Beer Gardens and Roof Terraces

We’re finally starting to see some sunshine here in Liverpool so I thought it was about time for an Indie Liverpool pt.3! To match the warmer weather I thought it would be perfect to share with you some of the excellent beer gardens and roof terraces Liverpool has to offer. To all you parents though, this article is not going to be very kid-friendly so start digging out those babysitter phone numbers now!

Ye Cracke

An oldie but a goodie. If you remember from the first Indie Liverpool I mentioned this pub as a perfect independent location to visit in our city. You may also remember that I mentioned it had a beer garden. Well it was winter then but now that we’re heading into summer this is a must-see! The atmospheric beer garden is situated right in the middle fo the city with many tall buildings around it. You get a great slice of blue sky there though and it’s just a sublime place to sit with a scrumpy cider and bask in Liverpool’s glory. http://www.yecracke.co.uk

HUS

Now again, if you’ve not managed to get to this venue yet after it was mentioned in a Indie Liverpool pt.2 you might want to get it on your list. HUS’s rooftop terrace is the best place to while away your evening hours. From the rooftop you can see the beautiful Liverpool skyline including St. John’s Beacon as well as a lovely slice of the Mersey. The terrace is fitted with a grill, some lovely grass and some twinkly lighting making it the perfect place to spend sunset. https://www.facebook.com/HUSLPOOL/

Kazimier Gardens

There has been many reincarnations and renovations of the great venue Kazimier and whilst the main indoor music venue was closed down a couple of years ago the excellent sister location Kazimier Gardens is still going strong next door. This boho kind-of-indoor, kind-of-outdoor bar is brilliant for a mulled wine or gin and tonic alike. Whether you’re huddled in the bustle of excited conversations or the entranced crowd of a bluegrass show this venue is a must visit. All the wooden furniture and wild plants give the location a great outdoor feel whilst really being in the centre of town. https://www.facebook.com/KazimierGarden/

OH ME OH MY

This Water Street venue boasts one of the most intoxicating views of Liverpool with their roof garden, Goodness Gracious. The good news is they’ve opened it for summer again! From the top you can see the whole front and all the Graces. With the same owners as Leaf on Bold Street you know this venue is going to deliver. So whether you want something casual and creative or something a bit more classy, this is the venue for you. https://ohmeohmyliverpool.co.uk/roof-garden/

Other honourable mentions (I know you want a bar crawl really!): Heebies, Red Door, 30 James Street, The Peacock, Constellations, Botanical Garden, District, The Lodge, Pump House, Free State Kitchen.

Pt.4 is coming.

In The Morning – The Coral

Reasons To Get Out Of Bed

I’ve been needing a bit more coaxing recently to get out of bed and I figured some of you might be feeling the same way. So here’s ten reasons why you should get out of bed today.

1. Any day could be the best day of your life but you won’t know until you actually get up.

2. Just look at that beautiful blue sky. Feel that heat radiate through you. And if it’s raining? You’re not getting off that easy. Look how the drops are feeding our earth, let it rejuvenate you too.

3. That overly extravagant cocktail in your favourite beer garden with friends.

4. I know you have dreams. Even the tiniest of tasks will get you a step closer to it.

5. Pizza.

6. There is literally millions of books waiting for you to read their wisdom.

7. Your presence makes somebody smile every single day. Even if you’re feeling lonely your existence affects other people’s day. Maybe you called your sister, maybe you just held a door for someone or tripped over a curb. Whatever it was you made them smile and I think that’s pretty magic.

8. It’s your fucking life. Aside from like work and family obligations etc, you get to do whatever the hell you want. So go and do something that serves you.

9. The Hamilton soundtrack is waiting for you to listen to it, fall in love with it, learn every rap, and then go and tell every single person in the world about it as if it’s gospel.

10. Because you are important. And you are loved. And because you make the world infinitely better. So don’t fucking forget that again.

Waiting for Something – Nada Surf

Father’s Day

I don’t know about you but my dad is pretty boss. Like he’s probably the best guy I know. You can tell him anything and I think that shows how well he raised me and my siblings. A lot of dads try to be a big, scary authority figure whilst their kids are going up. Maybe it’s just the crushing pressures of hyper masculinity but I’ve never understood that mentality. Why would you want your kids to be scared of you? That doesn’t create love or respect, it just creates fear. That’s not an inviting environment to express support or kindness. At least, I don’t think it is. Maybe you think I’m wrong. But that’s just not been my experience of fatherhood.

In my life, fatherhood is about love and generosity and compassion and selflessness. But I guess that’s just cos that’s who my dad is. He’s a quiet guy but he’s full of ideas, opinions and intelligence. He taught me that words and ideas can change the world, that books are precious. That learning is paramount no matter what your age. He taught me to open my heart to other people’s experiences in the world and to always be an ally. He taught me how to take life with a pinch of salt and to laugh about what we can’t change. He taught me what it means to put your family above everything else and how to never lose sight of what is important to you. He taught me how to be authentic.

And don’t get me wrong, the man can be an ass. He can try my patience like almost no other. For anyone who knows our Terry, you know that to be true. But you also know the amazing man he is. You know that he is strong and he is brave and he won’t ever stop trying to be a better person. And that’s the main lesson he’s taught me so far: how to be a good person. Because a good person isn’t this shiny, perfect, angelic figure. A good person is someone with faults, but someone with many more qualities. A good person is more than the sum of their parts. A good person is always open to learn and change and evolve. And that’s my dad.

My life would be infinitely worse without him.

What’s your dad like? I hope you have the same relationship with yours and I’m sorry if you don’t, for whatever reason. But this weekend go and celebrate your dad, or anyone else in your life you see as a father figure. Or just a cool guy that you want to thank. Let them know that you appreciate them. And tell them you love them. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Especially then.

Happy Father’s Day!

A Horse With No Name – America

The Book Buying Ban

Like anyone who loves books, I also love buying books. I can easily walk into a bookstore and pick up twenty books. And I was. So I knew I needed to stop. I don’t just buy books for the sake of it, I buy them cos they intrigue me and I’m desperate to read them. However, the rate in which I buy books and the speed at which I read them could only ever end in disappointment. I just get overwhelmed cos there’s so many books out there that I want to read. But I’ve decided to start with the ones currently in my possession. I challenged myself to buy only twelve books in the year of 2018, one for each month. This would allow me to make a bigger dent in my already owned books. Since we’re almost midway through the year I figured I’d give you an update of how that’s going!

Gay’s the Word, London

In May I popped into Gay’s the Word. Yeah, you heard, I got to bloody MAY before I bought a single book this year. I was super impressed with myself. I’ve walked passed this book shop many times on my way to Skoob Books and it’s just either been closed or I was running for a train home. So on my most recent trip to London I purposely put this shop on my to do list. And it did not disappoint. This small store near Euston station will fulfil all your LGBTQ+ needs, be it fiction, essays, poetry, memoirs.

Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

I read this book in university and ever since I did I wanted to read the series. I just never did. So I picked this one up to start the journey again. Basically it’s kind of like a written soap opera set in San Francisco with, of course, many LGBT issues and themes. It’s lighthearted and fun, mainly.

Your Silence Will Not Protect You – Audre Lorde

All I know about Audre Lorde is that damn, she can write very quotable sentences and phrases. I’ve seen her name splashed across many feminism social media pages so I thought it was about time I got acquainted with her. This is a collection of her poems, speeches and essays. From what I’ve read about her she’s a badass black, feminist, activist, lesbian, essayist, poet. She crosses many identities which is why I think she demands to be listened to, especially now in a time where her words are so relevant despite her death being over twenty five years ago.

Waterstones, Glasgow

During my trip in May, I passed this shop every day that finally I just broke and went in. I’m glad I did! As far as Waterstones’ go this was a pretty spectacular one. It had a couple of floors above ground which were good but below ground was where the fun was happening. There’s like a gallery which is kind of like a cave and there’s also the lower ground floor which is a gigantic room with a circling balcony. Basically there was just too many books to look at I could not breathe.

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

I’ve been aware of this book for many years now and just never pick it up. But I wanted to use some of my books this year to be books I’ve wanted for a long time instead of all being somewhat spontaneous. So I went in hunt of this one. In the few pages I’ve read it’s exactly what I thought it would be. It’s about self love and generosity and positivity. The four agreements are a way to live your life authentically.

At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails – Sarah Bakewell

This one I have never heard of in my life, but damn, was the sixteen year old Sarah inside me sold instantly. As far as I can tell it’s kind of an overview narrative of existentialism from the beginning. It introduces all the major players. I’ve only read thirteen pages so far but it’s excellent.

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Another book I’ve been hearing a lot about since it came out a few years ago. I decided it was past due that I picked it up. I’m excited to read it because it’s specifically about race in Britain whereas a lot of the similar literature you hear about has an American setting. Whilst I think American issues are very important, I think it’s paramount that I actually know what’s happening in the country I live in. So I can see if there’s any way I can alter my behaviour and ideas.

So my total book count so far is five. Let’s see how the second half of the year goes!

What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get? – Snow Patrol

Falling Off The Radar

Since the existence of the internet, well at least the presence of it in my life, I have been prone to falling off the radar. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for months on end. It really pisses my friends off. And I don’t blame them. So why do I do it?

I haven’t got a bloody clue.

At least, that is, I don’t have a conscious reason. I don’t sit there and decide yeah, okay, mark the day, I’m ‘unplugging’. Sometimes the decision is taken out of my hands: I’m horrendously disposed to losing/breaking phones or not paying my phone bill. Or just straight up running out of data. But other times, I don’t know, I look up and it’s been six months and I still haven’t responded to a message. Like, come on, who does that? That’s so rude. And it’s definitely not a quality I love about myself. I’m working on changing it. Cos I wanna be a better functioning human. And a better friend.

But you know those periods where I’m MIA? (Aside from the niggling guilt in the side of your head about replying to the messages.) They’re pretty damn refreshing. Because your time becomes all about you, and learning about you. You break away from this weird social media bubble where we simultaneously post the best of our lives yet feel horrible about ourselves when making comparisons. I think the world needs more unplugging, for sure. And having just come back from a massive absence myself, this week’s self-care challenge is for you to go and do one yourself. I want you to actually consciously unplug, especially if you’re not the type of person who can do it accidentally.

Go and see what you can learn about yourself without the internet. And I’m not saying you can’t use the internet at all. Like Netflix has to be watched, and obscure facts have to be Googled. But just try and stop the mindless scrolling. It’s getting you nowhere. And also just don’t respond to messages. Even for a day. Because the notifications will never stop and they can be a bit overwhelming. Take a little time and just see what you naturally go and do if social media isn’t an option. Maybe you’ll pick up a book, run a bath, do some painting, gardening, cooking, film watching, shopping, walking, knitting. Heck, I don’t know your life. But go and do something that everyone is not then gonna hear about through Instagram or Snapchat or something. Do it because you want to do it not because it’s ‘on brand’.

Now I’m not saying go six months necessarily, cos although that can be fun it’s also a little irresponsible. Just try one day, maybe a weekend. Your friends won’t get mad because it’s completely plausible that you’d just be busy for a weekend. And then you can explore. It’s pretty fun being off the radar and in your own world. It opens you up to new experiences you might never have had if you just sat in a cold, dark room with your head fused to a phone. There literally is a whole world out there, and as millennials we’re old enough to remember that. So don’t forget it again. Go and find some magic.

Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl – Autoharp Demo – Wet

April Wrap Up

Yeah, so it is June and this is my April wrap up. What are you gonna do? Where is my May wrap up? There isn’t one. I’m back in my old bad habit of starting thirteen books at once but finishing none. Working on that for June. I had a small but good reading month in April, so here we go:

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo

Was it even conceivable that I wouldn’t love this book? It was everything I needed. The illustrations are absolutely stunning. Each page brings you the story of a different rebel woman and I appreciated the amount of women I’d never even heard of before. It’s kind of sad how many women I didn’t recognise and maybe I should be seeking these women out more. But it was refreshing to learn about new epic women, some who’ve been hidden by history and others who are just starting out. It was pretty humbling to see so many women featured who are younger than me and what they’ve already done for the world!

Mom & Me & Mom – Maya Angelou

Somehow this was my first Maya Angelou and I don’t think I could have chosen a better one. I guess I’ll find out when I read the others though. Her exploration of family and love and obligation and respect in this memoir is truly mesmerising. Angelou does not romanticise family and the love of a mother. She’s sees the flaws in humans but also their potential for forgiveness and greatness. I loved the lessons her mother taught her and they’re ideas I’ll take into my own life. It’s just a beautiful mother/daughter story that is definitely not always easy but is always worth it.

The Body Snatcher – Robert Louis Stevenson

I enjoy reading gothic fiction but I’m also a bit of a wuss so I’ve had this short story on my shelf for a while now. I’m yet to read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde so I thought I’d start small and see if I enjoyed Stevenson’s writing. I found the writing a little dry but the story compelling. I enjoyed the conversation of morality and mortality. Not something I feel I need to read again but I enjoyed it enough.

The Red Pony – John Steinbeck

Since reading it in GCSE’s, Of Mice and Men has been one of my favourite books. I loved how Steinbeck explored characters as well as nature so I was looking for more of this. The Red Pony did not disappoint. At times there was a little too much technical talk of horses that went over my head and some of the graphic description of violence towards animals was a little too much for my herbivore heart, but overall I found the book pretty endearing. I enjoyed seeing the care Jody developed for his animals and how he viewed them as friends. I also found the exploration of old people’s place in the society of the time quite fascinating.

Helpless – The Regrettes