Evening walk, morning run

I haven’t done as many posts about running on here as I’d thought I might, principally because taking photographs interferes with a good run. But yesterday evening and this morning I covered the same route on both a walk and a run and therefore have some photographs to show you.

The route is called the ‘Greenbank variation’ in the notes I keep of runtimes. Meaning that the run always goes through Greenbank Park but either end of the run can have slight variations. Now I realise that this makes comparing the run times fairly pointless, but it does no harm and keeps me amused, so there.

Anyway, the walk and the run both start from our house.
Anyway, the walk and the run both start from our house.

In the evening there’s about an hour of daylight left. In the morning, as ever, the downhill start helps to get me started for the week.

I rarely run at weekends as the parks and pathways are more crowded then. So this relatively short route has become my regular for starting the week, building up to longer routes later on in the week.

Along Smithdown Road.
Along Smithdown Road.
Turning left into Greenbank Road.
Turning left into Greenbank Road.
Reaching the park, these daffodils have been out for a few weeks now.
Reaching the park, these daffodils have been out for a few weeks now.
Looking across Greenbank towards Sefton Park and the sinking sun.
Looking across Greenbank towards Sefton Park and the sinking sun.

In the morning there’s a steady drizzle of very cold rain, feeling on the edge of snow to me.

But as I run through the park I think what I always think.
But as I run through the park I think what I always think.

Which is that this looks and feels awfully like running through paradise, and the best kind of urban paradise at that with the tower block there. I’m probably smiling as I think this, it’s always such an intense pleasure and privilege to be here.

In the corner of the park, every year, are these tiny little narcissi shoots.
In the corner of the park, every year, are these tiny little narcissi shoots.

That intensely green colour of spring.

Out of the park onto Greenbank Lane.
Out of the park onto Greenbank Lane.

Where I feel like I’m walking straight into the sun.

The evening has got to that intense point where, just before the sun sinks below the horizon, there are a few minutes of low, sharp, perfect light. A crescendo for the day.

Shining golden onto the fresh new daffodils. Just out.
Shining golden onto the fresh new daffodils. Just out.
Raising their grateful faces to the sun.
Raising their grateful faces to the sun.
So yellow, so perfect.
So yellow, so perfect.
Along the avenue of trees in the perfect light.
Along the avenue of trees in the perfect light.
Looking closely at the detail of the green bark.
Looking closely at the detail of their green bark.
Reaching the far side of the field the minutes of perfect light are over and the field is now in shadow.
Reaching the far side of the field the minutes of perfect light are already over and the field is now in shadow.

Up to this point most of the run has been slightly downhill. Turning now for home the opposite will be true.

Across the park road by the Dell and up Ibbotson's Lane.
Across the park road by the Dell and up Ibbotson’s Lane.
An ancient lane and closed to cars for much of its length.
An ancient lane and closed to cars for much of its length.
Running between University halls and Liverpool College.
Running between University halls and Liverpool College.

In the evening I walk here through a loud and beautiful chorus of hundreds of birds singing to the setting sun. In the morning, reaching the end of the lane, the head of the pathway and the road are crowded with the cars of Liverpool College teachers and the better off sixth formers.

Past the lovely arched gateway of Rathbone Hall.
Past the lovely arched gateway of Rathbone Hall.
Yes, Eleanor Rathbone's lovely old house is in there.
Yes, Eleanor Rathbone’s old house ‘Greenbank’ is in there.
Now it's up the hill at Penny Lane.
Now it’s up the hill at Penny Lane.

I have a game I play with myself running up this hill. I try and get all the way to the top without any cars overtaking me. I realise this is completely unscientific but hearing a car behind me does make me push harder with my shoulders and run faster than I would otherwise. I’ve been observed doing it too.

A couple of weeks ago I went to my doctor, grumbling about the cold I said I’d had ‘all year.’ ‘No you haven’t’ she immediately replied. ‘What you’ve got now must be a second cold because there was absolutely nothing wrong with you last week when I saw you running up that hill at Penny Lane faster than I was driving my car!’

What a great and observant doctor. Hayley Tait of the NHS, it’s an honour to know you!

And this morning no cars overtake me once again until I'm running down the other side.
And this morning no cars overtake me once again until I’m running down the other side.
Past Dovedale Towers and the shops.
Past Dovedale Towers and the shops.
And along the lane, where there are Beatles in the architecture.
And along the lane, where there are Beatles in the architecture and pink in the evening sky.
Arriving at Allerton Road.
Arriving at Allerton Road.

And yes, Beatles fans, that’s the famous ‘shelter in the middle of the roundabout’. With a hat on it.

For months now this has been the scene of virtually no activity.
For months now this has been the scene of virtually no activity.

The shelter operated as a café called ‘Sergeant Pepper’s’ but closed several years ago. Then last year a developer got hold of it and managed to get planning permission to add an extra floor and turn it into a better sort of food establishment. There was an artist’s impression of how it would be in the local paper and the structure you see here was quickly erected last summer.

Since then? Well I think they must be waiting for a definite tenant before doing the rest of the work. So if you fancy it, well the opportunity’s here, hanging around waiting for you. I run on.

Up Church Road past Penny Lane Flowers.
Up Church Road past Penny Lane Flowers.
Where the last streaks of day still glimmer in the west.
Where ‘the west still glimmers with some streaks of day.’
And into Cow Lane.
And into Cow Lane.

Well it’s officially called ‘Prince Alfred Road’ this last century or so, because of a visit from one of Victoria’s children. But I prefer it’s original name. And there’s still a dairy at the far end too, so there.

Turning right into our road. Walk over, run over.
Turning right into our road. Walk over, run over.

The walk has taken me an hour and a half. Taking time to take photographs, marvel at nature and grumble about Sergeant Pepper’s. In the morning the run takes me 23m:22s, with none of that hanging around quoting Shakespeare nonsense!

Coming into the Sunday evening house I’m greeted by the smell of marmalade.

Sarah's in the kitchen pouring it into jars.
Sarah’s in the kitchen pouring it into jars.

And do we have some for breakfast in the morning before my run? No we don’t. That would be too neat and sickening an ending for any blog post of mine.

2 Replies to “Evening walk, morning run”

  1. Hi Ronnie

    I enjoyed following your walk/run around the Green Park and Penny Lane area of Liverpool – it reminds me of my time working in this part of the city over twenty years ago when I worked for British Rail.

    My patch covered all the electrified bits of Merseyrail so I often passed through this area on my way to Hunts Cross or Garston but there were a few more people on the streets in those days judging by your photos – where is everybody??

    Malcolm

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