Robert Hampton

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2nd January 2009

2008? More like Two WOW-sand and Eight!

July started with my lovely pet cat doing his bit for vermin control. Liverpool One claimed its latest fashion victim, as yours truly bought a glorified school satchel manbag. Metro horrified public transport users across the country with a picture of a henna tattoo gone wrong. London Transport’s Oyster smartcard suffered a serious glitch, proving that the only proper travelcard system is one where you scratch the date off with a coin before sealing it with a bit of sticky-back plastic.

In the middle of the month I suddenly remembered that I have a Friends Reunited profile, then remembered why I never use Friends Reunited.

Another triumph for Liverpool’s culture year came with the amazing Tall Ships festival. It was well worth braving the long queues to enjoy the variety of sailing ships assembled from all over the world.

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1st January 2009

2008? More like Two Thousand and GREAT!

January was marked with a sentiment many Liverpudlians expressed in the final months of 2007, namely that while we wanted Capital of Culture year to go well, there was a nagging suspicion that it would go awry.For me, this question was resolved by the spectacular opening ceremony, spoiled only by Ringo Starr mouthing off on Jonathan Ross’s show.

Meanwhile, on the blog, I started a new regular feature, Hampo’s Book Club — if I interpret the word “regular” strictly, the next installment is due a week next Tuesday. I also took time to laugh at the nasty mobile phones sold by TJ Hughes, before getting incredibly maudlin and deciding to hide from Google, a daft decision which I swiftly reversed.

February brought us Liverpool: The Number Ones Album, a compilation of covers by — it has to be said — mostly second tier Liverpool artists. The good (Anthony Hannah’s cover of Relax) mingled with the bad (Connie Lush?) and the just plain entertaining (The Scaffold!).

I championed the humble semicolon, before spending an uncharacteristic three hours outdoors exploring the Wirral peninsula, and jolly nice it was too. Sun and Cloud returned for one of their occasional appearances.

In the news, the Children’s Commissioner said that maybe damaging children’s hearing wasn’t the best way to get rid of scallies hanging around outside corner shops, and a predictable knee-jerk reaction ensued. A brilliant photo appeared on Flickr of two smashed up Merseyrail trains.

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11th January 2008

08? Oh yes!
Posted by at 10.24pm | Liverpool | No responses

The announcement that Liverpool was to be Capital of Culture in 2008 was greeted in many quarters with the same old jaded cynicism. Proud Scousers, as ever, stood up to defend their home town.

The cynics, however, may have thought they were proved right when inaction, infighting and ineptitude threatened the success of the whole year.

But Liverpool has fought back again and tonight, all failings were forgotten. I was at tonight’s extravaganza, and if that is any indicator, Liverpool is going to deliver, big time.

It’s our time. It’s our place. Time to show the world what we can do!

1st January 2008

Just so I can have a January 2008 entry on the menu

Happy New Year, everyone!

Christmas went really well; I bought a bang up-to-date Trivial Pursuit Deluxe Edition, thus avoiding the pitfalls outlined in my previous post. Nobody bought me My Booky Wook by Russell Brand, but Amazon now have it at less than half price, so… yay! I look forward to reading of the amazing adventures of him and his winkle in due course.

It is now, of course, Capital of Culture year in Liverpool. I’m eagerly anticipating the full programme of events which are planned for the next 366 days. After a recent well-publicised fiasco, I’m praying that the city doesn’t fuck up in a year when, more than ever, the eyes of the world will be on us.

I’m not even bothering with resolutions this year; I’ve usually broken them all by mid-January anyway, so I’m not going to give myself an excuse to beat myself up.

Actually that’s not true: I have one resolution, and one only: to be happy. I think at long last I’m now in a place where I can make that happen.