Part One, December 2020

‘A Walk Through Birkenhead’

Jarmin Apple Art Exhibition @ Birkenhead Library, July-August 1995

This blog is a two-parter.  Like all good creative marketing, you will want to come back for more.  Well, I hope so anyway!

Another one of those uncanny and unplanned moments in life.  Just like I feel today writing this blog (25.10.2020), this was how I woke up on the floor of my mate’s Oxton bedsit, hungover.  You may think probably not the most inspiring state to have love at first sight.  However, that was exactly what happened with Oxton and me in January 1990.

I had moved up to Liverpool Poly in September 1989 and was enjoying of my first year undertaking Architectural Studies.  I quickly discovered the concept of the ‘all-nighter’.  There were many of these that included copious amounts of drugs & alcohol.

However, my course included many hours slaving at a hot drawing board, playing mind games with the tutors to get the required grades for each project.  Quite often, after putting my heart and soul into a term’s assignment, I would have to stand up in front of the tutors and fellow students to have it ripped apart.  Not good for the old soul.

As most students do, especially during their first year away from home, I had my fair share of drunken nights on the town.  As explained in previous blogs my social life started later than some.  At Winchester Sixth Form college I was ‘Benny No Mates’.  Anyhow, whilst spending two years at Portsmouth Art School I discovered my party side.  Moving up to Liverpool, things continued from where they had left off at Portsmouth, only bigger and better for the next twenty years or so.

There have been very few times in my life when I have played the ‘Disability Card’.  However, getting a place in hall of residence, I felt it necessary to hype up my Cerebral Palsy.  After what happened at sixth form college, where three years of social isolation took me to the point of suicide, I could not afford to have this happen two-hundred miles away from home.  I knew rooms in halls were limited, so after my course place was confirmed I wrote to the relevant department giving them details about my condition.  I explained primarily my speech was affected and because of this I lacked confidence in social situation.  Therefore, I felt I should have a place in halls, because it would help me mix with people quickly.  I got my wish and received a letter confirming a room in ‘Parkside Halls of Residence’, Mossley Hill.

That summer, as with many vacations during my college days, I had a cleaning job at Winchester Hospital.  During 1989, there were a few scousers working there.  They came down south as there was not any work locally.  I was teamed up with a guy from Liverpool, to clean floors and one day to be the senior manager’s slaves for the afternoon litter picking after she caught us skiving!  He used to invite me for a pint after work with other scousers at the hospital social club.  However, as the saying goes “one leads to another and another” was very much true in this situation.  Quite often I used to be late for my tea due to letting time get away with me, which did not please my mum too much.  Anyway, getting to know these people was invaluable, because they gave me the local lowdown on Liverpool prior to me going up there.  I was informed that my Halls of Residence were in a nice part of town, in walking distance of Sefton Park, which reassured me.  That summer was fantastic, I really got a taste for Liverpool life and I liked what I was told.  To be honest, my Scouse mates were far more genuine than the locals, but I had thirteen years of finding that out.  As in a song title by Bowling For Soup, is was a ‘Friendly Goodbye’ to Winchester!

Jarmin Apple

December 2020

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