The “Missing Years” and the importance of sea kayaking


Those of you who remember and treasure the post on here where Sarah, the expert shopper, began gathering her kayaking kit, will rejoice in the opening statements in what follows about ‘my kayaking needs.’ Yes, she’s still shopping. But there still isn’t a pointy boat hanging up in our hallway. Not yet anyway.

But do read on. She’s having a great time out on the ocean waves. After her “missing years” she’s having the time of her life, at last x



My latest visit to Anglesey at the end of September is for two days sea kayaking with James Stevenson of Outdoor Adventures. I spent two days with James in August when we met the friendliest seals (amongst other adventures), the post about that is here.

I enjoyed the one to one coaching with James, in fact, so much that I’m back already for some more! I arrive in Anglesey on the Sunday afternoon and go up to a shop called Summit to Sea in Valley, up near Holyhead. It’s a treasure trove for those with ‘kayaking needs’ and my birthday present this year is a pair of dry trousers. We’ll hear more about them later.

Having dealt with my kayaking needs, I then head down to Penmon Point on the far south east corner of Anglesey. The Penmon lighthouse is the distinctive black and white tower, and the red marker is Perch Rock, and Puffin Island is off this coast. James and I paddled here last time, and paddled round Puffin Island which is where we found the friendly seals.


It’s a beautiful place. And it’s interesting to me to observe the water and the eddies, having been paddling in it.


Today the light is strong and the sky fills up with rain clouds. I’ve chosen to come here to observe the ritual of eating the first slice of my birthday cake, given to me by my friend Jayne Lawless. Thank you Jayne. I get a cup of tea from the café and sit on the beach in peace. Continue reading

The Beautiful Ideas: In conversation

dsc06221-1A weekend of conversations about things a load of us have been working on all of this year, our Beautiful Ideas.

First gathering early evening on Saturday at Make Liverpool in the North Docks.

First gathering early evening on Saturday at Make Liverpool in the North Docks.

All ready, including these lovely brochures about it all.

All ready, including these lovely brochures about it all.

Done for The Beautiful Ideas Company by our friends at Wordscapes.

The bar's ready too.

The bar’s ready too.

Continue reading

At The Black-E: Without These Walls

Announcing the next showing of “Without These Walls” at The Black-E in Liverpool at 10am on Monday 26th September.

Jayne Lawless at the Black-E.

Jayne Lawless at the Black-E.

After three showings so far around Liverpool and one last week in Slovakia “Without These Walls” and its accompanying “Ghost Mural” will be screened on Monday 26th September, 10am at The Black-E as part of “The World Transformed” event running alongside the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.dsc06197 As well as the films there will be a follow up discussion about how an apparently well meaning Labour Party supported public policy ended up devastating whole places and communities. Continue reading

At Croxteth Hall: Free to enter

dsc06116Early afternoon of a sunny September Saturday Sarah and I decide to go somewhere interesting for the afternoon. Obviously the Food and Drink Debacle in Sefton Park is out of the question, so we opt for somewhere nearby, free to enter and thereby non-exclusive.

dsc06108 dsc06110 dsc06111 dsc06112 dsc06113 dsc06115 dsc06116The Artisans Network, last seen at Calderstones Park last Sunday are here and I’m glad to see them. Principally though we’re here to enjoy the place on a peaceful afternoon. Continue reading

Poland part two: Slow Travel

Slow travel_47Last week Sarah told us all about her visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Now, in her second blog post about going to Poland we hear how important it was to her to travel there and back relatively slowly by train.


I went to Poland last week, by train, to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial which was an incredible experience. But equally, so was getting to Poland.  I’ve never really liked flying, and with the increased security we face at airports now I find the whole experience unpleasant. So I realised, I have a choice, Europe is well served by trains. And so train it was, well quite a lot of trains in fact.


And an awfully big part of the adventure is ‘The night train’. Continue reading

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

dsc06059Off  along Menlove Avenue on a sunny Sunday afternoon in mid-September.

A leafy boulevard.

A leafy boulevard.

I haven’t walked along here much this year, having spent most of my time in North and Central Liverpool.

I've come to Calderstones Park for this.

I’ve come to Calderstones Park for this.

Often to be found in Sefton Park or Croxteth Hall (where they’ll be next weekend) , this is the Artisan Network’s first go at putting on what they do in Calderstones.

So here we are.

So here we are.

In a public park and therefore free to enter. As it should be. Continue reading

Peaceful Warrior at Red Brick Vintage

dsc05985I didn’t take many photos at Peaceful Warrior on Thursday night as I spent so much time standing up with my mouth open, but fortunately Liverpool photographer Jane MacNeil was also there and has kindly sent me some of her photos, now added and credited.

First, getting things ready.

With Jayne, getting the supplies for the evening.

With Jayne, getting the supplies for the evening.

Jan from Red Brick with Catherine Dalton hanging her as yet untitled fabric piece, specilly done for tonight.

Jan from Red Brick with Catherine Dalton hanging her fabric piece, specially done for tonight.

Beautiful work Catherine.

‘Untitled’ by Catherine Dalton. Beautifully done.

Several Jayne Lawless pieces are hung around the room.

Several Jayne Lawless pieces are also hung around the room.

Continue reading