One Special Day

All days are special, especially this one. So I decide I’ll walk around and photograph it, as I tend to do.

Walking to work in fact on a gorgeous blue day.
Walking to work in fact on a gorgeous blue day.

Friday 20th January, 2017. Yes, the day the world gets a chauvinist thug as President of the USA.

Thinking about this as I walk into The Mystery.
Thinking about this as I walk into The Mystery.

And deciding the day is too special and beautiful to spoil it with any more thoughts of him.

Me and an urban goal.
Me and an urban goal.

Continue reading “One Special Day”

Walking round Liverpool: On Christmas Day

Happy Christmas from Liverpool.
Happy Christmas from Liverpool.

dsc07850This has now evolved into a tradition for me. Not every year, because that would be annoying, but every now and then I like to walk round the centre of Liverpool on the one day in the year when all the shops are shut and there are hardly any people around.

As you’ll know if you read this blog sometimes I feel a considerable amount of responsibility for Liverpool. So looking around it on its quietest day is like me being the curator of an empty gallery or a minister in  a great cathedral before the congregation arrive, checking everything’s all right while I have the place more or less to myself. Let’s have a look round then.

Starting where we'll end, at the great cathedral.
Starting where we’ll end, at the great cathedral.

Continue reading “Walking round Liverpool: On Christmas Day”

Sky Blue Black Vinyl Day

The sort of perfect day when no self respecting camera should be left in its bag. Fully charged up we go out, to a feast of colour and record shops.

First to Granby, a social call.
First to Granby, a social call.

But then all visits to Granby these last five years and more have been social visits. Where our conversations with each other have created the future.

A future now bursting into colour.
A future now bursting into colour.
So proud of our newly finished houses.
So proud of our newly finished Community Land Trust houses.
Particularly loving the yellow front door here.
Particularly loving the yellow front door here.

And don’t worry music fans, the Black Vinyl is coming later. Continue reading “Sky Blue Black Vinyl Day”

With Homebaked: Designing

A Saturday afternoon here, spent as a member of Homebaked Community Land Trust looking for inspiration, as we now near the end of our first, year long phase, doing the basic design of the new building that will eventually rise next to the Homebaked Community Bakery.Architecture - 4This is a day of two architects, both at the centre of the picture here. Marianne Heaslip, of Urbed and long-time friend of all of us here, together with Toby Wallis of Architectural Emporium who have been working with us now since March last year.

Our collective brief today, in Toby’s words, we are:

“Looking for sustainable features of neighbouring buildings,
Looking at building materiality, aesthetics and durability,
And looking at old and new building junctions.”

Gathered here in Hope Street, Liverpool.
Gathered here in Hope Street, Liverpool.
In Architectural Emporium's offices.
In Architectural Emporium’s offices.

Marianne’s particularly here for her environmental and energy advice and experience. So we spend a while discussing things like ‘green-washing’ and the corporate drivel that can often stand in for real considerations in actual contexts of what true sustainability might mean to particular groups of people in their real place.

We of course are a very particular group of people… Continue reading “With Homebaked: Designing”

Glorious

Glorious - 14After the early Autumn sun
Had burned the early morning mist
From the streets of the city,
I walked along Huskisson Street
And photographed the great cathedral
Rising from behind the houses.
“Glorious” I thought,
“Simply glorious.” Continue reading “Glorious”

Inspecting Liverpool, July 2015

Inspecting Liverpool - 87I’ve done this before on here, walking round the North and the South of the city taking photographs to roughly see how it’s doing on an ‘ordinary’ day. Meaning not some great holiday or special events day, but one where the streets and the people are just going about their business much like they always do. My favourite kind of day.

In fact I’ve been doing this ‘inspecting’ for years, since long before this blog. Reasoning partly that someone’s got to and it might as well be me, and also simply out of love for the place where I live. This particular week I’d been mostly working in London and so felt a particular urge to see how Liverpool was doing once I returned.

Off the bus in Catharine Street.
Off the bus in Catharine Street.
By St Philip Neri.
By St Philip Neri.

Continue reading “Inspecting Liverpool, July 2015”

The Giant Cranes: Episode 2

Hope Street Hotel.
Hope Street Hotel.

Another perfect spring day for Episode 2 of the Story of Reddy, Bluey and Yellowy. This time we’ll be going up on the roof of the hotel there for what we’re hoping will be some spectacular crane views. But first a recap of the story so far and a look round the corner to see how they’ve got on since yesterday.

So Giant Crane Reddy, second biggest of its kind in Europe, has been here for months. But gets surrounded by the new building its been working on. How will Reddy get out? Well with the help of even bigger Giant Crane Bluey and willing helper Yellowy. But they have a very limited time to do it as the streets around Reddy can only be closed from 7pm Friday to 6am Monday. Can they do it? Read on!

Blue's already in lifting position.
This morning Bluey’s already in lifting position.
Over a much reduced Reddy. Only three sections to go I'd say.
Over a much reduced since yesterday Reddy. Only three sections to go I’d say.

See how quickly I’ve become a self-professed crane expert? Continue reading “The Giant Cranes: Episode 2”

The Story of the Giant Cranes

Prior warning. This is not one of my ‘meaning of life’ posts and there will be no tortuous analogy at the end. It’s about cranes.Giant Cranes01Liverpool loves a good Giant. Two or more even better. And I was impressed when I first went into town to see them a few years ago. Second time round though, I didn’t bother. No particular reason, I just couldn’t work up the interest in their made up story second time around.

Today was a different matter though.

For the last few months we've had a giant guest in the city.
For the last few months we’ve had a giant guest in the city.
Looming over Hope street and Myrtle Street and Canning.
Looming over Hope Street and Myrtle Street and Canning.

86-bus24

Building the new, oh well, student accommodation on the corner up there. And did I but know it, this 40 metres tall monster is the second biggest of its kind in Europe and weighs 750 tonnes.

So as the new building started wrapping itself around it I'd begun to wonder...
So as the new building started wrapping itself around it I’d begun to wonder…

Well, how are they going to get it out of there?

In fact Sarah and I had been discussing just that the other day as we passed by. (See we’re not always on the higher plains of radical politics and monkey puzzle trees.) And our conclusion? If they don’t want to smash their new building to bits they’re going to have to lift it out of there with an even bigger crane.

And it turned out we were right.
And it turned out we were right.

So today I’ve come to have a look at this being done. Continue reading “The Story of the Giant Cranes”