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

    Sunday, December 11, 2005
    Coleen: firmly planted, deeply rooted

    Excellent guided tour of our parish, unexpectedly, on primetime TV this evening. Hosted by Coleen McLoughlin, Croxteth's currenly most famous daughter, fiance of Wayne, and not so very long ago a pupil at St John Bosco. There she is, drawing the car up at the corner of Worrow Road to point out the spot at which she was first snapped by a tabloid photographer, on an early-morning walk to school, and describing how the staff allowed her to deal with the trauma of that with a phone call to her mother. Just further down Carr Lane East (the opposite end to our church) she points out the Britannia chippie, site of her first 'date' with young Rooney, site of an enormous amount of socialising each day of the week among our young. And, most touchingly, at the edge of the all-weather pitch at Croxteth Sports Centre Coleen demonstrates how she and her mates would stand watching the lads playing footie, as the lads presently playing footie on that pitch know her and wave, and some of her mates turn up just at that point. They still all know her; as a friend, as a peer, as an equal. She may live in Formby and/or Bowdon now but she really hasn't left Croccy.

    I don't read what the tabloids write about Coleen, though I gather from the programme that they have her stereotyped as a time-waster shopaholic. What came over in the programme was her positive ordinariness, the easy down-to-earthness which is engrained in her. Her parents - also a marriage out of a teenage romance - are deeply rooted and she has gained this from them. Calls her mum every day, spends each Friday out with her girlfriends just like she always did. She's a local girl living a dream, seizing the moment by building herself a career in fashion, and the best thing about it is she's doing it all with her feet firmly planted on the ground, on the same ground I walk each day: "That's the way I am, that's the way I was taught to be."