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Friday, 15 June 2012

What flavour, mate?


Narrow horizons made for hard minds and warm hearts, solidarity of family, religion and class. It was a black and white world with an occasional flash of denim blue. And then colour came and with it flower power and LSD. I dabbled in neither…apart from a pair of pink jeans and…er…a bottle green Regency jacket. 

Then the wheel turned again.

Bubbles burst slowly. It’s a relative thing. A somnolent hippy world vanished like the dream it had been.
It hit me one day in Liverpool, walking up Hardman Street on my way to the ‘Phil.’ Heron-thin sharp-boys glided by with urgency and grace. Where had they come from? And the wine bars, the cold Chardonnay. Had they always been there? I felt clumsy and old, and I was still in my twenties. 

Worse was to come. 

I returned to Liverpool throughout the eighties, each time seeing it sink further into decline. Aintree, once respectable, now saw shops with metal shutters that made them impregnable in the night. I went to my local off-license to buy wine, perhaps beer, and entered Fort Knox.  A narrow corridor led to the counter. From behind a thick grill a pair of eyes examined me:

            “Yeah?”

            “Er…I’m looking for some wine.” Easy to say, difficult to do. The entire stock was hidden behind an iron-grey grill. 

            “What flavour, mate?”

            Aintree had changed.

            I went to the pub. Beer had seen me through worse times. Good beer - not the thin drizzle now served in cans – but strong beer warm and raw to the throat so you want to drink more: Bass, Walkers and Felinfoel, Brains, Abbots, Fullers, Theakstons, Bishop's Finger…Sometimes a cheeky Holstein Pils, the list goes on and on. It deserves a post of its own. And I deserve a drink.

9 comments:

Angela Brown said...

Oh my, the changes came and these did not seem to take a turn for the better.

Mike Keyton said...

Liverpool is resilient, Angela but change is everything.

LD Masterson said...

Go have that beer, Mike. If you can find a good one. Maybe it will help.

DRC said...

Sadly I've never ventured into Liverpool, but these changes mirror other places I know :( A well written post.

Maria Zannini said...

You kind of stopped me at pink jeans. I would pay cash money to see you in pink jeans.

I was having a conversation with a friend only today. She had lived all over the world and was sad because when she went back to those places, each of them had changed and all for the worse. --Does not bode well for the world.

Adam M. Smith said...

Let us just hope they don't change the beer. A fine Fuller's porter sounds excellent about now.

Mike Keyton said...

LD - Go have that beer, Mike. If you can find a good one No problem finding a good beer; spoilt for choice. Happy situation.

DRC Liverpool remains a magical city. You must go there!

Maria, money eh? Now you're talkig. I'll dig out those pink jeans

Adam, we must have a drink one day and talk beer.

Jay Paoloni said...

Yeah, you deserve that drink!
I didn't know people would actually ask "What flavour", when buying wine. I mean, it's not like you can pick vanilla, right?

R. Mac Wheeler said...

RE your comment

Of course we are possessed.

*smile*


- Mac