This is my baby park, the place that first defined the word ‘park’ for me. I was born across the road in Diana Street, on the Walton side of the park and I’m often here still. Walking round, reading, meeting people and just being.
The park’s in good shape, much used and loved these days to the credit of many. And I think I love it the most on its quiet days, like in these photographs. The Edwardian bit being like our own stately home garden, that us lot in the working classes can stroll around for free any time we like, as if we owned the place. Which we do.
This morning I got off the 68 bus on Priory Road and walked into the park to meet a friend.
There is magic all around us. Stories waiting to be told. In every park & street the future is waiting. Listen, while I tell you a story called “The Mystery Literary Festival.”
In Liverpool there is a park called The Mystery. No map will tell you where it is but everyone knows it’s called The Mystery. And in 2018 they know it’s where the first Mystery Literary Festival happened.
Listen, I’m telling you a story, a mystery story.
The idea came from The Beautiful Parks Project in the autumn of 2017 when a woman with the grown up daughter said ‘Why is there no Mystery Literary Festival?’ And so there was. Once two passing strangers, one of whom was also me, stuck up their hands and said ‘If no one else wants to run it then we’ll do our best, having never done such a thing before. It will be a laugh and a story in itself.’
As 2018 gets properly going ideas for Liverpool’s parks are starting to emerge. I’ll be able to tell you more soon, more about this story and what happened next. Listen…
There is magic all around us. Stories waiting to be told. In every park & street the future is waiting. Listen, while I tell you a story.
“In what would yet come to be looked back on as the early years of the 21st Century the people of Liverpool woke up to the beauty all around them. Gathering first in small groups in Autumn 2017 and telling each other stories of what they might do, in the parks and other places that had been around them for all of their lives, and many lives before but in the huddle and muggle of everyday busyness had been all but forgotten.
Here they began the re-membering and the re-doing of their place.
From early 2018 they started. Small things at first & many. The growing of things, the gatherings and re-gatherings. A litany of possibilities and a story-tellings of dreams. Dreams that got planted, stories that grew. Knowingly and quietly they began the re-growing of their Liverpool.
The dark days of December and January end and February comes in, at least for today, warm and sunny. On my way into work, at Coming Home in Hope Street, I get off the bus a couple of stops early. There’s something special I want to see.
A 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.
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.