Monday, 8 April 2013


Yes, Liverpool! That's why we're here, to see Liverpool!

For the educational preparation, I've read aloud to the little grits the poignant and funny Twopence to Cross the Mersey by Helen Forrester; pointed to the slave trade which is obviously not the same as please tidy your room; I've instructed my trusting little charges in how to set a milk float alight and wheel it towards the enemy (Toxteth 1981); and I've navigated once again those subjects which are so routinely on the curriculum of our home ed experience - power, politics, authorities, and responsibilities.

And culture, of course, I have talked about that because Liverpool is the capital of culture 2008.

It is shopping paradise, isn't it? I spend a good hour scuttling between Lush, News from Nowhere community bookshop on Bold Street, and the cash point, on the notional idea that 'I am equipping us with what we need to stay in our chi-chi apartment'. This actually seems to come down to a bag of glitter bath bombs, a stack of radical books, and a postcard of a cat.

But then it is all go, go, go! On Grit's excursions you have no time to rest your feet! Let's go on a tour of Liverpool!

First stop, place of holy pilgrimage, the Cavern Club! I would like to tell Shark, Tiger and Squirrel how this famous location is a must-visit for today's music scene in Liverpool.

I cannot. First I have to explain about the Beatles (met with indifference), then I have to explain why the last band I can find playing here are a sad disappointment to my fancies about a world-class venue for upcoming talent (Chas 'n' Dave).

Okay, forget the Cavern Club. The architecture!

Anyone interested in Georgian, Victorian gothic, Arts and Crafts, renovated docks, and objects of wonder perched atop magnificent late nineteenth century structures, aka the liver birds, then Liverpool is your destination.

Although the docks were bombed in the second world war, plenty of solid buildings remain in the city, so thank the Lord that Liverpool was too poor to be able to afford to knock them down. The town has a collection of superb late Victorian buildings and you should all visit to applaud them, just in case some mad town planner thinks it would be a great idea to open development and build a shopping centre and car park instead.

Now it's the Slavery Museum to discover how the city became rich; how Liverpool supported the confederacy in the American Civil War; and how Britain took the role of the maritime police in abolishing the slave trade, making us look suspiciously like we were finding new excuses to beat the shit out of the French and anyone else we could find to lever moral, political and economic advantages.

But we're not finished yet! Yay for the UK Border Museum! Down in the basement to the Maritime Museum, so not far to walk. Yes, it is a bit preachy and one-sided, but what did you expect? It offers interesting factoids to store away for later use.

The other view of Liverpool I note is the urban style. Obviously I cannot go round photographing the ladeez in the street unless I want a split lip, but I can confide there is a lot of animal print about, plastic and nylon leopard in particular, plus a great deal of tottering in Hong Kong-style footwear, i.e. fashion items for which even a season is too long. This fashion season, probably all two days of it in Liverpool, is platform soles, studs, spikes, and seven-inch heels. I am in awe of those.

I tell my big Grits that Liverpool could just bring about a change in Mama Grit. After all, the leopard print is not the garment of a down-beaten woman. It is the choice of a matriarch, a signal of the don't mess with me mindset and a flag of defiance to age and circumstance. Sounds just about right.

1 comment:

Frugal Mum of 3 said...

we have to do liverpool again soon, we stuck to the museums last time, but likeing your idea of a stay there, may do this next time.