Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Grand Day Out In Liverpool

I don't know if I've ever told you this, but BetterArf and I first met in Liverpool, and we got married there. I love the place to bits, but when we left there in 1987 it seriously seemed like it was a city that was on its last legs with virtually no hope of recovery. This picture shows a scene that is typical all over the UK - a street of Victorian-ish terraced houses. Streets like this were obviously never designed for cars, so you get parking on both sides and room for one car to move in either direction.

This graffiti has nothing to do with anything, it just made me laugh.

We spent a tiring day walking around Liverpool and taking photos for a project that I'm working on with Brian. Naturally, this finished at a pub, and we were joined by one of Brian's sons. It's a strange thing, but I've known these guys for about 22 years. The kids were kids - aged 3, 7, 11 and 14. And now they've grown up a bit but to me they are little kids who just happen to drink beer and smoke the odd fag. Wierd.

Happily, it seems I was wrong about the impending demise of Liverpool - there is a lot of urban development going on now, especially in the area between Bold Street and the Dock Road. It's very heartening to see this rejuvenation, and some of the architecture is of strikingly high quality. One of the things I love about older places (unlike brand-new places like Dubai), is that you virtually never get a greenfield site. Practically everything has to be designed to fit in with neighbouring buildings, and this can bring out the best in some architects: they have to design something modern without destroying the visual harmony that already exists.

I'm quite proud of this Liver Bird close-up pic: it was taken using max zoom (12x optical), hand-held with magic image stabilisationm on. Cool huh!