Tag Archives: Birmingham

Being born a Brummie – Birmingham an Evolving City

December 2015 sees me turn 40, eeek. I arrived here 40 years ago on December 10th at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.  Although my parents were living in Cheltenham at the time my Dad had insisted his first born arrive in Birmingham so the story goes that my parents decamped to my Grandfather’s house in Birmingham.

Birmingham, UK - January 30, 2013 - Night scene in downtown Birmingham, UK on January 30, 2012 with the parish church St. George in the Bullring and the Selfridges Department Store.

Birmingham, UK – January 30, 2013 – Night scene in downtown Birmingham, UK on January 30, 2012 with the parish church St. George in the Bullring and the Selfridges Department Store.

This picture of the 22 Bus evokes so may memories for me of growing up in Birmingham!

no 22

When I was 9 years old I moved to Birmingham, living in Harborne and started going to school in Edgbaston. I would say this was when I became a ‘proper Brummie’. Growing up I have always loved history and one of my favourite books to look at my Grandpa John’s house was a book full of old pictures of Birmingham.

Butchers shop Birmingham Soles

This photo is a picture of my Great Grandfather  (in white ) and my Great-great Grandfather on the doorstep of their butcher’s shop in Birmingham probably taken around 1912.

I have always been really proud to be a Brummie and have grown up in such a vibrant and amazing city. Today when I go back though I feel like a stranger in my Birmingham of the 1990’s as there has been so much redevelopment and change that I haven’t been around to see happen gradually. Travelodge have put together a really comprehensive destination guide to Birmingham on their blog which is really helpful to find some of those off the beaten track gems that I no longer know about!

Another feature on the Travelodge site are some fascinating interactive photographs of Birmingham in a now v then format called EVOLVING CITIES. You can see how familiar Brummie landscapes have changed over time. My favourites are the Jewellery Quarter picture and the Bull Ring Picture. I still can’t get over how the Bull Ring has regenerated and become such a smart shopping destination. When I was a teenager we were allowed into Birmingham as long as we didn’t go to the Bull Ring!

So in the month I turn 40 I am pretty sure that a visit to my home city will be on the cards but let’s not mention The Villa………



My Villa Football Family

Villa FA CupThis weekend is a big deal for my family of Aston Villa fans. A Wembley Cup Final doesn’t come around very often for us. Growing up in Birmingham we had a wealth of teams we could have supported but going back five generations it would seem we were always Villa fans from the days of my great, great grandfather’s butcher’s shop in Aston.

My brother isn’t about so we are going up to my Dad’s to watch the match with him. We grew up with season tickets, weekends at Villa Park and a memorable trip to Wembley to see Aston Villa beat Manchester United in the Coca Cola Cup Final, so it seems only right to watch the game with Dad.

However in this family of Villa fans (I did marry a Liverpool supporter but having never been to Liverpool I don’t think this counts) there seems to be one small issue, the sixth generation (our 4 year old) doesn’t seem to interested in the Villa. He loves football, goes to a weekly soccer club and is starting to show an interest. Grandpa has bought him an Aston Villa annual, he even had a claret and blue blanket and baby grow when he was born but it seems that the Villa have not grabbed his attention. (I particularly liked this outfit as it was a very subtle and stylish nod towards our Villa heritage!)


The reasoning behind this is because they ‘don’t wear enough blue’. It seems that Chelsea show more of a pull because of their strip. This week we saw Prince William interviewed  about his love for the Villa and the hope that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will follow him in his support for them. This got me thinking if you are a real die hard football fan (I am not) who is passionate about a particular team, what do you do if your children don’t follow suit? If you support City and your kids start supporting United, or as in our case your family have supported the same team for over 100 years and then suddenly someone ‘steps out of line’?

It is important to let our children make their own decisions but it can be hard to stand back and let them choose for themselves. This doesn’t just apply to football, it can be any sport, music or fashion style that deviates from our own tastes and interests.

You never know, if Tim Sherwood and the Villa boys do bring the FA Cup back to Birmingham maybe we might have a new ‘Villain’ on our hands….. or maybe not. (I am pretty sure he won’t support Arsenal, they are far too ‘red’.) Whichever team our son ends up supporting I really won’t mind, but I will pass on one thing to him which my grandpa said to me, there are lots of United’s City’s and Rovers but there has only ever been one Villa.


10 Things About Me – Playing Parent


As I  am still finding my way in the blogosphere, meeting some lovely and interesting people I thought maybe it was time to let people know a little bit more about me. Hope you still like me at the end of it!


1)     I used to be a teacher but I know help my husband run our country pub in the Cotswolds The Golden Ball Inn


2)    I speak fluent Hungarian. My grandfather was the person who cut down the Stalin statue in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and had to flee with his young family when the Russians returned a week later.



3)    As a family we love camping and are back to Ile d’Oleron this summer after a great camping trip last year.



4)   I was born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and grew up in Birmingham, but everyone comments that I don’t have a Brummie accent. I feel very proud that Malala Yousafzai is now a pupil at my old school.



5)    Growing up in Birmingham in the 1990’s I was a big Indie Kid and loved The Wonder Stuff. Some of my best friends (even today) and I were in their Caught In My Shadow video filmed in the streets of Brum. Caught In My Shadow video by The Wonder Stuff



6)    I am the eldest of four children. If you ask them they would all say I am bit bossy but I call this strong!



7)   Our son was chosen to be Kevin Whatelys’ grandson in an episode of Lewis. We were there all morning for a photo shoot and the photo appeared on a bedside table in the episode ‘Fearful Symmetry’.



8) I think Kirstie Allsopp is amazing. Shoot me down if you wish…..



9) We recently moved into a house with a Rayburn which I am slowly learning how to cook with.

2014-05-30 13.02.10

10)   I am loving writing my blog.


A little bit about who I am, what I like and how I came to be the person I am today.