Urban Goals and Holiday Reading

Haven’t been here for a while, to Liverpool Central Library.But two special reasons to come today. First to see a new exhibition of photographs by someone that I ‘know’ in a Twitter sort of way. And second, to stock up with some holiday reading  as I’m taking some time off work.

Photos first then. The exhibition’s by my Twitter friend @UrbanGoals, and is in fact called “Urban Goals.” Turns out that’s not my friend’s actual name though.

Introducing Michael Kirkham.

Who looks, from his photo, to be a boxing referee. This exhibition though is about football. Not the glossy corporate world of Premier League football, but real football in the real places where we live.

Urban Goals on walls near you.

Michael’s own words.

Beautiful photographs, beautifully displayed. And no I didn’t take detailed photographs of all of them.

So do come and see them.

Michael’s photos have deepened my walks for the year or so I’ve been following his work. I’m always finding urban goals now and sometimes send them to him. But he’s nearly always got them, even more obsessive than I am!

The exhibition started yesterday and is on until the 27th of this month. It’s apparently part of the Look 17 Photo Festival, on all over town at the moment. Don’t miss “Urban Goals.” It’s a gem.

Now, that holiday reading?

Having decided to take the next week and a half off work, but probably not go away anywhere, I know I’ll be having days out and shambling around. Some of which might get written about on here. And for me ‘shambling around’ always involves having a book or two with me. Often I’ll read politics and history, but when I need carrying away somewhere for a rest from my usual thinking I’ll read science fiction or crime novels. Just this last week I’ve reminded myself about Patricia Highsmith and have just finished reading this.

Wonderful cover, gripping 1950s story.

Previously I’d only read “Carol” by her. But now I’ve decided to come and find as many of her books as are in here and take them out for my holiday reading.

A good few in the Crime section.

A couple more in Adult Fiction.

As it’s a lovely day I’ll take them up on the roof for a look at them all.

All well in the Picton Reading Room on the way.

What a place.

Up at the top now.

And out on the roof.

Coming up here always fills me with a sense of well-being, a sense of home and belonging. Especially today as I’ve come to Liverpool for my holidays. All of the Patricia Highsmith books leave with me.

Time for lunch now and I know where I’m going.

Through St John’s Gardens.

To my favourite café near the Central Library.

Here at Lovelocks.

Where I get a table outside.

And while I’m waiting for my food to arrive I decide which of the six books I’ll read first. These editions all share a common introduction by Denise Mina, who has this to say about the one I choose:

“Edith’s Diary” is not just about the fictions involved in diary-writing, it is about the fictions inherent in being part of a family. Universal is the hope that the people we love are not, in fact, total arseholes. Just as universal is the knowledge that sometimes they are…A pacy narrative full of apprehension and dread.

Well, who wouldn’t want to read that!

After my lunch, lovely and highly recommended and I don’t do food reviews, I start the book while I drink my tea. My holiday truly begun.

Then I shamble around in the sunshine.

In my wondrous place.

And when I get home with my bag full of Patricia Highsmith books the library’s still with me:

Jane MacNeil’s beautiful photograph of the Picton Reading Room.

I settle down for a good long read.

Lovelock’s Coffee Shop, run by Sarah Lovelock, is at 6 Old Haymarket, L1 6ER and is highly recommended.

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