Wednesday, 22 May 2013


© PJT Photo Services
I was in Birmingham this past weekend. The above photo is a water feature that is situated in the centre of the city. It is a granite wall with a poem inscribed on it. You can't really tell from the photo, but it has a constant stream of water running down the face of it. It's pretty awesome. The poem is by Polarbear and Simon Turner. I had never heard of Simon Turner before but I am a big fan of Polarbear (If you've never heard him check this out. Amazing). The line 'Everything Happens Here And All At Once' really caught my attention and my immediate thought upon reading it was "I'm definitely writing a blog post with that as the title". And here we are.

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.


  1. Jumping on a plane...that'd be nice. I always have a case of wanderlust, but it's been acting up a lot lately. I don't feel like moving, I just want to get out more. I just Googled Brighton, and it looks LOVELY! Anywhere with a beach is just fine by me. =]

    1. I know what you mean. I'm not totally sure I feel like moving, perhaps only temporarily. I have never had much of an urge to travel before so this is a new feeling for me. Haha.

  2. *cough*Toronto*cough*

    I'm envious that you get to see your uni people so frequently. (And that you get to go places ever.) Since I graduated last year, I've seen... One person from college on two occasions (not counting the half a day I worked with said person and one other in a glorified sweat shop before getting sick and being let go).

  3. I love this photo - there is something really powerful about it.

  4. What I hear you saying is that when I come in October, we go on an adventure to Scotland or France or something. MAAAAAYBBEEEEEE

  5. I hadn't been to Brighton in years, but on Monday (!) I was a complete fool and mucked up my flight dates (thought it was Monday, but it was Tuesday) so I ended up with an extra evening to kill (oh and what a glorious evening! I wish we'd had that sun over the weekend instead!). I jumped on a train to Brighton to see my friend D, and I couldn't get over just how much had changed and how much not at all. I can see why you love living there- the stone 'beach' (sorry, I've been spoilt by Cape Town), how friendly everyone seems to be, North Laine!, the lingering smell of pot no matter where you are...

    It has a lot of charm.

    And clearly, some truly fantastic people!

    For someone who always moves, often without thinking about where I want to go, I've learnt that the where is negotiable; it's the why 'here' that matters. And some of the reasons I gave/give myself: work, not wanting to be somewhere else, wanting to be somewhere new... they aren't always good ones.