A recent walk led me downstream to Water Street where the black clouds opened and I splash-landed at the mouth watering Liverpool waterfront. I stood near to the towering, stunning and tantalising Three Graces. Over the years I have noticed the world around them changing with popular apartments popping up, but this family of stunning architecture will always stand tall and proud providing a protective wall and a warm welcome to all.
I walked alongside the River Mersey from Georges Parade towards the Albert Dock and the rain was replaced quickly by cold air that snapped at the face and feet. The icy breeze bit the fingers in quick fire fashion. My gloves and scarf declared themselves ‘out of service’ and for a moment I nearly abandoned the walk as the weather was cutting and I was losing the fight against such brutal conditions, but something kept me there and kept my interest.
The wonderful waterfront and River Mersey had instilled warmth and crafted patience and created time and for once, both of these were mine.
The River Mersey is art. It is a theatre and it is opera. It is guitar, ukulele, rock, pop, indie and soul. It is a novel, poem and painting, a conveyor belt of culture and promise. It does not seek attention nor is it sinister and scornful, but loving and giving. It is the veins through the city. It is not red or blue, but neutral, honest and true. Standing on the waterfront with the River Mersey in front of you is a place to ask questions and to seek answers. A place to reject or reflect and to dream and to drift. It is the past, the present and the future. A place where history can upset mystery and where the strands of life will feed and find the inner feelings of mine.
2021 has started like the end of 2020 – days are still deceptive, I do not know whether it is Tuesday or October. And weekends are now splattered across the week and nothing seems to be in sync with an unusable calendar. The edges are no longer parallel. Days are crushed and crumbled into sand and now the hands of time don’t seem to be mine. But the peace of the waterfront brought a stable calming feeling and for once, time didn’t really matter.
The Mersey usually has a procession of riverboats, barges and ships flooding across and today there may well be a reduced service, but the river is always ready to serve with unbridled loyalty and love. And the next time The Marsden Mersey Ferry crosses the river, it may do so with tears in its eyes. But it will never sail alone as a singing soul will always be onboard on every journey.
On this evening moonlight and stars sprinkled magic onto the top of the river. The volume of the winds changed slightly. Small ripples arrived and then the chorus of splashing waves made a sound on the city walls, sounds only the River Mersey orchestra can make. Seagulls added backing vocals as they scoured the waterfront for food to survive, provide and to cherish their life ahead – no different to us.
I stopped on my walk and paid my respects to Billy Fury at the wondrous place that is his statue. The statue is a snapshot of Billy with his famous stance in full Fury flow. A perfect icon and hero to me. The statue is like him, wonderful and charismatic, but I can still see the shyness in the eyes as he faces the rock and roll world with an awkwardness, but this made Billy endearing to me. He may have been born wIth a bruising and bashing destiny, but he will always live within my rock and roll history – forever.
I took shelter just inside the dock where the breeze and wind could not reach. It was quiet and I planned my route home. “Which way would I avoid the weather?” was the only question I asked myself. But as ever I dithered with the decision and a simple plan became a military operation. And while I attempted to solve the simple problem another one appeared, as all of a sudden, it wasn’t time to go home.
Before me was a perfect picture in river waters. A hypnotic mirror image of the dock appeared in the dock water. It was stunning symmetry with no wind or ripples of water causing any disorder to the silk like bed of water. It oozed beauty with the beaming brick walls and colourful colossal columns appearing untouched and lifelike in the icy cold but calm water. I stood and stared, I loved and adored. I left for home – grateful and fulfilled.
The waterfront and the River Mersey can be a calming part of the world. It can redeem, refresh and kickstart a day or night. The River Mersey and the City have hundreds of years behind them and they can both tell a story. But we can all play a part in the future and we can all play a part in the story. And The River Mersey and City will help you along the way
This article isn’t a slant on any other city, it really isn’t, but this is Liverpool. And here I’ll stay.
With Love & Peace