Just caught sight of the fantastic cultural events on offer this year, in and around Liverpool, celebrating the ten years since Capital of Culture. Really looking forward to the offering that will take place in the city centre and dockland. Installations, music, visual arts and theatre, not to mention the return of the Giants. My message to all is…get involved!
Capital of Culture was started by a movie star and pop singer from Greece called Melina Mercouri. A famous film of hers is ‘Never on Sunday’. She hit the headlines by trying to get the Elgin Marbles back from the British Museum, the Parthenon Marbles as they are known. They said. “You can’t possibly have them back because you’ve got nowhere to house them”, so she built a museum to house them.
She started Cities of Culture and became the Greek Culture Minister, and through the EU, they made ‘Cities of Culture’.
If you would like to know more about the story of Melina Mercouri then venture to the Bombed Out Church of St Lukes at the top of Bold Street, where this will be their theme for celebrating City of Culture.
Dark mornings, dark evenings and the cold may just turn us all an unusual shade of blue but let’s look on the positives in and around the cultural sites of our city these coming days and try to get out and about.
My Cultural events this year began last night at the Open Eye Gallery Mann Island. Hundreds flocked to see the Tom Wood photo exhibition of a bygone time set around the Pier Head. His photo works will be on view for a number of weeks and it’s well worth a drop in just to see if you’re in the frame. Toms photographs range from the 70’s to today and spell out a social history and lifestyle ‘time capsule’ of fashion and architecture in and around his ferry crossings during that time.
With the pantomime season still with us, it’s not too late to get your tickets for The Little Mermaid at the Everyman, on till January 20th. Really enjoyed this usual rock and roll caper the other night and would certainly recommend it for a top pick this season before it’s too late.
Dick Whittington at Gladstone Theatre, Wirral till 14th, and Beauty and the Beast at The Atkinson till the 21st January with several afternoon performances to choose from.
For foodies…..well Number 1 Castle Street does it for me, especially when you get to meet Gino himself!!!! Have the pic’s to prove it! When you arrive there, you know you are in for a treat and it’s not just the open kitchen, or the prosecco bar which houses 40 different kinds of prosecco.
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!
Ziferblat has just opened a second venue in Liverpool’s business district. An interesting eating concept and one which I took to immediately on a visit to the Albert Dock Colonnades some time ago.
This is the name for a new kind of social space; where everything is free except the time you spend there. The idea was founded in Moscow by Ivan Meetin back in 2011 with Ziferblat meaning in a way, I suppose, a “treehouse for adults”.
At 8p per minute; this pay-by-the minute ‘cafe’ has had great success so another has opened in St Paul’s Square. This phenomenal cafe idea is also a first for Liverpool having two Ziferblat’s opening in one city.
Visit Unit 7 The Colonnades Albert Dock http://www.ziferblat.co.uk
On arrival, you get a shared space in which you are free to work, study, relax, hold a meeting or workshop, read a book, play piano (although I stopped when sensing the needs of others with the’peace and quiet’ looks.
There are lots of opportunities also to get acquainted with people through the enjoyable events held in one or more of the homely rooms dotted around the cafe.
I like Ziferblat, with this idea of each little guest becoming a micro tenant of the space and ‘living’ in their little home area, where you can help yourself to all the kitchen goodies or special Ziferkitchen treats. All drinks and snacks are free, including cakes, fresh coffee, tea varieties, biscuits, fruits, breads, cereals, brownies, juices and some super strength Wi-Fi.
Make Ziferblat a must for your unwinding at the Albert Dock which may be a little busy at the weekend but the new commercial district venue is a hit on weekdays. I found the free wifi available for as long as you stay a great bonus in the Ziferblat atmosphere.
An early morning meeting I had last week at Ziferblat, was a great hit with colleagues who raided the kitchen area stocked with juices, cakes, breads, cereals and we even had a bacon sandwich!
Meeting rooms are charged at a lower rate of 6p per minute.
In all, you will not be sorry with time spent at Ziferblat so….in your own time…….take a visit this week.