Saturday, 13 June 2009

Greetings From Liverpool

Keefie is on his jollies.

Having had the pleasure of the DIL's (Daddy In Law) company in Madrid for about 10 days, I flew back with him to Jolly Ole England. The DIL has a couple of NHS hips, and so can't run about like he used to - wheelchair assistance was required, and provided for free (unlike Dubai, Marhaba my bottom). This meant we got front-row seats on the plane, but sadly when the lift-thingy deposited us at Arrivals at Liverpool John Lennon, it was the wrong door; the screen over the baggage carousel said 'City of Derry', and there were no bags on it. We wandered around, bewildered, for a bit, and eventually found another carousel with two solitary bags on it. Phew, as they say in The Dandy.

DIL was catching a bus to Manchester, where his sister lives and his car was left, and I was being picked up by a buddy who lives in Liverpool. I was given beer and Scouse (Liverpool's traditional stew - dee-licious), and yesterday (Friday) we hit the town.

I lived in Liverpool about 23 years ago, worked there, got married there. I love the place to bits, and was sad when I left it, because it really felt like it was dying (had Margaret Thatcher had her way, she would have just nuked it). But it hasn't died. It has recovered and grown like a growing thing. There's a stack of new building completed and ongoing. It's all very impressive. The most impressive thing, I guess, is Liverpool One: this is basically an extension of the city centre down towards the river. It's a massive mixed-use development of shops, offices, leisure and apartments; the architecture is sensitive and innovative. Rather than build a monolithic thing, it's been planned as separate buildings in different styles, so you have new streets, vistas, corners, squares, fountains, a park, and so on. Prince Charles would hate it because there aren't any neo-classical or vernacular bits. But everybody else loves it because it is beautiful, human-scale, organic-looking space. Did I say I liked it? I'll say it again: I've never seen an urban development this good, anywhere.


Colin said...

Keith, I think it's possible Liverpool's regeneration began under Mr T, thanks to Tarzan. And the formation of the Merseyside Development Corporation.

Mme Cyn said...

Is Liverpool airport REALLY named for John Lennon? Cool!!

Keefieboy said...

Colin, you are right, but Mrs T hated the idea, and the MDC was never very effective.

Mme Cyn, yep, tagline 'Above us only sky'.

CafeMark said...

Liverpool's suffered a lot over the years; I hope they are now fully on the way to recovery (although this current economic crisis doesn't help). Always had a reputation for having the best sense of humour in the UK. I hope that continues.