The Edge of the Known Universe

We always called this place the edge of the known universe,Expecting to step off it as we got closer to the islands.Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre hanging in the air, out thereWhere the sea becomes the sand became the sky and left the land,At the edge of the known universe.Today however, the known universe …

On Christmas Morning

The neighbourhood and the almost ritual walk around it that has defined my year. In lockdown times walking into town has been only occasional but this walk, around the local streets, has been my meditation and my breathing space. From home down to Smithdown, along Penny Lane to Greenbank Road, through Ibbotson’s Lane, round the …

In The Japanese Garden

I never did subscribe to the idea that our John was any kind of a saint. I think we all know he wasn’t. In fact what first attracted me to him and the music he helped make, when it lit a rocket under my childhood, was that he was clearly a little rough around the …

In Sunlight Autumn

Although the day has dawned rainy here in Liverpool and seems likely to continue that way we are having the beginnings of a glorious autumn. I know because I’m spending most of my working time outside in the weather these days, noticing it. Writing much of my sociology PhD on an allotment since the early …

Nearly done, from Gargrave to Bingley: Section 13

This was lovely. Several days together, walking along our canal again, through the sun and rain and Yorkshire, in perfect peace. To get to here in Bingley Sarah and I have walked a hundred and eleven miles along this canal together, and we’re nearly done. Another sixteen miles will take us all the way into …

We’re so easily called away: Appreciating Ram

When Paul and Linda McCartney’s ‘Ram’ album came out in May 1971 I was seventeen years old and had hardly any money. But my Saturday job in a supermarket meant I’d have just enough to get the bus to town and go up to Probe Records in Clarence Street to buy it the morning it …