Happy Christmas from Liverpool.
This has now evolved into a tradition for me. Not every year, because that would be annoying, but every now and then I like to walk round the centre of Liverpool on the one day in the year when all the shops are shut and there are hardly any people around.
As you’ll know if you read this blog sometimes I feel a considerable amount of responsibility for Liverpool. So looking around it on its quietest day is like me being the curator of an empty gallery or a minister in a great cathedral before the congregation arrive, checking everything’s all right while I have the place more or less to myself. Let’s have a look round then.
Starting where we’ll end, at the great cathedral.
Along a quiet Hope Street.
A lone and dress-suited cyclist on Mount Street.
The other great cathedral at the far end of the road
Down Hardman Street next.
Looking down the hill to the river.
In Liverpool on Christmas Day.
The red brick building next to Fly in the Loaf here apparently the next to be sacrificed to student housing.
Don’t get me started. It’s supposed to be a day of peace.
Anyway, Bold Street at last.
Where proper ‘town’ begins.
Wonderful. And pretty much deserted.
But a word about the crap.
My friend Jane MacNeil, Liverpool’s principal street photographer, has recently been commenting on the state of our streets. The rubbish we think we can just throw down and leave behind us along with the shit we leave behind from our dogs. It’s not ok to blame the council, we shouldn’t be letting it happen in the first place. So anyway, it annoys me.
But just as I’m photographing the miracle of a closed Tesco, the rubbish on the street annoys someone else much more.
Not the guy on the bike, who keeps on going, but the only other person on the street who comes up behind me screaming and blaming all the rubbish and shit on me. A troubled soul who may have taken too much of something or, perhaps, not enough of something. Whatever, when he screams that he will now ‘crush and annihilate’ me I ditch the planned empathy and walk smartly away.
Off along the street.
In search of peace and maybe a hug.
These look like a retro film set but at least one of them is going to be a French bakery and patisserie.
Round by St John’s.
Where Maplin’s looks like it’s been doing a roaring trade in drones.
That’s really not likely to end well is it?
Anyway, it’s a sunny day for a bit now.
The Playhouse looking splendid.
This is what we’ve come for.
Completely deserted Christmas time streets.
Out on Whitechapel a few more people around.
Welcome foreign visitors mostly. The language I hear the least of all day, apart from that incident up Bold Street, is English.
On Lord Street
Into Liverpool One.
In previous years I’ve been tracked in here by red coated Liverpool One ‘security’ on Christmas Day. Not this year. They’ve probably got more efficient tracking now, maybe a couple of those Maplin’s drones?
Anyway, capitalism’s shut for the day.
No amount of ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme’ will work. (That really is an obnoxious advert.)
Peace on earth and even in the mall.
Didn’t know Apple had opened a second store in here.
A cathedral to itself.
The silent bus station.
Over to the Albert Dock.
A few more visitors around for me to take pictures of.
Down at the riverside it gets very windy.
So I don’t have my planned sit down for lunch.
Beautiful every day of the year. The Mersey Tunnel ventilation shaft.
But just by there is where the DWP ‘Decision Maker’ lives. Heartless bastard.
Let’s walk on.
Into Castle Street.
There are two people sleeping in there. Thanks DWP.
So lunch and a read happens here, in front of the town hall.
Then along Dale Street.
Past Delifonesca, which is open.
To deserted Victoria Street, where I stand in the middle of the road, facing one way…
And then the other.
In Sir Thomas Street. Casa Ialia is closed. As is the Eleanor Rigby Hotel. Closed even for ‘Moll Teazer’s’ and her random apostrophes.
‘Euro’ – a self portrait.
Out onto Church Street.
Rare sight of the gates closed at The Bluecoat.
On Seel Street “Breathing is not living.”
Also open today ‘Slim’s Pork Chop Express’
Then as promised, if only to myself, up to the great cathedral.
Liverpool Cathedral, Christmas Day.
The great space quite busy today.
When I passed earlier there was a service on. Now most people here are visitors in Liverpool over Christmas.
Cheerfully taking pictures of each other.
For us all, even non-believers like me, I light a candle.
So here ends the circular walk and my inspection of the centre of Liverpool on its quietest day. Not as quiet as it’s been other Christmases, and not without things to concern us – like the state of the streets and the number of people being forced to live on them. But great to have so many visitors from other countries with us, long may that continue.
After the walk it’s off to visit Sarah at her allotment.
We sit and have a cup of tea by the fire.
And dig? We don’t.
Happy Christmas from Plot 44.
And from Liverpool, for which I’m speaking today as there’s no one else around, to wherever you are, I wish you peace, food, warmth, shelter, love and company.