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Liverpool: Day 1 – 25.03.16 ………..Dorchester to Liverpool via Newcastle!

We knew it was going to be an early morning but 5.50am? Come on guys, you cannot be serious! So, I arrived at Maice's abode at the given time of 5.50am and off we drove, Maice with the directions and her hot water bottle (she's suffering with a trapped nerve and me behind the wheel on our epic adventure to 'the Pool' (that would be Liverpool to the uninitiated). Well, so far so good......we had managed to get out of Dorset without any deviation, deliberations or u-turns plus the fact that we had seen three sets of Magpies on the side of the road, we felt it was going to be our lucky day!

I suppose it all started when Maice got into the car and said how much she was looking forward to her 'Ceasar' drink, this being the national drink of Canada (made up of vodka, clamato juice, celery salt, Tabasco, olives, gherkins, celery, green beans, lemon and anything else you may want to include). I had to tell her the truth! I had previously googled for some nice cafes in Chester and the Kiwi Cafe came up and can you believe this, it served these Ceasars. Excitedly, I told Maice and we added it to our 'things to do in Chester' list. Anyway, to cut a long story short, when I looked it up to find the address it came up with Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada!!!!! It was fortunate I had packed a box of tissues, such was the upset it caused.

To be quite frank, I think it was a good thing really. You see, Maice had been eating rubbish food all week which played havoc with her digestive system. Of course, she apologised profusely in advance for the gross behaviour of her bodily functions, but when one finally erupted, well, how I managed to drive in a straight line and not be gassed off the road, I can only pay respect to my inner sanctum in allowing me to take pity on her inner turmoil and not be affected by such gross impertuities..........if you get my drift!

Today we were driving to New Brighton via Newcastle, via Little Moreton Hall (Congleton), via Chester so it was going to be a long day. Not to worry, we had our carrot sticks to keep us going and we made it to Little Moreton Hall with surprisingly no incidents of real note. Okay there were a few, but Maice's homing pigeon skills certainly kicked in. Jane, H that is, here's a photo to show we were only a quarter of a mile from Newcastle!!!!!!

Little Moreton hall is a lovely national trust property just off the M6 and we were really pleased we made the detour. We decided to join the tour and the guide was just in the middle of delivering a tale about the 'board' in the main hall when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. Well, that's a first, so we all huddled under the umbrellas on the lawn waiting for the okay sign to return to the house. Well, we certainly learnt a few things which we have decided to impart on you, so here is a short potted history lesson; did you know........?

In the 15th century a table was not called a table, but a board. The master of the house always sat at the top of the table on the finest chair and this is where the Chair Man of the Board came from (I can tell you're on).

When they played card games everyone had to keep their hands on top of the board, hence where Above Board came on....

If you moved the board to the side of the room it was known as the Side Board.........and there's more......

If you put your cup on the board it became the Cup Board.

You see what you've now learnt from our little trip out. Stick with us, I'm sure there'll be more snippets over the course of the weekend.

After our tour we sat in the car in the rain and had a picnic. It was rather chilly and we huddled around the car heater whilst listening to the radio. Did you know its National Hat Day today? Everyone has to wear a hat to support brain cancer, so entering into the spirit of the day we too donned our hats which we wore all day.

We left Little Moreton Hall, got lost a few times, did a number of u-turns and reverse turns and finally made it to Chester. What a lovely city. We decided to see Chester Cathedral first and were so glad we did. It's quite amazing what they have done to celebrate Easter. They have replaced the Twelve Stations of the Cross with posters of pictures from World War One and Two and it was so well done. To top it all there was a magnificent sculpture by David Mach of Christ on the Cross, which was unbelievable. Both were so poignant.

Leaving the Cathedral we walked the walls of Chester, which was a good two miles that followed the river Dee and the canals and had a lovely walk that stretched the legs. We were fortunate with the weather as it didn't rain until we got back into the car and we headed off to our final destination, New Brighton.

We arrived at our Travelodge Hotel where we found our room with one King size bed and one put you up can imagine who drew the short straw. Yes, me the tallest ended up on the kiddies put you up, whilst shorty Maice ended up in the spacious king size bed. Life can be so unfair! Sitting in the bed it felt like Upstairs, Downstairs but on the level! We were rewarded by the magnificent view from our room with Liverpool docks opposite so to celebrate we cracked open two bottles of wine (naturally they were small ones) and we contemplated our day. So far, so good.

We changed into our evening garb and went in search of supper and came upon the Olive Tree where we had a really delicious meal, oh and a bottle of wine. We deliberated on half a bottle but thought, what the hell, we're on holiday so a full bottle it was, and as per a quote from some travellers we met last Sunday on the train to London ......we are travellers with a taste for drink! They hardly new us, so can't imagine how they arrived at that quote!!!

We're off to the cinema tomorrow night to see My big fat Greek wedding which is showing at The Light cinema and is conveniently situated below the hotel. £8.50 each it cost us, so it had better be worth it! We told the two guys that served us we only paid £2.50 in Dorchester and they couldn't believe it!

Well that's it folks. I am going to bed down now and hope I don't turn over too quickly and fall out of bed!

Tara chuck

M&A xx

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