Tag Archives: Everton FC

Walking Home: A meditation

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In a troubled world the freedom to walk home & know it will be there is not to be taken lightly.

It will soon be Christmas Day and many people are thinking of home. Walking home, sailing home, even flying home. Getting home come what may. So I’d already decided that for my Sunday walk this week I’d get on a random bus, get off miles away from here and then walk home. Simple and always a joy to do.

Then just as I’m about to walk round to the bus stop Cerys Matthews plays a song on her BBC6 programme that’s so beautiful it stays with me all day on my walk. It’s called ‘Bound for Lampedusa’ by The Gentle Good and is about being driven out of your home and setting off for a new one you may never find. It’s for everyone waiting to walk out of Aleppo into uncertainty, through the meltdown of human decency and kindness that is Syria this Christmas. Maybe you’d like to listen to the song as you read the rest of this walking meditation about home: Continue reading

One Day in Liverpool

DSC02490 (1)Knowing this was likely to be an interestingly varied Wednesday, I decided I’d photograph my way around Liverpool and record what happened and who I met,  on one day late in April in 2016.

Cold but sunny, so I decide to walk to my first meeting.

Cold but sunny, so I decide to walk to my first meeting.

All of us are feeling emotionally fragile, I'll find as I travel round the city.

All of us are feeling emotionally fragile, I’ll find as I travel round the city.

The previous day, after a 27 year wait, we’ve had the findings of the Hillsborough Inquests into the deaths of the 96. And through the day we’ll all talk about how tense we felt, how the whole city seemed to hold its breath waiting for the judgements. Continue reading

Springwatch in Stanley Park

Stanley Park - 29Walking in the park on an early spring morning

A few weeks ago I had a walk round Stanley Park with my friend Rachael O’Byrne one winter’s morning. Well today we walked there again, with some other friends, because spring is on its way and we’re going to watch it carefully as it turns up in our lovely Stanley Park.

A cold bright morning turning off Priory Road into the park.

A cold bright morning turning off Priory Road into the park.

Walking across...

Walking across…

To the other side.

To the other side.

We met at the Isla Gladstone.

We met at the Isla Gladstone.

And set off walking. Jan, Rachael, Ros, Pat and me.

And set off walking. Jan, Rachael, Ros, Pat and me.

Continue reading

Stanley Park: A Liverpool Treasure

Stanley Park - 1I’ve walked through Stanley Park occasionally on this blog when I’ve been doing one of my general inspections of Liverpool but I’ve never stayed long enough to write a whole post about the place. In the bright winter sunshine of yesterday I decided to put that right.

I was born just along there by Everton's ground.

I was born just along there by Everton’s ground.

So Stanly Park was the first park I was ever brought to.

So Stanley Park was the first park I was ever brought to.

Later on I’d also walk across it frequently when, as a 12 year old, I began regularly going to Liverpool FC matches, usually on my own (it was a different world then). Continue reading

Springtime in Walton Hall Park?

Walton Hall Park - 1

Walton Hall Park, Liverpool, April 2015.

So another springtime reliably arrives in Walton Hall Park in North Liverpool. Nothing special, just an ordinary miracle? Well maybe not. For reasons we’ll be coming to this could be one of the grand park’s final springtimes.

But to tell the full story today’s long and intensely photographed walk begins in another park a couple of miles away.

Welcome to Stanley Park. Just across the road from Everton FC's football ground.

Welcome to Stanley Park. Just across the road from Everton FC’s football ground.

Over there next to Diana Street, the place where I was born. Many of my baby days would be spent in here, the park at the end of the road.

Even though we lived in tightly gridded terraced streets, we were all just across the road from our beautiful municipal park.

Even though we lived in tightly gridded terraced streets, we were all just across the road from our beautiful municipal park.

Continue reading

The Spirit of Shankly

You have to read this book. This book about Bill. Bill Shankly, the manager of Liverpool Football Club. The manager of Liverpool Football Club from 1959 to 1974. All of the book is Bill. Bill is every line of the book. ‘Red or Dead’ it’s called and it all happens in Bill’s head. Through Bill’s eyes. Bill Shankly, the manager of Liverpool Football Club.

Red or Dead

 

David Peace wrote it and he calls it a novel but it’s pure Bill. Bill laughing, Bill running, Bill playing football. Bill playing football with the players. The players of Liverpool Football Club.

The same author wrote ‘The Damned United’ about Brian Clough. About when Brian Clough was trying to be the manager of Leeds United Football Club. Bill tried to sign Brian Clough when he was a player. Tried to sign him for Liverpool Football Club. But the Directors of Liverpool Football Club wouldn’t give Bill the money. Not for Brian Clough. Not for Jack Charlton. Not for Gordon Banks. The Directors of Liverpool Football club gave Bill the money to buy Trevor Storton from Tranmere Rovers but not Gordon Banks from Leicester City. The Directors of Liverpool Football Club wouldn’t let Bill buy the best goalkeeper in the world for £60,000.

Bill meets Brian Clough in this book, often. At the side of the pitch at Anfield. The home of Liverpool Football Club. And at the side of the pitch at the Baseball Ground. Bill meets Brian Clough when he is managing Derby County Football Club. Bill likes Brian and Brian likes Bill. They are both socialists.

Bill

But Bill particularly likes Matt Busby, Continue reading

In Southport, an amazing place

I’ve never known quite what to make of Southport. A good place for days out growing up in the 1960s. Much closer to home than getting up early to catch the X61 Ribble bus to Blackpool for a start. But since those days I’ve found myself going there less and less.

Recent walks have taken us to Churchtown, the lovely Botanic Gardens and the windswept beauty of the Ribble Estuary. But as for the town itself, last time we’d been there, sometime last year, we’d walked along Lord Street counting the empty shop units and felt simply sorry for it.

Well yesterday we found something there that’s changed these feelings of vague pity to something close to awe. Something that is unquestionably the best thing I’ve seen happen to Southport in my lifetime.

We’ve heard that the recently reopened gallery has a Matisse exhibition on and decide to go. As there are engineering works on the railway line we go in the car. Continue reading