Wed 1 July —
The huskies canter past without stopping.
Misty evening and all eight shipping cranes are lowered. Pairs of red eyes running the length of the Mersey docks apart from the first and sixth crane which only have a single red light… and then I realise those two are actually upright but their necks are lost in the thick grey cloud.
Thurs 2 July —
Broken pieces of ornate black-painted cast iron lie beneath one of the Grade II listed Victorian shelters next to the marine lake. Graffiti tags in blue spray paint now adorn the glass or Perspex panels behind the benches. I look up to see the gap in the cornice around the edge of the roof. A line of missing teeth in the entablature.
Fri 3 July —
My mobile phone is glitching and struggling due to a lack of remaining memory and a failed software update. I’ve tried to delete photos and unused apps to free up space but the glitches persist. The volume adjusts itself on screen and preciously sharp photos are blurry. Reminds me of a cheap SD memory card I bought from a newsagent in New York City back in 2006. So many photos of the Big Apple corrupted down to a single blurred thumbnail image of a corridor in the Edison Hotel. A trip became summarised by an out of focus Fire Exit sign, a laundry trolley and a window to the communal internet room.
Sat 4 July —
I hear the clicking of chains and the distant screams of children as the fairground reopens in the drizzle. I look out of the bedroom window expecting to see the green caterpillar ride and the giant red fibreglass apple and then remember it is now a miniature shark roller coaster, working its way around bright blue tracks.
In the evening it sounds like the kitchen radio is turning itself up. Singing is getting louder. I look out and see a group of women walking down the middle of the road holding plastic glasses of beer aloft.
Sun 5 July —
Clearing old photos from my mobile phone to free up memory, I come across a picture of the grey and white rug that I’m currently lying on, back when it was on display on the floor of ‘H&M Home’. As I press delete and send it to the recycle bin, I imagine the rug disappearing from beneath me, leaving me on the cold laminate floor of the back room.
Mon 6 July —
The sound of a low flying helicopter hovers over the house. Sounds like it’s there for some time before passing, perhaps it is more than one helicopter, or the sound has been left behind like a vapour trail.
The huskies both sniff at the tree and the weeds that have started to return around the base of the trunk.
Turns out the helicopter was search and rescue for a dog walker pulled away by the Mersey’s strong currents.
Tue 7 July —
Awake at 4.30am and the sunrise is getting itself ready behind the shipping cranes. The crane lights are still bright against the otherwise dark sky too, giving the horizon a combined glow of a chemical plant… something more akin to Ellesmere Port’s skyline than Liverpool’s north docks. Neither my phone camera nor my camera camera can capture both the sunrise and the crane lights through the glass of the landing window. Or at least, I can’t get them to at half four in the morning.
It occurs to me that the cash in my wallet has been out of circulation for the best part of four months now. I empty the coins to see what has been on pause with me. A 50 pence coin from 1997. I wonder if this is the longest it has stopped changing hands in 23 years? Five 20 pence pieces, from 1982, 1983, 1995, 2010, 2016. I think 1982 might be the first year of the 20p, so this one’s definitely earned a rest. Two 10 pence pieces… No, wait, one is a Canadian 25c masquerading as a 10p… Half a millimetre smaller in diameter and thinner, like an old 5 pence. Queen Elizabeth II is still on the heads side, albeit minus her crown and looking closer to her age, but instead of a lion on the tails side, we have a moose. Real 10p is from 1997, impostor 10p is from 2004. One 5p coin from 2000, with the Queen looking the same age as in Canada, but she’s got her crown back on. Two very discoloured 1 pence coins. 1981 and 1989. The 1981 Queen is a long-necked cherub. Two more pennies, but crushed with no visible dates. One is a crush-a-penny from Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, with an embossed Duke of Wellington on horseback with a traffic cone on his head. It’s been in my wallet since November 2019 when I saw Björk at the Hydro, I should put it with my other crush-a-pennies, wherever they are. The other crush-a-penny is from Tallinn and I’ve carried that one in my wallet(s) since August 2014. It has an embossed eight sided-star and “Lucky Star Estonia”. I’m not superstitious but I am aware that if I keep that coin in my wallet for another ten or twenty years, I will be.