One of my favourite places, just five minutes walk from Lime Street Station where the high speed Pendolino from London arrives, is the Bluecoat; it's just off the main pedestrian shopping street, go down Church Alley opposite M&S and down the side of Primark and at the end you'll see the gateway into the front courtyard.
Look up as you pass through the gates and you'll see a Liver bird (you see, Liver bird spotting is what I do when I'm in the city; what's more the sky is blue, the sun in shining and there are newly opened leaves on the trees :-)
Look, there's another Liver bird on the broken pediment above a doorway . . .
We've discovered that Upstairs at the Bluecoat is a haven of calm and the perfect place to have lunch before we catch the local train up to Waterloo to see Cliff's aunt. We can relax and eat scouse or fish and chips . . . it's friendly and spacious.
So, imagine my surprise when a week of so back I received an email from a shop in Liverpool who were interested in stocking my cards and when I checked to see if it might be feasible to call in on our next visit I found it was Nook & Cranny, the exciting new shop I'd spotted in the Bluecoat courtyard right next to the stairs up to the bistro!
I'd sent a parcel of cards (including the new vintage-colour hare cards) and I knew that they were already on display, but imagine my excitement on Saturday morning to see my cards laid out on the table just inside the door (apologies for the quality, I must have been shaking!). We met Leigh and had a chat about all the things she has planned for the shop.
Nook & Cranny have a lovely blog where they showcase artists and designers whose work they stock, as well as art events in Liverpool and quirky craft ideas. So even if you can't visit in person you can visit their virtual world.
I'd spotted a chalkboard in the courtyard advertising Liverpool's Big Vintage Fair, maybe there would be time for a very quick visit on our way back to Lime Street to catch the train home, and fingers crossed that there would be nice things left at almost closing time?
There was :-) and I found a bargain that hadn't been snapped up . . . vintage Laura Ashley cotton lawn orange roses :-) and it fits perfectly!
So here we are again, walking up the steps into Lime Street Station, the new pleached limes are just coming into leaf . . .
Here's the view from the train as we cross Mersey once again heading South; in the crystal clear far distance we can see the mountains of North Wales.
We sat back and watched the West Midlands basking in beautiful evening sunshine, a respite from the dreadful weather we've had since Easter; we could see people walking their dogs, sitting by shiny silver rivers and children swinging on gates waving as our red train swooshed and swerved and leaned along the track back to London.
I'll be back there in July . . . can't wait!