New look Birmingham has a lot of ways for people to eat and drink. The advent of hip street vendors, pop-up coffe shops and pubs, cut-price sandwich shops and Wetherspoons’ menus have opened up a Pandora’s Box of different ways to get those endorphins and addictions sated. Here’s a written copy of some thoughts I wrote on this in my diary. Slightly edited, but not much – elements in this will appear in The Wind and The Good Book of course…
Would you like a drink from The Machine? Oh yes. Coffee. Large vodka, nervous laugh. We laugh at our addictions. Most of us are alcohol/coffee heads here, legal downers and uppers. Don’t talk to me before my second coffee in the morning. As soon as I’ve finished work it’s a cheeky pint/glass of RED. Rinse and repeat. “£4 pint of lager to get you through the hell of modern life” she said.
Of course, it wasn’t always like this. You’ve been coping with your crutches since you hit puberty, and even then you were one of the lucky ones. Some had to start early to cope with the circumstances. The ravages of puberty instill anxiety and self-awareness at an early age.
…what would happen if people didn’t go through puberty until say, 20/30?
School and growing up in public. Instead play play play. Then you have the option to develop into your real selves instead of the marketing personages dream.
//white sugar déjà vu.
Chip shop fat at the lunchtime and chips. I like a bit of sausage, she said, giving me the glad-eye. Office workers with their uppers and downers. Speedballs on the train. Double espressos in the daytime, five pints of lager and a bottle of wine. MDMA and ketamine and heroin/sleeping pills. Designer drugs of the upwardly mobile. Suits drinking Relentless. Their breath and eyeballs. The death again of real ale. Coked up in The Botanist Bar. Trendy junkies in their mixed-use developments, wired back and forth into The City by train and tram.
Smart phones have given us all addictive personalities with attention deficit disorder. Screen time on a 14 hour shift for minimum wage. Screens and screens define. Mum plays Candy Crush whilst her daughter twists and turns around the handlebars. Dad checks his status and shouts to stand still. Humanity in tatters. “No don’t worry, I’m used to being talked to like that.”
The trolls are high…
Interesting/given what I thought earlier I was Quite Keen on the fact that one could finish work in Birmingham City Centre and then head to Grand Central to catch the train and stop off for a Margherita or a Glass of Prosecco. Stinking of expensive alcohol on the way home. A Bacchanalian Odyssey of utter debauchery. The fish markets to become 24 hour oyster bars, moving out the option to perch on yellow plastic tables with a polystyrene cup of prawns. This is showing Birmingham’s desire to move on and get rid of its smelly but comfortable image, appealing now to millennial needs, the hip and thrusting corporate images. Smiles in towelling bathrobes on the balcony. Cup of coffee, both hands over Digbeth’s skyline. Lovely view of the knocking shop and Gregory Pank Hardware.
Maybe we should all just smarten up and get with the image.