Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Digbeth Street Art

I thought I would share with you some of the most amazing street art we have recently discovered during our meanderings around Digbeth (a district of Central Birmingham) in search of real ale, food and art. Digbeth is dominated by old industrial buildings with some dating back as early as the 18th and 19th Century and was once the manufacturing heart of Birmingham due to its nearness to the River Rea, the Grand Union Canal, Digbeth Branch Canal and the arrival of the railways in the 19th Century at Moor Street Station. Today Digbeth is a cool and creative hub with galleries, pubs, bars, restaurants and independent shops taking up residence in converted factories such as the old Birds Custard Factory aka The Custard Factory which is at the heart of the regeneration of the area.

Walk round any corner and you will be met with pictures like this.  Take a trip to Digbeth and explore the streets and see what you might find in the way of great beer, food and art.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

So Just Who was Balaclava Man and Who is H?

What a cracking series Line of Duty 4 turned out to be. Absolutely edge of the sofa stuff in Sunday's season finale.

Much as I am absolutely hooked on Line of Duty, is it me or am I the only person who gets a bit baffled and bewildered by all the forensics that AC12 spew out in those brilliant interview scenes?  Fibres from this, DNA from that, blood spatters from whoever.  There are only so many times that Other Half will put up with having to rewind that particular bit of evidence. 

The fate of DCI Roz Huntley's arm was always a slow burner throughout the series but I think we all guessed it was on borrowed time once she started wincing with pain and getting the plasters out. It was starting to make me feel queasy everytime she changed the dressing so I was glad to see the back of it to be honest. She recovered quickly enough though - a mere flesh wound! Losing her hand put me in mind of that memorable scene from ER Season 9 when Dr Romano's arm gets chopped off by a helicopter blade. Ultimately helicopters were his undoing poor chap as one fell on him in Season 10 but he was a bit of a nasty character anyway so no loss there.

And who can forget that jaw dropping scene of hijinks from Mad Men Season 4 when after the John Deere account is signed and in the bag, office secretary Lois takes a John Deere tractor lawnmower for a spin round the office and ends up accidently cutting off advertising executive Guy's foot.  OK yes admittedly Roz losing her hand was not quite so dramatic but still bizarre all the same.  
On a complete digression here, a la Ronnie "so I said to my producer" Corbett, how I love that we Brits seem to have now adopted the American way of referring to each TV series in terms of seasons and not just plain series. I believe this is to do with the fact that most American TV seasons actually do last for a whole season i.e. they air on American TV in the Autumn and go on till Spring and can be anywhere between 10 - 22 episodes long. And have you noticed how mid-season there is always a  Christmas or thanksgiving episode slotted in which is timed to air during the festive season in the US. By the time we get to see these episodes in the UK though it's usually BBQ season here. We do our own bit though with TV series over here by having Christmas Specials to air on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

I first noticed the use of Season not series when US dramas took off back here during the 80s/90s with great TV like Thirtysomething, LA Law, Ally McBeal and Sex and the City and I started buying DVDs of whole seasons of favourite TV programmes. Loving the use of the term Season Finale too as it sounds so much more exciting than final episode don't you think? Of course now with the advent of streaming channels such as Netflix and Amazon Prime we can binge on Box sets watching season after season, perfect for rainy bank holiday weekends.

So back to Line of Duty and the burning questions remain. Who was Balaclava Man?  Who is H? And no it can't possibly be Ted Hastings.  Did Frank Ifield (oh no he was a popular singer back in the 60s who everyone thought was Australian but came from Coventry). Did Tim Ifield dismember those girls and when are Steve Arnott and Kate Fleming going to admit they have feelings for each other and get it together?  If only LoD lasted a full season of 22 episodes.  Bring on Season 5!