Birmingham

Don’t Quote Me

I deactivated my Facebook account almost five days ago. I haven’t broken and logged back on yet either, but, per the title, don’t quote me… baby steps, ain’t it… maybe I’ll stay away, maybe not. One thing is certain: I’m not gonna let it be a part of my life in quite the same way. Ever. Again.

Maybe I should mark that momentous day, just over a week ago, when this blog (which managed to survive by the skin of its teeth, in spite of its long hiatus) reached the age of 14. Anyhow, 14 years makes this one of the older blogs around, for better or worse—it was worth saving, I think.

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Tori Amos Bham May ’14

(This post was backdated in Nov ’14 to fill in some stuff missed during Ye Website being offline…)

The day Steve Green and I saw Tori Amos at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Some photos and a few comments…

I was hoping to see Tori at her traditional Meet & Greet appearance, so I took along the booklet for her Piano boxset, hoping I might get it signed.

Tori Stuff May 2014

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Happy 2014

Well, I’ve left the blog unattended for aeons again. Just wanted to sneak in before this year is over and done with.

Hasn’t been a very good year, apart from the Bowie stuff. Chaotic, frustrating, lacking in any of the progress or affirmation I’m looking for.

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Birmingham: Shit Or Not?

One of the things demanding an amount of my time recently has been trying to move. This activity has actually become an enduring theme in my life in recent years—and I still haven’t managed it. I don’t live in Birmingham per se. I live in a small town about 15 miles North. I’ve spent a large chunk of my life in this town variously. I’ve escaped a couple of times and somehow been sucked back in. As much as I hate this place (the small town), I’m sure it’s at least a bit unfair to aim that hatred at Birmingham as such.

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The Big Issue

An issue I’ve gone back and forth on for a long time and it’s been on my mind to an alarmingly distracting extent recently, including right now in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Employment. The freelance chancing, carefree (ish) hours and alleged freedom vs a boring old salaried job.

Everything about being freelance sounds kinda cool in theory. But it’s only kinda cool if you crack the formula—meaning you never, ever, go a month (or six) enduring a dry spell. Because when it works it’s great; when it doesn’t work it’s a complete bastard.

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Randomly

I’ll add some random thoughts here about where I’m at.

Turning the London job down two months ago HURT. Actually it was kind of a crap job. They got wind of my huge desire to get out of this place and tried it on a bit—get someone much cheaper than they normally would. Still, it was a way out of here and I coulda worked on finding something better.

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Big News

Which I didn’t even blog about till now. Well, I had a London-based job offer a little over two weeks ago following an interview on March 28th, which I accepted. I’ve been flat-hunting quite intensively and I’m viewing a place I’m quite hopeful about on Friday. Not 100% yet but it seems to be looking good. So maybe I’ll blog a bit more often again! :b Seriously, between various projects and the focus on relocating back down South, I’ve had little time to spare. This could change. We’ll see.

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Preoccupied

It hasn’t been a week for drawing anything after all. Too much on my mind, I suppose. I’ve been looking for a job, i.e. full-time & salaried—down in the London area. I’ve been doing same locally for ages (this area sadly being of one of the country’s darkest & deepest pits jobs-wise), being that the lack of stability of freelancing has certainly caused me problems—and a lot of other people, during the recession, as far as I can tell. But, I thought, if I’m investing so much time into this, why am I looking round here? I don’t like it round here.

Well, yes, down south was littered with bad judgement calls last time. I messed-up repeatedly as far as places to live were concerned, and my mom’s death was still affecting my morale. It went badly. But in actual fact, I didn’t want to leave. It just became the only ‘sensible’ option under the circumstances. Even at that, the experience left me shattered enough to ask my GP for anti-depressants. They helped a bit for a while, but I stopped taking them back in January because they had clearly outlived their use. Doing so hasn’t left me in a worse mood, at any rate. Perhaps a touch better generally, once withdrawal had passed.

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What’s a Home?

My living situation. Well… I’ve lived in a bunch of places the last few years—though I didn’t expect to end up back on the same street where my mother died—but I really don’t feel I’ve had a home. Whatever that is.

Been back here two-and-a-half years now and I feel like it’s more than enough. Would it be unfair to call this place a shit-hole? Perhaps. There are worse places. But it is a shit-hole. Maybe not a Premier League Shit-Hole, but still a shit-hole. (How many times can I say ‘shit-hole’ in the space of one paragraph?! Let’s see…) More, it’s a shit-hole I planned and contrived to escape from for about ten years or so. And I did. Twice. First time was when I moved to an even bigger shit-hole called Salford in 1999. Second time, when I played ‘moving home every five minutes’ down South in 2006-07. Both times, I ended up back in the shit-hole ultimately. I think it’d be fair to say this shit-hole is somewhere I need to get out of my life. Badly.

(Nine times.)

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