Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far and while some Brits are whining about the weather I have to just have to say I’m lovin’ life! Temperatures continue to climb into the 90’s across most of the country today (that the 30’s in centigrade), topping the previous July temperature records set in 1911. Weather forecasters are predicting more of the same as the country is gripped by a heat-wave.

The area I live has been dubbed the ‘Golf Coast’ this week as the Golf Open Championship tees off today at Hoylake. Indeed the golfers and celebrities who are in town for that could be forgiven for thinking they were somewhere far more exotic. I haven’t yet seen anyone famous, but everywhere is awash with very expensive Italian sports cars clogging up our little roads around the Royal Liverpool Golf Course.

I often say how much I love my life and I think it’s a statement that’s worth repeating again and again as I enjoy days like the ones I’ve been having. My job and circumstances afford me a great deal of freedom of which I think it would be almost impossible to put a figure on. I might not earn the megabucks but what is the use of having all that money when you never have the time to enjoy it.

Take yesterday for example. I’d stayed out for the night and woke up at a leisurely time of around 10am (pretty much the time I wake most days). I decided on my way home to stop and pick up a sandwich in Birkenhead for breakfast and take it to the riverside by the Mersey Ferry terminal. In parking my car near the sandwich shop I found a building with a painted shop front on it. For a moment I thought it was real such was the attention to detail.

I took my time eating the egg, mushroom, sausage and bacon sandwich (yes I know, it wasn’t the healthiest thing in the world). Then I just sat there looking out across the river at the buildings that adorn the Liverpool waterfront skyline that is so steeped in history and tales to be told.

By now it was just after 11:30. I was about to go back to my car when I noticed the ferry coming along the river about to stop at the Birkenhead terminal. At this time of day the ferry takes passengers on a leisure cruise up the River Mersey while a recorded commentary tells tourists some of the histories and stories of the sites that can be seen from the river. It’s a most enjoyable experience on a hot sunny day, and one I don’t get to take advantage of that often.

As the ferry slowly moored I made a snap decision that today was a perfect day for a ride on the ferry. The whole ‘cruise’ takes an hour and makes two stops, one at Liverpool’s pier head, and one at Seacombe ferry terminal just down from Birkenhead toward the mouth of the River. I strolled to the ticket office purchased a ticket then made my way down the ramp and onto the ferry. I snapped a few pictures and shot a little video footage (see the movie below), but mainly I just stood on the ferry letting the fresh air cool my face in the hot midday sun.

The Mersey Ferry claims to be the world oldest ferry service, and dates back to the 1150’s though these days it plays more of a tourist attraction role since the construction of a railways tunnel and two road tunnels under the river. I had hoped to see dolphins or porpoises in the wake of the ferry. My friend Joelle reported seeing them on a few of her many ferry journeys across the Mersey, however this time I was not so lucky, the only thing in the wake of the ferry on this trip were lots of squawking seagulls looking for food.

After my impromptu trip along the river I headed home for a drink under the parasol of my new patio furniture. A grapefruit juice filled with ice hit the spot. Before heading inside to check my emails I decided to sit there and slowly drink my drink while soaking up the sun.

The afternoon flew by, sunny days never seem to drag their feet in England. Pretty soon it was time for dinner, and these are salad days for sure. Chicken salad with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese with a rich honey and mustard dressing. Yum!

The best thing about an English summer day is that the sun shines well into the evening. Right now the sun sets at around 9:30pm so at around 8ish I jumped in my car, put the roof down and headed to meet up with a friend for a walk on the beach. I have my favorite beaches, of course. The stretches between Thurstaston, Caldy and West Kirby are where you’ll most commonly find me because those beaches are often very quiet, even on warm summer evenings.

On a near cloudless day like today you can watch the sun seemingly dip into the Irish Sea, slowly disappearing into the waves and transforming distant ships into dark silhouettes. I never tire of that sight, I can’t imagine I ever would.

I love my life.

The Golf Open Championship
Mersey Ferries