Blogs from West Midlands, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Birmingham July 16th 2014

Early recollections of hospitals, which are cemented in the childhood memories of the late fifties and early sixties, are dominated by the strong smell of disinfectant, gruesome looking instruments and fear. Our local hospital had dark corridors and a military style interest in cleanliness, accompanied by a strong adherence to a hierarchy of status that used a mixture of power and control to manage the medical conditions of patients. The patient's voice was lost in the need to be a passive recipient of medical expertise and procedures which were unclear and over which the patient had little control. No doubt that amongst all this complexity there were medical staff working hard to treat patients and cure them of all their ills. After all the NHS was still in it's infancy and trying to come to terms ... read more
My adopted city.....

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Pelsall July 7th 2014

Entertainment options on our flight home included navigational information about the plane, including speed, location, distance to destination and expected time of arrival. It's not something I want to look at, as it only reminds you just how far you still have to endure the "pleasure" of flying. However, curiosity does eventually get the better of you, and when at last you do look, you hope it will tell you good news, about the progress of your journey. On Friday, I managed to resist the temptation long enough to watch one feature film, two music concerts, including the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park and the main meal, served to your seat very attentively by cabin staff. But, resist it I could no longer and when I looked, we were heading towards the northern coast of Europe, ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Pelsall June 10th 2014

We are in England. After the summer thunder storm, the clouds disperse, become fluffy and white and reveal, behind their rolling masses, a clear blue sky. It smells fresh and the light is crystal clear and the sun's shadows are dark and crisp. There's something remarkable about an English summer day. These moments will be savoured for later. We must return shortly for the last few weeks where the fierce heat invades everywhere without air conditioning, and the land is baked in the sun's fury. The memory of the freshness of an English summer day will counter the stifling heat in the days to come, before once again we return to England for the summer. Of course, in England this is the weather to bring out the summer clothes and a trip to the local shops ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Pelsall June 6th 2014

Stepping out into the evening air at Birmingham Airport it hits you. Cold, wet rain in June and suddenly it feels like home. Dark, grey, clouds block the sun from the evening sky and cast a gloom across the land, quite different from the previous evening in Oman. There the heat hits you like a hammer as you leave the comfort of air conditioning and it is dark every evening from about 7pm, irrespective of the month of the year. Being close to the tropics the variation in the length of the day is small and this means you miss the long, sunny, British evenings in the summer. Last night, for the first time this year, we experienced that lovely feeling of the sun still shining at nine pm, as we sat looking at the garden. ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Wolverhampton April 19th 2014

G’day! Not long now- I shall be leaving in approx four hours for Dubai. As I’m going Stir-crazy in anxiousness/ excitement I thought I best take some time out to write the blog I promised about the Working Holiday Visa. Just a bit of background to the workforce in Ausralia- their population is 23 million. At any one point there are about a million backpackers in the country, that is alot of tourism and casual work to be done. Being as backpackers are a fundamental slice of Aus labour market, the government created the Working Holiday Visa. (Subclass 417) The visa is initially for a year and if you want a second year you must complete 3 months of ‘ seasonal work’ in the rural parts of the country. Examples of this include fruitpicking, animal husbandry, ... read more


Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Wolverhampton April 8th 2014

I can’t believe the time has flown so quick, I was talking to my Nan earlier and it dawned upon me I’m off ‘ next Saturday!’ . So what am I doing on this amazing adventure? If truth be told, I don’t really have too much of a plan. Considering I could be over there for perhaps two years I only really have the first two weeks sorted. I’m excited to have no itenary and just to ‘go with the flow'. Anyway, I have a two day stopover in Dubai where I’m having a dabble at couchsurfing. I was introduced to couch-surfing by my friend Paul at work. Paul has couch surfed all over the world and as I write he’s probably on some sofabed somewhere in China or Japan. Couchsufing or Sofa Surfing is an ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Stourbridge April 5th 2014

Woolly says – our lives had been settling down nicely, Ian had been feeling a little unwell so we decided to try out the Turkish hospital facilities. Boy do they move fast! As soon as blue books appeared we were whisked away and Ian was plugged onto machines, x rays were underway and before I even had a chance to check out the nurses we were seeing a consultant. He busily showed us the results of the tests declaring that Ian’s heart was fine but he wanted to put a shunt in that afternoon, I got rather confused at this point having seen shunts on the railway lines I couldn’t work out how that would fit into Ian’s chest and hadn’t he just told us that his heart was working well! Like Woolly we felt slightly ... read more
Camera Man at Work
Relaxing after a Hard Day in the Sun
Snapping Away

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Birmingham April 3rd 2014

It's currently 9am and feels like I've been up for hours already although I suppose I have after the 5am start. We got a taxi to the train station and caught the 5.38am train direct through to Birmingham international airport. Kerry was already on the train getting on at Shrewsbury, and myself and steph were greeted to this woman in a bright pink hoodie waving at us from the other end of the carriage when we jumped on. The train journey was uneventful and half an hour after arriving at the airport we'd managed to already be the first to check in, get through security (search free for once!) and were sat in wetherspoons ordering breakfast. No beer ordered just yet! So far there's already three things I know I've forgotten, a mirror for my contact ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Wolverhampton April 2nd 2014

Hi All, T-17 days to go before the big trip! I thought I best get used to this blogging malarkey as it sounds like a good way of keeping in touch with people and as I have some serious time on my hands, this may be a good way to keep myself occupied during any spare time I have. Some may say I've just lost my blogging virginity! I intend to write a few blogs before I go, to share some of my feelings an thoughts about leaving everything I know and love about this merry place called England and embarking on the Experience of a Lifetime- a working Holiday in Australia! So why are you going I hear you ask? Well... the answer is not straight forward. I've reached a certain stage of life ( ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » West Midlands » Pelsall February 15th 2014

Suddenly you realise that time is flying by and now instead of months or even weeks until we depart it is just a few short days. Plans that have been in the making for for some considerable time are now emerging as reality. Yesterday Jo finished her last working day in her current post, a position she has held for nearly ten years. Wow, what a send off! A wonderful tribute even if I say so myself. The staff did a really great job and their creativity was used to full effect to convey messages they wished Jo to take on her next adventure. Another issue was recently solved. It’s just a small thing but it’s going to count for much in the future. A new lap top computer has been purchased to assist with communication ... read more

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