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Only in the Black Country


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The Birmingham Black Country half marathon was run yeserday morning. They were running down the tow path of the canal. It was a time trial, it’s a bit difficult to run a marathon on a tow path; not too much room to spread out. Someone went in the canal last time trying to overtake! The run went through Sheepwash nature reserve past the balancing lake. At least it’s a bit scenic and a pub at the finish line…

We have carnivals next week. One in Brunswick Park in Wednesbury and one in Victoria Park in Darlaston.   I shall probably go to the one in Wednesbury and take some photos. I get a few local readers on a Sunday, so if you see me in the park next Saturday, say hello. I’ll be the one with the Nikon camera and maybe wearing my new hat.

I shall be out after lunch today taking a few photos. I want photos of pubs and buildings today, I think. There are so many pubs closed down now and they will soon disappear. The ones that are left have a tendency to attract the lager louts. Gone are the days when we could enjoy  a quiet half of bitter on a Sunday lunchtime and get change out of half a crown…

I bought a pair of gardening gloves yesterday. I was going to Poundland, but was passing a small shop and so gave them my trade instead. They cost twice as much of course. That is the problem, as much as we want to support small shops and market traders, the big stores can compete unfairly on price and often on service too. Small shops need to improve their service and they need better suppliers. Maybe Poundland can get into the wholesale business? I did buy some fruit and vegetables on the market, but they seemed to be packing up early. When I was a kid, they had hurricane lamps so they could continue into the night. There were people around, so plenty of potential customers.

The Black Country is divided and people tend to be proud of their little patch. Few people admit to living in Sandwell. I live in Wednesbury, which is different to West Brom or Darlo. The politicians and jobsworths want to always make things bigger. They like their metropolitan boroughs, their iconic buildings and multi million pound developments. I saw the shelter in the park at Bilston was set on fire this week. It was reported as a Wolverhampton park. Is it any wonder the kids of Bilston have no pride in their park or in their town? It’s the same everywhere in the Black Country, all the money gets spent in Walsall, while Darlo looks like a bomb has hit it. Although to be fair Walsall isn’t much better, that’s all charity shops and payday loans.

We do have some good stuff in the Black Country though and I’ll be out in the sunshine this afternoon taking photos of the crap… I am really getting into images of the uglier side and the demolition sites now. I’m really sick of pretty pictures. I want to show it as it is, with more balance. There are some nice views around Sandwell Valley, but I thought I would venture into the dark side today. It might not be so bad when the sun’s shining!

The problem when the sun’s shining is all the motorcycles come out on to the roads. You have to have eyes in the back of your head when you’re driving, this weather. The riders tend to be less protected by leathers if they do come off too. So I hope both riders and car drivers will be very careful today…

I think local councillors need to get out and about. Then ask themselves questions. Why are the parks empty? What happened to the pavilion? Why are markets finishing so early? Why do we have so many charity shops? Why so many payday loan companies and pawn brokers? Why are there traffic jams? Why do the traffic lights stay on red so long and how do you stay awake waiting for them to change to green? Why are there potholes in major roads? Why can’t I find a decent chip shop? Why do dual carriageways have two lanes that go to three lanes just before a bloody roundabout? Why do we have double roundabouts? Why are all the pubs closing down? Why are there so many American fast food places, when people have no money? Why are there so many BMW’s and Mercedes on the roads? Are they all drug dealers?

That’s it for today. I must cook lunch. What do you think? Please have your say in the comments box. If you want to have a go at writing a blog post yourself, you can and send it to me at the email address in the side bar. I’ll consider it then for a Zillion Ideas. You could be an award winning writer like what I am one day! I have posted on there today too today, why not pop over there and read that? You can also follow me on Twitter.

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5 responses

  1. Pingback: Black Country Art | Mike10613's Blog

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