This was such a lovely day doing things that wouldn’t have felt so extraordinary a few months ago, but now feel like the essence of life.
The day began like so many now do at the allotment where my friend Gillian arrived for a visit. I hadn’t seen her since February, though she had sent a blog post of one of her walks from home in North Wales, so we had a lot to talk about before we decided to go walking.
Having heard that Lovelock’s café down by the tunnel would be open again we set off in the general direction of there (though we never did arrive, sorry Sarah, but will see you another day soon). Walking round the edge of Sefton Park, along Croxteth Road then Lodge Lane, we cut through to Granby and met Eleanor, Lawrie and a couple of film-makers from Berlin outside the Winter Garden. And the day continued like that, hugely missed places and friends seemingly waiting for us along the way.
Through Canning and onto Hope Street the city still felt quiet for a lovely summer’s Saturday. And being quarter past two by the time we were paused on the seats at the top of Mount Street we knew we weren’t going to get to Lovelock’s before it closed, and so decided to go down the hill to Bold Street. But only after some “I will if you will” discussion as neither of us were feeling entirely confident. I was already closer to town than I’d been since early March, and of course Gillian had just arrived from the hills of Wales.
And it was ok. Not too crowded, the top end closed to cars now and new outside sitting places along the street. With a table empty and therefore waiting for us, it being that kind of day, outside Bold Street Coffee.
Then we went into just back open News From Nowhere. Masks on, hand-sanitiser by the door, not too many people in at once, and we looked at the books. And I bought one.
“We looked at the books and I bought one.”
This being one of several moments in the day when anyone who knows me might expect my eyes to have filled with grateful tears. They didn’t, as I was so happy to be back there, but they do now, writing the memory down.
We left Bold Street then and turned off to Slater Street. Made up to see that Jackson’s art supplies shop has come through and was back open. Then across Duke Street to Pitt Street, The Baltic and beyond. Going up the hill we met our friend Nina and talked about the flying ants and it being the sort of humid day when they happen.
Then walking along Windsor Street Clare and Becky were outside Squash, of course they were, remembering how to write their new opening times, for now, on their windows. It was lovely to see you both again.
Then, back through the Welsh Streets, Princes Park and round the side of Sefton, Gillian and I ended our walk together. Though walking home I met another friend, Jane, on Smithdown. It was that kind of day. All safely and slightly nervously done but back on the streets of Liverpool again.
And it was so lovely to see you.