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.
Three days of quiet Christmastime on Sarah’s plot of Liverpool land.
This has been a clearing kind of year for Sarah and I. Our sequence of Clearing posts back in October and November recorded a time when we were clearing things and activities from our lives to focus better on what really matters to each of us in our different ways. And the news from here in Sarah’s shed on her allotment at Greenbank Lane Allotments this Christmas Day is that we’re still clearing.
Sarah’s been gardening this plot of earth now since 2001. Over these sixteen years it’s been her passion, her joy, her refuge and her sanctuary. Others have helped over the years, hi Bren, hi Gemma and even me. But this is Sarah’s place and over the last few months, along with so much else, she’s been clearing it. Continue reading “A Christmas Clearing”
As 2018 gets properly going ideas for Liverpool’s parks are starting to emerge. I’ll be able to tell you more soon, more about this story and what happened next. Listen…
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.
The great L8 Street Market is well into its eighth year now but I haven’t been around Granby or anywhere else much recently, so it was good to step out on a fine September morning and arrive at Granby again.
A real mixture of stalls here. All kinds of food, art, crafts, bike repairs, general interestingness and some they sum up as ‘car booty-ness.’
Having spent much of yesterday afternoon and evening in Wirral West, as one of the many people there helping the local Labour candidate Margaret Greenwood get elected, I decide to go back to the constituency today, as I take a day off from all forms of working.
Today I’m reflecting on my happiness that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters did such a good job and reintroduced ‘being yourself’ into a political system where that’s been thoroughly yet pointlessly discouraged for years.
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.
Announcing only the third ever showing of ‘Without These Walls’ the Jayne Lawless and Janet Brandon film, taking place at Red Brick Vintage at 6:00 in the evening on Thursday September 8th. It’s no ordinary film and it’ll be no ordinary event.
At Red Brick Vintage – Stanhope Street, Liverpool, L8 5RE, Thursday 8th September.
“Hello all. The next screening of Without These Walls, will be at this, an event we built to house the film in a ‘safe place’.
After the last screening and discussion at The Hesletine Institute I felt really drained. We walked over to the Caledonia pub and although the issues the film brings up carried on, they were slowly swallowed up by the music coming from a cajun band that had literally just set up right beside us.
I realised then that with the dark thoughts there must be light.
At the same time I was reading a book called Peaceful Warrior lent to me by a friend, a passing remark with a fellow organiser of this event using the same phrase led to ‘Peaceful Warrior’ – a night to share our stuff in a safe space, some hard stuff maybe to make you think, but also stuff to make you dance.
A guest post today by my friend Patricia Levey-Bennett who, as you’ll see, is a great photographer.
We decided to have a day out last weekend. We being me and Gaz, my boyfriend. There is only one specific requirement for our days out, and that’s to be near water. Everywhere I go to walk, or so it habitually seems, involves proximity to water.I was a lifeguard for many years – I’ve been called Water Baby and Little Otter in the past – so maybe it’s just something in my blood?
Rebecca suggests we go to Hilbre Island.Rebeccais my niece and you will get to meet her in a bit, along with Rachael, my other niece, who both decide they will join us for the day as they often do and have done since they could walk. We used to visit all sorts of interesting places when they were little (I tell them) …well, interesting to us as adults, or at least we convinced ourselves they were interesting. Motivated by the fact we had to get our money’s worth out of the English Natural Heritage pass we bought on a whim one year.We’d think nothing of making a 3 ½hrround trip to places as far afield as Shropshire to visit the sapling of the famous Royal Oak Tree.
Now,you might think three and a half hours in a car on a hot sunny day to visit a tree sounds like madness, but it was a surprisingly easy sell to a five and six year old, and we’djustify it by telling ourselves that they would be grateful for the experiences when they get older.In fact, when I tell Rachael that I’m writing this blog and including a few pictures from our visit there, she tells me she has absolutely no recollection of it whatsoever, or of the many other places we visited when they were younger! But she softens the blow with the addendum that all our days out were good and that what she remembers most is the lovely picnics.
This Saturday, 2nd April, sees the return of Granby 4 Streets Market. Now in its seventh year, the market this year moves out onto its new home on Granby Street itself.
We’re expecting Ducie Street, the last of the 4 Streets to go on site, to do so some time this summer.
So we’re moving out onto Granby’s historic trading street, as our direct tribute to the heritage of the area, where the whole of Granby Street was filled with shops, from Princes Avenue through to Upper Parliament Street. Public consultation we had done last year through Writing on the Wall came back strongly with the message of how much the shops are missed. So each month now we’ll be adding the Street Market in to the offers from our friends, the shop owners who’ve continued to trade on Granby Street. Continue reading “In Granby: The Street Market returns”