The Gallery: One of the worlds around me

Birmingham.

Yep, you heard me right. What does the sound of that city name conjure up for you?

Thick people? According to wikipedia, study was conducted in 2008 where people were asked to grade the intelligence of a person based on their accent and the Brummie accent was ranked as the least intelligent accent, even scoring lower than being silent (!).

Grey, smoggy, full of hard industry? Historically, Birmingham has been the home of industry, the workshop of the world. It’s less so now, but still pulls its weight.

Canals? Birmingham isn’t famous for a wide river flowing through the city, but it does famously have more canals than Venice, part of its industrial heritage.

But this isn’t the Birmingham I see. I chose to work in Birmingham as soon as I started my professional career, and I’ve been here for all my professional life. I love working and spending time in the city (although I’m a town, rather than city, girl at heart), and it’s a much more sophisticated place than people think. I remember bringing a university friend to the city, who’d never been north of Watford Gap, and as we walked into the civic and business district, he looked up at the old and majestic buildings and said “oh, it is a proper city!”.

And yes it is. It’s a great, friendly, varied city, where you can happily walk from shops, to theatres, to pubs, to clubs (ok, maybe stumble to that one). It’s not my hometown, but it is my chosen town. And I won’t hear a bad word said against it (unless by a fellow brummie, born and bred, or adopted).

This photo is a bit rubbish, taken on my iPhone on my way back to the office at lunchtime, having just partaken of a scrummie ostrich burger from the local farmers market, which takes place on a Wednesday every odd week of the month (yeah, I don’t really understand that either). But it’s a view I see every working day. A view which reminds me of my professional life outside of being a mummy.

One of my worlds.

This was a post in response to Tara’s brilliant Gallery, with this week’s prompt of “paint a picture of the world we live in”.  Please click over here to see the other entries from around the Internets.

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39 responses to “The Gallery: One of the worlds around me

  1. I’m an adopted brummie too, and I love it 🙂

  2. I love all those Victorian buildings especially when mixed with the modern skyscrapers

    • Me too. If I’d had the time I would have walked a bit further on to the Town Hall, which has recently been restored and is beautiful, and appropriate for such a city!

      Thanks for the visit.

  3. I stumpbled upon your post via twitter but your picture reminds me very much of Glasgow, my adopted home. Industrial heritage, Victorian buildings and also lots of shops and pubs, I should pay a visit one day !

    • Well, welcome! I’m pleased to have you here.

      Glasgow, interestingly, is my town of birth! But yes, the cities aren’t dissimilar in that regard. You should definitely pay a visit – Birmingham is worth it!

  4. I have to admit being pleasantly surprised at Birmingham although I haven’t spent much time there.
    Perhaps I should escape for a days shopping next time we have to go and visit MckDaddy’s family in the W.mids
    Every odd week? Huh? I’d never be able to work out when they were going to be there.

    • I think that’s almost the best thing – people have low expectations, and they really ought not to, so they are always pleasantly surprised! There’s loads to do in Brum – it’s a great place. You should definitely stop by!

      (My colleague has to explain to me every month about the market. So if you have 5 Wednesdays in a month, you get three farmers markets, and the last one will be followed the following week by another one, as it’s week 1 again. Why they didn’t just go for every fortnight, I have no idea…)

  5. I love old buildings, great picture x

  6. I know that view! You’re preaching to the converted here as I was born and raised in and round this fair city.
    I also love it by the canals where you feel about a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life
    Good choice x

    • A local lass by all accounts! I’ve been in the west mids for too many years to mention (although the accent may beg to differ), and coming to Brum was always a treat – you could get so much for your money in the markets and the old bullring/pallasades… It’s got so many sides to it, but they are all so close together – just what you want in a city, I think!

  7. The last series of Hustle was filmed in Birmingham- and it looked fab!

    • I don’t watch hustle, but I did catch a glimpse and saw streets I recognised… But then saw the Gherkin sticking out the top and got confused. Think they were cutting to and from London – should have paid attention!

      i think they filmed at Hotel du Vin, which is gorgeous, and just round the corner from this piccie. Great champagne, or indeed pint and a pie downstairs…

  8. YEAY FOR BRUMMIGAM!!! Lived here all my life, and gotta admit, pretty reluctant to live anywhere else.

    Great pic, fantastic words. xxx

    • Thanks Jay. I’ve not been here all my life, but it’s been a big part of it for a long time, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else than hereabouts. Not right now anyway.

  9. I’ve been living in Brum for the last 17 years. I am married to a beautiful Brummie and my girls have Brummie accents. The people are friendly and it is a great multi-cultural and historic city. I love it here.

    • Glad to hear it! Neither hubbie nor I, as non-brummies, have a brummie accent, but I’m expecting Moo will – she already calls her dolly “babby” rather than “baby”…

  10. Aww this is such a lovely post , I’ve always been afraid to go to Birmingham on my own but then I’m afraid of my own shadow! Have been job hunting online for jobs in Birmingham! 🙂

    • Thank you!

      Nothing to be scared about here. The city centre is really nice and very baby accessible… Do you at least have trains to Birmingham?!?!

  11. Oh, I love Birmingham. I don’t love driving in it, admittedly (amazing how a bright yellow car becomes invisible in a big city), but it’s wonderful, isn’t it?
    Incidentally, I drove along that road today! 😀

    • I saw you tweeting about being stuck in brummie traffic 😉 Maybe you drove past me! Are you in the picture…?

      I have to say, I tend not to drive in Birmingham, but I don’t mind it as much as I once did. I once drove round and round the city – looking for a way in to that road, but couldn’t find it. The tunnels and ring roads and one way systems are not easy. But, 11 years on, I’m coming to terms with it!

      I have to say, I find other cities much scarier driving. Liverpool, for example, scares the wits out of me! But I did successfully drive in London at the weekend.

      Thank you for your comment.

      • I’m not in the picture… it was about 4.30 when we drove along there and absolutely packed and horrible.
        Have you ever driven in Coventry? I can do London (did as a learner & accidentally ended up on the M11, it was a learning experience!) & pretty much anywhere else, but I refuse to drive on Coventry’s ringroad, I’m too scared for my poor little baby.

      • Never really tried Coventry, apart from the ring road to get to Ikea, the cinema (they do baby screenings) and, for my sins, Hobbycraft… I thought the ring road was OK. Am I wrong?!?

      • It’s what OH calls the suicide junctions- my car really is tiny and seems to become invisible to the naked eye on Cov’s ringroad, & I find it impossible to drive defensively, which is fairly necessary! In OH’s boring big Astra it’s fine- really odd.

      • I drive a small car too – both a blessing and a curse…

  12. Love that pic of the buildings 🙂 I love architectural photos.

  13. Well done for bigging up Birmingham! My OH and I went to a bazaar there and it was nice, not at all what I used to think of when I heard the word “Birmingham”!

  14. My parents moved from Birmingham in 1978 when I was 18 months old, wishing to escape the urban sprawl. Throughout the succeeding decades they were shocked at how quickly their home area – castle brom changed. They were reluctant to visit at all, until I deliberately parked in Brindley Place and walked them through the regenerated areas on our way to symphony hall. They were enormously impressed! I used to work one day a week in Brum, but these days I only hit the Bullring about once a year. I like Birmingham – AND I have a soupcon of accent!

    • I can understand. The regenerated Brum is a far cry from how it was when we first moved to the midlands in the mid-80s – grey, concrete, and not very welcoming! Birmingham has come on in leaps and bounds. And long may it continue!

      Thanks for your visit and comment.

  15. My hubby is originally from Redditch, and ditching the West Midlands accent is one thing he did fairly quickly upon leaving and going to university. However, I love visiting – great for shopping, and it has changed such a lot since he first introduced me to the place.

  16. I love the buildings and in loads of our cities if you just riase your eyes upwards you can see the marvolus artitecture

  17. I must admit, I seriously did not expect much from Birmingham, but I was so surprised! I loved it. It’s beautiful, funky on the waterfront and deserving of it’s cultural city status!

  18. I love Birmingham as I only live 45 minutes away!!!! My favourite things involve Selfridges, Krispy Kreme and champagne but I agree the accent is awful 😉

    • Oh I can’t go that far about the accent – think my little girl will be a brummie! I have to keep away from the Bullring whilst I’m at work, otherwise I find myself buying a couple of dozen krispy creme – well, it’s good for morale…

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