The day before Christmas Eve I wrote and photographed a poem called “Letting Go: A Quiet Breath” and the quiet days have continued here from then through to this new year of 2018.
These beloved souls are my three grandchildren: Finn, 3; Theo, 8, and Eleanor, 11. In the park with their parents, Simon, with Finn on his shoulders and my daughter Clare, who took the beautiful photograph.
A little later I’m on the other side of The Mystery, gazing up at the Moon.
The evening passes in quiet thoughts of what was good in 2017, what didn’t really work out and what might change as the year gets called 2018. We call these new year changes resolutions, but of course some of them are nothing of the sort. While we can all change stuff like what we eat, how much we run and, maybe, the work we do, much else that we’d like to happen is in the realm of wishes and dreams, like always.
Still, we can all change some of what’s immediately around us, so this morning finds us back at Sarah’s allotment, where we’ve spent several of these quiet days.
There is magic all around us. Stories waiting to be told. In every park & street the future is waiting. Listen, while I tell you a story.
“In what would yet come to be looked back on as the early years of the 21st Century the people of Liverpool woke up to the beauty all around them. Gathering first in small groups in Autumn 2017 and telling each other stories of what they might do, in the parks and other places that had been around them for all of their lives, and many lives before but in the huddle and muggle of everyday busyness had been all but forgotten.
Here they began the re-membering and the re-doing of their place.
From early 2018 they started. Small things at first & many. The growing of things, the gatherings and re-gatherings. A litany of possibilities and a story-tellings of dreams. Dreams that got planted, stories that grew. Knowingly and quietly they began the re-growing of their Liverpool.
First, some background. This café and social enterprise is part of the Real Junk Food Project, a now global movement that was started in Armley in Leeds, where this blog visited back in the summer of 2014. A movement that’s all about eradicating food waste, because in one of the richest economies on earth we’re throwing away 35% of our food, in a country where austerity politics is causing many people to go needlessly hungry. And so a movement has started that is intercepting this food at the moment it is pointlessly thrown away – and retrieving it on behalf of us all. Collecting food from restaurants, shops and even people’s allotments that would otherwise be going to waste. Not rotten food, not bad food, just excess food that would otherwise be going in the bin.
It’s been a while since this blog caught up with Natalie and Gabby of The Real Junk Food Project Liverpool. But I have stayed in touch with them and was glad to get an email recently outlining their plans for the future.
In the bleak driving rain of a dark November day me and a friend went for lunch at a bright, warm and welcoming new place on Allerton Road. A café called Furrow.
For the past 18 months Baltic Bakehouse have been running a pop-up shop at a couple of places on Allerton Road, mostly staffed by Grace’s mum, Brenda. And this blog has visited before. But now they’ve turned their bread shop into this café which Grace is running. And no longer a pop-up but a permanent addition to our choice of places to eat around Allerton and Smithdown Roads.Furrow opened a few weeks ago and since then I’ve been in to get our bread several times and the place, though newly opened, has always seemed pleasantly busy.
Once again I did more talking than photography at Granby 4 Streets Market. No apologies for that. Such a joy to have so many friends in one street on a sunny late summer Saturday for the last Street Market of the summer season.
Since publishing late in August of 2015 this post has been viewed by more people than anything else I’ve ever published. Strong evidence of how welcome this new café is in Liverpool. However, as our Real Junk Food Café is only open at the weekends for now, most of these blog views have happened when readers couldn’t show their support by actually going to the café. So as the weekend arrives let’s put that right? See you there.
It shouldn’t have needed to happen, but I’m really glad it has. There’s a Real Junk Food Café in Liverpool. In Everton, in fact.At 117 Shaw Street, on the corner of Everton Brow.
If you’ve been reading this blog since we visited the founding Real Junk Food Project in Leeds you might remember that in one of the richest economies on earth we’re throwing away 35% of our food, in a country where austerity politics is causing many people to go needlessly hungry. And so a movement has started that is intercepting this food at the moment it is pointlessly thrown away – and retrieving it on behalf of us all.
‘In this country we throw away something like 35% of our food, most of this throwing away being done by the big supermarkets and that’s just wrong.’
I’ve been talking with the Real Junk Food Project.
In fact a whole group of us have been talking with them and getting a direct experience of what they’re about.
You might remember us visiting the brilliant Severn Project urban farm and much more in Bristol a few weeks back? Well the same group of us have just been in Leeds, me and a group of front line staff from social enterprise bus company HCT, bus drivers mostly. From London, Bristol, the Channel Islands, Wakefield, Dewsbury, here in Leeds and me from Liverpool. Here to learn, here to question. Here to find out.
This post is by way of being a visual accompaniment to the words-only ‘Community Led’ post of the other day. In that post I talked about my views and experience of how community led change gets done and the demands it makes on all of us involved. Today I want to show you what it actually looks like when done well. Staggeringly well here at Homebaked in Anfield.
As well as being deeply and joyfully engaged with what we’re all doing at the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust, I’ve also been invited in by the community around Homebaked to contribute to getting their own Community Land Trust into serious movement. Homebaked have been open a good while now as a social enterprise community bakery, and now their next phase of development is to begin their CLT work on the land around them. Turning a soon to be demolished row of houses next to the bakery into? Well that’s what we’ve all been starting work on these last few weeks.
We’ve been getting ready to appoint the architects Homebaked CLT will be working with by working on how we’ll work with them. How the whole involved community can work out what is wanted and then work through the complications of getting it all done over the next couple of years. Continue reading “‘Community Led’ – What it looks like”