This is just a short blog post about my life at the moment.
I work on an IT helpdesk for a large retail company. My Head Office is in Wythall, Worcestarshire, which involves a three mile walk every morning from the suburbs of Birmingham into the leafy Worcestershire countryside. It is a great tonic for the constitution, going for a country walk every morning. You can breathe deep the smells of countryside, which some people don’t like, but which I think is healthy. I walk past farms with cows and sheep, and small country shops. There is a farm shop near where I work which sells a wide variety of delicious food. Our office is a very modern office, which has gourmet coffee machines and free Wi Fi.
I work four days a week, but get paid for five. I have every Wednesday off, which is pretty cool. I spend my Wednesdays listening to Lauren Laverne on Radio 6Music and watching This Morning. Some afternoons I watch Loose Women as well. Sometime I go for lunch at various restaurants in Birmingham. I like Nandos, and Handmade Burger Company. A restaurant I’m especially fond of is Yo! Sushi, in Selfridges. It is a very cool restaurant with a conveyor belt of small plates of sushi, which you help yourself to. I love the funky chopsticks in Yo! Sushi and the especially delicious soy sauce. On Wednesdays I also like shopping for clothes. I do a lot of my clothes shopping online, where I think you can find a wider range, but you get some good deals in shops in Birmingham. My favourite brands are Firetrap, All Saints Spitalfields, Bjorn Borg and Fly London.
Weekends are spent playing with my kids. I also like lying in. I have a Samsung tablet which is very important to me as it has all my apps and data on it. One app I especially like is TuneIn radio. Some weekend mornings I stand in my back garden listening to 88.2 Rude FM with a rollup hanging out of my mouth. Rude FM is a London based drum and bass station, and listening to it gets me to a certain place. Another good station for zoning out is the Moscow based DNB FM, which is dance and techno. It’s easy to forget the strictures of the 9 to 5 world when you are listening to a radio station from the other side of the world and feeling the compartments of your brain dissolve in the early morning sun.
On Saturdays I sometimes go to the Custard Factory. The Custard Factory is an arts and creative quarter in Birmingham, which is the home to many switched on companies. The exterior decor of the centre is pretty cool, as they have sculptures and cool wall art, as well as many funky shops. I like a cafe there called Yumm cafe, who do an especially delicious salmon, cream cheese and cucumber bagel. I often tweet the cafe after I’ve been to thank them for the yummy food, and get a friendly tweet back.
I think the media often viewed me as a solitary figure in my several campaigns against them in the mid Noughties. This isn’t really true. I have quite a wide network of people that I meet and talk to in Birmingham. I volunteered for BE festival and the MAC last year, and met a lot of cool people that way, like Nina at BE Festival and Dorothy at the MAC. I’m also active in the poetry scene in Birmingham, and meet a lot of clued up people that way. I’m friends with a poet called Laura Yates, who used to write for the Birmingham Mail. I’ve also met Charlie Jordan, a former Radio 1 DJ who is now a poet in Birmingham, I’m friends with her on Facebook, as well as friends with Gary Longden, a former punk poet who used to feature on Ian Drury albums. I have met various other people too; I have friends in Selly Oak and also talk to work colleagues outside of work too. On top of that is the support network that is my wider family. I socialise with my nephew, who is 21 now, and my in laws regularly.
On Saturday nights I’m usually having a tipple watching Saturday night TV, and listening to the sounds of the motorway near my wife’s house. I imagine I can see the people travelling along it, and spend a few moments in a reverie sharing their lives, like little fireflys buzzing past my window.
I don’t tweet the media as often as I used to, and don’t update my blog as often now. The media doesn’t seem that important to me anymore. It used to seem like a very glamourous place to me, but one man’s glamour is another man’s 9 to 5. In the past few months I have had tweets from Miranda Sawyer and Lauren Laverne, which is cool. I also write letters to other public figures sometimes, and get letters back from them, which is cool.
That’ all I have to say for now – thank you for reading.