Posts Tagged ‘34 Before 34’

34 Before 34 ~ Go to Liverpool

It’s been such a long time since I did a post on here that wasn’t books, photo an hour, or monthly round up related! It’s also been a while since I updated you on my 34 Before 34 progress, so that’s what you are getting now.

I popped ‘Go to Liverpool’ on my list because I’ve always wanted to visit the city, and I was hoping this would provide the impetus to do so. In my head, I was going back to Edinburgh this year, because I enjoyed my time there so much last year, and I had only managed to stay for a couple of days. But then, in the event, I didn’t go, because the radio event that I had attended last year wasn’t on this year. So I thought, rather than go back to somewhere I only went a year ago, I’ll actually go to Liverpool!

I went for three nights; for two nights I stayed in university accommodation, as it’s cheap and functional! I then booked a hotel room in a Travelodge for the last night, because it was the only night that was cheaper than the university room, and it was a little closer to the train station for my return trip. I always do these kinds of trips on a budget – they aren’t about luxury hotels or expensive travel, and this time, as with Edinburgh, I was more than satisfied with my accommodation.

The weather was appalling for the most part; I stepped off the train into the most ridiculous rain! But of course, I didn’t go to the north of England in August for the weather, so I just made the best of it (this included buying an umbrella from Poundland!). Tate LiverpoolTate Liverpool

As my dad works for Tate Britain it would have been remiss of me to go all the way to Liverpool and not visit Tate Liverpool. He got me a ticket for the Francis Bacon Invisible Rooms exhibition that is currently on display there, so I went along on Sunday morning for a look around. It’s not entirely my cup of tea, if I’m honest; I can appreciate the genius without entirely getting it. But there was a Maria Lassnig exhibition on at the same time, and I quite enjoyed that. And Tate Liverpool is in a really love part of the city, on the Albert Dock, so it was nice to spend some time down there. It would have been even nicer if the sun had been shining!

Liver Building Liverpool

Waterstones Liverpool Paperback Writer

Kernaghan Books Liverpool

Albert Dock Liverpool

Albert Dock LiverpoolRailway Offices LiverpoolKermode Award

I managed to find the Kermode Award that I knew was at the Museum of Liverpool – it was tucked around a corner, but I found it! It’s part of the Reel Stories exhibition there that celebrates film in Liverpool.

Liverpool Bluecoat Centre

Liverpool Albert Dock

Albert Dock Liverpool

Albert Dock Liverpool



Liverpool Maritime Museum Mauretania

Liverpool Maritime Museum TitanicI almost didn’t go to the Maritime Museum, because I didn’t think it was going to be up my street.

But then I realised that Liverpool has a Titanic connection, and found out that there was an exhibition at the museum. I’m really pleased that I did go in the end, because it was a highlight of my weekend! The Titanic exhibition was interesting, and I also loved what I learned about the Lusitania, something I knew absolutely nothing about prior to this. It’s well worth a visit.


I had to get an idiotic selfie with The Beatles!

Liverpool Beatles Statue

Liverpool Albert Dock


I had a really great weekend, despite the weather, and I would love to go back some time. I think what I love most about the city is the mix of new and old architecture – it manages to feel modern and classic at the same time.

9. Visit Liverpool


34 Before 34 ~ Have afternoon tea

I have had afternoon tea before, a couple of times, but I enjoy it so much that I decided to put it on my birthday list to encourage me to do it again, and it’s one that I’ve actually managed to tick off!

I went with my sisters and my niece, in lieu of a baby shower for my niece who was around eight months pregnant when we went. I am not a fan of baby showers, and nor is she, so I suggested that just the four of us should go out for afternoon tea just to spend some time together before the baby arrived (which she did, just last weekend).

It was down to me to find somewhere to go, and I settled on Buscall & Flynn’s in Chelmsford in the end. It’s a really unassuming building from outside, in fact, I’m not sure that I’d go in if I just walked past. But with a little research, it seemed as though it had some of the best reviews for afternoon tea in Chelmsford, so that’s where we ended up.


For £11.95 per person, you get, as is standard with afternoon tea, a selection of sandwiches and cakes. When they take your order, they ask you what sandwich you want, so if there is a group of you, you could order four different choices, and then share them amongst you.


On top of the sandwiches, you get a scone and small cupcake each as well. All of the food was really delicious; well made and completely fresh, so it’s well worth the money. In terms of the drinks, we ordered a pot of tea for three of us, but my sister Sarah doesn’t drink tea, so she ordered coffee. It was slightly disappointing to find that the two cups that she drank were charged separately from the afternoon tea itself – I think that a hot drink should come as part of the tea, regardless of what you are drinking!


But all in all it was a lovely afternoon, and it’s always lovely to spend time with this bunch. Funnily enough, as we sat there waiting for our food, my dad walked in. He didn’t know we were going to be there, it was one of those silly coincidences! He joined us, though didn’t partake in the tea itself, and it was just a nice family afternoon. Especially once we got started on the face swapping shenanigans…!

Buscall & Flynn’s is a great choice for afternoon tea in Chelmsford; it’s a reasonable price, the food is delicious, and the staff are friendly. I just enjoy afternoon tea so much that I’m already thinking about when I can go again!

30. Have afternoon tea

34 Before 34

34 Before 34 ~ Get another tattoo

While I haven’t been blogging too much lately, I have been having lots of fun, and luckily, some of this fun has coincided with the ticking off of some items from my 34 Before 34 list!

For many years, my best friend Anna and I have talked about getting tattoos. It was always a vague plan that we would do it some day, without any firm idea of what we wanted. Then she went and got pregnant, repeatedly (just twice, really), and I got bored of waiting, so I went and got one by myself. This year, Anna was finally foetus-free, and we finally decided that now was the time to do it together! So, last month, we headed along to Colchester Body Arts, where I got my first one, and got inked together!



Anna went first, she had this heart design that is based on a bass clef. I really, really love it – I think it looks so good, but I could never ever have a tattoo on my wrist; I can’t even touch that area myself, never mind let someone else!


And then, it was my turn! I was absolutely lured into a false sense of security with my first tattoo – it was only tiny and so didn’t really hurt at all. This one hurt a lot! I knew it would, but I expecting the filling in to be the painful bit, but it wasn’t, it was the outline!


As you can see, it’s a silhouette of Mary Poppins, complete with carpet bag and umbrella. I absolutely love it, it’s exactly what I have wanted for a while, and I think it just looks so good! It has faded a fair amount since I had it done; I knew that it would, and I know that tattoos on this area of the body tend to drop out, so I anticipate having to have it topped up. But I am so, so happy with it. And, of course, I’m planning the next one already!


23. Get another tattoo

34 Before 34 ~ A Second a Day

I’m still really enjoying putting together my Second a Day videos, but remembering to actually film the second each day is not easy! I actually missed a couple of days this month, one because I was ill in bed for literally the whole day, and one because I completely forgot!

I’m still a little disappointed at how many of these shots have screens in them; this is partly because I forget to record anything until I am sat on the sofa in front of a screen, but also because I spend too much time looking at them! I’m hoping that by the end of the year, I’ll have this down to a fine art, and these videos will reflect the fun parts of my life a little more.

I am pleased that Iceland, The Corrs, Mark Kermode and my nieces make an appearance, and I think it’s funny that Dolly Dog appears twice, as does my knitting! That pretty much does sum up my month!

33 Before33

34 Before 34 ~ A Second a Day

I was inspired by this project when I was watching Chef recently. As part of the father-son bonding, the son films a second a day, and then sends the completed video to his dad. Of course, I don’t live in a Hollywood film, so my one second each day is going to be a lot less interesting than theirs, but I’m really enjoying doing it, and now that December is over, I have a completed video ready to share!

It’s not perfect; I’m not pretending that I’m an aspiring vlogger or anything. I just like the idea of documenting a year in my life in a slightly different way to the usual photo a day.

I’m a bit disappointed that there are so many screens in the video; although I do spend a lot of time in front of a screen in one way or another, there are people in my life too, and I’m going to try harder over the coming year to show that!

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