A week to myself

IMG_0107IMG_0082This week I’m away from Liverpool, at Laugharne in South Wales. A week on my own, away from my work and my laptop. To walk, read, maybe write and on the whole do not much of anything. A retreat. I’ve brought some music, some poetry, some t-shirts and not much else.

As the week goes by I’ll add some words and photos to this blog of my week.

Before I leave a couple of photos from the weekend at Africa Oyé in Sefton Park. Then I’ll finish packing, and leave home early Monday morning.

My daughter Clare Melhuish with 2 of her children, Finn and Ellie.

My friend Tom Butcher, or should I say Butcha B…

With Nutribe on Saturday.

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Challenging is the new normal, at last

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For the second part of her sea kayaking holiday Sarah heads south, from Mull to Anglesey, and finds she is now comfortable in challenging waters that would have terrified her even a few weeks ago. Well  done Sarah.

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Having been back from Mull for a day, I’m off again to Anglesey. I arrive at Pobty Cottage for my two days here where I will be having coaching with James Stevenson, of Adventure Elements.

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It is a delightful place, right on the beach.

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And equally delightful inside, cosy and compact. Perfect. High tide is around 11pm, and it’s not often you can step outside in your pyjamas and wellies and go for a paddle. Which I do.

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The next morning I meet my coach, James Stevenson. He has plans for us. Continue reading

Wirral West and its Shining Shore

Having spent much of yesterday afternoon and evening in Wirral West, as one of the many people there helping the local Labour candidate Margaret Greenwood get elected, I decide to go back to the constituency today, as I take a day off from all forms of working.

It’s such a beautiful place.

Always my favourite place for reflective, meditative walks.

Today I’m reflecting on my happiness that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters did such a good job and reintroduced ‘being yourself’ into a political system where that’s been thoroughly yet pointlessly discouraged for years.

It’s early summertime in the sandstone walls.

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Kayaking off Mull: Silver seas and golden skies

Sarah and her kayak head for the Hebrides this time. To the island that sits in my own memory as ‘the most beautiful place on earth.’ Other than Liverpool, obviously. Let’s see how she gets on?

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So my last ‘four days on the water’ were not to be and tinged with sadness, and now I am off to Mull for another ‘four days on the water’. I hope it will be a better tale this time. I have driven up to Oban, and am catching the ferry across to Craignure, where I will be staying during my time on the Isle of Mull.

I haven’t been this far north since 2009, when Ronnie and I first came to Mull, twice in the same year, we loved it. As I drive north I have the sense of really getting away. Things slip into irrelevance. It is a good feeling.

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Passing the lighthouse at the end of Lismore.

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And I arrive at Pennygate Lodge, my home here on Mull.

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The view from my window. Continue reading

Better Places Together: Introducing Ed, the camper van

There’s an organisation I really admire in Liverpool, called PLACED. Stands for PLACE EDUCATION. I’ve worked with them in the recent past and been friends with their founder Jo Harrop for a good long time.

Today just off Bold Street they launched their Better Places Together programme and their special new friend, Ed the camper van.

Here’s Ed.

So a few words from Ed and Jo:

“PLACED is an award-winning social enterprise that engages and involves people of all ages and backgrounds in architecture, planning and design and enables them to shape their built environment.”

And Better Places Together?

“This is a project that will invite local people to explore ideas for how to improve spaces and places across the city.

We have refurbished a camper van, named Ed, which has become a unique, mobile workspace touring the city. We’ll be running mini-workshops, hands-on activities and facilitating discussion which tackles topics around the built environment.

From the city centre to further afield, we will be inviting you to join us. So we hope you can join the debate.”

Because places matter. As I’m sure you realise. Continue reading

Sarah goes sea kayaking: Four days that weren’t

The latest of Sarah’s sea kayaking posts. This one a gentle meditation on life and death. “A reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned, especially when we are living with nature, tides, and the natural cycles of life and death. This I know,” says Sarah, whose younger sister has just died.

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Anglesey May_24

For several weeks now I have been looking forward to May, because May is such a beautiful month and I love the increasing light, the long evenings, the shift in the season to almost summer, the growth, the fresh green, in fact just everything about May is a delight. And I also have the prospect of four days ‘on the water’ to look forward to as well.

For my latest sea kayaking trip I am staying at Ty Cert near Rhoscolyn on Anglesey. It is a barn conversion next to this disused chapel, which is currently being converted into a tearoom and gallery.

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My room has its own outside area, a ‘kitchenette’, and bathroom. Cosy and compact.

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It also has a graveyard through the blue gate, and a shared garden. It’s perfectly lovely. Continue reading

Walking Free: Liverpool

Walking free
In the centre of my city
On such a sunny day
In such an awful week
Is not to be taken lightly or for granted.

The freedom to get the bus to town
To buy my lunch
And find a quiet place to eat it
Getting lost in a wonderful book while I do
Not to be taken lightly or for granted at all.

Buying a long awaited new record
The day it comes out
Then riding home upstairs on the bus
Free to be full of opinions about all I then see
On such a sunny day
In such an awful week
Is not to be taken lightly or for granted
Not to be taken lightly or for granted at all.

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