Sometimes I comment on your blogs after you have visited me, however the comment you get from me may not be from the site you visited. That’s because I have more than one blog.
So here is a list of my other ones. ūüėė


A new me

Our garden

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If you get bored here over there on the right under pages there’s some more rubbish to read.




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Key Hill Cemetery

Key Hill Cemetery was built at the base of a sandstone ridge on which Birmingham was built and was the first cemetery in Birmingham to be open to all religions. The foundation stone was laid on July 14th 1835 by the high bailiff P M James. The first burial was  11 months later and was that of Mary Riddell Maullin who died of whooping cough (known then as hoping cough) aged 3 years and 7 months. She is in a grave with 10 other members of her family.

The cemetery contains public graves which contain between 100 and 200 bodies. These were dug 40 foot deep and left open covered with a board until full, then were filled in. They were the cheapest of all the graves. A charge of 10 shillings was made to engrave names on a marker which few people could afford.

Common graves, like a public grave but single plot in size, these would hold three bodies normally unrelated, but these graves would be filled in between burials, no head stones were allowed.

Private graves or family graves what we tented to use now, a plot big enough to take a family over time.

Catacombs, these had 4 shelves so could take 6 bodies. These were gated so that people could visited, once all the spaces were full the doorway was bricked up with wall mounted stone. In 1882 new catacombs were made in which each coffin was enclosed by a single stone wall and covered with flagging securely cemented to make it air tight.

The vaults are both inside the catacombs and around the curved walls.

The chapel, cemetery and catacombs were designed by Charles Edge however the chapel had to be built in a Greek Revival style as the Egyptian style which was proposed was too costly. The chapel was a great focal point as it could be seen from every part of the cemetery, originally built in stone, it was later covered in cement due to deterioration and was demolished in 1966.

The cemetery was described as “The most picturesque of cemeteries” due to it’s paths, ornamental lawns and shrubberies. It has also been called the “Westminster Abbey of the Midlands” because of the number of famous people buried there. It was also praised for it’s record keeping, not many church’s kept a register of deaths. The cemetery company were anxious to keep the cemetery tasteful and didn’t want people erecting “Ludicrous or offensive to piety” headstones. So the cemetery had it’s own stone mason.

In the 1840’s land on the southern edge of the cemetery was sold to Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley Railway, which opened in 1854 then in 1995 another strip of land was brought for a metro tram system, hundreds of graves had to be dug up, all remains were cremated and reinterred beside a new memorial above the catacombs.

The cemetery was abandoned when the cemetery company became bankrupt and it was compulsory purchased by Birmingham council in 1952 they had intended to keep it open but closed it for burials in 1982. Burials are still allowed in family plots that have room, the last one being in 2009.

The cemetery has become an haven for wildlife a 1995 survey showed many wild flowers, 19 species of birds and Pipistrelle bats living there.

In 1996 the cemetery was given a SSI grade II and updated to a grade II* in 2009.

There are many great Birmingham folk resting here, to name a few

Thomas Walker who introduced Blue Brick pavements in place of cobbles

John Sheldon pen maker

Sarah Finch daughter of Joseph Priestly who discovered oxygen

Harriet Chamberlain mother of Neville Chamberlain

Robert Lucas Chance supplied the glass for the crystal palace

Joseph P Williams Founder of the Post Office saving account.

Joseph Tangye Engineer, helped lunch Brunel’s S.S. Great Eastern

Alfred Bird Snr Pioneering Chemist, but best known for his custard powder.

Marie Bethell Beauclerc the first female reporter

and many more.

cemetery photos

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Lunar Make Hay While The Moon Shines



Admission early settlers £33 plus ticket price, weekend ticket including camping £125, Friday, Sunday tickets £53, Saturday tickets £55

Lunar festival set on a farm in Tamworth -in -Arden and the weather was festival weather…windy and wet.

I found the line up a little underwhelming this year, it started with Dorcha who struck me as a little like a cross between Kate Bush and Ozzy Osbourne. This was followed by Damo Suzuki and the lunar ensemble¬†I can’t remember what these sounded like, so no great impression made there, these were followed¬† by Fruity Waters¬†I can’t make my mind up about these, I could listen to them, they reminded me a little of the electronic music of my youth . Next were Swampmeat Family Band, I really enjoyed this rocky band. Next up was Mark Radcliffe’s Galleon Blast, really fun, get up and dance, clap, sing along band, sea shanty’s a plenty.¬† This was followed by AK/DK another good rocky band. Jane Weaver had a very dream like voice, I could have listened to her all day.¬†¬†Park Hotel¬†followed Jane this was another band I really enjoyed,¬†Rebeca never stood still she has some great moves. Next up Songhoy Blues couldn’t get it or understand it, that said the crowd seem to enjoy them. My favorite bit came next the Procession, although I don’t think it was as good as the last Lunar one I went to. The procession consisted of the small band of drums, and brass and people dressed in orange and red carnival style costumes, followed by Journey to Nutopia a¬†group who are working towards a better world, (this is the link if you want to read about them)¬†The procession walked around the bonfire, which this year was built in a pyramid shape, down to the stages where they danced before walking back to the bonfire. Fire eaters kept us occupied while the fire bridge¬† checked the bonfire was safe to light. A small band of children and parents dressed as druids rolled a large wicker egg into the centre of the bonfire which was then lit by the crowman. We sat around the remains of the bonfire as we listen to the last band of the night who were the¬†Stranglers another band from my youth, sadly they are not what I remember, they can no longer pull off the angry young man thing, although they do try, and it seems very silly.

There were plenty of stalls, and a small fair to help break the day up if the music got all to¬† much, I didn’t bother with any of them.

Below is the only footage¬† and above the only photo I took before my camera gave up, two days on and it’s still not working. This is the third camera I have lost to the elements, I need to find a waterproof one.

All of the above groups/bands/singers can be found on youtube with a little searching.


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Jewellery Quarter festival

Jewellery Quarter Festival

Admission, some free, some not

link to program

The first goldsmith in the quarter to be recorded was Roger Pemberton in 1553. During the 18th and 19th centuries as Birmingham prospered from the Industrial Revolution it developed into a large industrial town. A considerable trade developed in the manufacture of buttons, cap badges, pins and metal toys. The 1780 Birmingham Directory stated that there were 26 jewellers at this time and by the start of the 19th century there were around 12 jewellery manufacturing companies employing approximately 400 people.
As the jewellery trade developed around the Vyse St and Warstone lane area,the wealthy factory owners eventually developing the St Paul’s Church area into a leafy residential area adjacent to the main Jewellery Quarter. This area over the years became converted to workshops and factories as the district quickly developed.
The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is now a designated conservation area with over 200 listed buildings and has been described by English Heritage as ‚Äėa unique historic environment in England ‚Äď a national treasure….a place of unique character‚Äô and ‚Äėjewellery and metalworking which does not seem to exist anywhere else in the world‚Äô. The quarter is now home to 500 jewellery related businesses,over 100 jewellery outlets, specialist outlets,bars, restaurants and has approximately 6000 residents.

As you can see form the link above the weekend was full of activities. I only attended the Saturday and managed to see only a small portion of what I wanted to see, this was due to the fact the times in the program  were not that brilliant. The other bugbear was the fact that the program had some actives as free when they were not.

So I started my day at The Chocolate Quarter, which sells their own handmade chocolates. Here there was a demonstration on tempering chocolate which they then made into popping candy, very interesting plus I found out what I was doing wrong when adding bits to my chocolate. I also brought some chocolate to try.

Next was a talk ‘ Illustrated history of Birmingham Balti Bowl’ which was very interesting. The Balti originated in Birmingham in the 1970’s and was cooked by the Birmingham Pakistanis. Now the manufacturers of the Balti Bowl are trying to get it trademarked, so that only food cooked in the Birmingham made Balti Bowls can be called¬† Balti.

I then went and did a bit of shopping at the  Social Enterprise Pop-Up Market, before going to the Quartermasters for demos of jewellery making, and an exhibition of arts and crafts.

Next on my list was a tour of Key Hill Cemetery which was built in the 18oo’s there’s a lot of history to this cemetery so I will do a post all about the cemetery later.

I then went to see how good the free 3D models were, they weren’t free , for ¬£25¬† you could have one of yourself. I didn’t.

The demos/talks/tour had been a lot longer than I was expecting which meant I had missed a lot of the other things I had wanted to see. I finished my day off by catching the end of three sixty brothers



Then I went back to Quartermasters  and drew a dinosaur for their  giant Jurassic landscape, not just for children as I was told.



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Summer in Southside

Summer in Southside

Admission Free

Another full filled weekend in Birmingham. Summer in Southside is an annual event, where the streets of Southside are turned into a play ground for all children and young at heart.

This years line up

Imagination Illustration by Connor Edwards – a workshop by the illustrator showing tips and trick to illustrating.

The Actual Reality Arcade- a life sized interactive game zone, where you are part of the game, couldn’t get in here for the kiddies. I fancied a game of giant Tetris.

Bostin Brass – A brass band playing Ska, Funk and Soul, very good

Dot Comedy Small Wonder Tour –¬† a very small¬† world dotted around Southside, tiny models built on pavements and in cracks in walls, some of them took some finding.

The Fabularium There Be Monsters!¬† – This is a roaming play and if you have ever been on one or caught up in one you will know how much fun they are. We followed Don Quixote and his side kick Sancho Panza around Southside as they went on their epic quest to right wrongs fight monsters and make the world a better place, non of which they accomplish, great fun on the surface, but I couldn’t help feeling that there was an undertone of a mental health message.

Fantaboulosa! Рstory  telling, face painting, lip-syncing and the wonderful world of drag, for 3 -8 year olds, shame I fancied a bit of glitter on my face.

Festive Road Dinosaurs – Hilary the Triceratops, Terry the flapping Pterodactyl and Baby Rex, I loved these so much.

Fresh Agency Boogie Storm – As seen on Britain’s got Talent, the dancing Stormtroopers, I didn’t see these.

Gorillabot – a funk/rock band who play dressed as gorillabots, don’t ask me I didn’t see these either.

Kuljit Bhamra Chuteny in the Street! – A lovely love story from Trinidad, music, song and dance, what more could you want.

Mufti Games Massive Battleships – A huge game with one team at one end of the street and the other team at the other, binoculars were needed.

Osadia – These were brilliant,¬† two hair and make up artists pick people from the audience and do their hair and makeup, but not any old make over. While I watch they took a woman and put a metal frame in her hair, then spray her hair up in little spikes, next her face and hair were sprayed blue and white flecks painted on face and hair. Blue and sliver pipe cleaners were added to the frame and a cut out of the picture of the woman screaming in the shower scene of psycho popped on. It looked so good, I really wanted ago, but I wasn’t lucky enough to be picked, my son was but he wouldn’t go up.

Pif Paf SEED РI loved this too, I laughed that much I had tears. Wilford is growing trees but plagued with slugs, his chicken Napoleon, (a puppet) does his best to help.   It was like a Pantomime  in as much as you had to shout out when you saw a slug. Stand to close and you get wet, and children close to tears towards the end when Napoleon gets eaten  but a huge balloon slug, but it all ends happily.

Fun DCM – daytime party for little kiddies.




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Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul 2018

Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul
Moseley Park
93B Alcester Rd,
B13 8DD

Friday ‚Äď ¬£50

Saturday ‚Äď ¬£50
Sunday ‚Äď ¬£50


Weekend ‚Äď ¬£120

We only attended the Sunday (due to the fact there are three festivals we want to do this year so we have to make the pennies stretch). The Mostly Jazz, Funk and soul festival is a yearly event held in Moseley Park, the park is only open to the public for a few days a year. The rest of the time it can only be accessed by key holders.

This year the event was a little bigger, as there was a new part to the festival, as well as the two stages there was a chill out area called ‘Off Piste’ set in the shady part of the park with chilled out music and DJs.

It was very hot and despite keeping covered up, wearing a big hat and slapping on factor 50 every half hour I still burnt. The only problem with this park and this type of festival is the fact that there is very little shade, what little there is is kept for the disable and families with small children.

The line up for Sunday was, in no particular order

Noya Rao
Jazzlines Ensemble
Yazmin Lacey
Unlikely Being
Laura Misch
Delano Mills
Ezra Collective
Samantha Wright Ensemble
Fred Wesley and The New JB’S
Roy Ayers
Sister Sledge

It was a little heavy on the Jazz side for me, but still a good day

Young musicians from in and around Birmingham


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Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

Chester Road
Castle Bromwich
B36 9BT


Admission Adults £4.50 Child £1

The gardens were designed in the formal garden tradition, and managed to  survive the informal English Landscape Movement of the 19th century which saw the removal of most other formal gardens. They have also managed to  survived the development  of Birmingham, which engulfed Castle Bromwich as a suburb during the 20th century.In 1985 the Bromwich Hall Gardens Trust was launched. The Gardens were still completely walled and their basic structure intact but derelict.
Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens are a rare example of a 17th century Jacobean country house complete with its original garden setting. The present Hall was built in 1599 for Sir Edward Devereux. In 1657 the Hall and Estate were sold to Sir John Bridgeman who made important changes to both the garden and the main house around the year 1700. Bridgeman died  in 1710 and  his son, Sir John Bridgeman II, continued to extend the Gardens westwards until they reached the size of ten acres. The formal gardens were at their prime from 1680 until about 1760.

With parts of the¬† wall still intact the gardens have a lovely romantic feel and it’s easy to be transported back in time as you wander around. There’s a summer house, green house, three ponds, upper and lower wilderness gardens, orchards, kitchen garden, maze, holly walk, archery ground which are open to see at your leisure. The best garden, lady Bridgeman garden and north garden can only be seen by guided tour. Not running on the day we were there.

We hadn’t planned to look around the garden but were glad we did, we had gone to the gardens to see a production of Jane Austen’s Emma by the Rep.


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