This is a modified extract from chapter 4 of ‘The Wind’ called ‘New Light Through Old Windows.’ In this chapter, the narrator goes on a walk into Digbeth via Wrentham Street and Highgate. He passes several establishments on his way that to him are ‘out-of-bounds’ – be it pubs that he hasn’t gone into yet for reasons stated below, or businesses that used to thrive, but are now closed to the public.

In this chapter, I attempt to give derelict buildings character and life, without descending into the world of pathetic fallacy. Even though Silver Wok and the old Blotto’s are shut to the public, the memories attached to them give them a vibrant glowing life without having to resort to an early overdose of pathetic fallacy.

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I Can See For Miles – A Serendipitous Moment

Getting back from BCU at Perry Barr on the train. A productive meeting. I was in a good mood, however I had a gig at my brother-in-laws that evening, so I couldn’t duck into a pub for a celebratory drink as I’d have to go out as soon as I was back at the flat. I had my iPod, and I felt like listening to something to make me pound the streets. Only one thing for it. The ‘Who’s Better Who’s Best’ compilation.

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Lizzy Piffany Film Screening This Thursday at Cafe Ort

After the hectic weekend at the excellent Flatpack festival, i’ll be hermiting away working on an extended version of ‘New Light For Old Windows’ – which will eventually turn up as Chapter 4 of my ‘The Wind’ project. However, I shall emerge on and get to Cafe Ort on Thursday evening in Balsall Heath for this night hosted by me old mucker Lizzy Piffany, a screening of the first three films in her Moseley Folk Films series, which will also be revealing some excellent trailers for her forthcoming projects. The evening starts at 8 and is free to get in. Click the link for some more info!


And then it all starts again for me, as I am lucky enough to be going to Birmingham Opera Company’s ‘Life Is A Dream’ – please see this excellent preview from the Created in Birmingham site, and then up to Liverpool for my birthday present – a second re-imagining of that city – keep checking back for more updates!

Outer Sight: The Village on the Mountain – Part 2

The reception area was manned by a group of people dressed in peasant clothing. The floor space was split into three parts, in front of me, a bar area, where the people had ordered foodstuffs obviously from the local wholesalers, and also cakes made by local bakers. In the middle of the room was a makeshift campfire was flickering away in the middle of the floor space, with sofas, beanbags and easy chairs all around, enough to seat around 20 people.

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Outer Sight: The Village on the Mountain – Part 1.

It’s not every night I would go out at half ten to go to bed. I’ve always preferred being an early starter and a late finisher. But tonight was different. I’d got a bed booked for an event up Cheapside at The Edge that would transport me into a world of long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I knew whatever it was, it was going to be grand. An Outer Sight all-nighter, still happily revolving around my brain after the night before and the DJ, Grandmaster Gareth from Misty’s Big Adventure, who has famously impeccable taste.  I started my journey, going down the hill onto Smallbrook Queensway, rucksack on my back with nightclothes and toothbrush, the live disc of Floyd’s Ummagumma on my ipod for atmosphere. I decided against any fast food on the way down; I was going to be sharing a room with strangers, and I didn’t want anything repeating on me, lest I find myself ostracised in the morning. I decided that I would make do with whatever was in front of me at the event.

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Still Walking: Shaping Cinema

Because of the celebration of the city in Friday, Saturday morning came, and I was running a bit late for the second part of the Still Walking festival. After last night, the openings of the new exhibitions at Eastside Projects and Grand Union, the superb Bring Your Own Beamer at Vivid event, and the first in the series of the always great Outer Sight events at The Edge had left some of us a bit worse for wear. Because of this, psychogeography, the derive, and the flaneuring that makes the urban explorer had to go for a burton, and I got a lift in the car to the vicinity of Digbeth High Street.

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Out of the Abyss

I emerged from the abyss, triumphant at around 1pm this afternoon. The washing up had finally been done. My celebratory fake fish’n’chips were browning away nicely in the oven (that’s breaded fillets and potato waffles) and as an extra treat, I was going to have peas with my sweetcorn. A full bottle of ketchup on the side. All good. I was puzzled why I was still so tired. Perhaps my gargantuan intake of espresso the day before hadn’t been the best idea I’d ever had. So much so I couldn’t even look at the 500ml can on Irn Bru which was now in the fridge. I guess that it would be saved for a special occasion (i.e. the hangover from hell.)

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