Liverpool is gorgeous! It took me something like 10 hours to get there, because I wanted to save 15 quid each person, so i opted for a 5 hour layover in Manchester. I am now getting very familiar with Chorlton St Station. The stay confirmed my suspicions about Manchester though, they do have pound a pint beer and at 3 in the morning the city centre is covered with sloshed students in their fine miniskirts in the freezing night. it's amazing to such a huge density of them.

got into liverpool just as the sun peeked out of the horizon. The city is distinguished by its ude of red brick (red, liverpool, jersey? get it?), giving the city its own identity and flavour. The architecture is gorgeous, they have their share of large, grand city halls and museums, especially on the banks of the river Mersey, where old warehouses and buildings belonging to what-used-to-be huge shipping corporations make up the skyline. The river Mersey is wide at this point, as it almost meets the sea. It is thus not spanned by bridges, but by an underground tunnel. Gazing out into the river was one of those moments where I felt like shouting into infinity. Albert Dock is also really cute, gives everything a 19th century port city feel, so it succeeds in transmitting that part of history. In the maritime shops they sell all sorts of maritime memorabilia, there was of course the Beatles Story and Tate Liverpool which can rival the Tate Modern for its reverence of straight lines and vastness in architecture.

The highlight was to be the Liverpool-Middlesbrough game in the afternoon. Finally, Anfield! The footballers I wanted to be when I was young! Although they're mostly gone/retired now, but the current batch is pretty good too (am I kidding myself, they're much better than the crap side I grew up supporting who never won anything but were fantastic to watch). I ooohed and aaahed as I walked through the Paisley gates, saw the Kop, rushed to empty the merchandise shop and take my seat at the Main Stand. I was to be pretty close to the anfield road end where the boro supporters were.

pre-match music featured a mix of what's-being-played-at-most-clubs now, a few beatles/lennon songs (especially merry xmas, war is over) as it was lennon's death anniversary 2 days previous. you'll never walk alone! cue scarves and much bellowing. it wasn't the most powerful rendition i think i've heard (how it must be like in istanbul), but yay, i've sung it at anfield!

match got off and the first half saw us having most of the posession and chances with nothing really incisive. the boro supporters were superb throughout, singing and cheering. we were a little nervous and everyone really was waiting for some sort of spark to get going. there were jibes directed at them "you can't even beat sunderland" was one. 2nd half was rather more fast paced given that they were now attacking the kop end, gerrard played really wide and often found himself the extra man on the right wing. sissoko had an okay game disrupting play, his passing and final ball often left much to be desired, but he's improving. kewell had a decent game running at defenders, almost beating schwarzer with a lob. they still sometimes give him stick for not pressing enough. crouch was still winning balls in the air but the boro defence was eating up the 2nd ball comfortably. he wasn't going to get as much headway against southgate and ehiogu as he did during wigan, and the many headers we had on target were pretty tame. many times where a chance would come by almost teasing us to score but our shot would be weak or the striker would fail to get there in time.

sissoko made a pretty late tackle on matt bates i think, which led to some retaliation. this led to both sets of supporters chanting "off, off, off" in gladiatoral fashion. garcia came on for crouch and we got back to 5 in midfield, with more pace and width. hyppia had to come off for stitches in the 2nd half, during which time garcia put in a teasing cross, i though gerrard missed it completely (turns out it was a dummy) but the ball ran free to morientes and the entire stadium jumped up and down as the deadlock was finally broken. we broke into "10 men, we only need 10 men" and "we've won it 5 times, we've won it 5 times, we're gonna win it 6 times." A mistake by the boro defence put nando through again and he lobbed the keeper this time for his 2nd. i was going to go back a happy man.


i will be leaving for valencia tomorrow so i won't be around for some time. i'll work my way up the spanish coast to barcelona. will be back in london 17th but on the same night i'll take a bus to la plagne in savoie to ski. wanderlust! no it's just a holiday, and i feel really guilty that i'm going to overrun my expenditure and not have time to catch up on work. when i told my dad i was going to spain he gave me a song, spanish boots of spanish leather. listening it reminded me of the wonderfully lucky people who are going back somewhere to see their loved ones. but as with any dylan song, the twist is in the last 2 stanzas, and i think its just a nice song for any traveller out there. if you're confused, dylan alternates between the "male" and "female" voice starting with the "female" in his version, though i'm listening to the nanci griffiths one which assumes everything makes sense.

Oh, I'm sailin' away my own true love,
I'm sailin' away in the morning.
Is there something I can send you from across the sea,
From the place that I'll be landing?

No, there's nothin' you can send me, my own true love,
There's nothin' I wish to be ownin'.
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled,
From across that lonesome ocean.

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden,
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona.

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean,
I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss,
For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.

That I might be gone a long time
And it's only that I'm askin',
Is there something I can send you to remember me by,
To make your time more easy passin'.

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again,
It only brings me sorrow.
The same thing I want from you today,
I would want again tomorrow.

I got a letter on a lonesome day,
It was from her ship a-sailin',
Saying I don't know when I'll be comin' back again,
It depends on how I'm a-feelin'.

Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way,
I'm sure your mind is roamin'.
I'm sure your heart is not with me,
But with the country to where you're goin'.

So take heed, take heed of the western wind,
Take heed of the stormy weather.
And yes, there's something you can send back to me,
Spanish boots of Spanish leather.

1 comment:

helianthus said...

nice song. sad tho.