Kids sit on the kerb, poking hot tar with dirty fingers, making scabby stretch marks. Girls with shiny hair drift by in bright sunny dresses, cut with paper patterns from cheap pretty cotton.
It’s 1976, the long, hot, summer, and half the world is splashing at the Lido.
Hippy days already memories, she’s eking out the prettiness, sashaying round town in her long floral frock, risking bare feet on the scorching paving, one eye out for burning cigarette stubs.
Pub doors open wide in the baking city streets, dark interiors glossed in shades of black and purple, a touch of gilt here and there for light relief. The smell of Guinness seeps out, welcome as the scent of violets on the breeze – not that there is a breeze.
Bohemian Rhapsody peaked months ago, but that plangent piano wafts through every window with the scent of stale tobacco, hitching a ride on the dust motes dancing up the sunbeams.
She’s oblivious, that girl. Or is she? She frowns, quickens her steps for the Pier Head. Takes the ferry ’cross the Mersey. Walks to New Brighton. Brings the blisters back on the train.
The evening’s warm as ever. But there’s something melancholic sneaking through the lazy days. The never-ending, too good to last, sun-saturated, heat-hazed days.
Maybe it’s rain. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it will last, forever.