Thankfully, I made it out of Liverpool in one piece on a ferry across the Mersey. It was touch and go there for a while, but Beatle Week lingers at the back of the mind like a bad dream the next morning. I managed to catch up on two hours of lost sleep on the trip over to the island. Unfortunately, there was some silly race going on that would make it impossible for a taxi to make it to my Airbnb. So I holed up in a restaurant with good wifi and had peri-peri chicken and a lamb burger. That provided me with three hours to catch up on this blog.
FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY – A hit song of the same name was recorded by a Liverpool group called Gerry and the Pacemakers. It’s a heartwarming song that sadly is completely contrary to where the city is at today. Hopefully, I’ll feel differently when I return in a week and try to make up.
My arrival was greeted by clouds and poor visibility, but no matter I’ve got a week here.
THE CAT WITH NO TAIL – This humorously named and classic pub will no doubt be a regular outlet for food during my stay as well as an atmospheric locale to toil on my laptop.
The next day I emerged from my Airbnb, took the 100-meter shortcut to the main road, and got a full dose of the beauty of the Isle of Man. I thought this visit would be a good idea, and expectations were immediately exceeded.
Much of the Isle of Man is filled with open spaces like you see in this landscape. Bucolic is this island’s middle name.
BLACKBERRIES LINE THE ROADS – Am I in some version of paradise?
LILAC WITH BUMBLEBEE – One whiff of this flower transported me back to my childhood like some sort of organic time machine.
TT MOTORCYCLE RACE – This is the race that stranded me for three hours in downtown Douglas working on the blog and enjoying on tasty food.
This is a small lake adjacent to one of many immaculately maintained neighborhoods that I encountered on my three-mile circular trek that began and ended at the Cat With No Tail. Thankfully, I crawled out from under my laptop long enough to experience a little of the island while the weather’s good. Meanwhile, a major hurricane bears down on the Bahamas, so I have no complaints about a little rain. God knows I needed to play catch up and recover from Liverpool, and staying with a local family was just the ticket.
I’ve got no snoring roommates, and there aren’t any street people on the Isle of Man. That alone is a good start. A guy in my local pub said that Liverpool can be a hit or miss sort of engagement. One visit might be brilliant, and the next a complete debacle. The main thing is that I am currently far afield of all controversy other than the plumber not showing up to install my shower stall which in this case is not a problem since I get to use the luxury, multi-jet shower system in the master bath.
All of the horrors encountered in the Land of Scouse (Liverpool) have faded into distant bemusement. Life makes sense again. All of the failings of BeatleWeek have been offset by the peacefulness, beauty, and hospitality of the Isle of Man. Add my Airbnb host family to that roster and we have the perfect antidote for the Mersey Flu.
NAYARA, ARTHUR, ARTHUR’S CROSSBOW
ART’S ART – Alan Dentith, my host here in the Isle of Man, is the grandfather of Artie, age 7, who whips up a good piece of abstract art. Seriously, I visit Modern Art Museums all over the planet, and this shows promise compared with many of the works I encounter. Arthur also enjoys racing go-carts, jiu-jitsu, and target practice with his new cross-bow. I guess he also likes his martinis shaken not stirred.
DOUGLAS BAY HORSE TRAMWAY – Number 45 is drawn by a Clydesdale horse. It seems like it would be a bit much for one horse but they do just fine.
NUMBER 22 – This is an electric tram and goes in the opposite direction.
MARINE DRIVE – 1891
Am I on the Great Atlantic Way in Ireland?
CASTLE TURRET – This castle turret was installed after a number of fishermen ran aground on the reef below. They drowned trying to get to shore during a bad storm. To prevent a future calamity, the small castle was built in order to take refuge within. What made it even more tragic was their proximity to shore as their relatives watched as they perished. It was this occurrence that prompted Sir William Hillary to invent the lifeboat, one of the Isle of Man’s claim to fame along with the invention of Pilates in the Forties.
SIR WILLIAM HILLARY
SIR WILLIAM HILLARY
DOUGLAS – CAPITAL OF THE ISLE OF MAN
The symbol of the Isle of Man is above the door.
GIANT SUN CHAIR