Liverpool Tool Library

The Liverpool Tool Library is the first in the north west of England and the brainchild of pioneering creative: Imogen Woolley. Everything from High tech angle grinders to simple adjustable spanners, allen keys to airbrush compressors, car jump leads to otherworldly circular saws are there to be hired. DIY for the home, garden, car and the ‘Pandemic’ popular’ push bike. All available to loan from the conveniently located Aspen Yard workshop in the developing, all too trendy ‘Tocky’. 

Originally from the Yorkshire Mill town of Halifax, Imogen ventured down to the capital to complete a degree in illustration and animation. Family ties brought her to Liverpool a place she now considers home. In sharing her home based workshop and tools with friends and family she began to see the demand for publicly accessible tool hire. The concept of the Liverpool Tool Library was conceived when holidaying in Canada. Avoiding the usual tourist trail sights and activities she was directed to a tool Library. On her return to Merseyside she began what was to become three years of planning, to launch a parallel service for Merseyside.


The building was originally stables, we are informed, horses but there is some speculation over an odd cow. The Tool library received some funding from Liverpool Soup and the School of Social Entrepreneur (SSE). Edinburgh tool library was extremely supportive in terms of guidance and the donation of a whopping 150 tools, enough to get the project up and running.

Opening during National Lockdown was an enormous risk, the results were fruitful. She was concerned over putting members in jeopardy and the technical guidance was ambiguous and ever changing. However, with the mass negotiation of homeworking, furlough schemes and the unfortunate reality of being laid off for many, resulted in a surge of home improvement projects and DIY. Regrettably she was not able to involve the local community as much as intended, due to restrictions. As soon as the big boys of B&Q, threw open their sanitised doors she swiftly followed suit. In line with the NHS: 5 steps to mental wellbeing, the tool library is exactly what is called for to bolster us through these times of Covid. 

In the future she is intending to provide a workspace and to enable skill share sessions. Some of these are to be targeted towards women only, enabling a space where females can communicate without being diminished by men. Other challenges are to encourage parent and child groups and uptake from marginalised groups. Interestingly, take up of membership has been around fifty, fifty in terms of gender, already a rebalance of the male dominated traditions of tool handling. 

You can become a member by linking to their website, a quick and simple process. The membership fee is a suggested donation of £20 annually and it is recommended that you pay what you can afford either side of that. The fee enables the day to day running of the library which includes fixing and maintaining tools, rent, and storage solutions. The tools are then free to hire on a weekly basis from Saturday to Saturday.

Join today, take a look at the inventory and request the tools you desire, then brighten the Aspen yard door next Saturday!

https://liverpooltoollibrary.org.uk/

Covid-Chog

Covid-Chog is a a collection of images and free flow text created by Alison in response to the easing of lockdown.

Covid-Chog

Lockdown easing

Release from restrictions

Legal infringements lapse

Time splintered

A year more

Displaced to Covid

Relinquished from cosmos

Alien tempo

Coronavirus stormed

Social unrest of olden

House robber proclaimed

Billboards void of adverts

Remnants, crockery imploded

Domestic violence rocketed

Family bubbles of isolation

Two posts, even stance

Man and Wife

Cease of homeschooling

Social bonds bolster

Door key located for repicking

Comradery, the pandemic

Seasons wavering

Dandelions relinquish

Toward summer

Shadow’ vivid

Pre covid prosperity

The past?

The Covid-Chog dominates

Ready for rebound

Forward/backward

Side/side

Clock/anti wise

The young

Virus spreading amore?

Vaccines Safeguard

Variants escalate

Those Lost

Can never return

The same again

Normality

We quest

Bars, restaurants, venues

Cinema

Theatre

Art Galleries

Regular jobs

School exam progress

Uni lecture theatres

Zoom a tool,

Not the rule

Access to the elderly

Regular visits

End of the face mask

PPI in the past

The new Normal 

The Future 

The Forevermore

Alison Little

The Jab

The Jab

After most of what appeared to be endless holdbacks; I was eventually invited, via a linked text message, to book for the initial jab of the covid vaccine.

Ensuing a taxing, to understate, twelve months: suffering from coronavirus early in the first wave, losing my partner to the virus, a reassurance, then a second bout of the damned infection, I had been eagerly awaiting a call up. At forty-one I appeared to be at the younger, therefore later, end of my age category. With no underlying health issues my wait seemed to have been extended beyond the norm, would I ever be called?

Informed by others to contact my surgery as they were likely to have surplus vaccines available, but I opted to wait until requested. Jumping the queue just doesn’t seem very British and I was a little concerned that I may be taking from others with more preeminent health concerns.

Ellation gained momentum as I moved online to book at, would you believe, the Kenny Dalglish stand of the Liverpool Football Stadium. This made a hit, Dave my partner, had been a major Red and Dalgluish was one of his favored managers. A presence of him looking out for me now he was no longer with us. 

A sun drenched Sunday, setting off on time and arriving a tad early. Despite having mislaid my mobile phone with booking details the steward ushered me swiftly through to the central stand. Everything then ran with the utmost precision, very brief queues, obligatory questions then a painless little tingle of a jab.

Minor concerns over the jab being referred to as the ‘Oxford’,  at this point I was suspecting this was the AstraZeneca vaccine and the staff had been guided to state Oxford over the ever emerging bad press around the second vaccine to be approved in the UK.

Although I had been warned of side effects by the nurse, nothing made itself known. Only a subtle dead arm of no real significance, I was fine. 

1:30 AM

THEN IT STRUCK

Bolt awake

Breathless

Heart pulsing

A barrage of thoughts racing through my mind

Face muscles feeling like they’ve been smashed off a wall.

‘This is it again.’

I recalled previous attacks of covid.

Rising after the sleepless ordeal, heart pounding rapidly, headache traversing the skull. 

Opted to call it a sick day.

Per contra, short lived, by 9AM I was fine to start work, online, no problems. A slight head throbbing re-engaged with my brain, however, easily beaten by paracetamol. Arm felt like a safety pin had been inserted each side of the injection, then an elongated triangle running downward of surface dead cells. 

That was that!

A mini covid experience from the vaccine. Although unpleasant, a minor ailment in comparison to the virus: full blown. 

Water-Flower Can

The Water-Flower Can

The Water-Flower Can is to be considered a most magnificent example of functional art.

The humble watering vessel dates back to at least 79 AD, they can be found at Pompeii, artefacts encrypted by the volcanic explosion. The Roman versatile plant watering tool remaining with us today and beyond the pandemic: Post Covid. Ideal for watering plants, placing among garden pots or as a planter in its own right. 

The Liverpool based artist, Alison Little adorned this creation from handle to spout in roses of splendor. Paint flick techniques adding a celebratory flavour to the form.

A Water-Flower Can, so splendid it will be the envy of mother nature’s creations!

£30

UK mainland delivery £3

Hand painted finish may vary.

Contact to purchase.

The Year Traversed

Dave, Alison’ partner was lost to covid on the 8th of April 2020. This was the deadliest day of the first wave of the pandemic in Liverpool. To mark the anniversary of his passing she has worked on ‘A year Traversed’. In this she recall anecdote which he frequently re-told, elements of his personality in which she misses, in addition to her feeling around life without him. The poem is best listened to, in the spotify link she reads the verses. The style is rather raw in places and needless to state contains explicit language and content.

The Year Traversed


Tales of travels to Niguaguar

Nearly getting nicked for viagra

Vessels bound for South America

Being held down by the jugular


GI father, returned, the States

Before you could become mates

Comics, parcelled over in spates

Never learned any of his traits


Growing up in the tennies

Being robbed for pennies

Jam sandwich, filled belly

To the Logan to watch telly


Teenage girl, saved from agro

Big sis left you aglow

First experience of fellatio

‘Little sister’ sounded, the radio


Sters Refrigerator a first role

Never the pistol or the dole

Apprentice, Troops, on bank roll

Engineering in your soul


Sid machining, on landmass

Squisey, tool heavy, ships forecast

Engine room, never underclass

Georgey Wivell, crass, with brass


A wife, three daughters added

Caravan at Formby, expanded

Weekends, Kop afflicted

Offshore Monday, airlifted


Marital turmoil, could not forewarn

Some looked on with scorn

A new relationship, torn

You were gifted with Shaun


The bar, Razor crowned you Dadio

Rounds ordered in, Jimmy Robbo

Odds stacked up by Mic Allo

Glass eye enters the scenario


Jumper you bought, size twenty-two

Could have fitted both me and you

The size eight jeans presented anew

Impossible fit, despite attractive blue


Vigour shown with your little man

Austin the puppy, you understan’

Returning late, greeting him dancin’

Proclaiming: Austin, Austin, Austin


The last year, thrown

In the morgue, alone

Funeral service, tear prone

Covid restrictions bemoan


Flowers absent

Mourners debarment

Technical adjournment

Send off displacement

Necessary diminishment


Love adamant


Weeks of obliteration

Sort alienation

Covid gripped nation

Death toll amplification


Chin dipped smile

Hand talk bilingual

Chair dancing immobile

Examining Reds profile

Glittering eye crystal

Silence hostile


Physically, you are no more

Not returning from offshore

Covid, I continue to deplore

My heart, we still have rapport

Years we had, top score

You are within me evermore



Alison Little

Ivy League Washing

The eco hack you will wish you discovered years ago!

What would you say if I was to tell you that for 30 pence you could cover the cost of laundry detergent for eternity?

The Ivy hack extraordinaire!

Here’s how it works:

You collect wild ivy on your daily walk.

Place in a mesh bag and tie shut, I used a reusable fruit and veg back I got from Asda for 30 pence.

Place it in the washing machine with stained washing.

Washing comes out: clean, stain free and with a wonderful evergreen forest aroma.

Ivy can preferably be composted, but if binned will decompose quickly in landfill.

Doubious? 

It is every bit as good as traditional washing powder, I tried it on floor cloths and they came out white again.

So why is it more environmental?

Primarily: Zero packaging or transportation needed.

Ivy grows abundantly as waste foliage, all year round. It will decompose naturally and at pace. Daily walks in green space are eco pursuits as opposed to internal energy consuming activities. 

Other plus points?

The cost:

30 pence mesh bag versus £10 a month washing powder, amounting to £120 yearly, totalling six grand over the next 50 years not accounting for inflation.

Biennial: simply ‘Bonerous’

The Liverpool Biennial located the first of its installations of the delayed 2000 earlier in the week. The exhibition endeavours, as always, the take over the Port City for the summer. 

Those of you craving culture, isolated through covid restrictions, this is art which lends itself to social distancing. 

‘Osteoclast’ from Madrid based artist: Teresa Solar, drops five bone formed kayaks into exchange Flags. The luminous orange boats take over the financial district square as if fallen from Mars. The artist draws parallels between human bones and seafaring vessels. 

Essentially, but not intentionally, ‘Osteoclast’ brings some much needed vitality back to the deserted streets of the business quarter.

https://www.biennial.com/

When ‘the Rag’ is ‘the Rag’

Let’s talk about Period Poverty

Period Poverty identifies with women and girls not able to afford menstruation products. Equally, the lack of understanding around menstruation and aims to reduce taboos around the subject.

The latest research from Plan International UK in regards to Period Poverty dates to December 2017. (https://plan-uk.org/media-centre/plan-international-uks-research-on-period-poverty-and-stigma)

To summarize: 10% of girls are unable to afford sanitary wear and 15% struggle with cost. 14% have needed to borrow menstruation products due to financial matters and almost 20% have chosen a less suitable product due to cost. Further details are given around taboo’s and stigmas around menstruation, the most alarming being 14% were not aware of what was happening when they started their period and nearly a quarter didn’t know what sanitary product to use. 

Period Poverty looks to have surged during the pandemic. ‘A bloody good period,’ the leading charity for supplying sanitary produce to food banks and community groups have seen a 6 fold rise in demand since the start of the pandemic. 

Period Poverty results in girls absent from school and women not present at work. Poorer standards of education may result in dropping out, girls becoming more vulnerable to violence, abuse and sexual exploitation. Adults most affected are often: refugees, homeless women, students and those on a low income. Principly, stigma and financial issues result in women not being able to have their period with dignity. 

What Can I do to help end Period Poverty?

Firsty, buy brands which give to period poverty charities, Always being a market leader. Make cash donations to charities such as action aid with tackle this issue globally and the homeless period which help women who are rough sleeping. The Period Project, Merseyside does incredible work, forefronted by Natalie Denny, she also provided opportunities for direct donation of unused menstrual items and there are opportunities to get involved further. Become involved in activism, Bloody good period promote opportunities through their website and signing petitions is not to be forgotten. Raise awareness through in person talks and via social media which has developed into a more powerful tool over the course of the pandemic. Finally, educate yourself, are you aware of what a menstrual cup looks like?

https://periodprojectmerseyside.com/

https://www.bloodygoodperiod.com/

A Jaunt

A Jaunt is a photo journey taken by Alison during the second peak of the pandemic through the Everton area of Liverpool. The freeflow text responds to the images taken and the reality of living in lockdown.

Umbrella, upturned, scattered

Sheltering potential rendered void

Chalk markings, gym class

Taken outside

Covid safe arena

Pallets, scattered cans

Makeshift baroom of lockdown

Outlet of the Victorian era 

Stands strong

Water prevails no more

Face, accidentally appears

Eyes arched

Serious, the pandemic surrounds

Memorial flowers

Benched, overlooking the city

Secured, black mask of protection

Possibly a play wig?

Sheepskin bouffant

Tool of homeschooling?

Soil upturned

Bikes of youth

Schools shutdown

Turf wars of old

Couplet of coned stand together

Man prominent, women reduced

A bubble in unison

Workman digs upward

Altered direction

Turbulence

A jaunt through Everton

Journey stained by Covid

Fever pitched

Deathly

Corruption

Covid

Alison Little

Kaleidoscope Eyes

Kaleidoscope Eyes is the second painting in the series from Liverpool based artist: Alison Little.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the Beatles classic, is being illustrated in stages afresh.

In this works she depicts the pattern of the kaleidoscope through the eyes. Using the concept of sixties style glasses, made icon by Lennon, combined with a central parting. The feathered hair leads into the fire filled marmalade skies. The river is edge by tangerine trees, bth appear to be dancing intime to melody.

Acrylic on mixed media board

1mx1m

£500.00

Contact to purchase.