Something for the weekend?

Looking back and looking forward at what’s been done and what’s coming up? A new weekly way of summing up what’s happening around here? Let’s see how it goes.

And the title, ‘Something for the weekend?’ It’s early 1960s and I’m sat up on the barber’s chair, on the plank they used to put across the arms of the chair when cutting small childrens’ hair. And when the men around me have finished having their ‘Short back and sides’ done they’re always offered ‘Something for the weekend?’ And walk off secreting something mysterious in the inside pockets of their sports jackets. “Why do they never ask me?’ I always thought.

Anyway, the phrase stuck, became part of my vocabulary, and so Sarah suggested it as the name for this new weekly round-up. It amused me anyway.

Last weekend then, got going with the final Granby 4 Streets market of the summer.

Fun ,friendly and open to all.

Fun, friendly and open to all.

Next there was the ludicrous Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, where 40,000 deluded souls were persuaded to pay good money to go shopping in a market on a public field in Sefton Park. Criticising this as divisive and elitist attracted, for me, huge viewing figures and almost total support – here and on Twitter – for my opinion that this was all just wrong.

Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, glad that's over.

Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, glad that’s over.

Sadly the hoped for deluge of rain to spoil the foodie fun didn’t turn up until late Sunday afternoon when the farce was nearly all over. But at least that brought us a gorgeous rainbow which I saw over Liverpool Central Library and also topped off The Farm’s Liverpool International Music Festival gig in Stanley Park. A popular, free event in a public park, imagine that?

After the deluge. The rainbow over Liverpool Central Library.

After the deluge. The rainbow over Liverpool Central Library.

Next came a long planned post about a life-long inspiration, Eleanor Rathbone. Family Allowances, votes for women, Liverpool’s first female Councillor and so much more. Every day, out running, I pass somewhere she worked or lived and as I said:

“I am privileged to walk where she walked and to have lived in her benign shadow.”

Eleanor Rathbone speaking in 1943. A wonderful picture, the people in the room clearly knowing they are in the presence of someone special. Nancy Astor id third from right.

Eleanor Rathbone speaking in 1943. A wonderful picture, the people in the room clearly knowing they are in the presence of someone special.

During the week there were quiet celebrations of life. Walking with Sarah, over these many years, where we imitate the cover of a long ago Steely Dan album.

Two against nature?

Two against nature?

And the continuing joy of the wildflowers in The Mystery, close by where we live.

Not Monet, Manet or Matisse - but The Mystery.

Not Monet, Manet or Matisse – but The Mystery.

Coming up, for us, this weekend is showing a visitor from Australia round Liverpool. She is Mandy Cheetham, regular commentator on this blog and mother of Sarah’s great friend Rachel Cheetham, who died early last year. Sarah and Mandy met at Rachel’s funeral in New Jersey and have since become firm friends.

Mandy hasn’t been to Britain since the early 1970s and has never been to Liverpool. But she’s had a good look around it on this blog and on stuff we’ve been sending her, like the lovely SevenStreets Almanacs. So her few days here are going to be packed, especially since it’s also National Heritage Weekend and lots of usually closed doors will be opening. Come back here to see where we go and what she thinks of our place.

A visitor to Liverpool who's been a librarian all her life. where shall we take her?

A visitor to Liverpool who’s been a librarian all her life. Where shall we take her?

And finally, sadly, everyone’s noticed today that it’s a year since the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report was published. The report that finally revealed the truth about the establishment cover-up of what happened that day in 1989. We got the truth that day, but justice? Still waiting, as the wheels of an establishment investigating itself grind agonisingly but predictably slowly.

Justice for the 96?

Justice for the 96?

6 thoughts on “Something for the weekend?

  1. Barry Ward

    A great title, Ronnie. The barber we went to was of course the notorious Bert, he demonstrated his ex-army tonsorial ‘skills’ from premises on that row of shops between the Alt and the Meadows. I remember he always called everyone ‘sir’…..even us young pre-teen boys, and after he asked “How would you like it sir ?” everyone got the inevitable short back & sides. Even worse was the polite request at the end of the haircut “Any cream sir ?” quickly followed by him applying a blob of foul smelling stuff on to what was left of your hair, combing the front bit into a quiff, which set like concrete for about a week afterwards. Of course when we became Beatles fans my reply to the first question (“Like George Harrison’s please Bert”) was totally ignored, as was the desperate plea for No Cream !
    I’m sure your visitor from Australia will have a fantastic time, and that you’ll show her the best of Liverpool, old and new. A weekend won’t be long enough, but I look forward to reading your report of her visit.
    Kind Regards, Barry.

  2. Mandy Cheetham

    I’m honoured to be mentioned in your blog, Ronnie and as usual I have enjoyed reading your overview of events for the week. I liked the piece about going to the barber in the 1960’s.

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Jan, boys haircuts in the 60s were a deadly serious business, even though they were all precisely the same.

      I think I’ll do this as a regular weekly feature now, for a while at least.


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