If these were the only three sunny days we get they were great weren’t they? So I thought I’d write them down so I can remember them, later on. When the weather goes back to seeming like it’s colder than it used to be and it rains most days.
It’s Saturday evening as I’m writing, going dark now but the daytimes here in Liverpool have been sunny since Thursday. Warm days of less clothes and crowds in the parks. Though not yet in The Mystery as I set out for the day.
Thursday was a day of walking round with my friend, the photographer Jane MacNeil. Walking round here making something up together. I love that. When you think of something roughly sketched out and then we filled it in with thoughts and ideas until it turned into something real and we said let’s organise it and do it. Which we will, soon.
Then I got the bus round to Stanley Park before an evening of working nearby on something else I’ll say more about soon.
Friday I was on my own except for writing in two cafés and walking round in the sun in between times. Working it gets called. Lists and messages and some phone talk. All so much happier done on blue sky days when all the buildings look so beautiful in the springtime light.
This morning was Saturday and I woke up early to good news. A formal email offering me my place at the University of Liverpool from this coming September. I’ll be doing an MA and then a PhD and I’d already had the academic interview and offer, but it turns out you then have to apply formally to the University too. Anyway that’s done and I’m very glad about it.
I’ll say more soon but then it was Record Store Day, like I’ve already written about this week. Along Smithdown to Defend Vinyl, where Graham Jones, helped out for a busy day by Claire Heaslip, have had people queuing up since long before they opened the shop.
After a while I want to go to town. A Saturday thing some weeks and more about walking around than shopping. Off the bus at Myrtle Street to walk down the hill.
A hill of contrasts at the moment and if it weren’t such a sunny day I might complain but I’m not in the mood. Time and change happen and it’s good to see the Andy Edwards Truce Statue in it’s place now at the Bombed Out Church.
Into Bold Street next, still late morning and already a queue building up at Leaf. On the corner of Newington is a building I worked in for years where the ground floor, even then, was an Oxfam. Today it sells me a Soviet-era copy of a record by someone I’ve just been reading about in a novel based on the short life of Czechoslovakia.
Church Street’s busy with knives and a new sign on School Lane has me singing the opening song from beloved ‘Oliver’ before a sit in the Bluecoat Garden. Then I walk to the Library, the only thing I’ve actually come to town to do, past brutality and beauty.
This is the book I’m reading. The story of one house and its people through what happened to and then became of Czechoslovakia during its short life as a country. I sit down to read it in the Library and it falls open at where I got up to last night. Where Janáček and his music get mentioned.
‘The silences matter’
While I’m sat there reading about the house and its Nazis then its Soviets I notice the people at the table next to me. Wearing red t-shirts some of them, with ‘CPGB/ML’ on the back. I didn’t know the Communist Party of Great Britain/Marxist-Leninist was still going, but here they are.
Upstairs in the Records Office I do what a friend’s asked me to find. Some photographs of Pitt Street for a book he’s written about there and Granby. I’ll be saying more but here’s Pitt Street around 1939.
In the Library is also this display I’ve not seen before, with a friend on it. Hello Femi, it’s always good to see you.
Leaving the Library and crossing St John’s Gardens there’s a statue that says:
‘Give every child a fair chance’
That would be good.
Then it’s along Lime Street for the bus home. Another street of contrasts and it’s still a sunny day, so I walk on and catch the next 86.
Off the bus by The Third Cafe, then home for more tea and reading into the evening in the sunny back yard. Also time for a proper look at something precious I bought in the Library, another one of my old Liverpool maps. This one of Toxteth, 1890 in colour.
Now it’s dark outside and the day is nearly over.
A good day though, like the others. These three sunny days in April were great weren’t they?
Sunday morning now, and I’m already glad I wrote this.