Homeless Jesus

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‘Homeless Jesus’ The statue in the grounds of St Nicholas church, Liverpool.

I was driving past the Royal Liverpool hospital a few days ago. We stopped at the traffic lights. It was approaching lunchtime, the street was busy with people rushing to coffee shops and cafes. I waited for the lights to change, and absentmindedly looked around me.

In a side street, a man was laying on the ground. He was being treated by three paramedics. They were trying to save his life. A few people had stopped and were watching. The paramedics were working quickly, doing everything they could for him. I stared at his face. He seemed asleep. His tent and belongings were piled against a wall.

The lights changed, we had to move on. All day I thought about him. I hope he’s o.k.. I hope they got him into the hospital. I hope …

That night I thought I would look on the local newspaper site, just to see if anything was mentioned about him.  ‘Man saved in front of the hospital!’ ‘Miracle on Moira Street!’

But no, the man had died.

He had been found in his tent, unresponsive. People had walked past, going about their business, myself included. The article said that he was only forty, he was a dad – a good one- and as one of his friends said, ‘life had just got the better of him’.

A statue was unveiled in the grounds of  Liverpool Parish Church – St.Nicholas – this week. It’s called ‘Homeless Jesus’.  Casts of it have been seen around the world, Vatican City and New York included. The actual statue has come to rest here. I wanted to see it. I’m not religious at all, but it is very moving. There is space at the end of the bench for someone to sit. The question posed is, ‘Would you sit next to a homeless person? Would you sit next to a homeless Jesus?’

Some people wouldn’t even stop for a man dying on the street, and that is the saddest thing. We seem to have a forgot what compassion is. Life can get the better of any of us.

 

 

 

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Women in Horror Month 2019

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Just released! The Sirens Call e-zine in honour of Women in Horror Month. It is packed with stories, poetry, flash, drabbles and art. It is FREE.

My story ‘Dad’s Ghost’ is in there, so please do have a good old look. Thank You.

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/

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John Waters – Homotopia

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We went to see a hero of mine on Saturday ( 10/11/18) – John Waters. I’d been looking forward to it since we bought the tickets months ago. The Liverpool Philharmonic hall seemed full – downstairs anyway – and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming.

The show was a part of the ‘Homotopia- I Will Survive’ festival in Liverpool, which ‘champions fabulous art’ from the LGBTQ+ community.

Mr Waters spoke for nearly an hour and a half about his life, his work, friends, actors – the Dreamlanders- and politics. He let rip with a monologue that was very funny – still laughing about the woman with the noisy blender who got punched, ‘BAM!’ – poignant – ‘my friends children are now the age Divine was when he died’ and at times vitriolic         ( The Pope, the Catholic Church, Trump etc ) which I loved. His irreverence and lack of over political correctness was just what I expected.

The evening ended with a Q&A which he was happy to conduct, and then there was a book signing in the foyer.

I remembered going to see his early movies at a cinema that’s long gone now.  By day it showed ‘Adult Cinema’. The evening was for whatever was popular at the time or weird, and it was only 50p admission! I think Mr Waters would have liked that very much.

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An apt title.

 

Windfalls

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Sometimes you have to get outside to do some writing. Even if it’s just for twenty minutes, a change of scene does you good. I’ve been writing a lot at my allotment. It’s quiet, not too cold yet, although I do sit in the greenhouse with the heater on occasionally and sometimes inspirational.

I wanted to write an autumnal, Halloween inspired story. What could be more autumnal than apples, with all their ducking and bobbing? There is an orchard on the allotment, in the centre of which we devised a secret seating area. You won’t be seen or disturbed. It was the best place to write my gruesome little story called, ‘Windfalls’.  You can download it along with many other stories and great artwork in the Sirens Call ezine, ‘Halloween Screams and Other Dark Things’ below. Enjoy!

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/ezine.htm

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Church Island

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We went on a research trip to Anglesey, Wales last week. It was perfect Autumn weather, cold and bright. I had wanted to visit St Tysilio’s church on Church Island by the Menai bridge for a while, and thought it would be difficult to find even with a satnav! Anglesey is crammed with small lanes and turnoffs, I thought we would be searching for a while. Not so. The island can be accessed from a causeway that leads from ‘The Belgian Promenade’, which runs around this part of the coast.

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We parked and walked through some beautiful woodland, to emerge next to the Menai Straits and the breathtaking view of the island. We were lucky that we had arrived early before anyone else, and for a short while had the island to ourselves. Once through the gates you are greeted by the huge Yew tree ( some say it’s not a yew at all but a Cypress or a pine ). It was huge and the trunk felt like old newspapers.

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Many of the grave stones looked like they had been replaced  with granite or slate, either way they had been kept in the original style. Being so open to the weather coming from the Straits must batter them, some of the older stones were difficult to read due to the erosion. Many were poignant, and heartbrakingly simple in design while surrounded by the ornate Victorian stones.

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At the highest point of the island is a Celtic cross war memorial. It overlooks the Britannia bridge and is surrounded by some of the oldest graves. The medieval church of St Tysilio – a Welsh saint – has been there since the 1400’s and replaced an earlier chapel. Unfortunately we could not go inside.

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No one knows exactly who built the chapel, a fitting mystery for the island. It is a place we will return to again, maybe in each season. Anglesey is a magical place, if you can get there, do.

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Victoria Wood

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Apart from writing about the supernatural or old buildings about to be pulled down, I thought I would reignite this blog with some comedy. I am highly recommending that you attend the Victoria Wood exhibition at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre.

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*apologies for the slight blur

You will be met by a huge yellow banner hanging outside the building. It has a famous quote on it from ‘Victoria Wood, As Seen on TV’

‘We would like to apologise to viewers in the North … it must be awful for them.’

If you’ve never seen the show then you will be scratching your head, if you have then you will give a laugh or maybe a smile. It’s a cracking quote and whoever thought to cover the museum with this is a genius.

The exhibition contains costumes from her shows, scripts , awards … loads of them and photos. Some of them were poignant especially ones from her work with Julie Walters and her time on New Faces, (there are nostalgic pics of a very young Lenny Henry and a glamorous Marti Cane). There is lots of theatre paraphernalia,certificates, degrees and even her C.B.E. is there.

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Theatre programme.

Along one side of the room, there are seats set out, and on the wall one of her live shows is playing. When she began to sing ‘The Ballad of Freda and Barry’, the whole roomful of people gravitated toward it. I had a genuine lump in the throat that someone who could generate so much laughter and joy had passed too early.

I considered having my photo taken in the yellow beret and orange coat (they’re stacked by the wall at the bottom of the stairs) but I didn’t think the hat would fit my giant head. I loved this exhibition.Details below. Please attend. It’s free, but buy something in the lovely gift shop and see the other shows. Ta.

https://buryartmuseum.co.uk/Museum-Feature-Exhibitions

 

Women in Horror Month 2018

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Blimey it’s been a while since I was around here. It could do with a clean …

 

Anyway, I am very proud to point you in the direction of Sirens Call ezine, freshly released for Women in Horror Month 2018. My story called ‘Lakeview Wayside Chapel Conversion’ is squeezed in it. There are more stories, illustrations and interviews and they’re FREE. So please download and also have a peruse of the books for sale while you’re there.

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/ezine.htm

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Also, here’s a link to a review of Alan Garner’s ‘The Owl Service’ that I wrote for Spooky Isles last month. The novel has stayed with me from childhood. I remember the TV series as well although I don’t think I should have been watching that so young … I’m still looking for those plates.

https://www.spookyisles.com/2018/01/nature-woodlands-enhance-spookiness-owl-service/