Disappearing Liverpool

I step down from the train as it finally grinds to a halt in Lime Street and traverse the station concourse with a huge smile on my face. I am back in Liverpool, a city which is slowly staking a claim to the wandering soul of this old Viking sailor. The sun vainly attempts to warm through a bitterly frigid, winter’s afternoon and the wheeling seagulls call a sailor’s song, reminding those who feel, memories of Liverpool’s great seafaring past.

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A modern sailor stands in front of a memorial to all the old sailors. A real honour…

I stand for a moment in front of the ornamental gateway that marks the spot of the original Liverpool sailor’s home. I thrill at the thought of how many sailors of all nationalities have passed through this amazing sea port whose origins stretch back to the Vikings and beyond. I am truly humbled.

For sure, Liverpool has a murky past, with much of its money acquired from the slave trade, but how many modern cities can actually claim any purity? Quite simply, the human race has a vicious, violent past –  all of it. No country stands without bloody hands, including those that were the recipients of the dreadful ‘Atlantic Triangle’. Even today, Arab slavers operate on the African continent and one has no need to look further than the outrageously decadent rich of Knightsbridge and Chelsea to find domestic slaves from poverty-stricken parts of the planet. Quite simply, humanity is brutal, beautiful, violent, humane, impossibly cruel and unbelievably compassionate. We are all things.

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Disappearing Liverpool…

The old warehouses are slowly being claimed by rapacious developers as the the new era of Mammon establishes itself in England’s ‘green and pleasant land’, and the whole city has exploded into a property ‘free for all’. Every time I return, something else has vanished to be replaced by ‘new build’ mushrooms that cater for the thousands of students and new tiny businesses that are filling the vacuum left by the collapse of the old manufacturing industries.

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Memories of Liverpool’s powerful past. The elegant St George’s Hall and the North Western Hotel outside Lime Street station. Opposite is the new St John’s Square Development.

Yet despite all this, the ordinary scouser is resilient, humorous and bloody-minded, as well he/she should be, for there’s never been a better time to question what the hell is happening on our precious planet; sometimes it seems as if society has had a ‘apathy implant’.

I am curious and a wee bit worried about the future of this magnificent, crazy and rumbustious city. Will she become emasculated and ‘health and safetyised’ like so many others, or will the true Scouse grit come to the fore and fight back as in the days of yore, during the resistance against Mrs Thatcher?  Maybe she will have a mass invasion of bourgeois foreigners like London’s richest areas, to quaff all the new property with their legally laundered capital during the weak pound’s slumber, adding a massive rent increase nightmare to her native population’s other headaches.

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Another Liverpool Christmas… A seagull ‘angel’ soars overhead!

Liverpool is firmly anchored in the present though and her folk bask in an amazing, colourful history, taking great pride in her musical and sporting heritage. One only has to stay in the Youth Hostel here on a weekend to rub shoulders with Liverpool and Everton FC football fans from as far afield as China, Denmark and Ireland, who make the pilgrimage to the hallowed grounds of Anfield, Goodison and the new Cavern club. To say that the weekend entertainment in the city is wild, is a wee understatement, for sure! Noisy, rough and raucous are only a few words to describe her, but there are many others, none of which would make the ‘Thesaurus’!

To end on a supremely optimistic note, it is the fighting spirit and humour of the Scouse themselves that will endure. Liverpool maybe disappearing on the surface but her soul shall never die!

I end with a joke:

An old man who worked on the docks was known as ‘Diesel’ by his mates, and a young apprentice asked why?

‘Well son, he sometimes riffled through the cargo looking for a bonus and was often heard to say: “Dese’ll do!”‘

Happy Solstice to you all!

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About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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24 Responses to Disappearing Liverpool

  1. cornishtim says:

    Happy solstice and winter lay up.

  2. Great blog! Happy solstice to you too Poppy love. Here on the island of Homer we had a drumming circle to celebrate the great turning, a beautiful way to usher in the new energies. All will be well 🙂 much love and many blessings xxxxxx

  3. Roger Lundqvist says:

    Yesterday I wondering when the next post from you would come, and to day it’s here.
    Very nice post. Happy solstice. Now it’s half-time then we heading for summer, YES.

  4. Andy says:

    My mother-in-law’s family all live in Liverpool. They are all (and there’s a lot of them) a great bunch. Love the humour, in spite of the much highlighted Liverpool-Manchester rivalry. This passes me by as I’m a Blue Mancunian as opposed to the Red variety. My wife’s grandfather was in the merchant navy. I remember his son telling, at his funeral, how he once said “You don’t know what dark is until you’ve been to sea.” The priest used this in a spiritual sense. Speaking of which: Happy Solstice to you too!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Can be dark Andy, for sure… I’ve never felt so alone at times, but there’s an incredible peace from that too. Gott Jul och nytt år Andy. I know as a Scandiphile you will appreciate that!

  5. Simon de Groot says:

    A really nice read…one of your best impersonal posts I think!….Yes I have noticed that a places narrative can permeate it’s history and is difficult to put down by unifying forces…in fact it can even re-surge and re-invent itself!…people often forget how strong the forces of parochialism can be….happy solstice kidda!! 😉

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Si! I reciprocate your greeting. Please pass it on to Debbie, Richard and Cynthia. Whatever happened to apostrophies? 😉

  6. laila lyckeskär says:

    Merry Chritmas and I hope you gote ett bettre 2017!

  7. Ingrid Åsander says:

    Best holiday wishes from Örnsköldsvik/Högakusten

  8. Andy Penny-Brown says:

    Hi Poppy Just read your lovely account in Yachting Monthly so I looked you up. Inspired writing, passion for real life! What could be better? Thanks for sharing the ‘Soul’. Well, if Neptune steers us to me on the water one day, it will be great! Just refitting a Southerly over the winter and selling up to make the sea my home again, last time it was the best decade of my life, so let’s see what 2017 brings…wishing you fair winds and calm seas.

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