The proximity to Sefton Park is one of the reasons I live around Lark Lane – Liverpool’s bo-ho retreat or Liverpool’s most frightening drinking strip, depending on your luck and timing.
At this time of year it’s particularly picturesque, with the trees a mixture of deep copper and brilliant red. It’s also nice to tick off the Sefton Park stereotypes: the common-or-garden nutter; the bored children with harassed parents; and my personal favourite – the tracksuited scal braying fruitlessly at an overstimulated dog.
There was a particularly good example this weekend who was actually shouting specific orders at a pair of young labradors. The best one was “Don’t go on the grass! Off the grass! Stop going on the grass!” The dogs ran on regardless.
Also of note at the moment is the return of the Eros statue, missing for over 15 years. It’s been spruced up along with the statue on which it sits and looked great in the fading light.
Opposite is the park cafe – as shabby a hut as you’re likely to see. Being inside, though, brings an oddly nostalgic thrill – it’s like walking into the park cafe’s of the early 80s, all formica, bashed wood and faded posters.
It’ll all be torn up within the year to make way for a swanky new restaurant and there’ll be another by the boating lake now – currently looking extremely sorry for itself, drained and full of junk. Surrounded by idiotic fencing that doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason, it looks more like an internment camp at the moment.
Still, there’s plenty to be enjoyed in Sefton Park all year round – there are hidden parts that make you feel right in the middle of the countryside. Although I’m ambivalent about the presence of grey squirrels, there’s plenty of other wildlife to be seen too – even if that means rats most of the time.
Simple pleasures, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Followed up with coffee and cake in one of Lark Lane’s eateries and then a roast dinner, it’s perfect for a frosty Sunday afternoon.