Squash: Food for Real on Windsor Street

On a beautiful morning in the finally here springtime of the year Squash opened today on Windsor Street.

The café and shop were busy all of the morning I was here and it was great. A beautiful building full of the spirits of the community who have created it. And all of us visitors.

There’s a story behind it all which is theirs to tell and for you to join in with when you visit. Which I think you should.

Here’s what it’s like.

Continue reading “Squash: Food for Real on Windsor Street”

A Quiet New Year

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.

In The Mystery, watching the sun set on 2017. Photograph by Clare Melhuish.

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.

As night falls on 2017.

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.

Two against nature, January 1st, 2018.

Continue reading “A Quiet New Year”

A Christmas Clearing

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.

Happy Christmas from both of us.

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”

The Story of the The Beautiful Parks

 

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.

Listen, I’m telling you a story… Continue reading “The Story of the The Beautiful Parks”

Granby Street Market, September 2017

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.

The Market runs pretty much all year now on the first Saturday of every month.
And since last year has run on Granby Street itself, the road being closed for it.
The market has grown and thrived in the extra space.

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.’

But best of all loads of people and the place itself. I was involved here for many years of course and it’s great to be back among friends again. Conversations flowing easily in the morning sun. Continue reading “Granby Street Market, September 2017”

Wirral West and its Shining Shore

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.

It’s such a beautiful place.
Always my favourite place for reflective, meditative walks.

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.

It’s early summertime in the sandstone walls.

Continue reading “Wirral West and its Shining Shore”

The Real Junk Food Project Liverpool: Phase Two

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.

Natalie Hughes-Crean and Gabby Holmes.
Natalie Hughes-Crean and Gabby Holmes.

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.

So here are Natalie and Gabby in their own words: Continue reading “The Real Junk Food Project Liverpool: Phase Two”

Without These Walls: Peaceful Warrior

'Peaceful |Warrior' by Jayne Lawless.
‘Peaceful Warrior’ by Jayne Lawless.

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.Red Brick

Here’s Jayne:

Jayne Lawless

 

“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.

Continue reading “Without These Walls: Peaceful Warrior”

“I Am Haunted by Waters”

21A 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.  Rebecca  is 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 ½hr  round 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’d  justify 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. 

Here we are at The Knot Garden in Shropshire with the ‘famous’ Royal Oak Tree in the background.
And here we are having fun with the Piper…or at least I am!
And here we are having fun with the Piper…or at least I am!

Continue reading ““I Am Haunted by Waters””