MY LIFE IN LIPPY AND LEOPARD PRINT
I’ll be honest with you, usually on a Saturday Andy & I might do a bit of food shopping in the morning but just lounge about the house for the rest of the day.
This weekend we opted to go wild (for us) and go into Liverpool city centre. I needed some wool as I’m learning to knit (there’s a reason why I’m telling you this, stay with me) and we fancied a change.
So we got the bus into town, and looked around St John’s Shopping Centre in search of a knitting/wool stall. I had knitting needles already but was told by Someone Who Knows that I needed thick wool to learn with, it’s the knitting equivalent of riding a bike with stabilisers on.
We found a stall eventually, crammed with balls of wool in a frenzy of different delicious colours. I wanted to buy all of them (such pretty hues and shades) but I resisted, instead choosing a bright red and deep blue (I reckon ‘big’ colours will help me stick with it when the going gets tough). I was a bit skittish as I’ve never really knitted before apart from when I copied my Mum as a child, ie not very well. I wasn’t sure if it the wool I chose was thick enough.
ME (to Andy): Don’t laugh at what I say.
ME (to nice lady who runs stall): I’ve got a friend who’s learning to knit (Andy snorts at reference to “friend”) and she wants to know what sort of wool to get. Can she knit with this?
I hold up two balls of wool.
NICE LADY: Yes, you can knit with that.
ME: Oh, thank God. My friend is a bit worried.
NICE LADY: You need thick needles to go with it. Have you got thick needles?
ME: Yes, my friend has thick needles. Can you crochet with this as well, because my friend is learning to crochet too.
NICE LADY: (looking sorry for me) Yes, you crochet with wool.
ME: My friend will be really made up.
NICE LADY: So you want that wool, then?
ME: Yes, my friend- oh, sod it. Yes I do.
The nice lady didn’t mock me for my ignorance or my stupid questions, so if you live in Liverpool and are learning to knit then go and see her at St John’s. You can walk out of there with your head held (reasonably) high.
Andy and I then relieved Matta’s on Bold Street, the finest international food store anywhere, of some goodies. So cheap.
Then we hit the city centre’s only second hand record shop (unless someone can enlighten me to the contrary?) The Music Consortium’s Vinyl Emporium, formerly Hairy Records. Despite the ostentatious title (like something out of Big Bang Theory), it’s a smashing shop with lots of gems inside. We bought two albums, and spent an enjoyable hour rooting through the records.
We saw a poster for a record fair at a bar/café thingy called Sounds on Duke Street, so headed down there and spent another hour rifling through boxes of vinyl. We left there with three more albums.
Vinyl record finding and buying is hungry work so we went on the hunt for some food. Luckily The Brink on Parr St was nearby so we nose bagged the best fish and chips in Liverpool (they use carbonated water in the batter, delicious), washed down with a cup of tea.
Afterwards, Andy and I were still *thirsty* and so paid The Grapes on Mathew Street, favourite drinking hole of The Beatles, a visit. I had a pint of Guinness:
It was only when we got back to the ranch we realised we hadn’t bothered a chain store all day, and that each of the places we patronised were independent (or in the case of The Brink, a social enterprise). I have nothing against big stores, we shop at them a lot but it’s top banana to be reminded how great the independents* are, and great value for money.
*Especially those who don’t mock you for asking soft questions about wool.
Broken a collection of my short stories is available on Amazon for Kindle here