One of the spring time resolutions is to discover more about my home town of Birmingham, UK. I am an immigrant to the city, arriving here 19 years ago, drawn by a sense of friendliness, a real buzz as the city changed dramatically from its industrial roots. There seemed to be a desire to do something different, not develop, that implies it was in some way backward, but that is not true at all. This is a city built on discovery, on science and industry, and on a strong sense of being Birmingham.
For those of you not from here, I know the reputation is not always of a dynamic city, but believe me it is. I have myriad political views about whether that dynamic nature is being encouraged and allowed to thrive, but despite cynicism on my part on the reduction of local facilities, education, health care, social care, I suspect that there’s something in the nature of being here that will ensure the city continues to thrive. Ever the optimist.
So this spring I intend to visit some of the many places I have never actually been to. Feel free to add to the list, but so far I have Aston Hall, Selly Manor, Blakesley Hall, chunks of Sutton Park (I have done some, but seriously, it’s huge!).
I have one of the brilliant Independent Birmingham cards and intend to start working through the members of the scheme.
I haven’t been to the Ikon gallery for ages and there are rooms at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery that I have never seen. And – confession time – I have never been to the Barber Institute of Art.
There are a couple of quirky places I want to get to – the Coffin Works and the Pen Museum are on that list.
Add to that the miles of canal to explore and the parks to visit, and I am wondering if this is a whole year’s work?