In fact there’s been a market here since the local monks were granted a Royal Charter to run one in 1286 by King Edward 1. (Who was also known as the ‘Hammer of the Scots’ and he battered the Welsh too. But in between brutalities was obviously keen on a bit of light shopping.) Continue reading
I tell myself I’ve come here to think something through. Something I’ve been thinking about that could do with a walk to get it straight. But as soon as I arrive I know the place isn’t going to put up with that. Because the place itself wants to be noticed. And in the noticing my nagging thoughts melt away. Which is probably what I’ve really come here for anyway.
I’m on the Shining Shore, the walk around Thurstaston that’s been one of my main meditation places, alone and with Sarah, for many years now.
I’m in the middle of my week and a half of not working and I’ve come for an afternoon out on the Wirral. Some walking, some reading and my lunch is in my bag. Continue reading
Taking these photographs
To wrap the happiness up in.
Ten years ago today Sarah and I got up worried and early to begin one of the longest days of our lives. We travelled to the Royal Hospital here in Liverpool, to the Rapid Diagnosis Clinic, to find out what we found out.
And ten years later part of me finds it hard to travel back to what Sarah has written here. But most of me is immensely relieved, and grateful, that she is alive to write it. And that the years have in no way dimmed her fire and passion for our National Health Service, or her determination to keep it safe from officious predators, as you’ll see when you read on.
This is me on the 22nd of February 2007. It is the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, age 43.
So today, the 21st of February 2017, marks ten years from that diagnosis. There is no whoop of delight, no fist pumps here. No, this is not a celebration. It is a mere observation of a fact, a fact that I am still here to observe. And of all the questions I asked that day ten years ago during the hours in the hospital, the main question, the one I remember the most, was when I said, ‘Will I die?’
But thanks to modern medicine and surgery, some great doctors and surgeons, a hefty dose of luck and some of my own tenacity, I did not die of breast cancer. At least, I haven’t so far. Continue reading
No apologies, this is a big blog post about a big subject. The continuing revival, reuse, regeneration and renewal of a large area of North Liverpool, down by the docks.
Having been involved in what’s going on down here for the last year or so I got myself invited to a corporate launch thing last Thursday morning. At which and after which people naturally started asking me what I thought of it all?
I said “I don’t know. It’s complicated. I’ll need to have a think about it and get back to you.”
So I’ve been for a think, a walk, the same thing, and here it all is. Me and Sarah meandering round the North Docks, TenStreets if you will, on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Continue reading
The dark days of December and January end and February comes in, at least for today, warm and sunny. On my way into work, at Coming Home in Hope Street, I get off the bus a couple of stops early. There’s something special I want to see.
In this last week or so of January 2017 there has been much talk of dystopia. Living through these bleak days in the opposite of a world any of us would want to live in. Waking up in a science fiction novel you never thought you’d actually have to live through.
All of which has reminded me of a science fiction story I wrote a few months ago about libraries and their future in a world where we are free to have opinions, travel freely and generally be a planet of cultured and tolerant human beings.
It’s a story that starts and ends in Liverpool, where else? But as of this week it could be pretty much anywhere. Unlike most of my blog posts it contains no new photographs. Being, as it is, a radio broadcast back to those left at home from the not that fictionally distant Planet Zogg, some time in the imaginable future.
“The Libraries of a Different World”
It was like this, we knew things were going to change for us in a big way and a few of us got together to discuss it all before we left. Before we left for the new planet.
You’ve probably heard this basic background a thousand times before, but just in case this story ever gets picked up, say in a library somewhere because, hey, this part of the story is going to be mainly about libraries, here it is. Maybe for someone who’s never heard of Earth, never mind Zogg, here’s the background once again. Continue reading