Posted in Uncategorized

The Empire’s Second City

The weather held today, which is one good thing I suppose, and you get down to the train station and the train arrives and you haven’t enough time to get tickets because there is only one machine on the platform, so you just jump on the train, after asking the little lady who works on the train if you can buy a ticket when you get on and she says, “yes, no problem” and then asks you to pay six pounds per ticket rather than the usual two and in this country they are not really interested in providing the public with a proper service that is there for them and not for the people who are supposed to be providing the service, so we got off at the next station and managed to get into Birmingham after we bought two tickets for about four pounds rather than two for twelve pounds.

Well, i suppose the one good thing about living in the suburbs of Birmingham as opposed to the suburbs of London is that it is much cheaper to get into the city. However, once there it is all much of a muchness and in fact Birmingham is probably closer to Uxbridge than it is to London, but that is not entirely fair because there are at least a few bookshops in the Brum, whereas in Uxbridge they closed their only bookshop a couple of weeks ago because, no doubt, the locals cannot read and if they can, they content themselves with the content of the English gutter press.
Anyway, there was the wee walk around the Bull Ring today and it is all under cover or mostly so, so you keep yourself out of the rain that plagues this country. The bookshops that I refered to above do have a smattering of choice but never fail to amaze by their ability to sort of leave you feeling that the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel are just so extremely important. Indeed, the section on Israel combined with the section on the Holocaust is bigger than the section on East Asia. Now, of course, we should pay attention to the lessons of the Holocaust and never allow it to happen again but wouldn’t it be nice to be confronted by a spate of books on the Cultural Revolution because, whether we like it or not, it is the events in China between 1966-1976 that have, at least partly, shaped the psyche of a country that is becoming increasingly important for all of us, whether we like it or know it or not. Moreover, it is estimated that up to 100 million Chinese died because of the Cultural Revolution and I could go on to add that I almost forgot to mention the idiocy of Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Anyway, do, you get the point? It is difficult to get any sort of reasonable perspective, anything approaching a sort of sane subjectivity, in this little Britain.
Tomorrow, it is up to Sheffield but it is all a bit “Inshallah” with me booking an early bus and my mate will still be sleeping so ego needs a connection and remember it is sunday tomorrow; the day when you find yourself getting off of the train with the journey only half completed and getting onto a bus that will take you here, there and everywhere before getting you to your destination. Anyway, the bus is at 8.40 a.m. and at that time there will be no connection to New Street, therefore, I will have to get a bus to the bus station. One has been located by my friend after an hour’s search on the internet, now let’s just hope that it will turn up.
The picture was taken from that well-known eatery appropriately named EAT looking out to the Bull Ring, the rain has gone off for a few minutes and the sun has come out as it is apt to do in this country; you leave the house, walk two minutes and it starts to rain, you run home and get your umbrella and three minutes later the rain stops. Nevertheless, some things never change and there is something you can always look forward to in the United Kingdom on a saturday and that is, “Match of the Day” and that is where I am going now; probably a wee cup of tea and a wee McVities biscuit and probably Liverpool versus Manchester United and gradually I am beginning to realise how some people might even like living here, ….. sometimes!
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There are a lot of poor bastards out there being used and abused; it is just not cricket "old bean". Something tells me that ignorance is not bliss, but is, in fact, simply ignorance and in the global village we cannot look the other way.

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