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Tell me what you think. Have I got it right? Do you agree?
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Getting yer roots done.
If you’ve lived in 7 cities, 2 continents and worked with numerous people, it’s easy to forget the places you’ve come from. Easy ofcourse, unless you’ve lived in Liverpool.
Freelance writer, Babu Basu, now based in Nottingham, looks back with much affection, at his time in ‘The Pool’.
7 cities, 3 decades and 2 continents…
I’m often asked, where are you from? It’s a question that makes me hesitate.
Over the past 3 decades I’ve lived in London, Lincoln, Liverpool, Northampton, Cambridge, Rhyl, Kolkatta and Nottingham.
Faces… names… accents
At the risk of sounding like an old man, the last 30 years have been a blur.
The more you move, the harder it is to put roots down… to belong.
You could argue that we belong to every city we’ve ever lived in. Equally, claim that those cities belong to us. It’s a fair point. However, of all the places I’ve ever lived in, only one actually owns me.
Liverpool has had the most profound effect on who I am and how I behave. I may not live in Merseyside anymore, but I carry round its influence wherever I go.
We’re the same, you and I…
You see, Liverpool and I share some common characteristics. I may not be… a hotbed of leftwing politics. I may not be… any good at football. And goodness me… I may never have a tash or wear a shell suit. But similar, we are.
Like Liverpool and it’s people, I’m:
Quick witted. Well turned out. Warm.
Not forgetting ofcourse: Smart. Opinionated and not scared of taking a stand.
I loved Liverpool when I lived there.
I loved it more, when I left it behind.
A bit of time travel if you please…
When my family moved to Lincoln, I was inwardly distraught; rootless and pining for my city.
I was 16 – missing my friends, my life and my home.
I found myself watching Brookside to be close to Liverpool.
Being a softie, I would hear Brookie’s theme tune and notice a little tear well up in my eye.
I needed the city. – I missed the accent. I missed the humour. I missed the warmth.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked Lincoln.
That too, was full of warm, friendly people, but they weren’t Scousers.
You can’t beat Scousers.
I spent most of my childhood in Liverpool.
My baby brother (now a qualified doctor and fiercely proud Scouser himself) was born at Liverpool Maternity Hospital, in Oxford Street.
When I tell people that I lived in Knowsley Village – I’m informed that I lived in the posh part. I don’t know about that, but I know that I loved growing up there.
Surrounded by fields, farms and woods; it was beautiful. We lived on land bordering Lord Derby’s Estate.
I would claim to one and all that I was country boy. Much to amusement of those who weren’t from Liverpool. They didn’t know that such places existed.
“Surely not in Liverpool?,” they’d say. This would then be followed by a very bad impression of a Scouse accent and the words “Liverpeul” or even “Ermm…Sonia”
Don’t be soft…
But hang on. Where things really that idyllic?
Perhaps I’m looking at things through rose tinted glasses. This was after all a city famed for social discord and economic uncertainty. Could the people of Liverpool really have been so wonderful?
Was I seeing things through the happy haze of childhood?
Well actually, no.
You will never walk alone…
I returned to Liverpool in my 20’s to study, and this incredible city welcomed me back with open arms.
The people were just as I remembered.
Warm, funny, caring – with the driest sense of humour I had ever heard.
Making friends was immensely easy and, people really cared. I don’t know of any other UK city where a complete stranger will come up to you and ask you if you’re feeling alright.
And everyday I was there, I was struck by Liverpool’s sense of style.
Its elegant, well turned out people and its equally well turned out architecture. I saw bold, beautiful buildings, mirroring a confident, curteous city.
It was stylish. Fashionable. Defiant.
The sadness of 80’s Liverpool had been banished. Liverpool was now going places and we all knew it!
Sound as a pound…
I have always been proud of Liverpool; proud of its culture, its heritage, its people. It fills me with immense pride that as Capital of Culture, the city and its people will get the recognition that they deserve.
So thank you Liverpool, for all that you have given me and all that you’ll give me in the future.
You have shaped, nutured and inspired me.
You have made me who I am today. Thank you Liverpeul.
To drop Babu a line, you can contact him at:
Babu Basu is a freelance business writer, living and working in the thriving East Midlands. Babu produces articles, adverts and web content. His website is www.babubasu.com