Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Liverpool, sweet Liverpool

I often get bitter about England. You might think I am when you read this blog, anyway. It sure gets lonely down here. But at heart, I am an anglophile. I read English novels more than any other kind of literature, I admire British actors more than from any other nationality and I more importantly, I feel at home in England, more than in France, for instance. And as you know from this entry, I love Liverpool to bits. I thought a lot about Liverpool recently. I have seen, without visiting properly, two ports: Saint-Malo, a beautiful one and Portsmouth, maybe the ugliest place in England. It made me think about the only proper port city I have lived in. Liverpool isn't beautiful, I knew it the moment I got in Lime Street Station in 2006. It's not beautiful, but I started loving it at that moment. Even the ugliness of Lime Street Station, that's saying something. I never quite understood why. I am not a big fan of the Beatles (neither are the Scousers, by the way, at least not all of them), I couldn't care less about football and the weather was horrible. But there is an attitude there, there is something about the North of England, it's not joie de vivre, but simply plain, honest satisfaction with the little things in life. Maybe it's because of the important Irish community, and therefore important Catholic community. Anthony Burgess (yes, I had to plug him) loved Liverpool enough so the city could compete in his heart with his native home of Manchester. That's something else to love about Liverpool: it's close to Manchester. I have been there only once, but it's the birthplace of my favorite writer and many actors I worship. Liverpool is also quite hilly, just like Chicoutimi, so I never felt out of place there. And the pubs, and the local breweries! There is just so much to love.

Here is the Liverpool 2008 European Capital of Culture theme song, sung by Ringo Starr. I am not a big fan of the song, since it's more a Beatles autobiography than anything else, but some of the lyrics express my feeling about the place. Sorry, I couldn't find a better link.

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