Birmingham City Boy

Yes, I am aware that it's another flat above a shop

I’ve moved to Birmingham city centre, ending my 18 month tenure in the nice-but-dull former royal town of Sutton Coldfield. This may seem sudden to everyone but it’s actually something I’ve been wanting to do since moving to the West Midlands and that I have actually been quietly planning for six months or so, which is how long it has taken me to bring it all together for various reasons.

My new one bedroom flat is in Temple House, a popular development on the corner of Temple Street and New Street (the main outdoor shopping street in Birmingham, analogous to Manchester’s Market Street). It’s a 15-20 minute walk to work, which will be reduced by five minutes or so once the company for whom I work has itself moved in the New Year. No longer do I have a total of two and a half hours commuting time each day, which is great, because I get to spend longer at work and at home so everyone wins.

This year even drearier

It’s fabulous being back in the city centre. I always missed it, but now I’m back I realise just how much I missed it. This flat is arguably even more central than the Manchester flat was and there’s always a buzz going on outside, which I can observe from the balcony off the living room, something that only a few apartments in the building have.

Recipients of my Dreary Seasonal Newsletter accompanying my Christmas cards this year will note that I am also using it as a method of informing everyone of my change of address, in case you were wondering why you had not already received such a notification from me. Second class stamps cost 36 pence each these days, you know.


New houses next door

Since the summer the vacant plot next door to where I live has been a building site. We knew that it would probably become one at some point when we moved in, having noticed the vacant premium corner plot next door and having observed on Google Maps that up until recently it used to have a house on it, since demolished.

So sure enough, one random morning in August some men turned up with some noisy machines and started clearing the previously overgrown plot, in readiness for the construction of two new 5 bedroom houses on it. The six day per week early morning noise of this project is what I’ve been moaning about so much on Twitter recently. We couldn’t imagine how they would get two 5 bedroom houses on the plot but it turns out they both have three storeys, allowing smaller footprints.

My side bedroom window looks out upon this building site, which is chiefly why I have suffered so much with the noise. Angle grinders outside your window at 7.45am aren’t funny. Still, regardless of this, I was able to slowly observe the construction and I took a number of photos of key points of progress. Even though the houses aren’t complete, I cannot take any more than I already have because my vantage point is now completely blocked by the brick wall of the side of one of the houses.


Moving house

For the third time in as many years I am moving house. I’m not moving far, just to another apartment in the same building, so it’s not a full blown affair with packing boxes and a rented van, just one flight of stairs (or the lift for the heavier items).

I’m moving in with my friend Chris and renting out my apartment to another friend. This move is designed to help me reduce my living costs for the next couple of years as I prepare for university, study at university and then decide what I want to do once I’ve graduated next year. This is all assuming of course that I get accepted on the course, I’ve not yet finalised my application because I’m waiting on an academic reference to come through from my previous university.

There’s going to be a bit of a period of adjustment because I’m used to living on my own and both Chris and I seem to have rather a lot of stuff, which needs to be thinned out if it’s going to fit in the apartment, despite the fact that it’s 50% larger than mine! It’ll be another change for my cat too, but she seems to be quite adept at moving house as this too will be her third time in as many years and she didn’t seem to mind too much last time.

So there you are. I will keep you posted as to how things go with everything.