I found myself in Liverpool the other week, alighting at Lime Street Station much as I had in my student days, some 20+ years ago. I haven't been back to Liverpool in a while, certainly not the city centre, and my initial reaction was that nothing much had changed. Years of dust fell away from my memories and off I walked into the city centre, in torrential rain, like some kind of mesmerised salmon looking for my place of origin. I soon realised that the city centre has changed a lot, and for the better, but that just made me plough on further until I got to Dale Street and the business district. By now I was truly soaked, and I was only carrying a minimal change of clothes, but on I trudged. I found that the old business district has not changed too much in 20 years and that's a good thing, because it's fantastic, so on I pressed until I came to the Street where I had my first job after university - Tithebarn Street. I could see my old building up the way, and my heart quickened and my clothes dripped, as I anticipated ascending in the lift to check out my old office. I hurried to the entrance where I was cruelly halted; it was blocked and overgrown with weeds, the windows were boarded, a tower block frozen in the late 1980s, a ghost building - sad, tired and decrepit - the ground floor wine bar locked up, Derek Hatton no longer entertaining his council cronies with lunchtime champagne.
The moral of this story is that you can never ever go back... unless of course you're Doctor Who.
Happily I can say that I enjoyed the new Liverpool very much, the Liverpool Software City event was excellent, and I ended the night as I have so many others in that place, drunk and in a curry house. I hope to visit again soon.