A Wirral Meditation

I tell myself I’ve come here to think something through. Something I’ve been thinking about that could do with a walk to get it straight. But as soon as I arrive I know the place isn’t going to put up with that. Because the place itself wants to be noticed. And in the noticing my nagging thoughts melt away. Which is probably what I’ve really come here for anyway.

I’m on the Shining Shore, the walk around Thurstaston that’s been one of my main meditation places, alone and with Sarah, for many years now.

It’s a grey day.
But it’s Springtime anyway.

I’m in the middle of my week and a half of not working and I’ve come for an afternoon out on the Wirral. Some walking, some reading and my lunch is in my bag. Continue reading “A Wirral Meditation”

Sarah goes sea kayaking: The Marshlands, by boat

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In which brave Sarah goes out into the more than choppy waters of the Dee Estuary and the boundaries of her comfort zone are well and truly pushed.

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December 2016. The Shining Shore, Dee sailing club slipway visible in the distance.

One of my favourite places in the whole world is ‘The Shining Shore’ – the shining waters and mudflats of the Dee Estuary. Me and Ronnie have walked all along this shore, from Parkgate to West Kirby, and have a default walk which starts at Thurstaston, goes inland  through lanes and woodland, and emerges on the beach and the cliffs at Thurstaston for the last stretch. We’ve done it so many times in the last six years I feel I could probably do it blindfold. We also walk further up the shore, further inland where the marsh is gradually encroaching, and we call that part ‘The Marshlands’. And yet each time we walk here there is always something to see – wildflowers, the change in the light, the birds in the estuary…. Here’s a selection of photographs of this part of the world from the last five years.

Over the years we’ve observed the cliffs erode, the marsh becoming larger. And the tidal flow in and out of the cut through the marsh. During our years of walking I didn’t imagine that I would enter the marsh through this cut. But this weekend I did. Continue reading “Sarah goes sea kayaking: The Marshlands, by boat”

2016: A year in 30 photographs

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.

A frame round the sky. At Rotunda in Kirkdale
A frame round the sky. At Rotunda in Kirkdale
The new stand at Anfield rising in the January fog.
The new stand at Anfield rising in the January fog.
Reflection of the new Royal.
Reflection of the new Royal.

Continue reading “2016: A year in 30 photographs”

The Winter Trees and The Flock of Curlews

dsc07926Two days after Christmas it is cold but still and a good day for walking. So Sarah and I drive over to the far side of the Wirral and do our favourite walk, our favourite meditation. It’s The Shining Shore walk and I’ve written about it many times on here before. So today I won’t write about the walk so much as a few observations on the way round. And some more pictures of those curlews.

Setting off late morning more or less in silence.
Setting off late morning more or less in silence in our familiar place.
We gather some company along the way.
We gather some company along the way.

Continue reading “The Winter Trees and The Flock of Curlews”

Perfect

Some things are just perfect aren’t they? Not in a showy kind of way. But just perfectly done or perfect in their very nature.DSC02157Let’s start with perfectly done. The latest 3 of our Community Land Trust Houses to be finished in Granby 4 Streets.

Perfect.
Perfect.

It would be fair to say more than a few of us have poured our hearts and souls into recovering and restoring these long empty houses.

And now they're ready.
And now they’re ready.
Ready to be homes again.
Ready to be homes again.

Continue reading “Perfect”

Breathing Free: On the Shining Shore

After Saturday’s revealing walk around the poor selection of breathing spaces in Liverpool City Centre, on Sunday we headed across the river to one of our favourite places for walking, sitting and just being, Wirral’s Shining Shore around Thurstaston. So as the working week here in the city gets underway, here’s how things are just a few miles away, where springtime is starting.

Setting off inland from where the railway station used to be.
Setting off inland from where the railway station used to be.
Leucojeum, or Summer Snowdrop.
Leucojum, or Summer Snowdrop.
Hawthorn coming into leaf.
Hawthorn coming into leaf.

Continue reading “Breathing Free: On the Shining Shore”

We’re all light

I love all of the days and times of the year, but particularly this one. The throw the doors open, let the light in, eat outside, springtime. Like the first time you heard ‘Up town top ranking’ or ‘One day like this’ it gets me every time. The upsurging joy of spring.

Some of it though is so fleeting or so tiny that you can easily miss moments and wildflowers if you’re not looking for them. I’ve been looking for them, together with Sarah. And here are a few our cameras have gathered in.

Like last night as it finally grew dark I went over to draw the curtains and saw this, in the Liverpool sky to my west.

The Moon, Aldebaran and Venus.
The Moon, Aldebaran and Venus.

Sarah tells me that in asronomy this is known as an ‘occultation.’ Aldebaran at the bottom there (the bright star 54 times the size of our own Sun) is either emerging from or about to be hidden behind our Moon. So there.All Light - 38

But even better is the not dark sky of the springtime Northern Hemisphere. So much more light every day that flowers are blooming everywhere you look.

In the hedgerows.
In the hedgerows.

Continue reading “We’re all light”

The Shining

A Friday Walk then, in all but name, as it’s happening on a Saturday. And a walk done so many times it’s become a meditation now. The Shining Shore.The Shining01Taking place in the lanes around Thurstaston on the far side of the Wirral, I’ve not been here since last March. Mostly urban walking in Liverpool since then. But we’re both off work today and it’s good to get out here together on holiday.

Still wintry here, the long hedge in Station Road completely bare.
Still wintry here, the long hedge in Station Road completely bare.
But for a few left over berries too bitter even for the winter birds.
But for a few left over berries too bitter even for the winter birds.

Continue reading “The Shining”

Celebrating our place: The Liverpool Awards

So the judging panel have met and the awards are made. In some strange and convoluted ways, as you’re about to find out. But this is Liverpool. We do things in our own way here.

We met in the Everyman Bistro.
We met in the Everyman Bistro.

A panel of ten, selected by the random chance of who felt like turning up on a brightly cold night. Still, as many people as no doubt pick many another Booker, Oscar and what have you award. We set to work, not so much looking for winners as to glory in shining our mutual lights on places some of us might have overlooked or forgotten in the place we all so love.Awards2

Best place in Liverpool

Nominated
Granby 4 Streets, Eldon Grove, Homebaked, Top of the hill in Everton, Plot 44 – Sarah’s allotment, Hope Street, the Palm House, Sefton Park, Lark Lane, the bombed out church, Lime Street vista especially the new steps, Fairy Glen in Sefton Park, Albert Dock padlocks, tunnel in St James gardens. Continue reading “Celebrating our place: The Liverpool Awards”