Sarah goes sea kayaking with seals

kayak_sealYes she does! A five day stay on Anglesey this time, including a course, a day off in the sunshine and two days of individual coaching, culminating in the baby seals around Puffin Island having a play around the kayaks. So read on.

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I’m taking two weeks off work as a funeral celebrant – to recharge myself, and to sea kayak and visit Poland. First the sea kayaking. My adventure continues, this time with Adventure Elements, run by James Stevenson and based on Anglesey.

I’ve booked myself four days kayaking. Two days on an improvers course and two days coaching with James.

After a good sunny week in Liverpool I arrive in Anglesey to be greeted by persistent rain and wind. This is not good for sea kayaking! So on day one the conditions are so rough we can’t go out on the sea, and neither can the more advanced 4 star group who are also training this weekend. So we go to Llyn Padarn near Llanberis and I begin my kayaking here. I am in a group of three, and our coach is the lovely Stuart Leslie, who coached me on my beginners back in May this year – post here. My five days on Anglesey provide a very varied experience:

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Without These Walls: Peaceful Warrior

'Peaceful |Warrior' by Jayne Lawless.

‘Peaceful Warrior’ by Jayne Lawless.

Announcing only the third ever showing of ‘Without These Walls’ the Jayne Lawless and Janet Brandon film, taking place at Red Brick Vintage at 6:00 in the evening on Thursday September 8th. It’s no ordinary film and it’ll be no ordinary event.

At Red Brick Vintage – Stanhope Street, Liverpool, L8 5RE, Thursday 8th September.Red Brick

Here’s Jayne:

Jayne Lawless

 

“Hello all. The next screening of Without These Walls, will be at this, an event we built to house the film in a ‘safe place’.

After the last screening and discussion at The Hesletine Institute I felt really drained. We walked over to the Caledonia pub and although the issues the film brings up carried on, they were slowly swallowed up by the music coming from a cajun band that had literally just set up right beside us.

I realised then that with the dark thoughts there must be light.

At the same time I was reading a book called Peaceful Warrior lent to me by a friend, a passing remark with a fellow organiser of this event using the same phrase led to ‘Peaceful Warrior’ – a night to share our stuff in a safe space, some hard stuff maybe to make you think, but also stuff to make you dance.

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On my holidays: At the Pier Head

Running about

Wonderful photograph of exactly how it felt, by Joe Neary.

Well the Pier Head’s bigger than it used to be when we’d come here for days out like this in the 1960s (wonderful photograph of exactly how it felt by Joe Neary). Back then the Albert Dock was behind a big wall and went completely unnoticed by me until its renovation in the mid 1980s.

Here we are.

Here we are, 1965.

Bus station in front of the Liver Buildings.

Bus station in front of the Liver Buildings.

With children.

With children from earlier in the century.

And more recently.

And more recently.

And the rest of the place has only recently gone.

The rest of the place has relatively recently gone.

So

So here I am today in 2016, on holiday at the bigger Pier Head.

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“And there’s certainly not enough Diana Ross”

BlueI often think about Diana Ross. And today this, perhaps, surprising fact emerged during a conversation with my friend Jayne.

We were sat in the window of ‘Lox and Caper’ on Hanover Street talking mostly Coming Home as you might expect. When Jayne noticed the torrential sheets of rain falling on the street outside and said:

“If it’s not going to be sunny then I don’t mind dramatic weather like this. What I find really depressing are those grey, blank, no weather days – no wind, no rain…”

At which point I bring Diana Ross into our conversation as Jayne has of course begun to quote from the lyrics of one of my favourite songs, the magnificent ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’  Continue reading

Early Morning Mystery

I woke up early and got up early this morning. And on a beautiful blue day was soon out with my camera in The Mystery. Sounds dramatically philosophical, but it’s actually what we all call the park near to our house.

The Mystery.

The Mystery.

Wavertree, L15.

Wavertree, L15.

It’s a gently sloping hill and near the top of it is a patch of wildflowers.

With bees in the thistles.

With bees in the thistles.

Though many of the flowers are turning to seeds now.

Though many of the flowers are turning to seeds now.

One of these dropped gently into our back yard yesterday evening while Sarah and I were sitting out there in the evening quiet. Continue reading

A halcyon summer’s day in Stanley Park

DSC05290An idyllic Sunday afternoon this in one of Liverpool’s loveliest places. When I was little Stanley Park was just ‘the park’ as we lived right next to the Walton side of it. And this past year I’ve been happy to renew my acquaintance with it as I’ve been spending so much time in North Liverpool.

Some of this time has been because my friend Rachael O’Byrne, as well as being a City Councillor, now has a job here where she’s doing all sorts of things to attract more people back into the beautifully restored park.

And last week Rachael told me about this.

And last week Rachael told me about this.

So here I am.

Glad to see several football matches being played as I walk across the fields.

Glad to see several football matches being played as I walk across the fields.

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Summer in the City

DSC05127Still quietly emerging from the shadows here, this Saturday I get up and the summer’s arrived. Not the ‘kids in wellies’ summer we’ve had to get used to these climate damaged days, but a  real ‘hot town, summer in the city’ nostalgic kind of day where the shadows and shade are occasionally welcomed for a bit of cool.

I’m out all of the glorious day, in Granby and then down at the Pier Head.

On Granby Street the market's just getting going as I arrive.

On Granby Street the market’s just getting going as I arrive.

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