Thursday, March 17

Format Festival in Derby, UK. Part 2: Friday

Warning: contains no Format content.

As I was at Format in Derby for several days, I thought I’d use the opportunity to take some pictures at other places in the east Midlands. On Friday, I rose early from the splendour of my suite at the Kingsway Retail Park Travelodge, got the bus into town, walked to the train station, and made the short train journey to Birmingham. I hadn’t been there for about 20 years.

Funny old day
It turned out to be what modern philosophers call a “funny old day”. I could see that Birmingham city centre is a modern, vibrant place but somehow we never really clicked. As I wandered round the neat retail zone and later a bit further out around the canals, cubey glass-fronted chain restaurants, pubs and glassy high-rise hotels I struggled to engage with anything at all, either photographically or emotionally. I began to pine for the messy bits of Derby I had seen out of the bus window on the way into Derby city centre that morning.

Where does time go?
Late afternoon I enjoyed a quick visit to the Ikon gallery, then popped into a canal-side pub/café with a great view, and ate a cheap and crap snack meal. Several hundred young people wearing Justin Bieber T-shirts streamed by. I had planned to get back to Derby early evening for socialising, etc., but having wandered so far from the train station, I then spent ages looking for an Internet café to check my emails. In the end, I arrived back in Derby at about 11. I don’t know where the time went. In short, I cocked up on Friday.

Back to Format proper tomorrow.

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