Saturday, 31 July 2010

Home is -

Realizing that somewhere that wasn't home for you still is for someone else. That way you can know the place you call home, appreciate theirs, and enjoy being in both.
If you know what I mean! ;)
I had a lovely day visiting a classic museum, two pleasant pubs, and speaking to a friend who knows her home is in her adopted city here in a special part of England.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


South Asian arts festival at Birmingham's MAC arts centre. Traditional and modern dance in the outdoor courtyard, and brilliant dance and folk-rock from India in the evening.

SAMPAD the arts group, based at the MAC.

Raghu Dixit Project is the band, catch them at the Hare and Hounds if you're around.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Street sculptures

Pictures of Digbeth

Strange scenes at the Custard Factory ... [arts studios, used to be Bird's Custard ...]

The Gun Barrel Proof House (guns had to be tested before being sold) from the 19th Century

See: Birmingham - walks through history, by John Wilks. Derby: Breedon Books, 2008.

Home isn't home unless -

you spend time there.
I had a fascinating time hearing about literary connections to Birmingham and the Midlands, and not just Tolkien, Auden and Dr Johnson, also Louis Macneice, Langland of Piers Plowman fame (the medieval poem which starts on the Malvern hills), and the author of Gawain and the Green Knight. Aston Hall where we were greeted by 'Barbara Cartland' (born in Edgbaston, 'fraid so! and who went to Malvern Girls' College (1) ) while joining us on the bus were Rip van Winkle, created by Washington Irving while the author was living in Birmingham, (2), Dr Johnson who hailed from Lichfield of course, and Sherlock Holmes whose creator Conan Doyle had his first story published while living here, and who refers to the city in some of the Holmes stories. Golumn gave us a fright near the end, must have got on at Sarehole Mill which has Tolkien weekends and allegedly provided inspiration for him.
Blakesley Hall was the final stop for tea and lovely cake and a recap from Dr Chris Upton, our genial guide, lecturer and local history expert.

Authors tended to grow up here and then leave, or spend some time here, and then leave ... but all left their mark, and maybe Brum left its mark (in a positive way) on them too.

But then I went home, spent time at home, and I'm waiting for my other half who'll be back home soon from work. In fact, she's back home now.

Really though, I've been home all day, learning about where I'm from and knowing where home is (for a while at any rate).



Thursday, 15 July 2010

A Blog on the Tyne

Millenium Bridge and a bridge for the birds ... over the Tyne in Newcastle


Holy Island, connected by the causeway when the tide's out ... and the castle all weathers!

And by the National Trust all year round! This was on the door of the "Emergency Toilet" (as I found it was called later).

Islands and Nature

Farne Islands, home of puffins, terns, guillemots, seals ... some human visitors, and sea ...

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Gone with the wind (almost)

Berwick, the coast, and a sea breeze ...

Where the sea and the winds could blow you and you'd be lost =
but a word of warning is there -

Looking out -