I love new print. It’s not so all pervasive as it once was, but I was delighted this morning when my new business cards arrived. Neatly packaged in two elegantly square boxes. A hundred photographic messages to, well, who exactly?
These days business cards aren’t all they used to be, certainly not as necessary. I ran out of my last lot a couple of months ago and I’ve done fine with my phone, messaging and DM-ing contact details when I’ve needed to. Fine and practical, but hardly beautiful.
Which is why I designed and ordered another supply of cards. Cared about messages I can leave with people if we meet and decide we want to be in touch. Only polite? Well I think so as I kind of like polite.
Here they are then. Four short stories, four photographs of home.
The Reservoir, L8
It’s in between Admiral Street and Park Road and hasn’t been a reservoir for all the years I’ve been walking past it. I’ve only been inside once, a few Heritage Open Days ago, and it’s very beautiful in an engineering of the industrial revolution kind of way.
It’s very dark and cool too. Filling everyone I’ve met who’s been inside with at least as many thoughts of ‘What could we do with this?’ as ‘What did it used to be?’
Then recently I met a couple of artists from India who’ll be doing something about water in here, which makes sense. Meanwhile it’s there every day, next to Toxteth Town Hall and the Job Centre. There to look at in all its industrial beauty.
The Dock Road, L3
As we all know around here it’s never actually called the Dock Road in all of its seven miles from the Dingle to Seaforth. So we all call it the Dock Road.
For me these days it’s mainly the road to MAKE Liverpool in the North Docks, where I’m now a board member. I always walk there, partly because I no longer drive and partly because why wouldn’t you?
In walking to MAKE, which is all about the people of here remaking our place and our economy, I walk through how people made our place into a city in the first place. My people who came off the Irish boats, walked through the dock gates along here and joined in with making Liverpool.
So I always feel I’m walking home as well as walking into the future.
Stanley Park, L4
This is my baby park, the place that first defined the word ‘park’ for me. I was born across the road in Diana Street, on the Walton side of the park and I’m often here still. Walking round, reading, meeting people and just being.
The park’s in good shape, much used and loved these days to the credit of many. And I think I love it the most on its quiet days, like in the photograph. The Edwardian bit being like our own stately home garden, that us lot in the working classes can stroll around for free any time we like, as if we owned the place. Which we do.
New Brighton, over the water
This photograph is taken from inside of one of those seaside shelters where you sit and eat your butties or your chips on rainy days out. New Brighton itself barely appears in the photograph but it’s all there.
The feeling of holiday, the big sky, the joy of a lighthouse. I love all lighthouses. And I love New Brighton.
Over the water but as much a part of home for me as these other three Liverpool places. Again, a place where I can both think back and look forward. Not always in ways I agree with looking forward. But definitely in ways we all talk about. That being how life is in a city. A mixture of places being forever remade and argued about by the people of now, whenever now is.
So this is my now, this is home, my sense of place in four photographs.
All of these photographs were taken on my phone over the past few weeks. And these days you can come on courses I run with my friend Jane MacNeil, about stories and photos on your phone. Details of the next one, on August 10th here.