A fond, very personal memory from 2013 of an unforgettable day in Liverpool’s history.
I remember the day Thatcher died. It had been a long time coming! I’d been waiting for it to happen for several years. Over time I’d evolved a morning routine whereby I got out of bed, made a cup of tea and thought “Maybe today’s the day” before switching on the TV to check on Teletext. I had been disappointed so many times. I wouldn’t exactly recommend it as the most positive way to start your day. I did try to stay upbeat though, thinking “never mind, there’s always tomorrow”. Realistically, she wasn’t going to give it up that easily. I’m just thankful she didn’t have the Queen’s doctors or I might still be waiting now.
Anyway, on this day I went through my usual ritual, the little jolt of nervous excitement, wondering whether the day I’d been looking forward to for so long had finally arrived. I crossed my fingers and waited for the screen to flicker into life, anxiously swallowing gulps of hot tea. And there it was. I’d timed it to perfection as News 24 was just reporting the breaking news that Thatcher’s death had just been announced. I sat stunned watching the live coverage, scarcely able to believe what I was hearing. It seemed too good to be true, after such a long wait. It didn’t take long though for it to sink in that some dreams do come true, and a wave of elation washed over me. I don’t remember exactly how I reacted in the next few minutes but I think I probably shared the happy news with my cat and felt more joy than I’d experienced since the last time the Ramones toured. It didn’t take long before I was texting my friends “Thatcher’s snuffed it!! Where’s the party?”
I had a few hours to kill before going to work in the afternoon, so spent it in front of the TV, enjoying listening to the reporters announcing “Margaret Thatcher has died” over and over again, sweet honey in my ears. When I did have to drag myself away from the screen and get the bus to work, I passed Aigburth Vale and saw that fascist Pete Tierney’s antiques shop had closed down, sending me into even greater heights of delirious happiness. “This day keeps getting better and better”, I thought to myself.
The evening of course turned into a huge party that the whole of Liverpool seemed to have RSVP’d to. After starting in the Cracke where I found some friends and following them to the Cali, we headed to the Casa where, not surprisingly, the bar had been drunk completely dry by exuberant lefties and had nothing left for us, so we continued on to Sound Food & Drink where the DJs were playing all my favourite songs. People were dancing on the tables with sheer delight and we partied like we should have done in 1999, except Thatcher stubbornly continued into the 21st Century with her usual lack of good grace and inability to take a hint. That night was utter pandemonium with a public explosion of joy I’ve not witnessed on the streets of my hometown since LFC won the Champions League.
With the hangover the next day came the realisation that she was finally gone and the slight sadness that she could only die once and that night could never be repeated. My life changed on that day as I no longer had that tantalising possibility to put a hopeful smile on my face every morning when I awoke. I spent a difficult period wondering how I could ever replace that and what I had to look forward to. What would give me the impetus to get out of bed on a cold, dark morning now? Then I remembered Tony Blair was still alive and I’ve been fine ever since.