The lady on the Passport Office ‘helpline’  threw me into a panic when she said you need 3 months spare on your passport to fly abroad. I seem to remember this rule from years ago!  My passport runs out in October and I will be in France most of September, so I hurriedly booked an appointment at the Liverpool office for a one-day application. Yesterday a quick round from the PO with form to a photo booth in Azda to my neighbour for countersigning. All a trifle stressful to ensure accuracy. A subsequent phone call to the French Embassy, they speak French!, informed me more accurately that for the EU you can travel up to the final day on your passport. Still I had an appointment for today so let’s get it done with. On an early Sunday morning, the drive past the port to the Passport Office was easy. Last time the office was in the old India Building but has now been transferred to a shiny  block in a sea of tall glass buildings. All was very efficient, I had filled in the form correctly, Phew!    Just pay the fee and come back at 1PM for your treasured new passport.

Set off to walk up to the ‘cultural centre’ of the city, passing some varied buildings and street sculptures.

The last time we were in Liverpool [see post — we had ended up with a quick visit to the Walker Gallery to view some early Hockney paintings. I promised myself a return to sample the rest of their extensive collection, one of Europe’s finest, today was that day.

The Walker Gallery

The Walker Gallery

First a coffee in the ground floor café to unwind and then from Medieval to Modern, Holbein to Hockney, in 15 galleries. Along the way Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Millais, Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, Freud, Lowry and up to date with the John Moore’s 2014 Prize paintings.

John Moores Prizes.

John Moore’s Prizes.

In amongst all this was a delightful small exhibition of Edward Wadsworth ‘dazzle ship’ prints. This technique was used in the WW1 to confuse our ships to the enemy. Dazzle Ship. Some colourful arty videos of Mexico enabled me to sit down for a while.

Mexican videos.

Mexican videos.

Staggered out and down into the commercialism of Liverpool 1 which seemed to be populated with the dregs of last night’s hen and stag parties, not a pretty sight.

Liverpool 1

Liverpool 1

Walked back past the iconic Liver building to collect my prize. So off to France clutching it next week. Au revoir.


  1. Conrad Robinson

    You may have that problem going to Scotland soon.

    Just looked at mine – expires May next year – better get on with it. Apparently you can renew now and the time remaining at the moment will be added on – the cost is horrendous – circa £80.


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