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

    Saturday, February 12, 2005
    The dowager Golden Goose
    A pic of Pip's most-loved cafe, The New Piccadilly, which I enjoyed pre-Christmas, brought me back to a fascinating article by Phil Baker titled, Secret City: Psychogeography and the End of London, which I'd read in lazy lie-in bed yesterday. in it he quotes from another good bit of writing, from the Classic Cafes website:

    "Psychogeography is the hidden landscape of atmospheres, histories, actions and characters which charge environments. The lost social ley-lines which make up the unconscious cultural contours of places...With cafes, a sort of dowager atmosphere comes to the fore, apparently drably familiar yet full of secrets."

    I've just written my auntie's funeral address, and that connects too. She met her husband-to-be in a cafe. Trainee hairdresser meets Merchant Navy sailor in the Golden Goose Cafe on South Road, Waterloo. Post-war (just), in a celebrated gathering-place by a Mersey beach. It is still there, with amusements and a summertime candy-floss kiosk. Reminder of a time when my birthplace was something of a resort - first stretch of sand north of the docks, popular watering-hole for folks from the suburbs.

    The Golden Goose Cafe - dowager, yes, dusty but alive with secrets, memories, little joys. The sorts of cultural contours we find ourselves walking around funeral-times; healthy, worth preserving.