White pillars of Victorian pride mark the entrance to a world apart. They do not restrict but tell of a faded exclusivity. Winding roads lead you higher, the slope rising into Rock Park.
The road splits off, daring the curious to explore its break. Homes of merchants, long gone but their legacy left is a testament to their ego, their faith in the material.
A non-uniform stretch of road, lined by these palaces of commerce, lamps aching to light against the darkening skies. Families of varying tastes and eras lived here, the windows spreading far from the front doors like outstretched arms.
Turning around, towards the main slope, the motorway comes into view. Periods and worlds collide here, the utilitarian bleakness of the mid 20th century and the frivolous opulence of the late 19th, both as British as grey skies.
The bend in the road, the curtain of trees, all remain the same in my memories.
My mother and occasionally my father would bring me to The Admiral, a world away from the electrifying atmosphere of poverty of Medway Road, a street where I spent the first eight years of my life. The pub, nestled away on this special spot, was a place where people came to enjoy routine of the same faces, laughs and pints giving comfort to those with anxious hearts.
A primary school me, with the numbness of childhood and naïveté, sitting shyly and awkwardly in the corner with a can of Coke, remaining silent to all inquisitive strangers, wondering when either parent would finish and take me home.
The waves of the Mersey lap against the bleak shore, seaweed, litter and bricks awash on the red sand. A view of this grey stretch of river, a house standing proudly amongst the trees, the impotent pier limping into the opaque waters.
This view is what I think of everyday.
Any reference to a pier, beach, whether in writing or by ear, I think of this view.
I look to William, my partner, part of my new world in London, away from the nostalgia but torment of my old life.
I look from him to the water, the violent wind blasting me almost off my feet but I feel warm.
Wherever or whatever I do in this world, this little jetty in Rock Ferry will be home.