three graces building liverpool waterfront

Ferry cross the mersey

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three graces tilt shift

Ok I’ve never been on a ferry across the Mersey (yet) but I have been on a ferry going up the Mersey. Not good enough I know.
On my way to Liverpool today for the weekend, so what has this got to do with Ireland?
Well I always feel a connection when I go to Liverpool, it was the first stopping off point for a lot of Irish migrants, many stayed there, many used it as the first stop on a long journey to other places in the world. Its a city that has a lot of parallels with Belfast, both formerly big with shipbuilding with a rich maritime background, both cities famous for working class humour and both cities have had tough and turbulent times. Belfast is coming to terms with the troubles as now part of its history and in Liverpool the last time I was over I went to the slavery museum.
Most of Liverpools beautiful waterfront buildings were built with money generated from the slave trade, its not alone in this, I seem to recall when Obama was elected how the White House in Washington had been built by slaves.
Theres an inherent sadness in cities like Liverpool, troubled peoples, troubled times have left their mark but the cities carry on and are full of life and humour. Like Belfast Liverpool has some of the finest new waterfront developments only a few miles from some of the worst troubled areas in Western Europe.
Of course unlike Belfast, Liverpool is home to one of the greatest football clubs in the World, as well as Tranmere and Everton. Ive supported Liverpool since I was a boy, probably a mixture of the all red strip and they were top of the league when I was a kid. But lets not linger on their current fortunes for too long 😉
Liverpool football souvenirs

Im not a big drinker but one of the worst nights in my life on the drink was in Liverpool, Its a very long story, very long story indeed but the night ended/morning started with me being woken up in a hotel room with all the lights on, the bathroom tap running, the tv on, the radio on, all the bedclothes on the floor and me lying on the bed wearing nothing but a facecloth. It wasnt my alarm that woke me but rather the sound of the maid leaving the room. Unlike my travelling companion, the sense of shame was overwhelmed by the sense of hunger and I braved all the dirty looks to have breakfast in the silver service dining room. I wondered why my mate was so keen to just use the key drop box rather than face the hotel staff as he had only been woken in a similar state by the maid finding him rolled up in the floor in a pile of bedclothes. It wasnt until she started vacuuming around the pile of clothes on the floor that she realised there was a person in there.
Still, Ive never touched southern comfort since and even now the smell of it makes me wretch. So let that be a lesson to you boys and girls.
None of that on this trip as Im doing the pre christmas visit to my brother, sister and nephews, just part of being an irish family, it seems a lot of us have families scattered around the globe, something I’ll touch on in later blogs. Im not able to get over over Christmas so its a mini christmas and mini birthday weekend rolled into one (did I mention its my birthday next week).
Right back to Liverpool, during the summer I did a series of various photos in and around Liverpool, for one of the days I had a local guide show me round some of the more interesting or quirky or off the tourist trail spots. One of the more interesting stories was this photo below.
Mackenzie pyramid grave

Its somewhere the guide told me the story about, its a pyramid grave which is in danger of being knocked down and either relocated or the body in it being buried which there is a minor uproar about due to the story associated with it.
Its the tomb of a guy called Mackenzie . He was a gambler who is said to have lost his soul to the devil in a game of cards. The agreement was the devil would take his soul when he was put in the ground so MacKenzie was placed in the pyramid tomb above ground sitting on a chair holding a winning hand of cards. So the devil has never got a hold of his soul, but if he is reburied then the game is over.
Now the photo itself is probably never a seller but it is an interesting story and sets the backdrop for the demolition or restoration of the nearby church which is the centre of the controversy. Something I’d never have come across without a local guide.
OK Id better get packing, photos of Liverpool below.
Stock images of Liverpool here

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