Sunday, September 25, 2011

Postcard from Martineau Gardens

I'm fond of late summer/early autumn for a number of reasons, including fruitfulness. When I visited Martineau Gardens in Edgbaston harvest was in progress in the veg plots while laden boughs in the orchard begged to be scrumped. Grapes dangled from their vine and enticed with the promise of a nice glass of red. Although, I have to admit to doubts about how Brum-grown wine would turn out.

Not that my local produce can be faulted in any other way. I've been fortunate to have been gifted some cucumbers from a friend's garden about a mile away and some tomatoes from the allotments next door - can't get more locally sourced than that. Well, I could; if I did any gardening of my own. As someone who has managed to kill a houseplant in the last week though, I think it safest to admire plants from afar. Until they're ready for my plate of course.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Postcard from the museum storage depot

One problem with museums is that they only have a limited amount of space. So visitors have to look at what has been chosen for display by the curators. Which is all very well, but when the museum actually owns thousands of other objects it's a bit of a shame. So I loved having a root around the Museums Collection Centre which is a big warehouse storing all the items owned by museums in Birmingham which aren't part of current exhibitions.

It's more akin to having a rummage around an antiques shop than going to a museum. Items are arranged more by whether they fit the storage space than their relation to the object next to them. So a carved horse from a merry-go-round sits next to some engine parts; empty gilt frames lean against a model of the canal network in the Black Country. Wandering at random down aisles stacked like a surreal warehouse, or peering into cabinets packed with odd assortments of household items, sparks ideas and memories.

There's a writing workshop as part of the Birmingham Book Festival this year in which you could spend the night locked in this place. I'd love to read some of the work produced on the night, but you couldn't persuade me to stay overnight. Who knows what's lurking in among the artefacts to jump out after dark?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Postcard from the removal van

Apologies for the lack of posts. I've been moving home and am currently without internet access. It was distressing to see all my worldly goods crammed into a van; but they have now arrived safely at my new place.

I do have more attractive pictures to share from recent outings and will do so once my broadband goes live. Watch this space!