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Monday, June 20, 2011

Roadtrip To Birmingham

Sometimes on a roadtrip, everything goes to plan - other times it is a comedy of errors and bad luck - this was definitely the latter category.


There is always some kind of calamity when my very good friend Matt is involved, and this time it involved his car gaining a flat battery before we had left Reading.

All was not lost, except a little time before we were back on the road and running smoothly - though with no guarantee that we would be able to start the car the next morning!

The weather was of course delightfully summery in a British kind of way, which never encourages people to embark on a night out, and then my Brummie friend Terry who was navigating us, decided to take us on a long tour of Birmingham rather than going directly to the venue.

I like Brummies - I don't recall ever having met anyone from Birmingham that I didn't like, and I met some more good, very friendly folk once again.

I like Birmingham too, though you can really tell that it has suffered in the recession. It has a certain air of despondency, like everyone is waiting to be rescued from the recession by a mysterious outside force. Completely unlike my adopted town of Reading with a grand total of about 3 buildings boarded up - some areas we drove through seemed like every other building was falling apart.

The pub, Hare & Hounds, was quite a good venue, sadly not that many people upstairs with the reliably enjoyable music from Matt, Terry, Dan and some Birmingham guys that were running the night. Probably part weather-related, part recession releated and maybe it was a student area and students have gone home - only guessing on that front though.

There were about 6 or 7 of us from Reading, only just beaten by the number of those from Birmingham, maybe there were 20 - and a couple of drunken rockers and punks from the room downstairs with the bands on which were seemingly loving it more than the house-heads among us!  More converts?

It ended early, assumedly due to a lack of people, and onto an after-party in this flat which was in the middle of a block with scaffolding everywhere, it was like they were converting a prison into flats. Quite weird. I did attempt some photography, but my skills aren't the best when sober and are distinctly lacking at 4am, as you may be able to tell?!




Ahem.  Normally we have a decent photographer with us.  That isn't in my repetoire of excellency.

And then to our own after-party in an apartment booked for 4 people - 6 made it in ok but it took a long time and a lot of persuading for them to let anyone else in, and quite a lot of hassle and stress from the sounds of it - I was attempting and still failing to sleep by this point - 48 hours and still going strong! Maybe not so strong, actually. And a £25 charge if we left any washing up - what the hell?

After an average of one hour's sleep each, we then managed to find the car across the other side of Birmingham - and thankfully the engine started up.

It might have been slightly lacking in organisation and/or communication at times, I am a fan of things being organised and communicated, too old for too much randomness perhaps, but that didn't stop it from being a lot of fun.

I nearly pulled out before we went and at the petrol station when we broke down, but definitely glad I persevered - it was worth it. Yet to have a roadtrip which isn't a lot of fun, and very few of them pass without incident - unless of course I have organised it - you can trust me, I am from Hull.  Roadtrip to Hull, anyone?

Thanks to all involved.