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It was my first time in Birmingham and my first impression was God damn they love their statues! Every street corner has some kind of statue/sculpture/water feature. Half of them had no explanation of it what is was for or who made it or why. Seemingly just "An empty space! Throw up another one!" Apparently no one cares why.
My second impression upon walking around the vast city centre was that I could have been in any city in the country. The big corporate brands have really got their claws in up there. Alarmingly I could probably count the number of independent shops/bars on both hands. It wasn't all bad as I did notice was that there is a lot of theatres dotted around the city, which is pretty cool. They also have one of the oldest independent cinemas in the country, so the big corporate brands have not taken over entirely. Not yet. I guess I take living in Brighton for granted. Thankfully, here, the ratio of corporate to independent is a pretty even split.
The reason for my trip to Birmingham was to visit some uni friends. We try to meet up several times a year, usually around someone's birthday, usually in a different part of the country each time. This time it was for Nathan's birthday. Not all of our friends could make the trip so there was some faces missing, which is a shame, but such is life. I don't actually remember the last time we all managed to converge in the same place at the same time. In fact, I don't think we ever have since finishing uni. It has been two years since we crossed that finish line. On one hand it feels like a lifetime ago, and on the other hand it feels like very little time has passed at all.
The past two years since moving to Brighton have been eventful, to say the least. I have lived in four different places, with five different people. I have worked three different jobs. I have met many awesome people and made some great friends. I have also had to say goodbye to others. I have made two short films and published the first issue of my zine. I haven't done nearly as much writing as I should have and I have had more hangovers than I could possibly count.
I can feel another move on the horizon. I can feel something calling me. I don't know what it is, or where exactly the call is coming from but it is constant and almost deafening. In January I almost left Brighton for the wrong reasons. It is different now. I am not trying to run away from anything. This time it feels more like I am running towards something. I just wish I knew what that something was. Visiting other cities in the UK only stands to reaffirm the fact that I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in this country but Brighton (I love this town!), so maybe that call is not coming from this fair land. Maybe I need to hop on a plane and see where I end up.