Tag Archives: birmingham

Somebody stop the bandwagon, I want to get on!

I love me a bit of controversy.

Once upon a time in Birmingham, a slightly negative post was made about an entity.


Said entity found out about said post, and became quite cross.


Several people saw this happening and thought “You what? Keep your knickers on.”


This became highly amusing, and so I had to join in, even from my sickbed.

Obviously, I have no comment to make about the whole thing, for fear of having my own wrist slapped by the grumpy entity. I would, however, point out that the voting structure is not being credited with enough complexity – there is also an industry vote which can be used for as many bands as the A&R folk like (linky). To their credit, they are being open and honest with the votes, having them available on the intarwebs like that.

Also, the disputed quote from their T&C for the artists (although if it were confidential I can quite understand that they might not like it being quoted directly) is backed up by one of the main pages of their own website. 25 people required. So it’s a bit silly of them to get their panties in a whirl about a quote when the same information is publicly available.

Oh and as I understand it, round two tickets are £7 each, and round three £8. Just so you know.

I’m trying not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but bloody hell.

Street cleaners. They do a great and essential job. They remove the detritus of the day and night before, wiping away any trace of the scum that have traversed Broad Street and its environs.


Make that eight. PISS OFF. PISS THE FUCK OFF. It is bad enough that I spent the first part of the night awake hearing all the twats shouting, revving their engines, and sharing their music with the world as they drove away from their nights on the razz. So now listening to each street cleaner as it thunders its way down the street like a flatulent elephant, cleaning bits of road that have already been cleaned a number of times, is a little bit irritating.

And why the hell is that Biffa cart so fucking cheerful about the fact it’s reversing? I don’t give a shit if it is reversing. Least of all at 5:50am.

I wouldn’t mind, but when I walk to work in just under two hours time there will still be vomit on the pavement. There will be vomit outside Walkabout. There will be vomit nestling in those exciting triangular niches in the side of the ICC. The roads will be lovely and clean for the cars and bicycles of Birmingham, but Risa’s back steps and the nearby pavement will still be splattered by the usual puddles of red barf.


Man. Another reason I wouldn’t mind but [insert rage-inducing incident here]… I refer you to last Monday, the bank holiday, to be precise. I was woken up at 3:30am by a mouthbreathers’ ball outside – a collection of revellers taking their party from the club to the streets. Women bellowing at each other and any man passing. Men revving their engines and turning their car stereos up to attract them. People stealing their shoes, apparently. All this heard clear as a a bell through closed and sealed double-glazed windows. But I was fine with this. I knew they would get tired, and go home within the hour. That’s how it normally works. I was peaceful, and prepared to go back to sleep.

Until the first street cleaner. Bing. Wide awake. I wasn’t going to get any sleep, so I gave up trying. I got up and did my nails. At 4:30 in the morning. A piece of cake, a glass of wine, and twenty shiny nails later, I was perfectly happy with the situation, and in the end I had a really productive day.

Today, however, I am pissed off. I have to go to work, and that’s bad enough. I mean why do they have to be so loud? They’re deafening. I thought it was supposed to be quieter in a vacuum. And this is something moving through a residential area early in the morning. Surely there are laws about this stuff? Has nobody invented a silent street-cleaner for posh neighbourhoods? Or do posh neighbourhoods not get dirty?

Gah. Have a nice bloody day.

Zis Paradise Forum, e iz so rromantic…

On my way to the Post Office at lunchtime today, I was stopped by a short tubby man with gold teeth (only the uppers… maybe he ran out of cash) who asked if he could ask me a question. ‘Er, alright then’ I replied, trying to sidestep but finding my way blocked by a short tubby man with gold teeth.

‘Why,’ he enquired, ‘why do you look so beautiful today? Are you going for a job interview?’


The joy of buses.

Personally, I have a plan. I swear, with God as my witness, the next time I hear the new Chingy single played right in my ear, at 10.23am, I will get up and start doing my “sexy dance”, hair flying, shopping bags bashing against the seats. Possibly, I will conclude by humping their leg like a dog, and screaming “Wind it up, gal!”

How to turn your local bus into a transport of delight | Caitlin Moran – Times Online

I would pay to see that. I reckon that’d be even more effective than the elderly gentleman on the bus a few weeks ago – he turned round and told the fugly teenager playing crackly RnB on his phone that the devil was in that music, and he should repent immediately and become Christian or he’d burn in hell. The kid got straight off at the next stop.

(Only to be replaced by two even fuglier teenagers playing shit music and scrawling telephone numbers over the back of the seats. But still.)

Gosh. Weather. It’s like, so unusual.

By now I must be the only person in the city who hasn’t mentioned the snow. Time to change that. Ooooooh, did it snow by you last night? Eeee it’s unusual, isn’t it. Who’d have thought November might bring cold weather. So much for global warming eh. And gosh, isn’t it getting unusually dark in the evenings? I mean it’s hardly normal, is it, this whole winter-days-being-shorter-than-summer-ones-in-the-nothern-hemisphere lark.

Jeez. I wasn’t even involved in any of these conversations and I was ready to go on the rampage. IT’S WEATHER. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. IT WAS ON THE WEATHER FORECAST. AND IT’S NOVEMBER. COLD STUFF HAPPENS IN NOVEMBER. AND IT REALLY DOESN’T WARRANT A HALF HOUR CONVERSATION ABOUT EE BY GUM IT’S COLD because actually, I thought it was rather unseasonably warm today. FURTHERMORE, IF YOU ARE ALL THE PEOPLE PISSING YOURSELVES WITH EXCITEMENT ABOUT CHRISTMAS AND QUESTIONING MY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT AND SO ON, WHY DO YOU ALL HATE THE GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET? It’s not like it’s in the way. Unless you’re specifically out to buy sandwiches, ornaments or camping accessories, there’s not really any reason for you to be going down there anyway. And hence the street being taken up by shiny German tat is no real issue, especially as said shiny German tat is accompanied by pretzels, sausages, mulled wine and beer. And evil santa.

I like evil santa. He has a cheeky gleam in his eyes. And children probably run screaming at the sight of him. I’d love that sort of power.

Ohh, Royal Mail, wiz zis superbe serveece you are rilly spoling us…

Or not.

I received this package today, bursting with bamboo circular needles that I’d almost given up for lost.

Posted on the 11th, arrived on the 22nd. 11 days from CH24 to B1.

If we follow Google Maps directions this is a journey of about 105 miles. Average human walking pace is 3mph. By that logic, by walking 6 hours a day (three in the morning, long lunch, then another three in the afternoon), I could have walked there, picked up the needles, had a day to sightsee, walked back and still arrived on my doorstep before the bloody Royal Mail had taken their fingers out of their collective arse and deigned to deliver them.

Tell me again what they were striking for? Was it a pay rise?

They can fuck right off.

Music. Food. Knitting. Wildlife.

A four-pronged post.


Now that all the furore about ‘In Rainbows’ has died down (radio who?) I feel comfortable announcing that actually, I quite like it. Mainly because it’s absolutely perfect knitting music.


I’ve abandoned the gloves (just not feeling them, y’know?) and am embarking on a cardigan. This is how far I’ve got so far:

Woo! Umm. Bit of a way to go. But I’m quite excited as I’ll need to use some stitch markers, of which I handily made a few last week:


I’m still reeling with the smug factor of a beef stew I made last week, that resulted in two grown men licking their plates clean and asking for more.

Yes, it did have beer in it. 🙂


I saw some wildlife! Actually from my flat! Look!

OK, so it’s just a moth, but it was big and spent a long time sat there just furling and unfurling its proboscis. And then probably died as it was early afternoon. But in a city where the only winged creatures are seagulls, honking bloody Canada geese or scabby toe-less pigeons, I was quite impressed.

Demolition sense strikes again.

A couple of years back, I was wandering down the Bristol Road looking at all the high-rises and thinking to myself ‘You know what? It’s about time someone knocked them down, they’re just ugly.’ One by one they were soon swathed in scaffolding and began to count down the days to their demise.

Another time, on a jaunt past Stephenson Tower, I remarked to my walking partner that it was about time the monstrous thing was ripped down, along with the whole damn ugly embarrassment of a train station. Not long afterwards I found out that there were actually plans to do so.

Now, just days after posting about this Arena Central plan, the Egyptian Frieze building has a layer of scaffolding creeping up around it like some regimented metal ivy, leaves emblazoned with the logo of a demolitions company.


Spooky or no, it’s pretty exciting. If only because the company that’s doing it (DMS) is the same one that gutted Baskerville House before its renovation into my favourite building in Birmingham, so I can retain that slight sense of hope that the façade might be retained.

P.S. they’ve also put demolition signs up on the fugly car park. Get in.

There are many wonderful bridges in the world.

The mathematical bridge. The Rialto. The Bridge of Sighs. But none of them really made me smile like the Incomprehensible Bridge. I loved the way it started strongly across Suffolk Street Queensway, realised there wasn’t enough public ground to end, then swerved sheepishly across Holliday Street in a faintly haphazard manner. ‘Hi’, it said, ‘don’t mind me, I’m just being brutalist. Blame the library.’ It was my favourite route back from Snobs and gigs. It’s the only place in Birmingham I’ve ever actually definitely seen a rat. It was continually covered in broken glass, how, I don’t know, because I never saw anyone else walk over it, apart from the people I took over it who generally had the memory totally wiped from their memories by Snobs ‘whisky’. And I’m fairly sure I’ve run up and down both sides giggling hysterically like a small child cos it’s like a spiral and they’re like cool. I may even have made some kind of NNNEEEAAAOOOOWMMM noise at the same time.

I wish I’d known it was going, so’s I could have given it a nice hug before it went. It deserved that much.

Actually investigating my sorely missed bridge (sob) I discovered that some other buildings I love are in danger. This demolition was in aid of the Arena Central project, which is aiming at the regeneration of the area between Broad Street, Holliday Street, Suffolk Street Queensway and Bridge Street. Looking at the plans, it looks unpleasantly like that square blocky building right on the end of Broad Street with the Egyptian-style reliefs around the top of the walls doesn’t figure in their plans. Now I know it’s in a state of disrepair but I love that building. The architecture is pure Howard Carter, perhaps a little Arch of Titus… most people would see it as a shitey old square block of a building but I really like it, and I’ll be horribly sad if that is demolished in the pursuit of progress.

Then again, let’s think of the pay-off. The old register office appears to be saying bye-bye (did you know it has a car park on the roof? Neither did I until I looked at the google overhead pics). And – I hardly dare type it for fear of jinxing this beautiful, beautiful thought… that shitty, decrepit, foul old car park on Holliday Street might FINALLY be gotten rid of. Bliss. Sadly, the fugly Alpha Tower gets to stay. The Arena Central website cites it as a “200,000sq ft fully let office building”, in which case I’d like to know why there’s been an advert outside promoting offices to let in the Alpha Tower for at least the last year. And why there never seem to be any lights on in there. Perhaps they mean fully available to rent, rather than fully occupied. Still bloody ugly though.

Oh – another thing I learnt about this morning (from wikipedia so truckload of salt at the ready) is that there’s a skyscraper (!) planned for Broad Street where that gap in the clubs filled by advertising board is. I think that’s where it is, anyway. If that’s the case, I’m wondering where on earth the road access is going to be, because I’m sure that’s on that crappy box junction where the lights never let anyone going away from town turn right down Sheepcote Street, or at least nearby. Isn’t that snarled up enough already?