I’m not normally one to randomly write I ❤ …… but I have decided that when it comes to Liverpool, that sums up my feelings well. I realise I start sentences/posts with ”I’m not normally one to…” or ”I don’t usually…” but this really is one of those cases.
I have lived in Liverpool since birth. I am 100% a scouser through and through. I often say to people that Liverpool is the greatest city on Earth, and I sort of believed it. It wasn’t like I didn’t believe what I was saying, but I really took all the great things about the city for granted. Having friends up this weekend has reaffirmed my love undoubtedly, and even though we just aimlessly walked round the city, it is mightily impressive.
It’s not just the buildings that Liverpool has to offer, or the football, or the river, or the shopping, or the docks; it’s the little things. No matter where you walk in the city centre there are buskers playing. Yes, the rock band playing outside the Primark don’t do a perfect rendition of Sweet Child of Mine, and the scary looking guy on a box that jumps at you is weird, but it means it is never boring when you wander between shops. The pianos, they’re so awesome and unique, I haven’t really seen them anywhere else (just to explain, Liverpool has a series of pianos dotted around the city that anyone can just sit down and play, for free, for the fun of it, regardless of who you are or what your ability is.)
The superlambanana is one of the most intriguing spectacles Liverpool has to offer. They are a strange mix of a lamb’s head and body, with a banana tail, they really have to be seen to be believed, and following the 2008 capital of culture spectacle that saw a series of locally decorated statues place around the city, they have become more iconic than ever.
The Beatles, oh how they sometimes annoy me, and slow me down. The magical mystery tour bus has plagued school days and shopping runs since I can remember, stopping in the most inconvenient locations to allow tourists to pile off to take pictures of a red gate (I live about 500m from Strawberry Fields.) I guess going to school right by Penny Lane, living round the corner from Strawberry Fields, and having Eleanor Rigby buried in your Church graveyard loses its speciality when it is all you know.
But no matter how annoying it is to get stuck behind the yellow bus, or hear different Beatles songs played wherever you go, or see different types of Beatles memorabilia sold in the shops, I will miss them and all they are. I haven’t really appreciated how lucky I am to be a part of all this, people literally travel 1000’s of miles to see these sites, and I pass them everyday, often whilst uttering an irritated sigh.
The shopping is, with out doubt, one of the things the city does best. It has everything you could need, from low-end, cut-price stores, to boutiques that sell Chanel and Tom Ford. The shops are varying, and they are big, our Primark has 5 floors. The nights out are great. There are places for everyone, there are sections of town for everyone. Not many people can say that the Cavern is a legitimate starting point to a drinking session. We have 100’s of beautiful buildings, so many that are converted into shops, or pubs, or flats, that are quite spectacular when you don’t just take them for granted!
I love the river and the docks area the most out of everywhere in Liverpool I think. I love the water, and when I stand on the bank of the Mersey it really does feel like I am home. The docks have been beautifully renovated (The Albert dock has Museums, a Tate gallery, little shops, clubs, flats, everything) and there is a mix of new and old buildings that combine to make the world heritage site waterfront.
I mean, the port of Liverpool building, and the Liver buildings speak for themselves, as does St George’s Hall and it’s neighbours on the opposite side of town.
When I moved to Lancaster, I moved to a nice enough county town, that had an OK range of shops that had a just about adequate choice that you should be able to find something suitable for every occasion, even if it isn’t quite what you had in mind. The shops are all smaller, and there is less choice of outlets. The eating and night out options are much more limited, and even though the pub scene is unquestionably better, the choice is not nearly as good. Lancaster boasts a river and a canal, but as nice as it is to stroll along the canal and have a pint in the Water Witch, the view is just not as good, I mean, how could it rival a world-renowned view?
I have come over all nostalgic today, and I completely blame my friends. They have unwittingly unlocked a slightly emotional side this evening. As I was sorting out where they were staying, and was making sure everyone had some bedding and was OK, I realised, this time tomorrow will be the last time I will see them until August 2015, at the very earliest. That’s 12 months away. A WHOLE YEAR. I know I shouldn’t complain, because I am going on a once in a lifetime trip, but it’s going to be hard to say goodbye for a whole year to people I have become so attached to over the past 2/3 years. They probably won’t ever realise how much they helped within the first year of University, and won’t ever realise how much I will miss them when I go away. Well, they will do now, the cat is well and truely out of the bag! Thanks guys, for everything!
Missing them, and of course my family, has made me realise that I will miss things like the city when I go. I will miss going to watch the football; I know that Liverpool matches are shown around the world, but it is not the same as coming home from Anfield, listening to the radio phone in and watching Match of the Day. That said, I would happily miss being in the city when it happens to see Liverpool lift the League while I am away. I would love to see it happen.
I feel slightly deflated now. A good deflated though, that sort of deflated when you realise you have a lot but that you have been taking it for granted for all this time. I suppose it’s better to realise that you have and do something about it, than never realise at all. Look at me, ending on a profound note.