A selection from the several thousand photographs I’ve taken this year for this blog. Taken all together they tell one story of the year. Not a definitive one, more of a meander as you might expect.
In a year that’s been turbulent in so many ways it’s been good to have this blog to come home to. A quiet place to reflect and to tell some stories. Stories of ordinary days and determined people, trying to make our part of the world a better and fairer place.
We are going on site. Keys to our first home will be handed to builders later this week, ready to start work on turning a house that’s been empty for two years back into a home.
Though I haven’t written about Coming Home for some time on here we have been very busy getting everything going. Lots of time on legalities, practical preparations, working with Liverpool City Council’s Empty Homes team and with much help and publicity from BBC Radio Merseyside thank you, so that now we are ready, ready to start work on our first home.
Isn’t ‘Heritage’ a peculiar word and concept? How come some things are ‘Heritage’ and others merely ‘ordinary.’ And who decides anyway? Being ‘National Heritage Weekend’ when you can get into approved places you might not always be able to, I decided to walk round the neighbourhood here and have a think.
Granby 4 Streets of course. Where I spent most of yesterday and much of the last week. This week we’ve started handing out the keys to the first Community Land Trust houses to come off site. This week they’ve started turning into homes. Heritage or just places where people live?
The day dawns sunny, unlike the deluges of yesterday’s post and it’s nearly time to set out on Part Two of our weather interrupted tour of Liverpool 8’s bollards. This one walking through Lodge Lane to Granby and Canning.
Before we do, a couple of clarifications in response to discussions over the past day or so on Twitter. Firstly I don’t for a minute think that ridding Liverpool 8 of its bollards is the most important issue facing society or even Liverpool 8 today. Of course it isn’t. But I am pointing out that there are rather a lot of these bollards, most of them have been here a long time, and I think we should consider getting rid of most of them as they are producing arid and blocked off neighbourhoods. Blocked off for reasons of authoritarian convenience, bordering on social control as I pointed out yesterday.
Secondly, I certainly do not want to turn the bollards into any kind of art project or even any kind of campaign. After what I’m about to write I will have had my full say on Liverpool 8’s bollards, and I’ll move on to other things. So let’s get going.
Now you may remember from yesterday’s post, which was mainly around the Dingle and the Welsh Streets, the beginnings of a theory that there are bollards around the borders of Liverpool 8. But can this be true here too? Continue reading “Now With Added Bollards!”
Now the light nights are here and summer’s arriving the tourist buses are busy ferrying visitors around. But not many of those visitors probably know that the best of the tourist buses runs all day, every ten minutes, and can take them to the places most tourists want to go – but also to the real Liverpool that the rest of us treasure. Welcome to another great bus journey. Let’s go and get on the 27.
As we leave the house on what will turn out to be the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far.
But before we get on the bus we have a look around Lodge Lane.
Where would you take a first-time visitor to Liverpool to show them the best of the city? Well if it were the early 19th Century you’d obviously reach for your trusty copy of ‘The Stranger in Liverpool’ for sound advice. This early guidebook to the ‘Town of Liverpool and its environs’ assists me to this day whenever I walk round the place pretending it’s some long gone time.
For our visitor over these past few days, though, her principal guide while putting together what she’d like to explore, had been this very blog. Mandy Cheetham from Perth in Western Australia is a friend who has been reading the blog regularly since it started and therefore had reassuringly opinionated ideas about what she wanted to see before she got here. So Sarah put together a map which omitted much of what most people come here for, and an itinerary of depth and taste. And off we set.
We still go walking, of course we do. But not every Friday like we used to.
For the whole of a year, last year, I wrote about our walks every week, more or less. A couple had to be called off during the howling gales and rains of last summer. This year would have been different. Here in Northern Britain we’re having our hottest summer for seven years and we certainly wouldn’t have been out walking on a day like today.
In fact several years ago, before writing it all down had been even vaguely thought of, we used to have a ‘walking season’ of approximately late September to April. After that we’d stop walking and go camping as the heat rose and a ‘normal’ summer happened. Climate change changed all that, and so walking, with its attendant thermals and waterproofs happened all year.