Badlaws, DJ Perro and Elephant Gym at Hope and Ruin

Nice lineup that Mario accurately described as an ArcTanGent hangover cure. Nice surprise in the form of Badlaws, DJ Perro played a very tight multi-guitar math rock set, and Elephant Gym are very charming and energetic. Back to work then!

I nearly brought the Canon but decided against it because it was so hot. Regretted it straight away but the Ricoh coped pretty well.

Birmingham 2019: Day 2

I've cycled the canal network before, but fancied going on a canal boat trip, as there's parts with no path, so we picked one up this morning. Unfortunately, to pack as many people on, they squished everyone up and we ended up in a position where you could almost see nothing. So that was great. Got a very grudging refund though.

Birmingham's new(ish) library is quite raucous. I don't know if I like it

We went to the Jewellery Quarter. I think we all had a different idea of what this place would be like, and it probably was that way 100 years ago. So we went for a wander and found a cemetery. There was a volunteer caretaker who gave us a map. Easily the best cemetery visit I've ever done.

They're renovating the catacombs. Which would be a great name for a black metal band.

Then we came back to the centre for food and the obligatory wander around the Bullring. I nearly bought some trainers but they were a little small (and I don't need more shoes). I do want more shoes, though.


We went to the highest-rated restaurant in Birmingham and honestly I'd never have gone in there without these reviews. From the outside it looks like a standard breakfast café, but the vegetarian breakfast was lovely, and they swapped out stuff I didn't want (mushrooms and tomatoes) which loads of places won't do. They do mozzarella and cheddar on toast, which Charlotte and Tabitha had (but Charlotte added mushrooms). I had a bit of Tabitha's, owing to her glacial eating pace, and that was delicious too.

We went to The Warehouse Café for lunch/dinner and I had the best burger I've had in absolutely ages. Seitan doner meat and a fake-meat patty, coleslaw was delicious. Fries were a bit chunky for my tastes so Charlotte and Tabitha shared them. Charlotte had halloumi "fish" and chips, and they managed to get the battered halloumi to stay nice and crispy. I've never had that - the moisture from the halloumi always soaks the batter and makes it really cakey and unpleasant. Tabitha's Buddha Bowl (emphasis on Buddha) was huge and she loved mixing all the ingredients together. Would definitely return here - some of the best vegetarian-only food I've had for ages.

Birmingham 2019: Day 1

I saw this little picnic area where you could park and walk by the river whilst I was on my way to ArcTanGent. Charlotte doesn't like rivers, but we went for a walk nonetheless. Should've brought my drone.

Charlotte took this photo of us looking at the river

Then we made the first use of our National Trust memberships since we got them and went to Croome Court, which is a very beautiful example of what extreme wealth can get you. At its largest, this apparently covered 15,000 acres, and it also boasts a 1.5km-long hand-dug river! It is a very pleasant walk unless, by all accounts, you were there when it was a Catholic school in the 1950s and 60s. We didn't go inside as we were short on time and Charlotte's already been. I'm not fussed on looking in people's houses.

And finally we went out to lunch at Ascott's in Bromsgrove with Charlotte's aunt and uncle, and spent the afternoon sitting in their garden and chatting. All very pleasant and civilised.

This was too much ice cream for a six-year-old. In spite of her protests.

Jaws 'n' Claws

Had a great time at Jaws 'n' Claws at The Booth Museum. Tabitha held a giant snail after being too creeped out last time.


Then went for pizza and ice cream. Pretty solid Monday, if I'm being totally honest.

I did also do some work but that wasn't as exciting as this.

Brighton Streets

Always something to see round here.