Monday, October 13, 2008

I met the Baa-nitez Superlambanana!

Firstly, what IS a Superlambanana?

It's an art sculpture by Taro Chiezo and was added to the public art arena of Liverpool in 1998. This is what the original Lambie looks like, a giant-sized combination of lamb and banana and reflects Liverpool's port heritage of trading lambs and importing bananas. It's now one of Liverpool's most beloved and well-recognised icons, alongside the Beatles, missing hubcaps and their football teams.

With Liverpool being the European Capital of Culture for 2008, the city decided put up about 100 Lambie statues around the city. The original Lambie is about 17ft tall but these replica Lambies were only 5ft or so. And so the search started for artists and sponsors to send in their submissions for the mini-Lambies. I even downloaded the map detailing where all the Lambies were located and one look told me that I would never have the time to hunt them all down.

So during our annual trip back to Liverpool to see family, I was determined to see at least some of them. I saw quite a lot dotted around the city but only managed to see about 7 of them up close. I wasn't the only one looking out for Lambies, lots of people would run up to them and snap pics or, at the very least, pat them on the head.

One of them was located right outside the Kop when we went to the club to buy Little Monkey's baby clothes and argh, I didn't bring my camera!!! I was so pissed. This is what the Kop Lambie looked like, he's called the SuperFanBanana.

Another was Koppy, an adidas-sponsored Lambie that stood inside the newly LFC club store... I think it was in Metquarter? Can't recall! I'm not like Dear Hubby who seems to have a built-in GPS in his head, I'm hopeless with directions. I saw Koppy again at the Southport Flower Show when I took me mum-in-law there for a day out.

But this is my absolute favourite and for this one, Dear Hubby had his camera. Meet the Baa-nitez (pronounced Baa-nee-tesz) and me! This Lambie is based on the current LFC manager and is dressed in the colours of the club, he even has the club scarf tied around his neck! The funniest bit was the goatee and specs, that made it so obvious (to any LFC fan) that it was Benitez. I think this will be the closest I will ever get to Rafa. I was absolutely chuffed to see the Baa-nitez and nearly lost my balance trying to stroke his goatee. (Shouldn't it be called a lamb-ee since it's a on a SuperLAMBanana?)
Rafa Benitez will always be my favourite Liverpool manager of all time, not just because he's won us a few trophies but because he's partly responsible for my meeting up with Dear Hubby three years ago... it's a long story but yes, football does have its uses after all.

Click here for more pictures of Lambies in and around Liverpool and if you miss the mini-Lambies this year, you'll always get the chance to see the original giant Lambie if you should go to Liverpool.

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