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She’m one-a we


Photo by Brian Deegan

Photo by Brian Deegan

I had a genuine old-fashioned weekend away these last few days, visiting family around the country. Foremostly, I further explored the newly-conquered territories of the West Midlands – unknown to me until of late, now unfolding before my eyes to a rich tapestry.


I’m not even being facetious. I’m one of those who likes to form firm, unyielding opinions based on little to no prior knowledge of a subject – it’s the staple diet of the blogger. So it was with Birmingham. Years of preconceptions have been upended of late – it turns out that I quite like Brum. It has that big city vibe going on, the multi-ethnic communities which are part of why I love London so much, the individual history and sense of identity, yet it still feels small to me. We drove across town from the Northwest (Smethwick) to the far South and it took about 15 minutes. We’d been stocking up on goodies for an Indian feast – Smethwick is definitely the place for this – and revisiting childhood memories, and it was an easy yomp home via Harborne and Northfield.

But even more exciting than an Indian feast (although with Keralan pumpkin curry, beef rogan, tarka dhal and lemon rice, it was a close call) was the day trip itself, up to Dudley (yes, doodloy). The day was spent at the Black Country Museum (map), bringing back floods of memories of childhood visits to the Ironbridge Museums like Blists Hill. Despite those halcyon recollections, I think the Black Country Museum was even better – a mass of period things to do, from funfairs to fried fish, from tramways to tin houses. 

I love this sort of thing, especially when you’ve got random be-costumed characters wandering about adding authenticity at you. The fish and chips, in beef dripping, were exquisite, crisp and filthy and wonderful, followed by a swift half (of ginger beer mind) at the old pub opposite the chapel, replete with terrifying landlady. Add in an old-timey sweetshop where I was basically mocked out of the shop for not understanding the accents; a cake shop selling lardy actual cake; silent cinema; houses you can just wander around; a coal mine with a trip down (w00t! it’s like the best parts of my childhood all stapled together!); canal boat things-to-do; a tram trip; and a funfair with slots and rides (hear I confess my ignorance – I was not aware that What The Butler Saw was porn, and I really did run away squealing “nudie ladies! nudie ladies!” I am not cool in this situation).

I had a wicked time, I’m such a child at heart sometimes.


2 Responses

  1. […] bookmarks tagged facetious She’m one-a we saved by 4 others     x0MissJ0x bookmarked on 12/24/08 | […]

  2. […] following day was a trek around the Black Country Living Museum, as documented previously; a cold day, grey and bleak, but truly lovely all the same. I’ve been through this already, […]

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