24/07/13 – 01/08/13 Taking it all in my stride

. David is a self confessed introvert. A tall, good looking fellow with an enquiring mind and an encyclopaedic knowledge of….

…well…he knows a lot about a lot.

Johanna, of film making fame, had got in touch with him so we could do some filming in and around the Liverpool area.

They’d met a few years ago in Mongolia and, liking the cut if each others’ respective jibs, they stayed in touch.

I met them on the cycle path on the way to Formby.

Johanna had gone into ninja film-maker mode while David and I met and, er, gret each other.

It’s all about authenticity for Johanna – what do you say when you first meet someone who’s offering you hospitality for the next few days?

What do you say to a wandering loon you’ve never met before who’s coming to stay for a few days?

As I recall, after the preliminaries, it went kind of…’Hi there, have you eaten? I’ve got you a sandwich if not…’

I immediately felt at ease with him – many of my friends are celebrated nerds (you know who you are), myself included – and David fits in well with this cognitive cohort.

Over the next couple of days he chummed me on my way into Liverpool – including the miles of sandy beaches at Crosby that sported the 100 Anthony Gormley statues – in cast iron – of himself – gazing out to sea – wonderfully weird; a stretch of the Leeds to Liverpool canal that wasn’t quite the same as the nearby Lancaster waterway – the occasional folk looked less happy – the graffiti on the walls of derelict buildings declaring that so and so was a GRASS! ; and of course the copulating couple who were clearly unaccustomed to passing footfall – their dog – some manner of large-jawed terrier – had failed in the simple task of being their lookout – they, er, gathered themselves while David and I pretended that we hadn’t noticed…we smiled politely, passing the time of day, walking past the woman as she threatened to set her dog on us…; finally, joining the main roads into the centre of Liverpool…

The transition from slightly edgy, run down architecture into the 2008 capital of culture was palpable.

With the altogether happier buildings came the happier folk.

Suddenly everybody was talking to us…almost welcoming us into their fair city.

It’s not that surprising that people approached us, we did present as quite an interesting spectacle…me, a man in a skirt towing a bright yellow trailer and David, a tall guy, walking like John Wayne after a particularly challenging horse trek across the Mojave desert (new walker chafage)…Liverpool became the city that thought it was a village.

We all piled back to David’s one-bedroom flat, including Johanna and the most recent addition to the crew, Fran, who was going to give us a whistle stop tour of the Wirral – just across the water over the next day or so…

Not bad for a man who’s a self confessed introvert.

I had a great time in his company – enjoying his ready hospitality and the fact that I have an addition to my ideal pub quiz team.

Wandering off into the sunny Liverpool day – saying farewell – I felt a small knot of loss in the pit of my stomach – I wanted to show him off to my friends – to you lot – I think, I hope he got that message.

Walk a mile



This entry was posted in economy, hospitality, inequality, kindness, mental health, walking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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