|The Golden Boys|
Boulton, Watt and Murdoch
Although condemned to a life of country bumpkinism, I get let out occasionally.
I get taken to the big city on a coach, in the company of a zooful of chattering monkeys, who find enough to say to keep tongues wagging for a solid two hours there and another solid two hours back. My therapist, on whose shoulder I wept bitter tears at such folly afterwards, advised me to erect a barrier between me and the wall of noise by means of another wall of noise, brought to me via earphones and one of these new-fangled gadgets that usually come attached with a young person in a public place.
Whatever happened to admiring the scenery out of the window and thinking aimless thoughts?
I am not sure that the young man who stood on the railings over a busy motorway for two days, threatening to jump, had not had a similar experience. Having thoroughly and very effectively disrupted the traffic on a busy main road into the city – exacting revenge? – during that time, the police, who did their best to help with the disruption, finally charged him with ‘causing a public disorder’ or something and he agreed to come down. The waiter in the theatre restaurant next door told us the young man had felt peckish during his time of elevation, whereupon the authorities kindly supplied him with sandwiches; fingerfood is so much easier to manage on these occasions than balancing a plate and cutlery.
Birmingham, proud of its self-awarded title, “The UK’s Second City”, is a very ambitious city indeed; the new library being built is of heroic proportions. Being unable to get through to the Art Gallery due to the afore-mentioned road blockage, we watched the dance of the cranes on the gigantic construction site instead, a different kind of art, but fascinating all the same. Unfortunately, we were chased away by a young man in a hard hat. Did he think we were going to hurl ourselves into the building chaos below?
All that remained before we were shepherded back on to the bus was to have fun with the many fractured buildings all around Centenary Square, a Hall of Mirrors of gigantic proportions.