So there I was, once more in the stands watching football. This time, at Goodison Park to see the Everton under 23’s tackle Swansea. There was a bit before that so let’s go back to lunch time on the train. It was the 12:02 pm from Huddersfield into Liverpool that I found myself on. The snow had almost melted away with even the odd sprinkle of sunshine that broke through the clouds above. Still, it was bloody cold out on the streets so the comfort of a warm train carriage is always welcome on days like this.
Just over an hour after boarding, I was strolling out of Lime Street station for a look around the city centre. The back streets of Liverpool’s city blocks are always tossing up interesting sights. Street art is a prominent feature and you are always likely to bump into some friendly faces around the funky cafes that litter the streets. The one difference I have noticed in these cafes, is the ever increasing number of Polish accents behind the counters greeting me. It’s a sign of the times I guess but I have always been a big fan of hearing local accents in the various cities I visit. Average wages probably don’t help as the cost of living rises and rises and well, rises more than it should so what’s a man (or woman) to do?
When I first visited Liverpool in late 2000, small business opportunities were everywhere. In 2018, the multi national corporations have exploded, forcing small business owners out on their feet. Sure, it looks all nice and shiny now but I kinda like the more dejected and gritty look of old cities. Sometimes, you can simply clean a city up just a bit too much. Progress I guess? But at what cost?
If you should ever find yourself on Merseyside, I cannot urge you enough to hit up Bold Street. It’s one of the crowning glories of the city and one of the few places where local business thrives. This is where I met up with John for dinner before heading off to the match. We popped into this funky pizza bar that has classic album covers and rock images lining the ceiling. My memory isn’t good enough to remember the name but it’s up near the top towards the burnt out cathedral on the right. Quality food and reasonable prices. What are you waiting for then?
The rain began to fall so John and I jumped in the car and found our way to Goodison Park with plenty of time to spare. The crowd (if you could call it that) was small and predominantly made up of family members and friends of the players along with a small handful of die hard football tragically like John and myself. Around 600 punters all in. Antony Evans opened the scoring on the 21st minute mark with a beautiful curling free kick from just outside the box and the match was sealed just shy of 80 minutes with Australian under 23 international, Con Ouzounidis cleaning up after a scrappy scramble in the box. 2-0, game over and job done for the blue shite.
As kick was set for 7 pm, I was back in the city at Lime Street by 9:12 pm and over an hour to kill before my train. I decided in this moment that I was going to jump on the 9:30 train back to Huddersfield and hope the ticket conductor didn’t pull the old “this ticket is for the 10:30 service so pay up for a new ticket or get off at the next stop!” line. Lucky for me (luck follows me everywhere you see) there was no ticket conductor all the way home.
I was home in time to catch an episode of The Walking Dead with Denis before settling into bed with my Karl Marx book around 1 am. Sound evening at the completion of yet another lovely day out in not so sunny England.