Cross by Mary Martin #mirrorselfie

Breakfast was a little fraught today, big boss man was in and all seemed busy, American woman was overheard on her phone saying to a friend that “Liverpool is great, like London but nice”, but fed and watered we made our way across a rainy town to FACT (foundation for art and creative technology). There is an interactive exhibition looking at identity in virtual spaces, some of it was okay, most just reminded how well our class efforts were on my interactive media degree.

Steamboat Willy trash
Steamboat Willy trash

Occasionally people refer to kitsch n crap as “so bad it’s good” but you have also got to be able to call out trash coz it’s so Bad that it’s rubbish. And though I’m using a shell grotto type horror boat here to demonstrate that concept some of the computer gamery in the FACT exhibition was exploitative trash that was (I suppose) trying to call out 1st person shooter as bad by piling tons of depressing narrative on top… but a polished turd is still a pile of shit.

St. Jerome reading in a cave - Andrea Alessi
St. Jerome reading in a cave – Andrea Alessi

From there we head to visit the Walker Gallery, good old fashioned Empire raiding for antiquities. Don’t get me wrong here, I love a well equipped museum but for most pieces older than about 1950 I worry that we (uk museums) acquired most of the non-european stuff with an iron fist hiding behind a velvet glove. The eternal struggle, for me, is the thirst for knowledge, but not at the cost of the locals or the not locals.

Mona Lisa - a 17th century copy
Mona Lisa – a 17th century copy

The Mona Lisa above, as was very well explained by the helpful museum staff, is a copy made in the 17th century. When the Mona Lisa in the Louvre was stolen in 1911 it was cut from the frame and is missing details on left and right of the picture of the veranda that Mona is posing on. Categoric proof that Liverpool is better than Paris in many aspects but specifically you can see more of the Mona Lisa there.

Cross by Mary Martin #mirrorselfie
Cross by Mary Martin #mirrorselfie

Another highlight in the Walker at the moment is a 60’s colour and shape exhibition called Kaleidoscope which has a Bridget Riley (fab), plenty more of colourful shapes and a couple by Mary Martin, check out my #mirrorselfie

It was also a pleasure to see the statue of Albert Einstein by Jacob Epstein (Epstein always lifts my spirits :)). Instagram

Lunch was taken at a deli/burger place on Dale Street, Delkery, which was, as were all our meals in Liverpool, reasonably priced, plentiful and fresh. The coffee is great there (kinda turkish and bitter?) and the kids were pleased by the fruit smoothies that they had.

After a brief respite at the hotel we moseyed down Sir Thomas street to the Liverpool Breakout. We are fans of escape rooms, we have been to ones in Bilbao, Portsmouth, Cardiff and a few others. The Bilbao one was almost language and Spanish words free which pleased us no end, they also did a cute trick with a radio station playing especially for the folks trying to win in the room.

For those not too au fait of the genre of the Escape Room there was a very good program on radio 4 which introduces you to them and you may be able to hear it here. The fun of solving puzzles and unlocking padlocks is a great analogue pleasure and working together with my family for a shared purpose is always ace (so far).

The Pirate story we were in at Breakout was only 3 out of 5 stars in difficulty and we did manage to escape the room with the pirate’s booty with 7 minutes or so to spare.

Breakout Liverpool winners!
Breakout Liverpool winners!

My final evening in Liverpool coincided with Liverpool FC playing away at Manchester City in the Champions League quarter final second leg and although Liverpool had a 3-0 lead from the first leg the early goal from City gave a very nervy first half. Liverpool drew level in second half and the atmosphere in the Vernon Arms perked up massively… possibly in part due to the great atmosphere I had a few pints too many and suffered the next day on our journey home, will I never learn?
No, probably not.

Thanks for reading, support my half arsed attempts and give me some encouragement by buying something through my affiliate link, doesn’t have to be this – Breakout  – but if you start there and buy something you need then I might (still trying to work out how this all works) get a tiny fee for linking you there.

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cheers 🙂

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