Adventures in Birmingham: August 2nd

Two weeks of too much going on meant too much going out means getting back into writing and reading mode. I haven’t got back into my book a week habit (that’s reading, not writing one) since before the world cup.
So having said all that about Birmingham being so fantastic there is rarely a need to London, this weekend a few of us are going to see Hair, the musical in London.

I say Hair was the first production I was in whilst at primary school but in a few ways, this is not strictly true; firstly, my debut production was the nativity, 3 months into my school career and I was picked, not auditioned, to play Mary, largely a non-speaking role. I’m sure there may have been another nativity or two before Hair. Now that I come to think of it, I don’t remember a production, just rehearsing so maybe it was just part of dance class or the like? My memory is only of waving scarves and swirling around the floor to the tune of ‘this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, the age of Aquariuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuus’. That’s all I remember, or I could have imagined it all. All I knew at the time was that I was singing about a star sign, growing up as the youngest of 4 sisters and just one brother, I knew about star signs at an absurdly early age.

So, having spent the weekend easily – well not easily, it was bloody hard, I just mean in the end I topped the target of 1000 words on my book – I start as I mean to go on by picking up a new book to read.
I generally don’t like chick lit (maybe pick up one a year) but this seems good so far, The Truth About Melody Brown by Lisa Jewell.
Best of all my Radio 2 boys are back after a holiday, Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie 8-10pm, sadly now only on Monday to Wednesday having been replaced with live music on Thursdays. When I say ‘live’ I mean recorded at some point in the past. If you’re going to replace the best thing on radio, now that Wossy has gone (Ken Bruce & popmaster a close 2nd) replace it with something better. Nope, that’s not possible; there is nothing better than these two.

These are my reading hours even though I get mightily distracted, not always by the music but by their muso chatter in between perfectly chosen records from now, from the past and most importantly from the future. If I am out, as much as I say I’ll pop in for a quick drink after work (strictly speaking it’s not my ‘after-work’, just everyone else’s’), it inevitably gets to at least 9 before I think of trying to make an exit, even though I rarely drink. (allergy reasons)

Cocktails in an island

Back to Birmingham, this leads to Tuesday, the only night I’ve committed to be Out with the Girls and my third attempt to get to the Island Bar. Living in St Pauls, going to the other side of the city is like going to the dark side. For a start it’s a good 25 minute walk but I make it and a lovely time is had by all, with the first time I looked at my watch being 9.28. Bang on cue then.
It’s nice in there although it took me 10 minutes to ask for my mineral water as the solo barman was busy making something green with herbs. I should have asked for some pink colouring just to make it as fancy as the others.

I was meant to pop in for a drink before we went to see Cherry Ghost at the Alex the other week, but somehow it never happened. They offer cocktails at £3.50 all night on a Monday, I guess we’ll be doing that next month, when I may gear myself up for a drop of the hard stuff. It’s a recently developed alcohol allergy although I’m not a big drinker anyway.

Coffee & Live Music

On Friday, seemingly the coffee shop to the stars had some welcome live music from Pandemonium Peoples Front Skiffle Experience; ‘bringing back skiffle to its coffee bar roots’. They can only be described as skiffle meets folk and runs over the punk on the way. As everyone knows, I’m in there most afternoons to write and although Friday is a day off, I felt it a good enough reason to be at Urban. I’ve loved live music in coffee shops in the evenings since my early days of travelling solo to New York. If one is not a drinker this a fabulous way to enjoy life music and on a Friday, a great end to the working week/start to the weekend. If not every week it will be great to have this at least once a month.

It’s a little loud for a coffee shop ambience as we had to SHOUT TO BE HEARD but otherwise, fantastic.

Flower children

Four of us meet at Snow Hill on Saturday morning to catch a train to London. Why Snow Hill and not the brilliantly fast Virgin train from New St? Because Chiltern trains are running an offer, buy 2 tickets, get four so against my better judgement, I’m persuaded by my three companions that it will be fun if we’re all together.

As it turns out, that was the only negative as apparently there was some maintenance work going but the horrendous delays were not mentioned either when purchasing, on the boards or at any time during the very long journey. Nor that we had to change in deepest darkest West London (barely) and jump on a tube. In total we spent over six hours travelling, more time that we went in London. I think I’ve convinced the others to stick with Virgin and book weeks in advance to get the deal in future.

The ‘day’ in London however was perfection; brunch, coffee, show, coffee & cake before heading back. A great last free Saturday for me before Match of the Day returns. Next weekend, I’m staying in Birmingham, probably.

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One thought on “Adventures in Birmingham: August 2nd

  1. I was in Hair at Upper School. I think the first proper production (other than the nativities) was either The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe or Smike in Year 5 (it’s a musical version of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens – and I can’t place which one came first lol)

    My latest will be a performance I’m in, in September – singing lots and dancing like a wally

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