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It’s all on your doorstep!

As an ardent mountain-biker, the parks around Liverpool are my pleasure grounds; however, dog walkers, families with prams and the general public are avid strollers also, all amid the tranquil shaded tree canopies and floral beds of our beautiful park-scape.

Riding a bike can be a hazardous undertaking in the park, especially when there are so many people about. So many people about being a good thing, as parks and gardens provide a vital element to our well-being and give us all that freedom note we all need, to clear our heads ready to begin again with the trials and tribulations that life throws at us.

So, I invested in a bell to help navigate the paths and tracks to warn numerous people of my approach.

This has, on many occasions been a complete and utter waste of time as nobody hears it or takes any notice! Or do they?

Which comes to my conclusion, not that so many people are deaf, but that they are so immersed in the beauty and freedom, stillness and dreaminess of the greenery in our parks that they are in fact in a minds ‘dreamscape’.
They are wrapped up in their own thoughts…….. a dreamland that lets them pass their time with their thoughts and so aid their well-being in life and their healthy recovery.

We are blessed with an abundant of open spaces in Liverpool. The parks environment allows us the public to replenish our little worlds and we do this at our own pace and leisure and it all provides us with a little ‘ghostly counsellor’.

For each and every one of us, these open spaces allow a mythical counsellor to communicate with us in our own very private and unique way. My theory anyway, and I’m only drinking coffee.

I get people telling me…they are “In another world”, “I was dreaming”, …… having rattled the bell a few times too many.

So, this is good enough evidence to suggest the importance of our parks in Liverpool helping us recoup without getting evidence from any of the heavy research, filling tick boxes etc.

So, when the rain stops, take a trip to your nearest parkland and feel the vibes of nature and get that buzz of wellbeing from the air around, its free and they are amazing places….

……….and it’s all on your doorstep!

Champion gets a Land Rover Experience above and beyond!

This was the ultimate experience which began with a hearty breakfast at the Halewood Visitor Centre café, South Road, Liverpool L24 9PZ.

A group of Liverpool CEO’s spent a day involved in an in-depth study of the technical computer systems that drive the massive Halewood factory; a factory tour of this fascinating campus to see how the systems work and a drive on the all terrain track in a Range Rover Evoque.

Whether you are looking for an insight into vehicle manufacturing, the opportunity to drive the world’s most capable vehicles, or a combination of the two; the activities offer unforgettable experiences!

The ‘behind the scenes’ tour of this amazing facility gives you a fascinating insight into todays motor production industry. It presents an unforgettable hive of activity with 54 robots just operating in the paint shop facility alone and with 111 employees per shift.
This is a massive site with thousands of stakeholders, a small city with its own shopping mall!!!
On one tour, we passed the paint shop with its 1.2 million litres of paint per year process capability, that’s enough to paint the Forth road bridge in Scotland five times over (it takes five years to paint it once!)
I asked why so many women in the paint shop and the reply was, because they have a keen eye for colour recognition. This dates back, I was told, to prehistoric times when they were hunter gatherers and if they collected the wrong berries….well!!!!
Oh, and they use ostrich feathers to dust the car bodies but not any old ostrich…..but from female ostriches as the males tend to fight more, which damages their feathers.

To see a car evolve from just pieces of pressed metal before your eyes and have each one personally coloured, have its own personal sat nav for its destination country, personalised interiors, engine size and interior design, leaves you thinking…what if….but it seldom happens because the computer systems are so smart!

The tour experience has 5 different options ranging from short tasters,longer more detailed visits, one to one exclusives and opportunities to even view your car being built.

The drive experience was what we all waited for….. and what a performance that was…..with 3 different drive options ranging from the short demonstrations, a get behind the wheel and a longer more tailored driving course.

The team building package, which some of the group opted for, was a physical driving challenge with taxing tests.

After the days excitement, some colleagues were so thrilled with the experience that they booked for the evening tours and drive options for the family at weekends.

This was a fantastic day and I would recommend pre booking one of the packages through….Hannah Breen-
Tour & Drive Experience 0151 448 4023.
You will not regret this experience!

Liverpool’s biggest festival of history and culture- Heritage Open Days!

I think this is one of the most exciting cultural events of the year on Merseyside. An event which many Merseysiders look forward to and plan with relish. It’s one of England’s largest voluntary cultural events and it gets underway right across Merseyside NOW!.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s outstanding architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public, or normally charge for admission.

Every year during September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. Properties ranging from castles to factories; town halls to tithe barns; parish churches to Buddhist temples.

It’s a once-in-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring local history and culture alive for everyone.
Check on-line for the local heritage events happening near you this weekend.
http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Today at the Albert Dock, heritage did come alive for me and another few hundred people attending one of the “Heritage” on the Dock events.
I opted for several tours such as ‘Meet the engineers’ on board the newly restored Steam Ship Daniel Adamson, a Heritage Walk, Tate architectural tour, and the Pagoda arts Guzheng ensemble sound.

Later in the afternoon yesterday, I joined the knowledgeable tea expert Alison Appleton who guided a group of visitors with a fascinating talk and session of memorable Chinese tea tasting!

We sampled several South China teas such as the Fuding White tea, a pressed, brick white tea from the same plantations that produces silver needle tea; a Phoenix mountain Oolong tea, an exceptionally rare tea from a family owned single tea tree, not a plantation; a beautiful Bohea tea with a naturally fruity smooth with caramel after taste and a Lapsang Souchong, a classic and favourite tea of Winston Churchill.

This was all new to me and the experiences gained will no doubt drive me to seek out the more flavoursome varieties instead of the usual Yorkshire tea bag. Well, they do say ‘variety is the spice of life’.

At its peak, the Albert Dock was Liverpool’s chief port for Chinese and East Asian trade so, it was definitely a fitting place to hold this presentation and an innovative way of bringing history alive.

Sitting in an airy, fireproof Albert Dock warehouse room surrounded by antique 18th Century fold over tea tables and designer chintz fabrics, provided us all with the ideal historical location were this valuable cargo,tea, was once stored. The setting and atmosphere made the afternoon.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the authentic loose teas, all served in beautifully flowered ceramic cups and certainly became a ‘devotea’ of the exquisite leaf while socialising and enjoying the afternoon.
This is certainly an acquired taste I will develop further, now that my taste buds have been tantalized.
I recommend a trip to the Tea House!
@_TeaHouse http://www.alisonappleton.com 21 Lark Lane L17

Another exciting visit on my Heritage quest, took me somewhere completely different but a place I’d passed many times on the E. Lancs……. the Gillmoss Materials Recovery Facility tour…. to see at first hand what happens to the items I put into my recycling bin.
This was a very interesting and informative talk and guide around the working site conducted from the level and covered walkway.

Using the latest technologies in mechanical sorting, mixing recyclables from the kerbside collections of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton are delivered to the MRF for sorting.

This hour long tour provides you with a second by second all action viewing of the whole process from beginning to end with 25 tonnes of material an hour processed before your eyes.
uk.veolia.dicoverycentre@veolia.com
http://www.veolia.co.uk/merseyside-and-halton
If you wish to have an interesting alternative to the weekend then log onto the above websites and take a tour…all FREE
Tomorrow…….. Croxteth Park, Speke Hall, Liverpool Old Dock, several churches and the Waterhouse University complex tour.

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