A repeat article from a previous Christmas to help us pause for thought: Having ingested four times more than a single human’s portion of food on Christmas Day from the meal out and away from the pressures of being trapped at somebody’s home with loads of people, we decided to make our way to a vantage point from which to stare down like golden eagles onto Liverpool.
I realise that people across the River Mersey in an area named “Wirral” stare jealously at the exciting Liverpool skyline, but us Liverpudlians from Liverpool rarely see the great city we are proud to be part of.
There is a good vantage point to the north, Everton Park. This offers a drive-in viewing platform, kinda, in a parking area way up high on the hill that is Everton Park, looking down onto Liverpool. Spectacular and extended sunsets can be seen from here by looking out to sea beyond the mouth of the Mersey. Not that the locals fully appreciate this, as the viewing area tends to be used as a place to drive to when it’s time to ingest copious quantities of skunk. The down side is that the whole area tends to stink of old lady’s wee (the same way skunk users always seem to smell).
However, this was not the case on Christmas Day. It was quiet and peaceful. The slopes of the park were still rich with snow and were calling out to be used and abused. Having not brought a sled (or even owning one), the only options were to try to slide down on one’s bottom (the snow was too thick and lumpy) or to go roly-poly down taking care to avoid any ‘brown snow’ lumps left by Liverpool’s favourite pet, the attack dog.
Well, after a while it became obvious that we were a long way down and we needed to get a long way back up. However, we were exhausted. Having spied a conveniently open on Christmas Day convenience shop which would no doubt sell the soft drinks and chocolate that we now needed, we headed towards it. Within a few metres of it we were passing a row of terraced houses (minding our own business), when suddenly an upper floor window was flung open and a television was launched from it, crashing into the tiny paved-over front garden below and smashing into a gazillion pieces.
At first we wondered if this was somebody reacting badly to the Queen’s Speech, but with the window now open we could hear a child crying and a male and a female adult screaming at each other in ‘Extreme Scouse’.
‘Extreme Scouse’ requires the speaker to be letting out a rapid stream of abuse some five octaves higher than normal speaking tones, and all parties involved in an ‘Extreme Scouse’ exchange to be firing abuse at the same time.
They were very upset with each other, and both seemed to be blaming each other for the fact that the poor child was crying. That poor child will grow up to dread Christmas Day, poor thing.
We stopped in our tracks to listen, as you do, and were able to gather that both were drunk and had decided to trash whatever room they were in, as part of an argument that I would suspect neither can remember the start of or cause.
I truly hope the room wasn’t the kid’s bedroom. How awful to have your sanctuary trashed by your parents.
Further debris was jettisoned accompanied by, “What do you think you’re doing?” repeated over and over by both of them with a pitch that could only really be heard by dogs. I can only guess that each was trying to out do the other with what they threw out into the garden.
“Look what you’ve done to him!” worried me as did, “You did it, you did it!” but we surmised this wasn’t a physical injury they were blaming each other for, just the fact that their child was now sobbing his heart out. At least I hope that’s what it was.
Things got quieter as they seemed to go deeper into the house away from the room being used as a launch pad for random possessions. Fear of them possibly coming out to retrieve their stuff and seeing us and then, as Northerners so often do, starting on us, we decided to trot onwards to the shop.
I’ve never experienced a Christmas that bad myself, but I do remember my mother and step-father fighting at random times (not related to Christmas) when I was a child and finding it extremely frightening, upsetting and destabilising. I can only guess what that poor child in the house we’d just passed was feeling, and the long term damage those two selfish adults, I assume his parents, had inflicted with their awful drunken abuse of the spirit of Christmas.
What a world of difference from the happy experience that we’d witnessed the excited children having alongside their stress free parents in the place we’d all been enjoying our Christmas Dinner without all the domestic pressures.
Maybe the poor child we’d heard crying would eventually get taken into care and then end up with foster parents that actually cared for and about him.
I do worry that a much crueller fate may be waiting for him.