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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, July 17, 2005
    Just smelly environment
    At first I thought it was my socks. Then I found it got stronger when I travelled a mile along the East Lancs Road. This morning it was wafting up Lowerhouse Lane with such putridity I anticipated the edges of my Observer curling up. The smell.

    No-one knows, really, where it's coming from. Some blame the drains. But it's not localised enough for that. I was ready to blame Sonae or some other polluter on Knowsley Industrial Estate but then someone told me they'd been at the Heritage Market on the dock road and it was just as bad there.

    Have Gormley's hundred statues stirred up a vile ghost on our beaches? Is the sewage farm opposite the hospital cooking up something special in this unprecedented heat? We just don't know what's causing it. But the people of this part of our city are now far more able to relate with the folks of Ditton, who have to live with this sort of thing all year round.

    Old Celtic prayer: Bless to me, O God, each odour that goes to my nostrils.
    Celtic prayer (revised): O God, I'm sorry, but that doesn't half stink.