In Liverpool: On my birthday

On my birthday02Due to some oversight at the Meteorological Office my birthday dawns brightly blue, and so the two friends are able to set out on a walk together.

We're walking into town, through the parks.

We’re walking into town, through the parks.

And though it's brightly sunny, it's fiercely cold.

And though it’s brightly sunny, it’s fiercely cold.

Frost still on the ivy.

Frost still on the ivy.

Though it's late in the morning now.

Though it’s late in the morning now.

Still we’re not complaining. The day of my birth is usually marked by heavy leaden skies and sheets of sideways rain. So this feels almost springlike.

There is sadness up ahead for Sarah though.

A dead monkey.

A dead monkey.

This is, or rather was, L68 on Sarah’s map of all known Monkey Puzzle trees. Last time we’d seen it there were doubts about its health. And more recently our friend Sarah Jones, who lives nearby, had sent a report of its suspected demise. Now sadly confirmed.

We move on.

Into Sefton Park through the mysterious trees.

Into Sefton Park through the mysterious trees.

And the 'Back entrance to Africa Oyé' as I call this bit.

And the ‘Back entrance to Africa Oyé‘ as I call this bit.

Out the other side of the park.

Out the other side of the park.

And through Windermere Terrace.

And through Windermere Terrace.

To this vision of paradise in winter that is Princes Park.

To this vision of paradise in winter that is Princes Park.

With its sunlit rushes.

With its sunlit rushes.

And its shining Japanese Cherry.

And its shining Japanese Cherry.

What's Sarah found?

What’s Sarah found?

The snowdrops, nearly out.

The snowdrops, nearly out.

At the gates of the park Sarah takes a picture.

At the gates of the park Sarah takes a picture.

Of me holding my camera.

Of me holding my camera.

This has been my camera since around 2001 and we have been good friends together. In the past year alone it has taken over 7,000 photographs as this blog has become a major part of what I do. But lately my old camera has begun to fail. And so we are on our way into town to buy its replacement, my birthday present, a new camera.

We sit for a minute on Princes.

We sit for a minute on Princes.

While we’re sat our friend Fiona rings and on hearing what we’re up to we laugh that the camera taking photographs like this is like a condemned man taking pictures of his own final journey.

We laugh, but it’s also a bit sad. This tool has been part of my hands and my life for so long, I console myself with talk that ‘It’s not finished yet’ – but actually its recurring fault has happened three times on this walk already, so it is nearly finished, really.

We cross Upper Parliament.

We cross Upper Parliament.

Into Percy Street.

Into Percy Street.

Where this terrace, which I believe is owned by Sanctuary Homes, continues to rot. Anyone know what’s happening?

Because it should really look like the next terrace along and be home to a good many people in one of Liverpool's loveliest streets.

Because it should really look like the next terrace along and be home to a good many people in one of Liverpool’s loveliest streets.

Crossing Huskisson Street.

Crossing Huskisson Street.

And in the continuation of Percy Street, gorgeous St Bride's.

And in the continuation of Percy Street, gorgeous St Bride’s.

Along to Canning Street.

Along to Canning Street.

The Cathedral again.

The Cathedral again.

Looking along sunny Gambier Terrace.

Looking along sunny Gambier Terrace.

And into Hope Street now.

And into Hope Street now.

In sight of the Catholic Cathedral.

In sight of the Catholic Cathedral.

Down Hope Place.

Down Hope Place.

Another Georgian gem.

Another Georgian gem.

And on to Pilgrim Street.

And on to Pilgrim Street.

I wonder if the owners round the front in Rodney Street even know their back gates have been painted?

I wonder if the owners round the front in Rodney Street even know their back gates have been painted?

Down into town.

Down into town.

And along Bold Street.

And along Bold Street.

For lunch at the Kasbah.

For lunch at the Kasbah.

Extravagantly Moroccan.

Extravagantly Moroccan.

With added lemonade.

With added lemonade.

A treat.

A treat.

Along Church Street, the moment is approaching.

Along Church Street, the moment is approaching.

And into Lord Street.

And into Lord Street.

Into Wilkinson’s in fact. Wilkinson’s Camera shop.

I’ve rung up earlier and made sure they’ve got all three of the cameras I’m interested in. We play around with them, exclaiming over this and that (while the old camera sulks in my bag). And, much about the three of them being relatively equal, make a decision that’s mainly about feel. How they feel in my hands, which one feels like it’s for the long run.

And when we've made our decision we get the bus home so I can open my present.

And when we’ve made our decision we get the bus home so I can open my present.

Arriving home to find another present on the front door step.

Arriving home to find another present on the front door step.

It's this gorgeous Dutch Apple Cake from our friend Bren.

It’s this gorgeous Dutch Apple Cake from our friend Bren.

Be back to that later, still too stuffed from lunch for the moment.

And there's a camera box to open!

And there’s a camera box to open!

Here we go.

Here we go.

Yes!

Yes! It’s got European Guarantee Information.

And I immediately irritate Sarah by starting to take pictures with it.

And I immediately irritate Sarah by starting to take pictures with it.

How else do I try out a new camera?

Later there's the not at all small matter of the Dutch Apple Cake.

Later there’s the not at all small matter of the Dutch Apple Cake.

I’ve loved these since years ago, one sunny afternoon in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam with our friend Alinda. And Bren, genius in the kitchen as he is, has made the genuine article here. Well done Bren!

Later still? Back on Hope Street in The Pen Factory. Happy Birthday to me. It was.

Later still? Back on Hope Street in The Pen Factory. Happy Birthday to me. It was.

Meanwhile, deep thanks to an old friend who has walked down many roads with me and may yet walk a few more.

Well done you.

Well done you.

And you too. The new camera goes for a ride on a bus.

And you too. The new camera goes for a ride on a bus.

20 thoughts on “In Liverpool: On my birthday

  1. Liz

    Happy Birthday Ronnie x and many happy returns of the day!
    So glad it was sunny for you and Sarah.
    Thanks for sharing your day in pics and words,and special thanks for the photo of my wondrous place!..birthday hugs (((((((x)))))))) from GambierLiz x

    Reply
  2. studiotower

    And a hearty hello and happy birthday from the cornyards of Indiana. We sent that weather east a few days ago. I recognize the names Huskisson and Canning from maps of our old friend The Overhead Railway.
    Mitch

    Reply
  3. Cathy Alderson

    A lesson in how to enjoy a sunny winters day. It sounded and looked wonderful.
    Happy birthday Ronnie and much fun with your new toy! x

    Reply
  4. jbaird

    Happy birthday, Ronnie! Enjoy that beautiful new camera. I’m sure that, like its predecessor, it will capture thousands of incredible images that we have come to anticipate and cherish for so long now. It’s sunny and quite warm in California today. After 30 years out here, I still find it strange to witness such pleasant winter weather having spent the first half of my life in New York. x Jan

    Reply
  5. Pak

    Happy birthday Ronnie. Lovely camera you got there. The f2.8 maximum aperture on the lens will come in very useful, particularly in low light and indoors.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Pak, already has out and about working today. Much loved though my existing camera was (and it’s still sat here glaring at me) its love of cold bright blue sunny days influenced my style far too much (on reflection). It is, after all, not always sunny here.

      Reply
  6. Paul Cook

    Happy birthday Ronnie! I hope you have many more to come. Make sure your new camera gets lots of exercise so we have lots more blog entries and photos to look forward to.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Martin, there will be many more photos. The new camera came out walking with me today. Strange to be getting used to a different shape in my right hand after all these years.

      Reply

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