Conversations of moments…..

metropolitan-cathedral-liverpool

Yesterday, visiting Liverpool with a friend, we went to see the Pirate Festival at the Albert Docks and also found time to climb the hill to see the Metropolitan Cathedral.

We were invited in to join the end of a special service and as the doors swooshed behind us the choir were in full flow singing ‘You’ll never walk alone’. The words ‘Walk on, walk on, With hope in your heart, And you’ll never walk alone, You’ll never walk alone’ echoed around this magnificent building and my heart was caught. The stained glass tower and side panels shoot light everywhere and as the final hymn was being sung a shaft of red light shot across the pews were we were standing.

Down at the docks there were tall ships re-enacting a pirate battle and many people dressed up to entertain the crowds for the weekend. The pirates there were shining reflections for Johnny Depp. I heard one lady comment to her friend, as they walked behind her beautifully attired husband, ‘I married a pirate and he will always be a pirate’. The tall ship that was recently used when they filmed the latest Poldark series had sailed up to be the highlight of the weekend’s fun. She is beautiful and sailed around the dock to Khachaturian’s Spartacus, the theme tune to an old series called The Onedin Line. This music has a special significance for my sister and I stood there watching her sail, thinking of Debs and the moments we have had lately. Her daughter has given birth to her first baby and Debs and I were sharing the memories of when the new Mum was a baby herself.

poldarks-tall-ship

We travelled to and from Liverpool across The Mersey, which seemed fitting given the watery theme of the day. There is a ferry that Sir Peter Blake designed as a testament to the decorated ships in WWII. She is a blaze of colour and it was wonderful to sit on the prow and feel the salty wind, as the sun shone down on us. A conversation with nature and different perspectives of this beautiful part of the world.

razzle-dazzle-ferry

It’s all light: light from the singing, the stained glass, the congregation, the ships, the water, the music and the Razzle Dazzle. ❤

Lights, sparkles and sunshine…

The Black Pearl The Black Pearl sculpture that children and adults can play on.

Lynn, her friends and I are going out tonight to an annual event in Liverpool called LightNight. The city holds it once a year and celebrates the arts and culture that fill it’s buildings. The libraries, galleries, creative centres and museums stay open till late with exhibitions, displays, street musicians, live performers and all sorts going on. What joys await and as soon as I finish work this afternoon I am heading over The Mersey, so we can all meet up as everyone finishes work. Happy days…

I set off for a walk this morning in the beautiful sunshine that greeted today and I fell into step with a lady walking down to the prom. We commented on the pots and plants filling the front yards and found that we have a lot in common. Mo and I carried on walking in the sunshine, down by The Mersey, and stopped and sat on a bench and nattered some more. Such joy in meeting a like minded soul and we exchanged details with a promise to meet up and have a coffee in the cafe nestled in the park very soon. I have not been there yet, so it is lovely to have engaging company to go with. Happy days…

As I walked back home I stopped to talk to a neighbour a few doors along. His front yard is like a cottage garden and we stood in the sunshine and talked about the old fashioned plants that he grows there. It reminded me of my Great Granny’s garden and it was bliss to stand and talk to him. Mike has seen so many changes around here and we had a lovely chat. Happy days…

I turned and there was the neighbour who walks his lovely dog every day as I watch them through my ‘working’ window. I got to meet Kaiser properly and he is a lovely German Shepherd, with a tender, gentle way about him. We hugged and I stood there stroking him in the sunshine. Happy days…

Just before I finally settled down to work today, Steve the builder bobbed in and dropped off some salvage that he thought Lynn may be interested in. A hilarious conversation followed with him trying to talk about the bits he had dropped off and me trying to pin him down to a date when he would come and do the work Lynn has requested. Good old Merseyside humour flowed and he suggested that he came back this evening to talk to Lynn. I commented that we were out on the town for ‘Lightnight’. He asked what that was and I explained. I even went so far as to tell him that the central library were holding a silent disco. ‘Get away with you…’ was his response. ‘It’s all true’ I replied. They are giving out headphones and you can silently go round the building, transformed with disco lights, doing your own ‘Boogie on down’. He was laughing so hard he couldn’t talk. Picture this: I stood in the doorway waving goodbye dancing and he boogied out to his van. Our laughter carried down the street. Happy days…

Loving notes………

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Lynn left work early on Friday and came home with flowers, glorious roses, which now nestle in one of her jugs in my little sitting room upstairs. They are beside Em’s beautiful bowl she made when she was young and Jojo, my sister in law’s, gifted butterfly picture. I smile every time I look over there.

It has been a busy week and as Friday afternoon unfolded, with continuing techie problems flowing through, I messaged HQ at 4pm-ish and let them know that I was cutting loose. Loving messages and ‘Bon voyages’ were exchanged and I followed an impulse. About forty minutes walk along the promenade from home one of the ferries to Liverpool shuttle back and forth. I set off and caught it for the first time since I moved here. It’s a ten minute ride across The Mersey and I could feel the week lifting off and away as I stood ‘up top’ and at the front holding the rail. I loved every second of it. It berths at the docks in Liverpool and I trusted my instincts to guide me up through the city to one of my favourite haunts. Liverpool’s Central Library. Sigh….. I have not been able to settle into a book for some time now and it was time to ease past this situation. I pottered inside and picked up quite a few books, then bought a coffee and headed up to the roof terrace. You’ll love this bit, as I got so engrossed in the first book I picked up, I completely lost track of time. It started to get a bit chilly and I gathered myself together and walked back through the city to the docks. There I watched the ferry sailing across towards home. The realisation that it was the last one that day dawned on me as no-one else was waiting and also, all the roller shutters were down on the gangway and the cafe was closed. ‘Ahhh…’ I thought as I stood there, ‘Right, now where’s the nearest train station?’ I found it and was soon settled on a train, reading again, as I headed for home. When I got back, Lynn chuckled sympathetically and gave me a ferry timetable. On this unplanned adventure I discovered new parts of the city and also, if I buy a ‘day saver’ ticket I can go on the local buses, trains and on a ferry excursion cruise which lasts fifty minutes. Now there’s a cracking thought for another day. Marvelous.

This weekend I have been creating and finishing off various projects in readiness to stock a space in a local craft shop. I also spent a lot of time reading and have finished one book already, which was bliss.

Probably going hand in hand with the reading, I have not been writing much either. I pushed myself and offered to write an article for a friend’s online magazine this week. I asked him what subject he would like me to cover and his reply was ‘Whatever you want to Jane’. I had a look and saw that the current contributors are all trained in various spiritual practices and disciplines and this is what they write about. This walloped me right out of my comfort zone, as I am untrained. I managed to avoid writing anything yesterday and then as today started I pottered about and had a ponder. I was untrained in furniture restoration and re-holstering, but I had a go. I work each day reaching out a loving hand to those in difficulties, which works best when I get out of the way of it and just let my spirit guides do their lovely thing. So I went into that mode to write. I sat here at my desk, watched the clouds for a while and breathed, then got out of the way of myself and let the words flow. There is so much written about writing tips and whatnot and the one thing I have found is not to write as if someone is reading it as you write. Try not to logic it. So, I said ‘Hello’ to my heart and spirit and then let go as it flowed. I will keep you all posted on whether this 1,000 odd worded flow will be accepted or not.

Spring is here and I am walking each morning in the freshness of the day, then coming back to this lovely home and seeing what blossoms forth. Whatever happens it all springs from love. ❤

We carry memories and they can bubble up like a joyful spring….

Liverpool Central Library

I went along to a new meeting today of ‘The Laid Back Writers Group’ and much to my delight it was held in Liverpool’s Central Library. This building has the power to take your breath away and it is inspiring to walk through the doors and breathe it all in.

There were sixteen of us in the group and there was an immediate bond of trust. It’s like an unspoken code. You put yourself out there with anything you produce creatively and it takes courage to sit there and read it out loud. There was kindness flowing with encouraging and supportive comments. We are all learning from each other and there was a wide array of talent in the room. This regular monthly Sunday meeting will be going into my diary and now there are emails pinging back and forth as strangers become friends.

On impulse I went to the reception desk as we all left and asked if I could join. ‘Of course you can’ was the immediate reply and as I filled out the form I chatted to the ladies there. I was given a choice of library cards and mine is purple with a heart on it and the words ‘I love my library’. I pottered back upstairs and chose some fabulous knitting and crochet pattern books. Gentle warning to those I love: you may be gifted sausage dog draft excluders, house door stops and owl lavender sachets. Just saying…..

As I walked out in the afternoon Spring sunshine a memory floated up that was so clear I paused and rested on the steps a while. When I was eight years old my Grandad (Dad’s Dad) lent me his library card and took me along to the library near him and Granny to choose some books. I remember that feeling of excitement that I could read all these books, as I stood there holding his hand. Libraries have been a gift ever since. Emily and I used to spend hours in them as each week, from when she was a tiny tot, we used to go to Storytime and choose the books for her bedtime stories to bring home with us. When she was little and I used to make things, it was always the library I turned to for recipes, patterns and research. The first time Em showed me round her University and we stood in the library, we could have stayed there for hours. Our shared love of the ‘word’ stood us in good stead whenever she called and said ‘Mum please can I read you my latest essay?’ My Mum and I are always swopping books and talking about the latest one we are reading. Texts of ‘I have just found a great book for you’ are frequent and I have a wonderful memory of her head popping round my bedroom door as she would say ‘Where are you up to then? as my nose was buried in the latest one. I’d tell her and her reply was always ‘Ohhhh you wait, the best is yet to come’. My treasured friend Chris Moran and I often wish each other ‘Goodnight, sweet dreams’ as we head off to read our latest discovery. It’s such a lovely way to end the day.

My purse is guaranteed to make me smile, as each time I open it now there will be a purple ‘heart’ card inside that holds inspiration and limitless possibilities.

The world is gifted with stories told and graced with those who take time to listen…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool

Yesterday afternoon I took the train into Liverpool City centre and set out to find the meeting place for my first visit to a creative writing group.

It was held at The Bluecoat Chambers, another hidden gem in this city full of surprises. As promised by the kind organiser, there was an orange book on the long table in the bistro to guide us together and I was greeted with smiles.

Take three regulars and five newbies. Put them together in this beautiful setting with fragrant tea and coffee and a huge dollop of trust and you have a delightful and inspiring two hours.

We are a mixture of a playwright, a musician, lyricist and poet (I am buying his first poetry book), a poet and writer of prose, an artistically inspired poet, a blogger and writer, a poetry lover, a poet and criminal story writer (who is compelling when he reads out loud), a creative student writer and an academic, who writes and rants (his description not mine!)

Some of us shared and we all contributed with support, encouragement and how the pieces resonated with each of us.

I loved every single minute of the experience and we are all meeting again in a month’s time. This group is one of life’s gifts. As I rode the train home I gave thanks for my adventures since I moved to this special place and for the lovely souls that are weaving though them.