Sunday, October 08, 2006

Once more unto the beach

The first hint that our planned perfect day out at Crosby may not go to plan was the large apple that was thrown at the windscreen of the Taylor-Gee bus (our 7 seater) from the side of the M57 by a tracksuited child. The old bill were informed, they knew all about this idea for Saturday afternoon fun, and were on their way.

At a roundabout near the entrance to the docks was a posse of hoody youths flicking Vs at passing cars. We told our lads that they were waving to welcome us to Liverpool. Which in a way I suppose they were.

Following the signs to Antony Gormley's statues we parked up at the far side of Crosby Marina (as it turned out) and the kids played in a park for a bit. The hike to the dunes took a while, with most of us suffering from one ailment or another - I've got a gammy eye, Rachel's got the twins' party to worry about. Then there are the kids: one has a cold, two have a disorder called LOF (Lack of Football) which means they can't cope without a ball to kick around, and the hike made all of them tired.

The statues were great, and it was worth the trip to see them and to spark the kids fascination, even on a cold day. But the beach was effectively the municipal tip. Rubbish everywhere. Including syringes and broken bottles. Nice.

The dunes provided a more fertile space for imagination and play. But most of us seemed to have at least one close encounter with dog poo. And as much as I love my Timberland boots, getting it out with a lolly stick and a packet of wet wipes was a struggle.

Hungry kids need food by 4pm and Satterthwaites came to rescue. Even gently microwaved sausage rolls were crisp and tasty. Best I've ever had, said both Rachel and the senior lad. Too small, said one twin. The pork pies, as recommended by Dougal Paver, were warmed at home in the Aga and eaten with Marrowfat peas. I think we have another winner.

I'm reluctant to take cheap digs at Liverpool and draw conclusions about the European Capital of Culture 2008. But some of our memories of this day out consist of all of the above, plus more scally kids, a surly youth in a paper shop, a feral biker doing wheelies up Crosby's main drag on an off road trials bike, and the veneer of dog mess on the park. But this was my truth; tell me yours...

1 comment:

Mr Bevan, for sure said...

The truth in which Manchester is one of the most-crime ridden cities in the UK, with Liverpool's crime rates much smaller in comparison?

Or the one that a wearingly predictable anti-Liverpool Manchester bigot manages to "see" more crime and disorder in a single daytrip to Liverpool from his home in North West crime capital, Manchester than I have seen in years in the city? You visited Crosby for pity's sake - it's not the inner city.

Nevertheless that someone who is the editor of his purported "North West region" is so ignorant and prejudiced about one of the two biggest cities in the "region" his magazine is meant to cover - it confirms yet again the insanity of Liverpool ever being reported by Manchester-based media operations.

Too many Mancunians seem to be so bitter and insecure about Liverpool - somehow, deep down, they realise that, despite the now decades of ridiculous hype about their city issuing from the usually London-based media institutions that have parachuted "regional" offshoots into their city, the place, regenerated a somewhat or not, is really nothing special. A big, ugly, sprawly milltown with some London backoffices parachuted into it and some of the worst social and crime problems of a city in western Europe, not to mind the UK.

Harsh? Well you started it, and nothing of what I have written isn't true.