Category Archives: Reflections

“For the many, not the few” – Vote Labour

American Talk Show host Jimmy Dore talks up the Labour Party Manifesto.

Jimmy Dore, US Talk Show host.

So here’s the thing. Jayne Lawless and I are talking politics during a brief gap in talking about Coming Home Liverpool, which we run together. And Jayne is enthusing about something by someone called Jimmy Dore that’s been doing the rounds on Facebook. But which she can’t send to me because of my outright refusal to have anything to do with Facebook.

“You’ve got to see it Ronnie, you’ve absolutely got to see it. Go home, find it on your computer, find it anywhere and watch it!”

So I do and it’s brilliant. A point by point discussion on the brilliance and straightforwardness of the UK Labour Party’s Manifesto. An unexpected delight, coming as it does from the United States, but a delight nonetheless.

Except its 21 minutes long.

“It would make a great Labour Party political broadcast if it could be edited down to much, much shorter” I tell Jayne.

“So ask him. Ask Jimmy if he minds you doing an edit?”

Continue reading

Inner workings

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Another post in Sarah’s sea kayaking adventure. In which she explores her ‘worry mind’ but gets out on the sea in Liverpool Bay and around Anglesey anyway. She says, “It’s a lesson in life, as an evolving human. And I am immensely grateful for that.”

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It’s been two months since my last report of my kayaking activities – with James in Anglesey in the Menai Straits and up to North Stack. However, this doesn’t mean I’ve not been getting out on the water. In April I had a trip up to Anglesey, with a group from the Liverpool Canoe Club, and we did the classic north coast trip to the brickworks at Porth Wen.

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April 2017, Liverpool Canoe Club at Port Wen.

This was one of the first sea trips I did, that was last May on my beginners course – my post here.

Now, my lovely yellow boat and I are getting to really know each other.

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North coast of Anglesey and my boat.

But I have also been having regular weekly sessions with my new coach, Mark Mason. Mark runs Venture-7 with his partner Helen Mason – they are both passionate sea kayakers and coaches. This has been a great find for me, as they are local and I am able to have regular sessions, closer to home.

As a novice/improver kayaker, the things that I most need are time on the water, and guidance, so that I can build up my confidence. Continue reading

Shambling About Ormskirk

Another day out during my time off working. As far as my Travel Pass will take me, to Ormskirk, twelve miles north of the City in an altogether different world.

Off the train and along Burscough Street.

It’s Market Day. As it is every Thursday and every Saturday.

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

A Wirral Meditation

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.

It’s a grey day.

But it’s Springtime anyway.

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

Ten years

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.

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22nd February 2007

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

Thinking About TenStreets: At Liverpool North Docks

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.

It’s also where Sarah and I have the idea of walking to Leeds along the canal.dsc08213

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.dsc08289-1 Continue reading