Tag Archives: conversations

Nine Thousand Evenings

In the evening of the day, all work done, we sit down and we talk.

Maybe it’s because we’re in the dark time of the year, when the evening seems to last for half the day, that’s made me so conscious of evenings? Or maybe it’s because I’ve been reading a book? A bit of both probably.

Anyway, have you ever thought about how many evenings you’ve spent talking with the significant person or people in your life? Or about how much all the conversations you’ve had over all of those evenings with these people have contributed to who you are and the life you’re living? Well I have, and ‘a lot’ is the answer to both of these questions.

Evenings are the focus of my thinking and the title of what I’m writing here because they’re the time my significant person and I mostly spend together, our different jobs of work done for the day. We’ve been together, Sarah and I, for 25 years or so now and, minus time spent away working and on a few separate holidays, sea kayaking for example, that all multiplies up to about nine thousand evenings we’ve spent together.

Nine thousand evening of conversation. Continue reading

In Conversation: The power of the spoken word.

Talking with Lucy Adams and Liam Black about life and the living of it.

This blog is all about writing and mostly about my opinions. Writing done quietly on my laptop, here at home or sometimes in libraries and cafés around Liverpool. And I hope my voice makes it through in these words I write. Because I don’t have one voice I use for my writing and another for when I’m actually speaking. Not consciously anyway. But speaking is different all the same as I’ve come to realise lately.

Liam Black 'The Social Entrepreneur's A to Z'

Liam Black ‘The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z’

I’ve become particularly aware of this because of my participation in two podcasts my friend Liam Black has recently published of conversations based on parts of his book The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z.

In each of them Liam and I are joined in the conversations by Lucy Adams of communications specialists Firehouse, who was previously Head of HR at the BBC. And there’s the difference, not the BBC but the conversations. The three of us could have sat in separate places on our laptops, in touch but only digitally, and the conversations wouldn’t have turned out half as richly as I think they have done. Or be half as fascinating as lots of people have been telling me they are. Continue reading

‘Community Led’ – Moving beyond victims and heroes

If you walk where you’ve always walked you might think what you’ve always thought. So today I’ve been walking along streets where I don’t often go. And not to take photographs of them like I usually do on here, but because I needed to think. Because we all need time to go off and think sometimes and because I seem to do my best thinking by walking around. Then, after a while of  this walking, to sit down with a pen and a notebook and see what’s turned up. Here goes then.

Thoughts from a park bench.

Thoughts from a park bench.

 

A Sunday morning conversation

Already this morning there’s been a very rich conversation on Twitter. It starts with people, and thank you all, reflecting on our good fortune in Granby this week. Some wishing they could ‘have’ whatever it is we might have. Our architects, our supporters, even named members of our community! This gradually moves into a Leeds, Liverpool, Hull, Manchester and architects and mostly northern and Homebaked and Welsh Streets and Four Streets conversation about ‘community led’ and the stories that get told. Eventually and mostly circling around these two ‘big’ questions on this particular Sunday morning:

  • How does ‘community led’ change actually happen?
  • And how can we move our stories of place and change on from old archetypes about victims and heroes?

Which is what I ended up thinking about as I walked round Liverpool this afternoon. Continue reading

‘Going live’ at The Everyman

I can’t say I wasn’t a bit nervous as I got off the 80 bus by the Philharmonic Hall and walked along to The Everyman. It was half five and, after a cloudless blue day, finally early winter arriving, it was already a black dark night. Will people come out to this?

I arrive at The Everyman.

I arrive at The Everyman.

And go in.

And go in.

Tom Lang who runs The Bistro and the food here has kindly and optimistically reserved the whole of Ev3, the third room for me and what I’m about to try and do.

I stick up my poster to let people know where I am and go in.

I stick up my poster to let people know where I am and go in.

With the dividing doors pulled across from the rest of the early evening Bistro it looks cosy, sparkly and welcoming. But will people come out to this?

The evening before, Deborah Aydon from The Everyman has been in encouraging touch and called me ‘a pioneer’. This is now worrying me more and more. Continue reading

What it is I do

This is a new page from our website, explaining what I’m now doing for my work. But I thought I’d also issue it as a post, just in case you might want to take me on for anything, you know?

So, recently a friend said to me ‘You know I never know quite how to introduce you to people, to tell them what it is that you do. Obviously you write your blog, all about Liverpool and your opinions. So that’s one thing. But the things that earn you money seem harder to describe don’t they?’

Me with Sarah Horton. Out walking in recent days.

Me with Sarah Horton. Out walking in recent days.

So that started me thinking of writing something down, to help my friend and to get things straight in my own mind. But then some other people who are thinking of taking me on for some work asked me for a ‘C.V.’ So here it is, sort of. With occasional links.

What I do 

Now that our joint work as ‘a sense of place’ is done I’ve changed the balance of the work I now do to make the best of my own experience and interests. So I’ve stopped making films now and am working on coaching and mentoring small teams and individuals:

  • On what they stand for
  • What they want to do
  • Ideas on how they’ll go about doing it
  • And a continuing role asking awkward questions about how it’s all going

So, conversations and planning sessions – some in rooms, some in cafés, some on walks – based on what’s now over 40 years of experience of what I’ve always thought of as making the world a better, kinder, fairer place. Continue reading