January 16, 2008 – 8:22 pm
I’ve started the year off with a bit of moving about — both in terms of visiting places and in terms of upping sticks and moving house.
I spent much of last week at a conference in Cardiff. I’d been there once before with Jake, but didn’t really have the same experience. In fact, when Jake and I went there, we didn’t bother staying the night because the accommodation there was pretty substandard, and there wasn’t really anything about the town that excited us, beyond visiting Torchwood.
(OMG – fellow geeks – look who pops up when you click that link!).
This time, my experience of Cardiff was entirely different. Somehow, my university colleagues and I had been booked into a rather flash hotel right in the city centre and we got to see and do things that make a city seem all that much more appealing. Had a nice time in a nice university, ate in nice restaurants and were treated to some very pleasant sights and surroundings.
I went to London with the Professor on Monday (travelling first class, due to what I can only assume was a mixup in the train fare bookings – not complaining) to meet with all the heads of the BBC Audio and Music Interactive divisions (what we used to quaintly term ‘radio’).
Back to back meetings with the heads of Radio 2 Interactive, Radio 3 Interactive, 6Music Interactive, 1XTRA Interactive, BBC Music Interactive, iPlayer and Podcasts. Some really interesting people in there who said really interesting things I’m not allowed to say anything about yet. But let’s just say I’m enjoying that particular research project immensely.
The last couple of days have been about writing articles, composing exam papers, marking assignments and having meetings with some of Birmingham’s most interesting and creative people. If I was a hack journalist, I would be predicting a technology-led cultural renaissance in this city about now. Seriously – wow. There’s some cool stuff coming to an internet near you, and it was grown here.
I’m off to the Hague for the first time on Friday to spend the weekend at my cousin Greg’s, helping him make sage choices regarding music for his wedding. Nadine will be on standby to make sure that the German relatives will be appeased and Greg and I don’t degenerate into a ‘Greatest Hits of Alternative 80s’ themed music marathon.
I’m back to Cardiff on Friday next week for the Welsh Music Foundation, again to London on the 30th to DJ at the Big Chill Bar in Shoreditch and do a spot of consultancy — and then, to continue my new mission to ‘hit at least one city I’ve never been to each month’, I’m doing a seminar for the Musicians Union in Wrexham on the 6th of February. Pretty sure that the day I agreed to go and give a presentation there was the day I first heard of it. So geographically ill-informed.
When will I get to Brighton? That’s what I want to know. I hear they have sand.
To top it all off, we’re moving house the first weekend of February. Jake needs a drum kit, and the place we’re living in isn’t set up for noisemakers. We’ve located a 3-bedroom semi-detached house in Hall Green, just a few minutes down the road, and we’ll be off there soon. We had a good look through, and I came away only really remembering one thing about it: it’s got a dishwasher!!! All signed up and looking forward to the extra space.
Of course, I’ll still be a Moseleyite in spirit…
In other news: I received that bottle of Glenlivet Nadurra that the nice people at the distillery offered when they read that I’d lost mine to the utter jobsworths at Brisbane Customs.
It’s a thing of beauty and I’m very happy.