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Published: October 11th 2014
Current mood: Feeling Loved.
Since 2006 when I left the UK I’ve travelled through and wrote about towns and countries spreading from Beijing in China to Bali in Indonesia. I have Looped Australia and Quaked in NZ but I’ve never had the opportunity to travel or write about any adventures in my good old Home Country. So after a few visits from my family to me in Australia I thought it time to get off my arse, onto a Qantas Business class flight to the UK and get about exploring good old Birmingham and its distant surrounds. The Business class flights are officially the end of my being able to travel haha. We have to try it once in our lives though I guess.
Typically the simplicity of packing up my scuba gear and jumping on a flight wasn’t ever going to be that easy. First Casey and I had to Pack up our house, Move Furniture down south, leave our premises in the hands of a real estate, say goodbye to work mates, closest friends and finally load the XTrail for the three day drive to Byron Bay (cheers to Perry and Efi, James and Kaja
for putting us up on our last night) . We stopped in at the little town of 1770 on route where we possibly had the coldest night in a tent I think I have ever experienced. Agnes waters/1770 was as ever, as great as I remember and I plan to definitely go back and hang out here for much longer. The only thing it was missing was a LEWY. From Byron we flew to Melbourne to catch up with a few key characters Rob and Ronny before jumping on a flight to the UK.
On Arriving at Heathrow we made our way out of Arrivals to be greeted by my Dad and Brothers before heading up to Birmingham for some well earned tea and rest. First stop Dads for the Tea, then to moms to meet my sisters second child Ava… so little I was scared of her. No holding for me thankyou very much. Give me 5 weeks hahaha. During the 5 to 6 weeks in the uk we managed to get into some real mischief with some of my oldest friends and family.
First of all we had to knock out the welcome back Drinks at
Dave Alli’s Pub, The Mitre inn. This is Great little venue for a few jars, so we did our best to fill the lounge and drink all of the beers available to us. Danielle was a disgrace to my family vomiting out of the taxi and making me hold her hair. From this night on Casey would try to trick my Mom into believing it was Sunday everyday so she could get the ROASTIES on her plate, but mostly we just hang out at Moms or Dads enjoying what actually started out to be a nice bit of weather. Sun was shining. We threw an Ozzy BBQ. More beers were drunk. Boardies were worn. Sunburns happened. Unbelievable.
By weekend number two, Casey and I had already got out and about in the motor and made a little trip down to Newport to see my Nan and family. It was amazing to see everybody down there and all of the extras I had never met. People had really grown up, I hardly recognised some of them but to meet and play with my littlest cousins, children of my cousins and aunties was a real pleasure. My Aunt Fiona does have
her Hands full now though hahaha the boys are nutts! We got to visit Tumbalen Mountain which was bigger than I remembered and after climbing this little hill I was able to show Casey a few of the local sights to Duffryn estate, first being the lighthouse Pub for an amazing cheese and onion baguette with Chips. After this fun packed meal we would walk it off by shooting over to Tradega house to which Casey couldn’t believe was behind the Duffryn Pub that featured in my first entries.
All these earlier adventures had to come to an end unfortunately as we had to shoot back to a big event back in Birmingham that will easily tie up my first chapter from the UK. Birminghams Gay Pride Weekend.
Down in good old Birmingham town, taking over the entire area of Digbeth, we walked toward this cordoned off Marvel to witness the immediate transformation of the drab grey streets that on any normal wet cold rainy day you would not see a single soul. First stop was a cheeky little pub just outside of New street station for a meet up with Pierre and a heart starter in the
form of some Brown booze. Was great for Him and Casey to have met this time, and looking out of our rainy window the Parade for Gay pride was getting underway. We new we had to down these bad boys and make our way to the boundary of Digbeth.
Quickly realising we wouldn’t have enough cash in our pockets we joined the 100 person queue to the atm before entering the event boundaries. The sights and sounds were as GAY as could be imagined. The music pumping out into the street, Drag queens on every corner, Drag shows under almost every canopy, Guys in little pants on stilts walking about selling vodka jelly shots and tassels and last but not least, Zac, standing outside of a quaint little bar with a look of absolute horror on his face. This I have to explain a little bit. We rocked up in the rain and was just about to enter one of the cosy little bars that would give us great shelter and lots of booze. My little brother however had already been inside. He had been groped, had his face nose to balls close with every little fresh faced fella
in there and to make it funnier he was dressed to suit. All of the guys at the event loved him. If he wasn’t outside hiding under some bush he was hiding behind his mother with a massive worried grin on his face. You did well mucka. His words on arrival were ‘WHERE HAS DAD BROUGHT US?’
After settling in to our first venue the rain subsided so we all decided to head out to the street where the real fun was to be had. Zac unfortunately came up with some excuse about a fair ground ride had made him sick so he was leaving, but the party amongst us carried on. Moving from bar to bar, watching Sam do the bungee rockets and just taking in all of the sights and sounds made for a fantastic way to spend our second weekend in Birmingham.
Eventually at about 6pm all of us bar Casey was drunk so we found a good spot and hit the dance floor. Myself and Pierre however decided to get to the bar again and do round for round on the tequila’s to which Dad joined in and inevitable finished us off.
guided us to the station, we waved goodbye to a wobbling Pierre and home we went to knock up some super spicy beans on toast.
Luckily the following Morning was a Sunday so there was no trickery needed to get the Sunday roast on the go. I woke actually having dodged a bullet, to the smell off home cooked beef with Yorkshire puds. F#@k YEAH. (DEEON) The remainder of the day was spent trying to rid myself of a food comer and talk Casey into getting me more Chocolate concrete with custard.
Next up, a little more from Wales, a great southern road trip where I finally get to eat at Beaches Café and a long dreaded flight back to my third home, Koh Tao. Bring on Southwest pinnacle with www.OceanSoundDiveandYoga.com
Guys I hope you are all well. Miss everybody in Australia and also the UK. Again I’m actually playing catch up sitting in a quiet garden surrounded by Tibetan prayer flags in Kathmandu, Nepal.
More to come…. Love ya x
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