At school, that term, or at least that week, the obsession was small rubber balls, an inch across and patterned with a muted tie-dye, with a thin piece of elastic through them which was tied to a plastic ring. The elastic stretched around – I’m now guessing – six to ten feet, the balls were very bouncy.

No-one ever took toys to school, I don’t know if they weren’t allowed, but it didn’t happen. Once a kid brought a Beano in and there was a whole line of nine year-olds sitting on the brick line at the edge between the playground and the grass looking over their shoulder. We mainly played games that involved running, in different combinations. It wasn’t until I moved from the Churchill Road ‘annex’ to the big school up the road that we played football. And even then it was football if we had a ball, football with a can, or a stone, or sometimes even just our minds. Sometimes if there was nothing round ‘stick rugby’ was the game. Stick rugby was just throwing a stick around and running into people: none of us knew the rules of rugby.

The balls, were a break with the tradition of aimless games of tig and tag, or kiss chase. They were sold in the shop at the top of the road our school was on, on the corner with Hamstead Road, a old mock-Tudor house with only the front parlour space open as a shop. Ice cream freezers outside in the summer and metallic plates advertising the Evening Mail covered in a wide mesh to hold the days headlines.

Continue reading “Rebound”

Which No. 1 to Acock’s Green does that chap who stinks of piss catch, so I can avoid him?

If you’ve ever commuted to Acock’s Green in Birmingham, England, in the morning on the Number One (No. 1) bus, operated by Travel West Midlands, then it’s possible that you’ve at times caught a whiff of piss.

Unlike farts, it isn’t ‘he who smelt it dealt it’ it’s a man who gets on the number one NXBus bus who smells a bit of urine.

The bus stops at such places as: Five Ways, CALTHORPE RD, Highfield Rd, CALTHORPE RD, Carpenter Rd, CHURCH RD, Chamberlain Hall, CHURCH RD, Edgbaston Old Church, CHURCH RD, Priory Hospital, PRIORY RD, Bristol Rd, PRIORY RD, Warwickshire Cricket Ground, EDGBASTON RD, Midlands Arts Centre, EDGBASTON RD, Cannon Hill Park, EDGBASTON RD,Park Hill, SALISBURY RD, Amesbury Rd, SALISBURY RD, Moseley Village, SAINT MARYS ROW,Church Rd, WAKE GREEN RD,Wake Green Road, WAKE GREEN RD, Mayfield Court, WAKE GREEN RD, Billesley Lane, WAKE GREEN RD, Mackenzie Rd, WAKE GREEN RD, Wake Green Rd, COLLEGE RD, Moseley Sec School, COLLEGE RD, St Christophers Church, SPRINGFIELD RD,Springfield Rd, STRATFORD RD, The College Arms, SHAFTMOOR LANE, Tetley Rd, SHAFTMOOR LANE, Russell Rd, SHAFTMOOR LANE, Allcroft Rd, SHAFTMOOR LANE,Railway Bridge, SHAFTMOOR LANE,Spring Rd, SHAFTMOOR LANE, LIDL, OLTON BOULEVARD EAST, LIDL, FOX HOLLIES RD, Bus Depot, WESTLEY RD,Acocks Green Village, WESTLEY RD, Acocks Green Village, SHIRLEY RD, Olton Boulevard East, SHIRLEY RD,Greenwood Avenue, SHIRLEY RD,Shirley Medical Centre, SHIRLEY RD,Norland Rd, POOL FARM RD, Fanshawe Rd, POOL FARM RD, nwmtpwam, Tibland Rd, POLLARD RD,Fox Hollies Park, GOSPEL LANE, Severne Grove, SEVERNE RD, Nailstone Crescent, SEVERNE RD,Nailstone Crescent, SEVERNE RD, Tavistock Rd, BROOM HALL CRES, and Gospel Farm Rd, GOSPEL LANE – and you’d like to get on a different timed bus to avoid him.

This is an old picture of a bus.

CC By: Clive A Brown
CC By: Clive A Brown

Of course, there’s not much you can do if that’s the time you’ve got to get to work. The buses are about every twenty minutes or something on this route from Town.

It’s probably about the 8:30am from town, which gets in to Moseley about 8:45/8:50 am, but like, we’re not his mother. Or we’d give him a wash.

On the buses

The opinions of Danny Smith do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of this blog, its affiliates, or any sane adult human beings. He currently lives in your cupboard, watching, always watching.

I am thirty years-old (-ish) and have lived in Birmingham all my life (except the times I haven’t) in that time I have never learnt to drive. Consider this my favour to you. Seeing as I’m an notorious booze enthusiast, prone to bad decisions, and have somewhat of an impulse problem giving me a car would be like giving a toddler semi automatic weapon; hilarious but someone would get hurt. So I get around using public transport, more specifically the bus.

Now its easy to complain about the bus system in Birmingham, as you’ll see in the next few hundred words. But I, as ever, have a point.
Continue reading “On the buses”