Posts Tagged ‘Great Homer Street Market’

Half Cormorant - half mythical bird!

Half Cormorant – half mythical bird! Photo by Jilly Gardiner

I never did hand Jack into the cop shop!  How could I be the one who put him in foster care?  The poor kid would probably end up like me – I don’t want to be responsible for that!  So we had an agreement; me and me ma….   She’d be around for him in the daytime while I was at school, and I’d look after him at night while she went the boozer.    Binny was around sometimes, but was always slagging off Jack’s ma for being put in the slammer for robbing frozen chickens from Iceland (the shop, not the country!).   Me ma told me that Jack’s ma was caught with a chicken in each bra cup, and only got found out because one of the frozen chickens dropped out as she left the shop and broke three of her toes (so she couldn’t leg it from security!).   All I could think about was how big her knockers must have been to have a full chicken in each bra cup! Wish I’d been there!

Anyway, It turned out that Jack’s ma was on probation for when she got caught robbing wallets off her punters while they slept.. so they sent her straight back to the slammer after the frozen chicken incident.  Binny was well pissed off that it meant HE had to be responsible for Jack, so he did hardly nothing for him – that’s where I come in.

Me and Jack, we’ve got dead close in the past few months.. he’s like my brother.  Now the weather’s getting better I take him fishing down the dock, and we share pie and chips at our chippy.   Every Saturday I still work on The Butty Van with Pete at Greaty Market… Jack comes too.  Pete’s dead sound and lets Jack use his mobile phone to play games on while I’m serving hot dogs with extra onions and cups of tea.  Then Pete gives me and Jack some top scran which we stuff in until our bellies nearly burst.

Jack keeps asking me about the Liverbirds on top of the Liverbuildings, and why they don’t fly away… so I make up  loads of stories about them.    They say that Liverpool would fall into the sea if the Liverbirds flew away…. so I tell Jack stories about the time when the Liverbirds flew away and the city collapsed into the Mersey.   He cried for hours when I told him about how everyone in Liverpool nearly drowned.  I felt so guilty that I told him that the Liverbirds had flown to every country and city around the world, but had come home to Liverpool because they couldn’t find anywhere better.   So everybody in Liverpool was saved, and didn’t drown – and they all lived happily ever after.    That made Jack dry his tears and smile again.

Yep…. everything’s going good! That might be ’cause I turned fifteen the other day – and my luck’s changing… no prezzies though.    Penny Salerno has started looking at me again, even smiling sometimes! She’s still not letting me walk her home from school yet though, but I’m working on it.   Anthony and Susan still have me round for my tea twice a week, and they let Jack come too!   And me and Jack go to Ray’s house every Sunday and take my dog Regal for a dead long walk.  Ray says Regal crashes out for about 24 hours after I’ve walked him on Sundays…. He’s a card that dog!

And today the sun was shining (a bit)… A good feeling! I’m happy….. me and Jack and the people of Liverpool are happy, ’cause the Liverbirds are sitting pretty on top of the Liverbuildings, watching over us all!

Before the blackout -Photo by Jilly Gardiner

Before the blackout –
Photo by Jilly Gardiner

Can’t believe Chrimbo’s just days away.  It’s a whole year since I robbed that Chrimbo tree from someone’s garden and put it in our living room!  Can’t believe it’s already time to go and rob another one.    Our house has got no Chrimbo decos; me ma celebrates Chrimbo by drinking double what she usually does, and staying out for even longer than normal.  So it’s my job to make the house look brighter and Christmasy.

It’s dark when I leave school now, so the day before yesterday I went walking down the posh street where I robbed that dead nice tree from last year.  They put loads of Chrimbo lights outside their houses and it looks dead boss.  One house had a little steam train made of coloured lights on their garden – I really wished we could have that outside ours.   But next to the steam train was a small, fat Chrimbo tree in a pot – just perfect for our living room.  I noticed the house still had their curtains open, so I had to be careful when I bunked into their garden.  The lights from the steam train made it hard for me to hide, but there were loads of bushes for me to stoop behind.   The only problem with nicking Chrimbo trees out of gardens is that they always have lights on them! Have you tried to untangle those lights?  It’s not easy you know!

Anyway, I could see there were people wandering around the living room inside the house, so I really had to be extra careful.   I stooped by the side of the tree and started to pull the lights off, but they weren’t budging.  So then I had the bright idea of getting my flicky out (which I’ve  started carrying for when Zani’s lads come and kick my head in) and started cutting the wire to the lights so I could just carry the whole tree away in the pot with the lights still attached (it’s less hassle than untangling them!).  As I cut the wire, the lights went out and the tree was dark – but I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic impact from light to dark in the garden – somehow it made the steam train lights go out too, and all the other Chrimbo lights in the garden.  This was VERY noticable!   I saw a face of a woman in the window.. she was staring out onto the garden but I don’t think she could see anything with it being so dark.   Then the light came on in the hall, and the door opened.    I don’t mind telling you that I nearly shit myself!  Some fella came out onto the path from the house and stared into the garden.. he stood there for a life time (I reckon), and I hid at the back of the small tree, not even breathing.   I was dead made up when he turned and started walking back into the house shouting ‘Must be the fuse’.   He shut the door behind him as he went in.

I thought I’ve only got seconds to carry the tree away before he’s back out wondering what else is causing the blackout, so I picked up the tree in the pot (it was like a lead weight) and staggered across the garden onto the pavement.  It was then I saw the kid in the window… he was about four, and was sitting on the back of the settee staring at the dark garden.  I stopped and put the heavy pot down.   I could see his bottom lip going as he looked out at the blackness.   Tears rolled down his face as he started sobbing; I could even hear him from the other side of the window.

It broke my heart… How could I take his Chrimbo tree away?  Call me stupid, but I had to put it back.   So I staggered back into the garden with the tree in the pot.  I was just putting it back where I found it when the outside light came on and the front door flung open.   There was I, caught red-handed; bending over the Chrimbo tree.  I couldn’t move…. I just stared at the fella in the doorway (I didn’t know what else to do).  He stared back.

‘I was putting it back!’ I said, knowing how stupid it sounded.

He shouted into the house, but didn’t take his eyes off me, ‘Call the police!’.

I felt my feet again and legged it off across the garden and down the road.  I felt him chase me out of the garden but wasn’t sure if he was tailing me down the road, so I kept running for ages until I had a stitch.

There’s only one thing for it.. I’m going have to do the decent thing and pay for a tree off Greaty Market this year … I can’t have a crying kid on my conscience!

TIDDLEDY WINKS

TIDDLEDY WINKS (Photo credit: psd)

I’ve had two weeks of Zani’s heavies’ giving me the evils across the bacon butties at Greaty Market.  Last week one of the dickheads was even hard-faced enough to buy a coffee from me!  I tried to make out like I didn’t know who he was, but he was staring at me the whole time, and he could see I was shitting myself.    I was hoping he’d look away so I could gob in his black coffee, but he was watching me like a hawk.

It’s been a few weeks and still they haven’t pounced yet… but they’re there every Saturday, staring at me near the stall opposite.  I don’t know what their game is but I know it’s not tiddlywinks!  I’ve started clearing up with Pete at the end of the day, and shutting up the van with him.. that way he feels like he has to offer me a lift home, even though  it’s in the other direction from where he’s going.

I’ve got myself a flicky though – all I can do now is wait…..

BACON-BUTTY

BACON-BUTTY (Photo credit: johnb/Derbys/UK.)

I did such a boss job on The Butty Van (that’s what the burger van in Greaty Market is called), Pete, the owner, asked if I wanted a job! Every Saturday I’m working from ten till four on the van.  He gives me forty nicker in my hand.   If the bizzies turn up and I haven’t ducked in time, then I have to say Pete is my uncle, and I’m just helping him out for free.  Sorted! 🙂

NOW I’ve finally got the money to take Penny Salerno out, but she won’t talk to me ever since I accidentally gave her cousin Zani a scouse kiss! I’ve knocked at her house twice, and tried to talk to her at school, but she just said I’m not the lad she thought I was.  I’ve tried to explain that Zani had robbed my sales, and that I hadn’t meant to headbutt him; my head had just met with the bit between his eyes that’s all.  But Penny won’t have none of it, she just says she doesn’t even want to look at me.   She says I broke his nose! I tried to explain that I didn’t mean to (even if he did  deserve it!).

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t had a knock on the door from the bizzies for assault.  Then, on Saturday while I was doling out a bacon and egg roll with mushrooms to a customer on The Butty Van, I noticed two fellas in their twenties giving me the evils near the stall opposite.   They stood there for about five minutes before whistling over to me.  When I looked up one of them pretended to slice his throat with his hand before they walked away.   I don’t mind telling you, I wasn’t feeling too good when I walked home off the van, especially now it’s getting darker earlier.   But there was no sign of anyone on my way home.   I’d never seen the fellas before, but I bet you a burger and chips that they were Mafioso related to Zani, and I don’t want to be waking up with a horse’s head in my bed! (I’ve seen The Godfather!)

I’ve never felt the need to carry a weapon, but somehow I think things are changing…

 

 

Burgers

Burgers (Photo credit: Neil T)

It wasn’t my fault I got the boot from Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market!   I didn’t bank on Penny’s 17 year old cousin Zani being my work colleague on Saturday.    Penny tells me his name is actually Zanipolo, but they call him Zani.   As you might have guessed, Zani is Italian, and he growls in Italian as well!
Zani gave me the evils all morning every time Penny’s ma would turn her back.  He’d stand in front of me so customers would go to him instead of me.   At one point I was selling some turquoise voile to a woman.. I had her in the palm of my hand! When Zani stepped in front of me, took over, and completed the sale.. so he got the 2 quid owing to me from Penny’s ma.  I was steaming!

‘Eh, That was my sale!’ I shouted.

He turned to me and put his nose up to mine ‘Vaffanculo!’, I didn’t have a clue what he said, but I knew it wasn’t ‘I’m sorry’.  After staring each other out for what seemed like a life time, I turned and started calling to the customers again.  Zani tapped me on the shoulder and I turned round,  he screwed up his nose and spoke ‘ Sei uno stronzo!’

‘Yeah, to you too mate!’ I shouted.  I knew he wasn’t inviting me to his house for dinner; this fella really hated me, and for what? Dickhead!

Then Penny’s ma went off to find the bog, and knew I was in trouble.  Zani just kept staring at me and pushing me out of the way when customers showed any interest.  I finally got a  sale… spent ages priming this old girl, then when she came to hand over the cash for the pink velour curtain material, Zani does it again… he pushes me to one side and goes in for the kill, taking the money himself.

It wasn’t that which got me the sack from Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market… it was the fact that I saw red.. I wasn’t thinking straight…  I went for Zani; diving on him over the polyester tressol.   I didn’t mean for my forehead to meet with the bridge of his nose, it’s just that the tressol collapsed to the ground, and when the ground broke Zani’s fall, my head kept moving… ’till it met his nose!  It was a right stonker of a scouse kiss; right between the eyes.  Ok, it sounds a bit aggressive now, but at the time I was just wanting to show him that I wasn’t the  wimpy little push over he thought I was! He’d wound me up all morning, and he’s bigger than me, so he could have fought back if he’d have tried.

I knew I was out on my arse straight away, especially when I saw the gash between his eyes, and the blood running down his nose.  At least he was conscious and holding onto his nose! So I did what any brave man would do…  I legged it from the stall before Zani could find his feet and get his revenge.

I stopped at the other end of the market to check that no one was following me, then sat down on a plazzy garden chair next to a burger van to get my breath back.

‘Oy! If you’re not buying, you’re not sittin’!’ shouted the fella on the van.. he had a queue as long as the Mersey tunnel waiting for cups of teas and bacon butties.

I stood up ‘No I’m not buying, got no money’.  I was about to walk away when he called me back.

‘I’ll give you a cup of tea and a beef burger with onions if you come and give us a hand for half an hour lad; I’m inundated here!’.

I didn’t need to be asked twice! My dirty apron was on and I was flipping burgers before you could say scouse kiss.

One door closes and another one opens… that’s what my mate Anthony always says.

God Penny.. I’ve got some explaining to do later!

War memorial cotton exchange liverpool

War memorial cotton exchange liverpool – Credit from Wikipedia

All right… so I didn’t quite make the 200 quid I was hoping for on Penny Salerno’s Ma’s dressmaking stall at Greaty Market on Saturday.  Well… it fell quite a bit short of that actually… more like eight quid.  WELL you just wouldn’t believe how hard it is to sell dress material to women!  They’re dead fussy and want everything for nothing, and if it’s not Egyptian cotton they want a discount.    I don’t see what makes Egyptian cotton any better than good old Liverpool cotton.  They might be all right at building pyramids, but you can rely on the scousers to be the leaders in fashion.. I mean, where else but Liverpool can you find girls with a year round tan, camel-sized eyelashes and finger nails that can scratch your back even if you’re sitting on the other side of the room?

But fashion isn’t exactly ME is it?  I’ve got one pair of trainees (no shoes) which I wear for every occasion (You can’t see the hole under the left one, but my soggy sock knows about it!), I’ve got one coat (next door’s cast-off) and seven pairs of undies which I wash, wear, and turn inside out for extra wear on a regular basis.   Don’t get me wrong, Anthony and Susan have been life savers with the stuff for school they’ve bought me when I go around to their house… but it doesn’t exactly make me a follower of fashion does it?   And if I’m dead honest, I don’t give a shit if I’ve got gear from the charity shop or posh named gear.

I was watching a fella on the fruit stall opposite, shouting to the  customers.. ‘Get your broccolis here.. three for a pound!’  I could do that! I know my broccolis from my cauliflowers.  But selling flowery material to tight arsed old grannies just isn’t my forte.  Still… eight quid’s better than a smack in the gob, even if I did work my arse off for seven hours!  And the upside of it is that I’m beginning to know my brushed cottons from my algodon cottons (or something like that anyway).

I’m not giving up that easily though.. next week I’m aiming higher, hoping to double my money.   I might even treat Penny to the pictures afterwards with my wages if I have enough (bet she’d be dead made up).

Jeremy Clarkson called Richard Branson a beard...

“Space virgins need chutes”. The Times (London) . . Retrieved 26 April 2010 . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not only have I got the love of a good woman now (The beautiful and talented Ms Salerno!) But my luck is up and running in other ways too… Penny’s got me a job on her ma’s dressmaking stall down Greaty Market!  She says if I single-handedly sell material and bring in new custom to the stall she’ll give me two quid for every sale! TWO quid for EVERY SALE!  I was working that out in my head.. and it basically means that if I can get 100 people a day to buy something then I’ll clock up 200 quid a day!!! I’LL BE LOADED!

Greaty market is only on Saturdays, but I was thinking that if I can do dead good at that, then I can start working at other markets in the week.. maybe on the fruit and veg at Saint John’s and then work my way up to fresh meats, I could end up being like that fella Richard Branston by the time I’m eighteen!  Having my own helicopter and flight company by the time I’m twenty-one ….   Penny will be mega impressed! I’m dead looking forward to it big style!