So again, I was initially stumped by this week’s challenge. My favourite word. Do I even have a favourite word? I have lots of favourite things, favourite places… and that’s when it came to me:
It looks funny there like that on its own. River, my river. The Mersey, dirty grey strip of water, intersecting Liverpool and the Wirral. Being driven along the Dock Road as a child, to meet the ferry bringing family from Ireland, catching glimpses of huge container vessels behind the high dock walls. The world behind those walls, a strange world, a man’s world. The world where my grandfather and great grandfathers worked, ships and warehouses and goods in and out, names like the Dockers’ Umbrella, Harland and Woolf, Cunard, the White Star Line. Once, when I was about nine or ten, our school teacher took us on a day trip to explore our local area. We walked south along the beach from Crosby, until the sands ran out at the edge of the Seaforth container terminal. The huge slabs of stone winched into place to demarcate this strange industrial landscape. We spent hours climbing them, leaping from rock to rock at the edge of the docks, peering through the gaps in the fence at the cranes and shipping containers. Bizarrely, on the rough ground between the fence and the start of the docks, we could see dozens of rabbits darting about in the scrubby grass.
Somewhere in somebody’s loft, there’s cine footage of me, a fat bottomed toddler, taking wobbly steps clinging to a parent’s trouser leg on the grubby sands of the Mersey shore. My river. The go-to place for family walks at sunset, the sky stained pink, mad half hours with the dogs racing across the sand. The wind whipping your face as you stared out to sea. I nursed my first teenage heartbreaks there on stormy days, shared them with the snarling grey foam at high tide. Anthony Gormley’s Iron Men stand there now, in silent solidarity with everyone who’s ever stood staring out at the river, letting their sadness ebb and flow with the water.
The Kinks sang about a ‘dirty old river’ being ‘paradise’, the Oysterband ‘a river runs through you and me’, Bruce Springsteen wrote about the river being a place of refuge when the world destroys your hopes and dreams. Last week I was back at my river for the most perfect sunset, and it felt like a hug from an old friend. My favourite place. My favourite word. River.
Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill. This week’s prompt was your favourite word. If you’d like to take part the rules, borrowed from Linda’s site, are as follows:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
8. Have fun!