Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool’

At number 23 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “In My Life” by The Beatles. I have already blogged about this 1965 song here, but you can’t get too much of a good thing.

At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 23 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “In My Life” by The Beatles.

This is one of my favourite John Lennon-composed Beatles songs, and is from their wonderful album Rubber Soul, an album which I blogged about here. It appears half-way through the second side of the album.

There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life– I love you more

Here is a video of this wonderful song. Enjoy!

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I’m not sure how many of you saw it, but in the World Cup group match between Uruguay and Italy, the Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bit the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. This is the third time that this undoubtedly talented player has bitten another player! He did it in 2010 whilst playing for Ajax in the Netherlands when he bit PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal; and in 2013 he bit Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea whilst playing for his current team, Liverpool. For his bite in 2010 be served a 7-match ban, and in 2013 he served a 10-match ban.

FIFA acted very quickly over this incident, and Suarez has been given a 4-month ban from all involvement in football, including training with any team or even attending a football match. He has also been given a 9-match ban from playing for Uruguay, and his 4-month ban will mean he will miss the first ten-or-so matches of the club season.

Luis Suarez has been given a four month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Luis Suarez has been given a four month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.

My question is, is this ban sufficient? In my opinion the answer is no, it is not. If this were Suarez’s first biting offence then I would consider the punishment about right. Even if it were his second offence, I would think the ban was on the lenient side. But, as this is his third biting offence, I really feel FIFA’s ban is not sufficient. I think Suarez should serve a season ban at the very least; as the new season has not yet started it would isolate him for the best part of 13-14 months. I also think that FIFA should have insisted that Suarez undergoes some kind of psychological assessment and therapy, it is not normal for a 27-year old to bite people. It is the kind of behaviour you might expect from a 5-year old, but not a grown adult.

It also seems that Liverpool are going to off-load this troublesome striker, despite his phenomenal form this last season where he was Liverpool’s and the English Premier League’s top striker and won several footballing awards. Let me remind you, Suarez also served an 8-match ban in the 2011-12 for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra using the “n-word”. At the moment, Barcelona have said they wish to buy him, and I would imagine the Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers gave Suarez a final warning after his last biting incident, so I fully expect that he won’t be playing in the English Premiership come next season.

Whether Suarez ever will be able to change his ways remains to be seen. I don’t think he’ll be able to do it without some kind of therapy, but surely he must realise that he is within a hair’s breadth of ruining his career if he keeps up this unacceptable behaviour.

What do you think? Is the FIFA ban too lenient, or about right, or an over-reaction?

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A few weeks ago my wife and I went to Liverpool for the weekend. On the Sunday the weather was superb, so after a trip to Anfield to visit the Liverpool FC museum (I will blog about that soon), we took a walk in the area near the Liver building. One of the most striking buildings in this part of Liverpool is this one – the George’s Dock Ventilation Station for the Mersey tunnel. It is a Grade II listed building. It is in an art deco style, built between 1931 and 1934. From what I have read, the architects were influenced by recent discoveries in Egypt. The two black onyx figures are meant to represent night and day, to illustrate the fact that the Mersey tunnel operated around the clock.

The art-deco George's Dock Ventilation Building in Liverpool

The art-deco George’s Dock Ventilation Building in Liverpool

For a building which is meant to be purely functional I am surprised that it was built in such an ornate style. Maybe the company were flush with money and wanted to show off a little, or maybe the architects were just good at persuading their clients to allow them to design such a stunning building. Either way, I am glad they did not build just some ugly rectangular covering to the ventilation shaft – this building is much better on the eye!

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On Saturday (16th of March) I was in Liverpool, having given a talk to Liverpool Astronomical Society on the previous evening. So I spent a wonderful few hours looking around the various Beatles sites in the city. I had done this back in 2006, but you can never get too much of a good thing.

I started my tour in Matthews Street, which is where the Cavern Club is located. The Cavern is where the Beatles played over 200 times in the early 1960s, before they became famous. It is where Brian Epstein first saw them, and signed them up to become their manager.

In and around Matthews Street are many Beatles shops, selling Beatles memorabilia. Nowadays one can buy Beatles T-shirts in many shops, but if you are a real Beatles fan, these shops have a much wider selection of T-shirts than you will find in high street shops. In addition, of course, there are things like mugs, post cards, posters, bags and all manner of other things available. I bought a few things for my youngest daughter Esyllt, who is my little Beatles fanatic!

After that I wandered down to Albert Docks, which is where the new “Beatles Story” museum is located. It costs about ¬£12 to go around, but I was more keen to go on the “Magical Mystery Tour”, which again I had done before in 2006. It takes you around the sites in Liverpool which are associated with the Beatles, such as Penny Lane, their childhood homes and the Church hall where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.

Unfortunately the two tours on the Saturday were all booked up. So, a word of warning, if you are planning to visit Liverpool and plan to do this wonderful tour, book ahead. Each tour lasts 2 hours, and with only 2 tours a day they quickly fill up. I was just about to resign myself to doing the Beatles Story experience rather than the tour when the lady in the tourist centre told me that someone had just called in to cancel their booking as this person had mixed up their dates. So, I was able to get a cancellation at the last minute. Very lucky!

I did not have time after the tour to do the Beatles Story museum so I will have to save that for the next time I visit this wonderful city.

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Roll up, roll up

Tomorrow my blog will be about the tour I did on Saturday of Beatles related sites in Liverpool. The tour, not surprisingly, is called The Magical Mystery Tour.


As a prelude, enjoy this!

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This morning in a magazine I saw an article on Meic Stevens, the Welsh language folk singer. I was in the car with my daughter, so I put on the following song from my iPod – “Tryweryn“, which Meic Stevens recorded in the late 1960s (I think!).

The song is about the drowning of the valley of Tryweryn by Liverpool City Council for a water reservoir in the early 1960s. Many historians look upon this event as being one of the main factors in the rise of Welsh nationalism in the 1960s.

This short documentary off YouTube summarises this sad event in the history of Wales.

Meic Stevens’ song is beautiful, particularly his duetting with Heather Jones. The opening verse is

Mae’r blodau yn yr ardd yn hardd.
Mae’r rhosyn ger y drws yn dlws.
Ond nid yw’r blodau’n tyfu nawr.
Mewn ty o dan y creigiau mawr.

Dwr oer sy’n cysgu yn Nhryweryn.
Dwr oer sy’n cysgu yn Nhryweryn.

My translation of these lyrics are:

The flowers in the garden are handsome.
The rose by the door is pretty.
But these flowers are not growing anymore.
In a house below the large rocks.

A cold water is sleeping in Tryweryn.
A cold water is sleeping in Tryweryn.

A more poetic but less literal translation of the lyrics of the whole song can be found here.

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