Category Archives: a sense of place

Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2

leeds-liverpool-2-65On the bus from the centre of town then, back to where we left off at Wally’s Steps for the second section of our walk from here to there along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. 127 miles to Leeds with 119 to go. Today we’ll cover the 8 miles from Aintree to Downholland Cross.leeds-liverpool-2-1 leeds-liverpool-2-2 leeds-liverpool-2-3Quality graffiti here. So today will we be Riders on the Storm who will Break on Through to the Other Side? Well.

Sarah has a new jacket.

Sarah has a new jacket.

It’s a ‘paramo’ thing and apparently ‘jacket’ is hardly the word for something that will prove to keep her warm, keep her dry, keep her cool, keep her ventilated and be her best friend when other humans, me, aren’t quite up to the mark. It’s a miracle. And you can keep canal maps in the front. Continue reading

Not in Our Name: Saying No to the Muslim Ban

dsc08097At the end of our Liverpool working day we left our workplaces and travelled through our city to meet, because we have something to do, something to say.dsc08053 dsc08054 dsc08055Through our city of immigrants, our city of arrivals. We are all of us arrivals here. Continue reading

Walking round Liverpool: On Christmas Day

Happy Christmas from Liverpool.

Happy Christmas from Liverpool.

dsc07850This 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.

Starting where we’ll end, at the great cathedral.

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Walking Home: A meditation

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In a troubled world the freedom to walk home & know it will be there is not to be taken lightly.

It will soon be Christmas Day and many people are thinking of home. Walking home, sailing home, even flying home. Getting home come what may. So I’d already decided that for my Sunday walk this week I’d get on a random bus, get off miles away from here and then walk home. Simple and always a joy to do.

Then just as I’m about to walk round to the bus stop Cerys Matthews plays a song on her BBC6 programme that’s so beautiful it stays with me all day on my walk. It’s called ‘Bound for Lampedusa’ by The Gentle Good and is about being driven out of your home and setting off for a new one you may never find. It’s for everyone waiting to walk out of Aleppo into uncertainty, through the meltdown of human decency and kindness that is Syria this Christmas. Maybe you’d like to listen to the song as you read the rest of this walking meditation about home: Continue reading

A Sunday Circular Stroll

dsc07643There will be a glorious sunset later on. But today’s follow up to Saturday’s Smithdown Stroll starts on an ordinary, grey sort of day. One of my favourite kind. So here we go, off out for more aimless & pointless wandering around Liverpool. It’s what I do.

Along Crawford Avenue and on to Penny Lane.

Along Crawford Avenue and on to Penny Lane.

I but my lunch from Rough Hand Made. Best pastries in the city, I'd say.

I buy my lunch from Rough Hand Made here. Best pastries in the city, I’d say.

Mushrooms and spinach in filo pastry, which I’ll eat when I get to the park.

On Ibbotsons Lane. Sorry to have missed that!

On Ibbotsons Lane. Sorry to have missed that!

What's on in the Palm House?

What’s on in the Palm House?

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A Saturday Smithdown Stroll

dsc07535“Just off for a Saturday Smithdown Stroll” I say to Sarah as I’m leaving the house. “Oh that means records then” she perceptively replies. “It might?” I mutter, and as you can see it does. But more of that later.

We are in the days of dwindling light now.

We are in the days of dwindling light now.

When the sun is barely bothering to rise.

When the sun is barely bothering to rise.

And so I'm grateful for the Wavertree Christian Fellowship's twinkling tree.

And so I’m grateful for the Wavertree Christian Fellowship’s twinkling tree.

With Coming Home dominating my weeks, now I’ve stepped back from pretty much everything else I was involved in, I like to spend my weekends doing hardly anything beyond  walking around, reading, listening to music – and quietly observing life, as I will today.  Continue reading

Perfect Days on The Gower: With Sarah, Gemma & Sammy the Dog

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In which Sarah returns to western Britain. This time to the Gower Peninsula – without a kayak but with two friends. Sort of like “The Famous Three in the South Wales Adventure.” 

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I’m very drawn to peninsulas. The magical combination of sky, sea and land. The ‘big sky’ effect of peninsula. The Gower is easily reached by train from Liverpool, change once at Crewe, arrive Swansea and local buses to Oxwich. I arrive in Swansea as the day is drawing to a close and take a taxi the rest of the way so I can enjoy the last light at my destination.

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Oxwich Bay. It is a stunning beach, eerie in the half light.

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I have arrived just as high tide has turned.

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