The Meaning of Life: Change and Decay

I know I keep talking about the meaning of life on this blog. The preciousness of all of our times here on earth, including my own as I enter my autumnal days.

Today has been more of this, particularly reflective for me as I’ve spent much of it on Sarah’s autumnal allotment, itself changing and gently decaying now, long past the summer’s end as the year’s light declines.

In through the Secret Gate.

The light this afternoon being that particularly sharp, low in the sky light, that comes on sunny days just before we turn the clocks back.

Dogwood in the autumn light.
Bonfires of the summer’s growth all around us.

All the colours sharp like they’ve been turned up to maximum on some celestial control. Continue reading “The Meaning of Life: Change and Decay”

Wake up and love more: Kate Tempest


“The myth of the individual
Has left us disconnected lost and pitiful”

I had no idea when I wrote this post that Kate Tempest was up for the Mercury Prize, but she was and I’m glad to see it bringing her so much more renown, followers and, I hope, sales.

If you’re listening much to the radio at the moment, well ok if you’re listening much to BBC Radio 6 Music, you might be hearing Kate Tempest’s current single ‘Tunnel Vision’ fairly regularly. It’s the one that starts:

“Indigeonous apocalypse
decimated forests
The winter of our discontent’s upon us”

And continues to take the likes of me, the older generation, to task for a catalogue of ills because:

“This is the future you left us”

At which point you might well think “Give us a break” and turn your ears away until something more positive comes on. Well I’m writing this to suggest that you don’t turn away. To suggest that you listen carefully and perhaps appreciatively to this thoughtful and opinionated woman who might well surprise you. Like she surprised me. Let’s step back a year or two. Continue reading “Wake up and love more: Kate Tempest”

A week to myself


This week I’m away from Liverpool, at Laugharne in South Wales. A week on my own, away from my work and my laptop. To walk, read, maybe write and on the whole do not much of anything. A retreat. I’ve brought some music, some poetry, some t-shirts and not much else.

As the week goes by I’ll add some words and photos to this blog of my week.

Before I leave some time with my family at Africa Oyé in Sefton Park. Then I finish packing, and leave home early Monday morning.

My daughter Clare Melhuish with 2 of her children, Finn and Ellie.


Continue reading “A week to myself”

Writing On The Wall: WoWFest 2016 in May

WoWFest tickets available here, now.
DSC02296I’m sitting here in front of the Palm House, a beautiful place in Liverpool I hardly ever visit, thinking about how I should tell you about WoWFest 2016, taking place in Liverpool over the whole of May.

Sefton Park Palm House, nothing to do with WoWFest.
Sefton Park Palm House, nothing to do with WoWFest. Except it’s where I’m writing this.

Shall I tell you the headlines? Do it chronologically? Group it into themes, like comedy, social significance or science fiction? Or tell you the bits of it that most interest me and why? Or shall I just tumble into it and see where that takes us?

Obviously ‘just tumbling into it’ gets the vote. So here goes.

The WoWFest is Liverpool’s  longest running literary festival by a long way, this being its 17th year. It’s put on by Writing on the Wall who, if you’ve been paying attention (and if not..?) you’ll have read a fair bit about on here over the last year or so. Continue reading “Writing On The Wall: WoWFest 2016 in May”

Unveiling the Black Poppies

In remembrance of what happened.
In remembrance of what happened.

This year and last year, at the Tower of London and now at St George’s Hall in Liverpool we have been remembering those who fought in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

At the Weeping Windows exhibition.
At the Weeping Windows exhibition.

Today in Liverpool I went to the unveiling of another exhibition that’s a part of Weeping Windows here and tells a story of those years and their aftermath that doesn’t often get told at all.

I have been to the Unveiling of the Black Poppies.
I have been to the Unveiling of the Black Poppies.

The main story tellers at this are Writing On The Wall, who you’ve met on here before working alongside us gathering the stories of Granby. Here’s what this story is about: Continue reading “Unveiling the Black Poppies”

Great Places, The Academy of Urbanism Awards

Great Street - 15A great day this last Friday, 6th November, celebrating fifteen of the places that are lighting up the ways we live now, Granby 4 Streets proudly amongst them. Ann, Hazel and me at The Academy of Urbanism Awards for 2016.

That's John Thompson on the left there, Honorary President of the Academy.
That’s John Thompson on the left there, Honorary President of the Academy.

Coucillor Ann O’Byrne, of course, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Hazel Tilley of Cairns Street, and me and Hazel both both Board members of the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust.

At the 9very0 Grand Connaught Rooms in London.
At the (very) Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Now normally I loathe and avoid Awards ceremonies for reasons too bitter to besmirch a generally celebratory blogpost. But this was different. Continue reading “Great Places, The Academy of Urbanism Awards”


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”