Tag Archives: Liverpool

The first butterfly

When I moved to my little crone cottage here in Picton (tucked in between Toxteth and Edge Hill, in May 2019, my “garden” was a square of paving stones, with a border of gravel, a large Yukka and a golden tree of some kind.

By October, I had begun to add the odd pot, and a plastic greenhouse.

Now, as the pandemic enters its 7th month, and I am into my 6th month of lockdown, it is a chaotic and beautiful mess of random flowers, bushes, trees and vegetables.

A tour of my garden

In case you are wondering, I’ve been ‘shielding’ since mid-March, when my son Roderick suggested it. And on the day after the government said we should all come out of our protective burrows, it was announced that there was a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases in the suburb which borders mine – just a block away. So here I stay. And thank goodness for the garden.

And for writing, and singing, and tap-dancing, and friends on Skype and teaching on Google Meet. Never a dull moment here in Heathcote Close.

Which doesn’t mean I’m happy with the situation. Just stoic. Occasionally I write a silly little ditty, to keep myself amused. Here’s one from April.

Fairy Bessie performs The Happy Song

In May, the country celebrated the end of World War II, standing in doorways, or windows, with flags waving and socially distanced street parties. Not me, however. I did not find it a cause for celebration, but rather one for contemplation. Indeed, it made me very, very angry and upset, so I wrote a poem.

Now it is August, and – wonder of wonders – a butterfly. The first one I’ve seen here, in my garden. This makes me very happy.

Speckled Wood. I looked it up. Apparently they live in hedgerows, so it is quite a long way from home. But it came to my garden, which brings joy to my heart.

Even more joy arrived 2 weeks ago, in the form of my beautiful granddaughter, Sophia. Mum, Dad and Sophia all doing well, if exhausted.

Thank you. Stay safe.

Roots and all

Now that I live in Liverpool – and doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? – life is taking some unexpected, and not unpleasant turns.

After years of wandering around, rent-free, on the house-sitting turntable, I’ve finally settled into a wee flat, just off the absolute centre of the city, two floors up with two huge windows, so plenty of light.

It has been such fun, furnishing it, sticking photos up, putting the books out where I can see them, buying house plants and – wonder of wonders – baking!  I’ve had a couple of ‘dinner parties’, but I don’t know that many people yet, so nothing grand.

Workwise, it’s been a bit crazy. The first 3 months I was commuting between Liverpool, Cardiff and Manchester. That was enough to prove to myself that I’m not as young as I used to be…

Just now, I’m in Manchester one day a week, working with a beautiful bunch of 2nd year acting students. Fun is being had. Voices grow, hearts and minds take great leaps of faith, and creativity expands all of our horizons.

So far, I’ve had little performing work, but one short film (a public info video for Liverpool City Council Health Dept) was fun to shoot.  On the other hand, I found a little folk club just a couple of block from where I stay, and I trot down there with my trusty ukulele every now and then to do a floor spot. This week, I was invited to perform a full set as “featured guest artist”, so I dug the guitar out of its oh too solid case and actually attempted to accompany myself on it. Oh boy. Practise, practise, practise…

As well as some of my own songs (June’s really), I revived a couple of Scots ballads from my days as a folk singer in the dim dark past, including Yarrow Braes. Roderick dutifully turned up to support me in the audience, and he kindly filmed it, so here it is.

Now I’m working on the third part of the June Bloom trilogy.  It will be called “June Bloom Rising” and the rest is a mystery, although I hope to be able to preview it at this year’s Liverpool Festival Fringe, in June.  We shall see!