At the end of summer I was in a little village in Scotland, working with Christopher Burn on Poetry Changes Lives. He gave me a novel to read, which then came with me to Liverpool. It is called How to Be Both by Ali Smith.
At first I was intrigued. It was very different from what I have read before and was hard to follow. It was a lyrical puzzle. But once I got into it, it made perfect sense. Continue Reading
Yesterday evening I was in the car half asleep and BBC Radio 4 was reporting about the "Brussels Lockdown".
The Paris terrorists from last week were said to have come from Belgium and the Belgian authorities closed down schools, government institutions, metro lines, shopping centres and cinemas. It was the third day in which people lived in anxiety.
In the Grand Place, the main square of Brussels, there were more armed policemen than civilians. At one of the few cafes still open the BBC reporter found three Greek ladies on holiday, smiling and having their morning coffee. Continue Reading
The weather in Liverpool has been vicious -- rain, wind and hail -- but I told myself I will go to the sea this weekend no matter what. I haven't seen the sea for a couple of months! I found a town on Google Maps called Hoylake which seemed to have a promising beach and it was just 15 minutes away by train. I put my ski jacket on, boots, hat, scarf and gloves and then went outside. The sky was clear but the cold air stung my nose.
Long story short, I got to the beach but to my surprise there was no sea. Just an endless horizon of sand. But then I noticed something extraordinary which I can't describe. So I made a short video to show you the scene. Continue Reading
I saw the Razzle Dazzle Ferry on postcards, screens and posters before I saw it in reality. A hippie-looking boat taking locals and tourists across the River Mersey every day. How could something so colourful be a part of my commuting?
River Mersey is one strange river. Some say it’s not even a river, but the sea coming into the land. It smells like the Danube but it flows towards the Irish Sea. It gives the name of the whole region – Merseyside, and Liverpool is at the heart of it. Continue Reading
I've spotted them in cafes, restaurant lobbies, spas, churches, hospitals. They sit in plastic pots filled with plastic earth or plastic water in plastic vases. They might trick you from a distance, but when you get closer you see they're artificial. They bloomed out of polyester, glue and paint. Real water and sun might damage or discolour them. Continue Reading
I was about to write a blog post on Sunday evening about how wonderful the weather in Liverpool is, so unexpectedly warm for this time of the year and for this part of the world.
"Liverpool defies the British weather stereotype," I was ready to tell everyone, and "the sun is shining over the brick walls, the tended English gardens and the magpies which are supervising the park." Continue Reading
Liverpool, 7th of September 2015.
While sitting in the kitchen, Maisie, Elliot and Jessica are telling me a story: Continue Reading
The more time passes the harder it is to write. The more is happening, the more I want to say, the more I think about it, the more I postpone.
I'm moving to Liverpool. I'm starting a new company. Tomorrow is the last day of my old job. A big fly got into my kitchen, flying in circles and buzzing away. A few weeks ago, I had my first public talk and live radio interview, speaking about the US. I took the train through the Balkans and visited Greece during the debt crisis. I stopped writing fiction, I started writing business proposals. I have a long list of people to get in touch with. Continue Reading