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That's How The Light Gets In


These days it’s pretty near impossible to get lost.  Turn to Google maps on your mobile phone and that blinking cursor shows you exactly where you are; on city streets we’re tracked by CCTV, and by satellite virtually anywhere on the planet.

But who wants to be lost? Well, Rebecca Solnit has written an exquisite gem of a book suggesting that being lost or losing oneself can pay unexpected dividends:

Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark.  That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost is small enough to fit in your back pocket instead of your phone before setting out for the unknown. You could take solace from it if you did get lost – though her book is a meditation on getting lost in all senses of…

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Leaving or entering Liverpool at night from the M62 is very pretty with the blue LED lights on trees and the projected images on the flyover  pillars.

Liverpool is a brand to be sold. An offshoot of Liverpool Vision, have a look at Liverpool City Brand . They have on board as advocates business people, artists and other VIPs such as writer Frank Cottrell Boyce

Frank Cottrell Boyce talking about what a great city Liverpool is

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A small but significant theme of this blog is that historical change is all around us in small details, details. An obvious example is buildings in decay or demolition. The old television aerial below (it was originally a complete X) takes us back to the time when an aerial was like this or an H or just an I. In those days when there were only three TV channels, a new generation of televisions came in which took sets from low resolution 405 lines to super-duper 625. Since then, we’ve had more and more innovations. Widescreen replaced ‘old’ tv’s which you could pick up for a few pounds in a secondhand shop, then the widescreens were replaced by LCD flat screens so that the bulky widescreens can now be picked up for a fraction of their original selling price. Roof tops and chimneys are now adorned with satelllite dishes and a wide variety of aerials, and LCDs are being replaced by LEDs (don’t ask). Soon it may be that all aerials and satellite dishes will be merely historical remnants as we are all wired to fibre optic cables running underground. There’s some good pictures of old aerials here. As today, some of them were made to look ‘advanced’ although they were no better than simpler ones. Design sells!

Telephone poles are quite quaint too. They still exist as part of our everyday experience but they too will probably be great oddities to future generations. The older pole pictured above has the interesting addition of an ornament at the top. We may consider why in our recent past we were careful to try and make functional objects look more ornate. Some lamp posts in Liverpool still demonstrate great care in their design to wrought iron adornments.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQVQ7ry94lI Cunard vessel, Liverpool, 1901 . See The BFI DVD ‘Electric Edwardians: The Films of Mitchell and Kenyon’ is available to buy at http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_107.html Now that the City Council has reached agreement over repaying grants (which were deemed to offer an unfair commercial advantage) it looks like Liverpool will become a turnaround port for liners, and that liners may eventually be based here. A second terminal as part of the Peel Group’s plan for Liverpool Waters, with matched hotel and other facilities, is also planned. Thiese developments would allow liners to start at Liverpool. For now, from the Council’s information site, here is the schedule of liners to visit Liverpool in 2012:

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3 Gambier Terrace, Hope Street where John Lennon lived for a time

The Hope Street Chronicles site is now active. As explained there, it’s an ongoing project looking at Hope Street from more traditional and some off-beat approaches. It includes interviews, stories, poems, videos and other creative material alongside exploration of the street’s history.

As well as looking at Hope Street in its own right we’ll be considering the place as, in some of its apsects -such as the tension between heritage and development, as a microcosm of the whole city.

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A few months ago we looked at a subject called psychogeography which is a bit of a trendy word to describe the emotional effects that places have on us. If you search google you’ll find loads of stuff under the heading, and there are many books that fall into the category. Edgelands is one we looked at. We’ll post the handoouts we looked at soon. Whatever some of the more bizarre stuff found under the heading, all of us will recognise that certain places can have definite effects on our feelings, and this seems especially true of derelict buildings like the ones shown here.

There’s also urban exploration or UrbEx which can involve exploring anything from derelict buildings to long forgotten tunnels. Again, a quick google will give you a good idea.

In the gallery here, Mark just happened to be a-wandering and decided to explore this fine piece of derelict architecture on Scotland Road.

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