Sunday, 20 July 2008

Back in Birmingham

We're back below the grey skies of Birmingham in July. Light showers, gentle breezes and occasional touches of blue and the garden thriving with greenery. Guy collected us from Gatwick on Thursday afternoon (effortless flight from Corfu in what looked like a brand new EasyJet Airbus) so we didn't have to wait ages for the cheap train journey we'd spent so long booking. (What is happening to me!). Richard and I went into town by taxi on Saturday and bumped into Amy at work and spoke to her Sergeant Pietrafesa. Once she was off work - having started at 7.00am - we got donuts in Selfridges and visited the new city centre Cycle Surgery that's now part of Snow & Rock. I was impressed - not least because they stocked 'proper bicycles', with baskets, bells, mud and chain guards and sit-up and beg handlebars as well as a selection of folders including Bromptons, but also because they offered a serious repair service in a city that, despite once being the city of a 1000 trades has had little of this sort in the centre for ages. Maybe things are changing for the better (link to image and commentary on bicycles in Birmingham) - not least because Amy's boss rides a bicycle. On Friday I was on campus with Andrew on the last day of the accredited Oversight and Scrutiny module on which we work together. He told me of some of the changes afoot in our part of the University - especially the new Centre for Public Service partnerships (CPSP). Tonight I head south to Brighton for a workshop on Monday with new chairs of scrutiny, then I'm in Haringey for some consultation on political-management leadership on Tuesday, using the time to drop in on Phoenix Cycles to get a front wheel-bearing fixed by Mike at Battersea (tho' this is something I could now get done in Brum), then on Thursday and Friday I'm at Telford running an event on member-officer relations for middle range professionals from Midlands councils. I do enjoy being a tourist in my own country. I took pictures for Andrew at Priorsfield on Friday - in particular one of Roger Patrick, retired police officer, discussing his Phd thesis on the challenges of relating performance figures to policing policies. We've e-mailed friends in Ano Korakiana. H's daughter will stay with her husband at 208 in August and we'll be back there after they leave. With the internet and webcams and more friends I feel close to Democracy Street, able to inspect every change in the surface of the road past our house and able to gaze over Ano Korakiana and even hear its wonderful band in their blue and yellow as they march on the Liston and above the village "the floor of heaven...thick inlaid with patines of bright gold" MoV: 5, 1

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Tor. I'm passing your compliments on to the cops involved. Have you come across the Brit film 'Hot Fuzz'. My daughter loved it!

    ReplyDelete

Back numbers