Tag: Birmingham

There are too many negative satirical and cynical voices in Birmingham – join us to celebrate the wow, the positive, the top choices we’ve all made to be in the global city with the big heart of England! With all the new developments we’re being involved with, with all the independence our council, the hyperlocal media in partnership with the Post and Mail, and various quasi non-governmental organisations are supporting, with all the impact we can have when we come together — we live in Paradise. And we get great cake! LOL. Sign up now for Paradise City – the weakly freemium email that is always first with the big cultural news! Wow, Birmingham! Subscribe to our mailing list We’ll never spam you, sell your email address, or ever bother to send an issue, probably. See an sample issue:

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Here’s a question I get asked a lot: “What on earth are you doing here?”. I wasn’t born here, in Birmingham, but here I am now: a grown man, a wife, a house, kids and a cat. A responsible job even. Birmingham has me, has me locked in tight. “But why Birmingham, of all places?” I didn’t grow up here, in Brum, but here I stand, here and now. I’m part of this place, it’s part of me. “How did you end up here?”

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For a time, this was an allowable method of attempting to staunch the flow of disappearances. But it soon extended much further than one shelf of the ‘D’ sequence. In fact within a year everything was gone. This is the story of that encroaching nothing.   So what happened next? Add to the collaborative story with the next steps. Answers on a postcard to: Paradise Circus C/O Jon Hickman, B322 Baker Building, BCU City North Campus, Perry Barr, B42 2SU Try Touchnote as a quick and cool way of sending them.

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It’ll come as no surprise that I was a bookish child, I rarely left the house to go out and play and would opt to stay in the massive musty smelling Austin Maxi that my father drove rather than go play in the the sun on whatever day trip my parents would take us on. Evesham or Stourport all enjoyed from the the smeared window of a car built like a tank glanced at by bored eyes while turning the page of whatever comic or book I head stuck my head in. Its why I’m such a good traveller now, I either sleep or read during the boring bits. So the memories I have of the the little strip of green known locally as the Kala’s I am suspicious of, I never really went outside so why are my memories so strong? So vivid? Are they borrowed …

The Wasteland Read More »

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The life of a blogger is nothing if not glamorous, only last week I was backstage at the dress rehearsal for 3P’s marvellous version of The Nativity. Even before the performance, the squash was flowing and more than a couple of biscuits were passed around. Amid all the revelry the pre-performance jitters were in evidence: the third Wise Man had to be cajoled to climb out of the book cupboard and several shepherds had to be persuaded from kicking their prop sheep out of the window altogether. The performance was a masterpiece, including a entirely improvised bank robbery sub-plot and a song and dance number that went on for three or four extra verses because none of the cast could remember how to end the song. I’m proud to be a part of such a game changing version of the Christmas story, which this year focussed completely …

A Christmas Carol Read More »

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Fans of vague marketing talk and transparent attempts to make the public feel as they’re in control really should head over to paradisecircus.co.uk and marvel at the property developments Argent. Apparently Argent and the Birmingham City Council have an ‘exclusivity agreement’ and if that brings to mind the result of an awkward conversational from a couple of Uni friends that have been occasionally drunkingly ending up in bed together, then you wouldn’t be far wrong. Argent and The Council have promised not to see other people, but on the promise that Argent phone their mates and check they don’t mind. The ‘mates’ in this analogy are us and the phone call they have promised to make is the website, its feedback forms and a small presentation they made in Paradise Forum. I went to this ‘public exhibition’ which consisted of all the different pages of that web …

Sabres of Paradise Read More »

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Last Tuesday Jon sent me to cover the BBC WM public forum debate about the Kraft takeover of Cadbury, it was held in Bournville. Bournville, for those of you that don’t know, was built by the do-gooding Cadbury family who thought booze was the devil’s piss. Subsequently it’s dryer than Gandhi’s Black and Decker belt sander. Jon sent me for three reasons; one, Jon is a cruel bastard; two, he had a strong idea that I would find it a boring waste of time; and three, if he and Carl Chinn actually meet the universe will turn inside out and reality itself’ll get torn a new arsehole. The reaction to the news across the the media has ranged from the predicable hysterical cloying nostalgia of ‘oh no they’re going to make wispas taste of Stilton and and shoot curly wurlys into space, how dare they mess with …

Up Bournville Boulevard Read More »

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So I spoke to the Editor* about what to write about this week and he gave me this, probably to wind me up, which suggests that ten people are responsible for most of the graffiti in Brum. I knew my feelings on graff have been documented ad nauseum in other places. Also I find the weary ‘is it art?’ argument nonsensical and unhelpful and am at loathe to drag it out one more time. So, for once, I thought it would be good to give someone active in that world a chance to reply. The guy I spoke to didn’t want to be named so I haven’t. What do you think of the thought that there only ten people responsible for the graffiti in Birmingham? I doubt the council see it like this to be honest, I can imagine they have a wanted list a lot longer. …

Tag nuts Read More »

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Anglo-Saxon England was a horrible violent place with different kings and fiefdoms slaughtering for land, old gods, and, when the Danes landed, shits and giggles. Not unlike Newtown (except the bit about the Danes – I’ve never seen a Dane  in North Birmingham). Another thing worth stabbing your neighbouring villagers up the arsehole for, was gold. Not the tatty mass produced Elizabeth Duke crap the third generation crack-babies are killing each other for at present. Beautiful, hand crafted gold unique items; normally it was used for decorating the weapons you yourself used to rob people for their gold, thus making you more attractive to rob. You can see why it escalated. To keep it safe they buried it, and The Staffordshire Hoard was discovered last year in the West Midlands; if you mean the ‘West Midlands Region‘ which pretty much covers everything with buildings between London and …

Surge Domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua* Read More »

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I was watching and saying manly things when Birmingham City almost beat Man Utd on Saturday, but first, a story; When I was younger I was deemed shy and somewhat bookish, if you would have asked me at the time I probably would have more described myself as “mysterious” or “a lone wolf” proving not only was I a bit socially awkward, but also a bit of a tool. The cure for this, my matriarchal Nan decided, was to get a job in a pub as soon as I was old enough. The pub was, and by all accounts still is, quite rough. When I arrived for my first shift the manager, a lurching ex-police officer, took me to one side and explained that the pub was mainly a Zulu* pub and if there was any trouble I should just go get him, referring to a group …

Blues and me Read More »

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