Friday, 16 February 2018

Half Term Day Out with Mersey Ferries

I have now lived here in Liverpool for about 10 years. I love living here and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. My husband has lived in Liverpool all his life, and believe it or not, despite having three kids and loving trying out new and exciting things to do with the kids - we have never actually been on the ferry!

As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be offered the chance to review the ferry crossing with Mersey Ferries, not only would we get the chance to cross the Mersey on the ferry, we would also be able to visit the Spaceport museum, included with our ticket.

We set off on a beautifully sunny (but slightly breezy) Friday from the Pier Head. I love the Pier Head. It's such a great place to walk, relax and the architecture is amazing. We do like to spend a lot of time in the town centre as a family and it is good to be out and about in all weather to blow off the cobwebs!

The ferry itself was wonderful. Beautifully coloured and designed by Sir Peter Blake, the ferry was comfortable with plenty of seating and a lovely little cafe on board. We found a table and got some hot drinks to warm us up and keep us going. As it wasn't too cold, we sat on the top and looked out onto the Mersey, taking in the views of our gorgeous city.

Once in the Spaceport we were treated to lots of really cool and interactive activities to teach us all about space. We learned how the seasons work on Earth ( it is because of the tilt of the Earth's axis,), the different gases in the Earth's atmosphere and the role of gravity in weightlessness. The girls were really interested and it was great to be able to talk to them about space and teach them something new. I was also keen that they knew that astronauts are not always men - Space Men and Space Women FTW!

We also sat and watched a show about space and astronauts in the planetarium with the information beamed onto the ceiling. This was so much fun - the kids loved it, and myself and Warren also learned some new things.
We also went on a roller-coaster ride through space on the simulator. The kids screamed all the way through it with excitement - it was so funny. There was also a Star Wars exhibition on - this was so interesting. Lots of figures from the film series and collectibles on display.

Time seemed to fly over and before we knew it we were back on the ferry for our return trip. Included in our ticket was also entry to the U-Boat Story, but unfortunately we had cut it fine with time and needed to get back. Maybe this is one for another time!

We absolutely loved our day out. It is so important to spend time with family and doing something a little bit different always makes it more memorable. Liverpool is a wonderful city and this is definitely one of the best things we have done in the city with the kids. We also thought that the family ticket, which was for two adults and three children, including the ferry crossing there and back, entry to the Spaceport and U-Boat Story was excellent value at £35 - it is literally a full day out for the family. Also, from Monday 19th February to Friday 23rd February, the Spaceport are also doing free Jedi training classes, which sounds like great fun!

For further information and ticket options see here.

You can also keep up to date with any Mersey ferry news on Twitter.

Disclosure: We were given a free family ticket for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Always a Single Parent

Christmas time is a time for reflection. For me, anyway. I confess to being one of those weird people who measures their lives, assesses what has gone on, how far I have got/not got and what I have or haven't achieved.

You might think I'd feel happy. Or smug. Or proud. Excited, even.

I don't really feel any of those things, but I am trying to make myself feel it. You see, ten years ago I was a single parent. I was alone with a child. I worked very hard. I raised a baby alone, I bought my first house, I learned to drive, I bought a car. I arranged childcare, I went to nativity plays, I organised school fund fees, I went on school trips, I taught her to ride a bike, to be polite and to be strong.

I did all of these things alone in the face of unbearable heartbreak at being left alone to manage.

I developed this thick skin. I remember the hardships I faced, the judgement.

Ten years on I'm married with three children now. No longer a single parent. I worked hard and look:

A First Class BA

A distinction at MA
And now undertaking a fully funded PhD full time. I have everything I have ever wished for, and more.

And yet, I feel like someone picked up this single parent, removed her from what she once was, plonked her in Liverpool with three kids and a barely-there support network and left her. I feel completely and utterly removed from what I was. From where I was. What happened to this strong woman? I fear she got lost in a new town, with new expectations. She's there. I can see her in these pictures, she is strong and so motivated that it hurts to think how hard and determined she is. And yet...somehow everything is removed.

I read somewhere that you should never look back except to see how far you have come. This is complete bullshit. You need to look back to remember who you are, you need people, experiences, memories. You need trinkets and tokens of remembrance: the picture of you and your new baby, the key-ring from your first house, old love-letters ripped into smithereens. You need to remember how bad it was, feel the pain and know that you are strong. You need to feel like there has been a journey. You can't erase the past, you need to embrace it and feel everything that came with it. I am so proud to have been a single parent - it made me who I am and it makes me who I am everyday.

You can't let go. The past makes us who we are, and in being urged to forget the past, move on, in some way feel "rescued" or "redeemed," I have lost something very precious that is mine.

So this coming year, I am working on getting it back.

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