The next ‘a sense of place Iive’ happens Tuesday 2nd December. Next week at the Everyman Bistro.
I hate awards shows and ceremonies with all their exploitation, false bonhomie and raging competitiveness. So, being contrary, I’ve decided to give some awards out in a cheaper and much more cheerful way than the usual dickie-bowed bonanza.
Unlike most Awards events you won’t have to ‘buy’ a table to be there or be in the running for an award. You just have to turn up. Tables at The Ev are free, so you just walk in and sit down. Imagine that?
So what’s my thinking here? Well, I’m still working it out, but here goes.
Towards the end of the year newspapers and magazines fill up with ‘best of the year’ lists. Best books, best records and so on. And I’ve always found these lists mildly useful, reminding me of things I’d forgotten to get round to. So I’ve decided to join in. A blog these days being a sort of magazine anyway. So like the NME ‘best of’ list which would remind you of the poorly reviewed third album that’s actually turned out to be a bit of a gem, I’d like these ‘Liverpool: a sense of place’ awards to shine a light on some of the best things about living around Liverpool that people might not have noticed, or could do with a lot more of.
It’ll also allow us to actually create a blog post, live on the night, rather than just sit around talking about something I’ve already written. Are you up for it?
So what might the categories be? Well I’d like us to be free to make up some on the night, but here are a few possibilities (with the occasional linked blogpost) to get us all thinking.
The Liverpool ‘a sense of place’ awards 2014
The best bit of Liverpool
Yes, let’s face it, this blog’s about Liverpool and if you read it you’re likely to be very interested in Liverpool and know it fairly well. But what, for you, is the best bit? ‘Home’ isn’t allowed to count and big bits like ‘Anfield’ or ‘Wavertree are too big, too wide to count. What I’m looking for are favourite little corners. Places where you might go to read, or sit and think or talk to friends. A small corner where you glow inside and think ‘Yes, this is my Liverpool!’ Where is it?
The best bit of Liverpool that’s not actually in Liverpool
We’re all scousers but unfortunately, due to accidents of history and politics, not all of Liverpool is actually in Liverpool. I’m talking about the place that includes all of Merseyside plus Halton and is currently and cumbersomely being called a ‘City Region.’ I prefer the snappier ‘city’ and think of it all as Greater Liverpool. So, as in the previous category, what’s your favourite bit?
Note: Both of these categories are open to suggestions from everyone. There’ll be no bickering like ‘Runcorn’s for Runcorn people’ allowed!
Walk of the year
Obviously a favoured activity of myself but I’m sure I’m not alone. Even by its wider definition Liverpool is a reasonably compact place, full of coastal and urban circular or there and back again walks to delight us all. So what’s your favourite?
Favourite runs and bike rides can also qualify for this category. As long as it’s not the sort of Triathlon level 50 mile bike riding some blog readers of my acquaintance get up to. What the judges (i.e. me) will be looking for are running or riding routes that could work as walks as well.
Bus route of the year
They’re too expensive and we really should be allowed to use Stagecoach tickets on Arriva buses and vice-versa – but we do have very good bus services and routes here in Liverpool. So what’s the top one? I’ve been reporting on them all year from both sides of the river, so this Award will be hotly disputed, if only with myself.
Our day out of the year
Obviously you could live the whole of your life within the boundaries of wider Liverpool and be perfectly content. I more or less do. But even I like a day out now and then. Not too far away though. So we can be back in our own beds by the night time. So where have you been that we might all enjoy?
Café of the year
By which I mean, places to sit down and eat food. I make no distinction between apparent restaurants or cafés – though preferring the humbler and more practical café myself. Your best eating place of the year?
And a word about ‘the year’. It doesn’t, in any of the categories, have to be something that’s new this year. It might be something or somewhere that’s been good for ages, or has had a particularly good 2014 or that you’ve only discovered this year.
Shop of the year
I include this for general interest, though only frequenting record shops and occasional book shops myself. And I can imagine there being some discussion about whether internet shops are allowed? A discussion I’m happy to allow, though I do have a strong preference for actual shops, with doors you open and real people inside to talk to.
Eccentric idea of the year
I think we’re good at this around here and think ‘eccentric’ should be viewed as a compliment. As in ‘That Flyover idea is seriously and brilliantly eccentric!’ So, things, places, ideas that make you smile inside. As well as admiring the creativity and nerve of whoever’s gone public with whatever it is.
Reader generated awards of the year
On the night I’d like us to generate a few of these, plus blog readers could suggest some for us in advance. The only guiding rule is they have to be something about the geographical area this blog is calling ‘Liverpool’ and not about things that could be anywhere. That’s why we’re not having ‘Sweets of the Year’ or even ‘Record of the Year’. Those things apply to everyone everywhere.
Could do better of the year
A land flowing with milk and (Post Code) honey though it is, not everything here is as good as it could be. So this award is intended as a bit of encouragement for something who’s heart might be in the right place but needs to do a fair bit better to be, well, any good.
I’ll make no prior suggestions here, so the discussion on this one can be more of a laugh on the night.
Thing of the year
The top one. The one the winners of all the other categories (apart from ‘Could do better’ obviously) will be hoping to get. The most glittering of all of these glittering prizes. Something the whole City is proud of, is reduced to emotional Celtic tears by, wants to run out and dance in the street about. Again, I’ll make no suggestions, because it’s going to be something that emerges from the other categories. But, for example, if I’d have thought of doing this two years ago ‘The Homebaked Oven’ would have walked away with this one. All of us anxiously and then joyously checking their Kickstarter appeal as they reached and then far exceeded what they needed to get going. A thoroughly good thing the whole of Liverpool fell in love with and felt good about.
So what’ll the ‘Thing of the Year’ be this time around?
Suggestions on here in advance of the night. All to be discussed ‘live’ at the Everyman Bistro, next Tuesday 2nd December. Arrive at 6:00 for a 6:30 start.
And dress code for the event? You will need to wear some clothes, it’s getting very cold outside now.