Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2

leeds-liverpool-2-65On the bus from the centre of town then, back to where we left off at Wally’s Steps for the second section of our walk from here to there along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. 127 miles to Leeds with 119 to go. Today we’ll cover the 8 miles from Aintree to Downholland Cross.leeds-liverpool-2-1 leeds-liverpool-2-2 leeds-liverpool-2-3Quality graffiti here. So today will we be Riders on the Storm who will Break on Through to the Other Side? Well.

Sarah has a new jacket.
Sarah has a new jacket.

It’s a ‘paramo’ thing and apparently ‘jacket’ is hardly the word for something that will prove to keep her warm, keep her dry, keep her cool, keep her ventilated and be her best friend when other humans, me, aren’t quite up to the mark. It’s a miracle. And you can keep canal maps in the front. Continue reading “Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2”

For the Beauty of the Leaves

DSC07929Feeling mildly down for no particualr reason, perhaps the darkening of the year or perhaps not, I decided to take a day completely off from working. It’s a privilege of being self-employed. The work will still get done, just not today. Today I walked around Liverpool. For the comfort and joy that always gives me, and for the beauty of the leaves.

I began by walking through The Mystery.DSC07930 DSC07934Then across Smithdown where the Ullet Roadworks are still going. Continue reading “For the Beauty of the Leaves”

Reasons to be cheerful: Right now

I miss Ian Dury like something I don’t have a clever similie for. Never mind a rhyme, which he would have done.ian dury2

I often stand in front of a problem or a situation and think ‘What would Ian think?’ Not that I’m like him. But I am. Not that I ever met him. But I did. Sort of, twice. Meaning I saw him sing. Which was a much more powerful thing than your average ‘going to a concert’. I mean, this is not the kind of average thing you get to hear is it?

“Summer, Buddy Holly, the working folly
Good golly, Miss Molly and boats
Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet
Jump back in the alley and nanny goats
18 wheeler Scammels, dominica camels
All other mammals plus equal votes

Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3!”

First time I saw him I didn’t come with any great expectations. Continue reading “Reasons to be cheerful: Right now”

Liverpool 8: From the air

Much of today’s post will take place high up in the air and back in time.

We're going down the side of O'Connor's and up to the top of the Cathedral. It's 1973
We’re going down the side of O’Connor’s and up to the top of the Cathedral. We’re imagining it’s 1973. I’ll explain why in a bit.
Passing the great bells of the Cathedral as we climb the tower.
Passing the great bells of the Cathedral as we climb the tower.

The highest peal of ringing bells on all of the Earth, a sign up here tells me.

But the Cathedral is not our subject today, it’s merely a vantage point.

Neither is our subject the magnificent views of the 21st century city Centre.

Merely to observe in passing how ridiculously close we allowed suburban cup-de-sac housing to get to the middle of our city.
Merely to observe in passing how ridiculously close we allowed suburban cul-de-sac housing to get to the middle of our city in the late 20th century.

No today’s subject, today’s Friday Walk, is Liverpool 8. Continue reading “Liverpool 8: From the air”

Seeing Deaf School

At the Liverpool International Music Festival this week I saw an astonishing performance from one of the best bands I’ve ever seen in my life, Deaf School. And was surprised to realise I’ve been going to see Deaf School, with many a long gap, for the best part of 40 years.Monday17

The first time we saw them there were loads of them, a dozen or more. Including one who sat there all the way through the performance reading a newspaper and elegantly smoking. They were art students doing a ‘concept’ and they looked like it. We were intrigued.4525644656

Because looking like art students was more than OK with us lot at the time. It was what we looked like, though we weren’t studying art  as such. Satin, velvet, Biba, charity shop finds and bippity-boppity hats, verging into Oxford bags and Jonathan Silver suits.

This was, from memory, 1974 sometime, and we knew the future of music was somewhere along the path being laid out by some mixture of all that was flowing from the works of the Velvet Underground, David Bowie and Roxy Music. We loved them all and would go and see Bowie, Lou Reed and Roxy devotedly whenever they came to Liverpool. But we were sad Liverpool itself didn’t seem to be contributing towards this future. Until the night we first saw Deaf School. Continue reading “Seeing Deaf School”


It looks like a different world to now. People look more nervous in the photographs, like they’re not used to being in them. And though there is colour in some of the photographs, it’s often tinted in. This is a world that was lived mostly in black and white. On the relatively few televisions. In all the newspapers. And in the monthly magazine I treasured in the early to mid 1960s, ‘Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly.’ Which I’ve been remembering this week because I borrowed a book of the ‘best of’ it from Allerton Library.

And what a treasure it is. Depicting a world where the beginning of success for any young footballer appears to be signified by being asked to sign their autograph. A world where all goalkepers are ‘doughty custodians.’ Where brilliant young Pele of Brazil outrageously appears to be presented as the only black person on earth. But also a world where footballers clearly live amongst the communities that support them. Continue reading “Autographs”