Raising The Ralla

Introducing: New Ideas It’s called all sorts of things on maps and in official documents and council papers. But everyone for miles around the actual place calls it ‘The Ralla.’ The expanse of land over that long railway wall where Commercial, Stanley and Melrose Roads meet in Kirkdale. An expanse of nature. There are railways […]

In a Quiet Corner: Getting Going

No apologies for not having written anything on this blog for nearly two weeks now, I’ve been busy. After months of looking forward I’ve started university . And it’s making me so happy I thought I’d write a bit about it, in a quiet way. Much of my life is fairly quiet at the moment […]

If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy? An NHS Story

If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy then you might know that the surgical procedure itself is nowhere near as painful as maybe you’d first feared. I’ve had two colonoscopies in the last month and can now describe them from experience as no more than ‘uncomfortable.’ I’ll get to the precise whys and wherefores of my […]

Home as a Human Right: Ten Thoughts

On believing in everyone having a secure home as a human right.  This is roughly the text of my talk to the Liverpool Walton Constituency Labour Party on the evening of 22nd May 2018. ✹ From a lifetime working in and around housing and communities and at the request of the Walton Constituency Labour Party […]

The Preston Model and other questions?

Preston, here in North West England, is having a bit of a moment. A moment about doing things for itself. Obvious things, in some ways, but a combination of obvious things that no one else is doing in quite the same ways. Economic things, social things, using your own resources and imagination kinds of things […]

In Praise of Patience & Democracy

I first published this ‘Patience’ post early in March this year. Now, here in mid-April, I’m publishing this revised edition for two good reasons: To update you on how the garden is going, and because, while gardening, I’ve been thinking about democracy. ✹ I’ve never been a particularly patient person, quite the opposite in fact. […]