Goodbye the old “Alan Whicker” coin

Yesterday the “old” one pound coin AKA an “Alan Whicker” = “Nicker” = One English Pound and also for some reason called a snotter for a few years when I was a kid can now only be passed into a bank. In Ye Olden Days before the birth of the one pound coin in 1983 we had the pure excitement of the 20p being introduced in 1982 and I remember going into the Barclays Bank in Aigburth Vale to get one such was the nerd I was. I must have had an addiction for firsts as I remember getting up early to watch the first BBC Breakfast and TV AM. I also remember rushing home from school to watch the first programme on Channel 4 and even into the 90’s Channel 5. Sadly there are too many new channels these days to keep up my prefect record but being a man of tradition always have a look at first night on the Sky Channels up in the 900’s nudge nudge wink wink. The bank where I got my debut 20p unsurprisingly is now a boozer. I remember my dad moaning that when he went to see a stripper in a boozer on Park Road he now had to slip a five pound note into the panties of the fully figured nan they were cheering on. Just last week he could get away with a one pound note he moaned. Thats inflation and Thatchers 80’s for you**

** I hope this is a made up story about my dad for comedy purposes

Strippers in pubs eh. How mad is that ! I remember going to a gaff on Dale Street in Liverpool in about 1996 and there was some adult entertainment AKA a stripper. Its now been converted to a solicitors office and for the record was called Daley’s Dandelion if memory serves me correct and for the fullness of data collection Barbara was 34 years old, Blonde from Garston and a 36 F. That was the dim and distant past and things have improved and female strippers became less and less. A new era was coming in and the rise of the UK Dreamboys still available at www.dreamboys.co.uk and its a good job I know how to delete my internet history. This blog from a romantic retro trip (Remember when it was 5p on the bus) looking back at old coins has ventured down a politically incorrect dead end. So whilst we are there I was once sent an email counting a picture of Paul McCartney’s new girlfriend. I was gonna say bird but the hole I am digging is already quite deep. It was a picture of a woman naked missing limbs. OOOWWWWWWW thats a bit near the knuckle and email was closed. That was the end of that. Well maybe not. That afternoon my dad wanted to use my PC to do something on Microsoft Excel. I was sitting helping him a bit and he said he wanted to create a graph. He wanted to learn so I left him to it ready to correct him. Anyway he messed around with the top menus and eventually ended up inserting the last image used on the computer instead of creating a graph. Instead of a lovely graph with trend bar of his data up popped this limbless naked female. A very awkward silence ensued. I went to explain and was sharply cut off. “Just get it off the screen son” I have never used a PC so fast to get his desired graph up. “Fancy a cup of tea dad?” “I think you better make one son” as I rushed out of the living room thinking Jesus what kind of deviant does my dad think I am ???

Anyway back to coins and mad to think that “When I were a lad” even after the one pound coin was in circulation there was actually a half pence coin. I mean half a fucking pence. For half a pence you could buy one Mojo sweet. Those half pence coins were knocking about until December 1984 and so the decimal half pence coin died at the tender age of 13 years. Only the best die young and you my half pence friend are GBNF and just before Christmas as well.

So you know the years are advancing when coins come and go. At least the pound coin made it to 24 years of age. The two pound coin must be sweating at the tender age of 20 years old. I still cant get used to these new jarg notes and have nearly lashed a few thinking they are receipts. So we end keeping the retro feel alive and the revelation that my children are cheating bastards.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

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Friday night mini music festival

Nothing better than live music and on Friday I created my own minuscule festival. First up and The Arts Village for The Milk. We decided on a late start for us 8pm as it was gonna be a long night. Just about catching the end of the support act I must admit I was a little bit disappointed with the crowd size but it was just the support I suppose and with some ridiculous bar prices maybe everybody was pre-loading in a cheaper venue ? Anyway just before 9pm The Milk came on. I have been trying to catch these guys for a few years now and have not managed it wether it be a gig or possibly a Glastonbury appearance so tonight was a debut for me and I was really looking forward to it. Safe to say The Milk did not disappoint. I stumbled across the band whilst clicking on the old related artists links on Spotify a few years back. Is their music “post modern soul” ? Well I can tell you its bloody brilliant. Highlights of the evening a stunning version of “Deliver Me” flowing seamlessly into “Every Time We Fight” and the winner for the night an astounding version of “My Favourite Worry” which to me starts of as some Otis Redding inspired soul song and builds up into a crescendo of drums and guitar laden sounds of epic proportion. The crowd grew a bit but in relation to the quality of music on offer it wasn’t the best turn out from a Liverpool crowd. Your loss folks as it was just over a power hour from the lads from Essex and I can’t wait to see them again.

 

So a quick pint in what we call “The Upper Grapes” the lower Grapes being the Mathew Street version and we walked down to The Camp & Furnace for our second gig of the night. Upping the stakes a bit for some soul and funk we were there to see Smoove & Turrell as part of Craig Charles Funk  Soul Club. What I thought was my first encounter of Smoove & Turrell was late last year supporting Soul II Soul and I was blown away by them. Turns out we caught the tale end of one of their sets at Glastonbury 2016. Shows what kind of states I get into at Glastonbury as we only discovered this looking at some pictures we had from Glastonbury 2016 !! I even got to chat to the lead singer outside the gig afterwards and what a lovely fella he was. As is normal practice my music loving mate Alan an father in law Dave were with me on out magical musical Friday and Dave went for a piss before Smoove & Turrell started. He come back saying whilst having  a piss he was “bigging up” Smoove & Turrell to a fella in the bogs and it turned out the fella was the bass player ha ha. i wonder if he thought they were any good ? Anyway Smoove & Turrell did not disappoint with “Beggarman” and ‘I Cant Give You Up” hitting the spot. As ever the crazy keyboard player with his Transalapino clobber on and unusual keyboard playing style draws attention as well as being a mighty fine keyboard player. Anyway he lost his goggle/hood and unknown to him the leader singer had “had it off” and started a song with it on and his cap on top of it for good measure. A comedy moment and the soul and funk continued to flow from these talented Geordie lads. We were truly spoiled with two great gigs in one night.

So just the Craig of the Charles left and we knew we were gonna be treated to some boss choonage and indeed we were. With the two elder statesmen of our trio flagging come 1am it was time to go home and reflect on what is deffo up there with one of the finest musical nights I have had in Liverpool. Indeed my own Friday night mini music festival.

So Saturday and the inevitable post booze fuelled comedown but compared to a mid 1990’s comedown this was a piece of piss. All boozed out from Friday night shenanigans I started on Bacardi and Diet Coke from my optics rack and ended up on vodka and orange. Doubles of course I am no shandy !! Any way I ended up going down a musical route again watching Now 80’s Music TV and the top 25 countdown of the Love Top 25. The OCD in me insists I must see what is number one in any countdown and with unlimited shorts in my optics rack I have ended up having many a quiet night in the house ending up with me sozzled on the couch seeing what is numero uno. This countdown was a bit off the beaten track well if you take Renee and Renato out of it. Surely George Micheal “Carless Whisper” was gonna be number one. I had encouraged Mrs Fay to have a gin or several and with matchsticks in her eyes when “Careless Whisper” came on as number one I could shuffle across the couch and initiate a fake yawn and stretch my arm out behind her and make my move. Well fuck me number one was “All Of My Heart” by ABC a song I have never heard before. Mrs Fay legged it up to bed and I was left nailing another double vodka and instead seducing a pack of Tesco’s finest own onion rings.

A fine end to a great musical weekend. Next gig Chic in Liverpool. It wont match the x 2 Glastonbury performances I have witnessed but by god it will be great…………….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Freak Out !!!!!

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

 

The 6 South Liverpool Park Walk

So this morning with my work systems being down for the day it was a bonus day playing FIFA 2018 sat on my fat arse. But then I thought no. It’s dry and the sunshine is out why don’t I do the planned walk I had wanted to do and take my camera with me and the write a blog about it. So off I headed to attempt the 6 Liverpool Park Walk.

So starting of in Aigburth Vale it was up to park one and Sudley Field. A field that is close not only to my house but my heart. From the days in the 1980’s spending endless hours up there playing football and into the early 90’s and it was then the field I discovered Stock Bianco and Merrydown cider and on into the new millennium where I now spend time with my family and a lot of time with my two dogs. It is also home to Sudley House built in 1824 and left to the people of Liverpool by the Holt Family. Its the hidden jewell in Liverpools museums and worth a visit. The field also has one of the most underrated benches in Liverpool with a view over the mersey and over to the hills of Wales on a clear day. The grounds of the house has a Hillsborough Memorial Sun Dial dedicated to the people of Aigburth who lost their lives. Click on any images for a larger version.

Around to the front of the house and just over Mossley Hill Road is Park 2 and Holts Field. I am assuming named after The Holts who left Sudley House. The only time I tend to go on this field is on the rare occasion Liverpool gets snow and no matter what age I am it is up to Holts Field to play “Ski Sunday” With a great view of what people call Mossley Hill church (Its actually St Matthew & St James church) and an even better panoramic view of parts of Liverpool including Woolton and as far as Frodsham on a clear day. All down hill now onto Brodie Avenue and up Booker Avenue to Park 3.


Park three and luckily I have no golf gear on me. Its Calderstones Park a park that reminds me of senior school (I went to Calderstones) and endless games of footy in there during lunch hour and towards the latter end of my school years a good place to bunk off and laze in the sunshine. With a small lake, playground, cafe and Ice Cream shop “Caldies” is a lovely park with a few hidden gems such as the Japanese Gardens and the ancient Allerton Oak which is nearly as old as my mother in law (There goes my Lynx and Socks chrimbo prezzie) The Oak is estimated to be around 1000 years old.  The park was home to a great botanical gardens but met a sad demise during the tough times of 1980’s Liverpool.

So out through the gates and down Melnlove Avenue, along Allerton Road and the next stop is not a park but Penny Lane. Not much needs to be said about this but I could walk down there without giving it a mention. At least the road signs have stopped being robbed.

So just around the corner at the bottom of Penny Lane turning right is Park 4 and Greenbank Park. The Liverpool Corporation “Corpy” bought the land from the Rathbone Family who’s house with blue plaque is currently being renovated. A small but nice park again with lake and small playground. There is also a small walled garden though I swerved this as there were a gang of lads skinning up and I did not want them to think I was the bizzies armed with my posh camera and long zoom lens !

So down Greenbank Lane to Sefton Park but first up a second less well known Liverpool Muscial landmark and Greenbank Drive a song released by my joint favourite band The Christians (Deacon Blue are the other) released as a single in September 1990 Greenbank Drive did not receive the acclaim of Penny Lane but it has a special place I’m my heart. I even tried to have the old cast iron street sign off but we couldn’t do it showing how much of a criminal I was ! Anyway its not been replaced with one of these new poor plastic Liverpool street signs (Blog to come about them one day)

So into Park 5 and the best park in Liverpool and to me the best park in the world and Sefton park. Could do a whole blog on this park and area but just sorted through a few main bits today and it was looking as glorious as ever in the autumn sunshine. Formerly part of The Earl Of Sefton’s Toxteth Park the park was open in 1872 an contains the jewell in the park the Palm House. Luckily despite being in very poor condition when Liverpool fell into decline in the 1980’s this thing of beauty survived and is now fully restored hosting numerous events throughout the year. The Park also contains my most chilled area of Liverpool and The Fairy Glen which is situated underneath the iron bridge. Containing a small waterfall its an oasis of calm and beauty in Liverpool. With numerous lakes and islands (My late dad claims to have been on every island in Sefton Park) we walk in and out of the park and head towards Aigburth Vale.

So down Aigburth Vale under the subway and across Jericho Lane to the sixth and final park Otterspool Park. On the left is The River Jordan which flow into the Mersey and on down through the gates we go. Loads more on this park here and its well worth a read http://www.roydenhistory.co.uk/mrlhp/local/otterspool/otters.htm

Again another park with memories of Merrydown Cider for me. it was the place I celebrated Liverpool last winning the league as we all got the 25 bus  home from the match in 1990 after another league title to have a party down the prom and as a 16 year old it was only a matter of time until I was in the pub celebrating a league title………………………..still waiting !!!! The park also has a small tunnel on the right not long before you go under the railway bridge (Built in 1864) before ending up at the end of the walk.

At the end of the walk is the old Otterspool Cafe which was built on the exact same spot the old Otterspool mansion was (Pic below) So the walk was just on 8 miles and can be longer to shorter depending on your detours in each park and took me with some pauses for pictures (Though I do walk fast) around 3 hours. A lovely walk taking in 6 of South Liverpools finest green spaces.

 

And for those of you who want to know what the inside of the cafe looks like check out my previous blog here.

Exclusive inside the old Otterspool cafe.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

 

Attack of the Ket wigs and I am in The London Marathon.

 

 

So Ket Wigs where do I start ? Now this isn’t the jealousy of a man who’s final hairstyle can only be a combover but what the fuck is going on with these Ket Wigs. Now we have all fallen victim to hair fashion crazes. I mean some twats were going clubbing the mid 90’s with bleached blonde hair. The even bigger twats were sporting the same look for their 40th birthday trip abroad in Benidorm but these Ket Wigs are now getting to a point where they fall into one of two camps depending on your type of hair.

Type one is the curly hair crew. The Ket Wig trend has been going that long now that curly haired genetics Ket Wig kidda’s are now looking somewhat like Ronald McDonald with their big curly bonces. This is nothing new though as Liverpools finest were sporting this hairstyle back in the day (See Phil Thompson below) My late dad even sported one in the early 80’s with his mates forming an orderly queue as my mum permed the lads and I would pop in and they would be sitting their in some kind of rubber skull cap. Perhaps I am confusing this with the “highlighting” trend ? Having never had a perm I wouldn’t have a clue how you go about getting one. Looking back having my mum in the front room (Painted brown it was the 80’s)  with a load of my dads mates and some rubber knocking about conjures up images that I don’t want to taint there late memory with so we will move quickly on.

Type two and your normal hair Ket Wig. These have now not been cut for that long that the “lids” are now bordering on looking like 80’s rock band Skid Row. I wonder if these lads have to spend a fortune on product like conditioner etc. Does it take them ages in the morning to get their barnets sorted ? Come on lads sort it out and give the local economy a boost and get down yer local barbers and get a skinhead and something for the weekend and no I do not mean three bags for fifty.

So walking back from “The” Asda this evening in the distance on the kerb were three lads. On closer inspection it was 1 x Ronald McDonald and 2 x Skid Row kidda’s on their bikes dressed in the uniform black with thankfully both hands on their handle bars and not the usual one hand down the front of their kecks scratching a bollock. Anyway one of them rode so close to me they pulled my Asda plastic bag out of my hand. I tweeted this before “Some Ket Wig fucker just knocked my shopping bag out of my hand whilst riding his bike. I feel like and old man of 76 tweeting this” I said to him “What the fuck you doing lad” but as I had my earphones in I obviously said this a lot louder than I thought judging by the reaction of a few people nearby. He shit himself and rode off into the distance.I would imagine these Ket Wigs are an easy target to grab but being a man of peace (giant shithouse) it didn’t come to that. Luckily my 6ft 3 beer monster frame tends to mean people avoid me. My record is fought one lost one. The one loss was in 4th year seniors. The fight would have been pay per view and billed along the lines of “The BIG battle” as it was Big Ste versus Big Fay !!! I got the first dig in and shattered my knuckle. He semi caught my twice and I then retired injured. We made up after like all good boxers. I say boxer I threw just the one punch and a poor one at that judging by my permanently disfigured knuckle I am looking at and will no doubt have arthritis in when I am 60. We agreed to say we didnt have a fight and well dragged into the heads office denied everything but they had a grass on their side and we were both suspended for two days. Luckily enough there was no collateral damage to my loaf, crumpets and multi pack of McCoys.

In  shock news the other day I got a magazine through the post and thought what rubbish is this. Imagine my amazement when I opened it and it was the acceptance magazine for the 2018 London Marathon. Having completed two marathons I said I would only ever do one more and that would be London. I had even forgot I had entered the ballot.  Just one small problem I last ran a gentle 3 miles on July 3rd after the June double header of the Port Sunlight 5k and 10k on the same day. Currently not even playing footy after an injury in early July which has been diagnosed as a possible achilles injury and had to pack in footy after a comeback attempt in early September. I have a date the specialist in late October which is now known as D-Day. D-Day will tell me if I will be able to start training for The London Marathon. Luckily if I am injured I can defer my entry for one year. What will not be so lucky if the D-Day news is bad news is my waistline. Already chunky its expanding even more due to my lack of exercise coupled with the fuck it I might has well have a bevy in the house as I have nothing to train for half empty view. A vicious circle if there ever was one so lets hope the news is good in a few weeks and I am hassling you all for some sponsorship as I attempt my third and final marathon.

Peace

Fay x x x x x x x x x

 

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