The Story of Coming Home

Stories of what didn’t work can be as instructive in the long run as things that did. So I’m leaving this here, so others might find it one day…

For some time now I’ve been thinking of writing something on here about Coming Home. For many reasons, some of which I’ll explain, the time’s never seemed quite right. But stories need telling, otherwise how do they become stories? So here goes, the Story of Coming Home:

Chapter 1

Photograph by Jane MacNeil

Whatever kind of maker you are, a maker of things, tools, songs, stories, poems or paintings, the most difficult thing to do is to get going. So many of us are full of the big even beautiful ideas, aren’t we? But how many of them ever amount to something you can show or use or put in a story, let alone live in?

I’ve been thinking about this, this getting going, as some friends and I from The Beautiful Ideas Co have been talking about what Coming Home does next. And as I’ve also been reading a novel by Colm Toíbín called ‘The South.’ I love Colm Toíbín’s writing. He’s a near contemporary and I often find valuable thoughts about life and the living of it from reading his books.

In ‘The South’ I’ve found a particularly relevant gem. It’s in his afterword, where he writes about how hard he’d had to search for the answer to how to get this, his first novel, going.

Being a story he’d wanted to move around Ireland and Catalonia, abstractedly painting their emotional and historical landscapes he talked to an Irish artist, Barrie Cooke, about how he did beginnings:

“You make a mark” he said, as he gestured the making of an almost random mark with an imaginary paint-brush.

Well at Coming Home we made a mark. Continue reading “The Story of Coming Home”

Investing in Granby 4 Streets

Today I want to introduce someone you haven’t met on here before. In fact I hadn’t met him myself before yesterday. He’s John Davey, the man who invested £500,000 in us at Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust, thereby more than helping to get us moving and bring the whole partnership of organisations together that’s now transforming the 4 Streets.16.02.29 - 1Here we are in Cairns Street yesterday. Back row, Erika Rushton of the CLT, Tracey Gore of Steve Biko Housing and Frank Hont – Lead Councillor for Housing at the City Council. Then front row, Ann O’Byrne – Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and next to Ann,  John Davey.

My day had begun as usual by walking into town to my morning's work.
My day had begun as usual by walking into town to my morning’s work.

Continue reading “Investing in Granby 4 Streets”

Walking to The Egg

Walking to The Egg - 10A work meeting for 11:30 in the morning is called off because someone’s sick (get well soon Ann Marie x). So what to do? Shall I fill in the time before my next appointment at 2 in the afternoon with other work or shall I go for a walk in the early spring sunshine? Easy choice, I put my boots on and set off.

My eventual destination will be The Egg in Newington.
My eventual destination will be The Egg in Newington.

So I walk in that general direction, with detours.

Days and sudden spare time like this don’t occur so often that they can be ignored. Living, as I still do, with the attitude of what would I choose to do if I had a year left to live? For all of 2014 I wrote a series of blog posts about this and it quietly changed my life. Read my main conclusions here if you like.

These tiny narcissi in the corner of Greenbank Park only visit for a short time around about now each year.
These tiny narcissi in the corner of Greenbank Park only visit for a short time around about now each year.

Continue reading “Walking to The Egg”

The Beautiful Ideas

How do we turn needs and ideas into sustainable enterprises for North Liverpool?

As I mentioned in my previous post on here Thursday evening and Friday this week were all about North Liverpool for me. Working here with The Beautiful Ideas Co. It was great.

After an afternoon on site at Granby 4 Streets I got on the 19 bus (not that one above) to Stanley Park. Thursday was a cold clear evening and I arrived at the park to see, all lit up and sparkling, one of the most beautiful sights in all of Liverpool.

The Isla Gladstone.
The Isla Gladstone Conservatory.

I was well early for what I was there to do, so spent a good while outside taking these photographs. No apologies whatsoever then for showing you a good few of them. Our North Liverpool gem. Continue reading “The Beautiful Ideas”

LaunchPad North Liverpool: Ideas Wanted

On Thursday and Friday this week I’ll be helping out at two events aimed at being the LaunchPad for new and enterprising ideas for North Liverpool.LaunchPad - 1Me and North Liverpool go back a long way. In fact I was born here.

Here in Diana Street Walton, next to Goodison Park.
Here in Diana Street Walton, next to Goodison Park.
In fact here I am, in Diana Street, some time in the 1950s.
In fact here I am, in Diana Street, some time in the 1950s.

So I’m more than mildly pleased to be doing some work this week that will result in £300,000 being invested in new projects that will do good things in North Liverpool. Continue reading “LaunchPad North Liverpool: Ideas Wanted”