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If this is Wednesday, I’m still in Liverpool

A great day in this fine city. It was cold and windy; despite many layers, I’ve been freezing outside since we arrived, though that’s also simply my bug making me vulnerable. And yet Brits walk around in almost no clothes. Miraculous.

Penny and I did Beatles this morning. Went to the famous statues, which are bigger than I’d realized and in front of which every Beatles fan must be photographed; it’s our hajj, our pilgrimage to Mecca. There was a lineup, waiting for their turn. We went to the lively, fun Liverpool museum, where I wandered into the gift store and fell into conversation with Michael from Colorado, a fanatical Beatlemaniac who makes me look like a cold amateur. He showed me photographs of his home: Beatles everywhere, every book and record and everything. He’s here on his once-in-a-lifetime dream tour, staying at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel, about to take, tomorrow, a nine-hour Beatle tour, including GOING INSIDE John’s and Paul’s houses. What occupies the rest of the nine hours, I cannot imagine. He was poring over t-shirts as we left. And in the background, a group of schoolchildren were singing Yellow Submarine.

Later, we went to Penny’s daughter’s house, to meet her children just home from school and to drive her boy and a friend to soccer practice. The schools here are mostly fiercely denominational, Catholic or Protestant, and if you want to get into a school of one or the other, you need to clock in a number of hours in that church. On the drive, we asked the boys about Liverpool soccer teams and received detailed, intense answers. We went on to Penny’s The Reader Group, held in a back room at the John Lewis department store. It’s something I’d never heard of, an organization all over Europe now, apparently — people simply gather to read aloud from a book and discuss it. This group are reading The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, which I’d read many years ago but rediscovered today with delight, as Penny and the others read several chapters aloud and we talked about the multiple viewpoints, the rich language, the very quirky names, and what was happening on the page and in the story – was the child simply sensitive or did she have supernatural vision? I informed them about the prevalence of moose in Newfoundland. At the end, Penny read a beautiful poem by Thomas Hardy; one of the men in the group had just seen a documentary, Martin Clunes in Dorset, and knew a great deal about Hardy. Another fascinating discussion.

My last night here. We are going to watch a bit more of the post office drama, and tomorrow I get the train to London. Penny and I have endless things to talk about, and it has been a joy to share a slice of her life. But soon I’ll be on my own again. On The Road. 1. The boys. 2. Beth and her boy. 3. The famous suits in the museum. Scream. 4. The house where Ringo grew up, the same size and design – two up, two down – as Penny’s.




One response to “If this is Wednesday, I’m still in Liverpool”

  1. Alan Millen says:

    Hi Beth. Your report from Liverpool ticked multiple boxes. I was with you every step of the way. I hope you’ll indulge me one more time by listening to one of the “Liverpool” songs by Newcastle Road. The video was made before the statue on the Pier Head was in place, but it appears in more recent song-videos of mine.

    On a related note, I read “Sisterhood” yesterday. On April 17, by sheer coincidence. It gave me a slight jolt when I realised that I was doing so on the anniversary of Linda’s passing.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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