Emin and the gallery. Tracey’s controversial work My Bed 1998 sits in a red room, surrounded by drawings by William Blake, at the far end of the gallery are drawings by Tracey. My Bed is a self portrait where the artist is absent, her bed after four days of inner turmoil laid out for all to see. We timed our viewing with a talk by a chap from the gallery, which was interesting and informative if a little bit meandering. Blakes drawings at first glimpse are detailed drawings easy on the eye compared to the detritus around Tracey’s bed, yet the subject matter is more disgusting, boils, torture, lust in a form that we now would tend to pass over without looking at in detail.

Still no sign of an exhibition about the mural. That was because we had already seen it yesterday at Stanley Dock.

P1090719smP1090727smFull of art and the views from the galleries windows, two narrowboats coming into the dock, we decided to spend an hour in the Museum of Liverpool. When we were here five years ago we had quick visits to the museums and galleries that surround the docks as we had constant visitors all weekend. On one day we’d come into the museum and started to look around, within fifteen minutes there was an announcement that they would be closing soon. Today we walked up the spiral staircase to the first floor, thinking that we could have a look around there and come back another day to do more. We had just walked to the beginning of the time line for the history of Liverpool when there was an announcement, yes they would be closing in quarter of an hour! Deja Vu! So instead of working our way through centuries we spent what minutes we had looking at the display on Liverpool’s Overhead Railway.

P1090733smP1090735smOpened in 1893 the Liverpool Overhead Railway was the first elevated electric railway. Running along the docks, originally five miles long, it was extended to stretch from Litherland to Dingle. It became known as the Dockers Umbrella giving shade on rainy days. A popular tourist trip and at it’s height almost 20 million people used it in a year. In 1955 a survey showed that a lot of repair work was needed on the viaducts which the company could not afford. Despite public protest the railway closed at the end of 1956. We just had chance to watch a small section of a film made looking out of the carriages at the docks before another announcement pushed us closer to the doors. We will be back, one morning so that our visit doesn’t get stopped before it starts again!

P1090745smFor a treat we headed over to Pizza Express for a meal tonight. We had a voucher for free dough balls and another for 25% off food. So we made the most of it with three courses. Next door is the Liverpool Wheel which was still turning as the sun was heading down over the horizon. We may come back to go round it one evening ourselves.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 lazy morning, 1 tiller tied up tight, 0 squeaking now, 3 exhibitions, 40m of felt tip art, 1 bed, 1 split pillow, 2 dumpy chaps, 15 minutes of history, 1 carriage, 0 spitting, 2 narrowboats, 2 loads washing, 2 pizzas, 2 glasses of wine, 2 puddings, 1 portion dough balls, 45ish cat naps to go!