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Further to my earlier contemplative blog post, “ Bins, Baltis or both?“, I’ve decided my answer is neither.

I thought I could get into writing a new regular themed blog post about Baltis.  In particular Baltis away from their natural homeland of the Balti Triangle in Birmingham.

After I posted that idea, I ate a Balti in a local restaurant: a hugely popular Indian Restaurant, a short walk from home.  The others in my party really enjoyed their meals.  I did not.  I chose a Balti (shown left) and regretted it straight away.  It wasn’t even served in a balti dish – and I’m sorry, but I draw the line at eating a balti from a plate!

So, I have decided, I cannot keep putting myself through this.  Why would I choose a meal that is going to let me down, just so I can write that it let me down.  When I go to an Indian restaurant down south, I’ll stick to the stuff they’re good at and save my Baltis for Brum.

So what about these bins?  Well to be honest, the regular posting just doesn’t work with my new wheelie bin freedom.  I don’t even have to wheel the bins to the front, so there is absolutely no weekly routine.  As explained in this post from April 2009, that I started blogging about them so I could check what time I was putting the bins out, it now seems a little fruitless.  Also interesting that even then I was wondering whether to continue.  I’m glad I did, but enough, as they say, is enough.

I will post the occasional photo – perhaps if it’s a good stash, or an interesting bin, maybe even just because.  But my routine bin blogging days are done.  Sorry followers of @binfairy, especially if you were banking on me!  Then again, maybe I’ll set up daily bin day tweet reminder (well I’m not pormising!)

So what else then?  The simple answer is I have no idea.  But also, I don’t mind that.  Something will emerge that captures my imagination, and this site will be ready for it.  Meanwhile, I’m getting a huge amount of enjoyment from the Brimmin blog and will focus my energy and activity over there.


On 12 June 2009 I announced in my blog post about a Twitter session I had presented, that I had accepted a new job in Southampton.  Since then, for reasons I don’t entirely understand, I haven’t returned to the subject here on my blog.  Yesterday I discovered that a friend had come here to find out what I was up to, having heard only the rumours – and found nothing.  So I decided to bring my eager readers right up to speed with a look back over our journey of the last 4 months.

Having decided to move, we began our search for a school, somewhere to live in Southampton and in Loughborough (it’s a long drive every day!).  We knocked off flat-hunting in 2 days (1 per place).  We found a couple of great flats (the one down south being directly opposite Waitrose, which will reduce my carbon footprint!).  Unfortunately, we’ve been caught up in the nightmare of sorting them ever since.  Still nearly there, it looks like we’ll move into both over the weekend of 16 October – hurray!  Just the small chore of finishing packing, filling /unfilling vans, unpacking and then hoping we’ve sent the right possessions to the right end of the country.  I can’t wait for the fish and chips on the evening of 19th, oh, and of course, the return of the bins not long after 🙂

Finding a school was a nightmare – remind me why we had our child at the same time as all those millennium babies: all the schools where we wanted to live were full.  All that is, except one, and it happened to be the nearest to the flat.  We loved it on the visit and Pip spent the summer months showing off her uniform and waiting to start.  So, she was the first of us to make the transfer to her new life.  She started in early September.  She loves it: she was elected onto school council and is a member of the journalism club who write the school newspaper – she’s got a great future ahead of her one way or another.

I started the new job on 21 September.  What a privilege to be General Manager of Southampton Univeristy Students’ Union.  It’s a dream of a Union: we enjoy enormous student participation, work with a great bunch of people (staff and students) and are located mainly on a leafy campus complete with a babbling brook and students sitting on the grass chatting.  This really is the SU job of my dreams.  I’ve loved the first couple of weeks getting to know my colleagues and I am looking forward to working with them to do the best we can to give our students the greatest university experience we can.

So that’s a relief!  I had a massive feeling of trepidation driving in on the first day: what if I hated it?  My fabulous husband and delightful daughter have agreed to support me on this big life adventure and relocate our lives.  We are all massively rooted in Birmingham – all 3 born there and mostly lived all our life there.  It was a big ask, so it needed to be worthwhile.  Phew.

We’ve been living a travelling life.  For the first 3 weeks, each was in a different B&B, hotel and apartment.  My parents joned us for my first week at work, which was great.  The last few weeks of waiting for our flat are being whiled away in the incredibly welcoming home of our old friend Dave and his family in Winchester.  Dave coincidentally, welcomed me and my brothers to Birmingham when we moved back there in 1977.

We made friends with a great family, who relocated from Dorset in the summer and their youngest daughter started new in Pip’s class at the same time.  They’ve regularly saved my childcare bacon and provided a cuppa and comfy sofa during those first few weeks when we lived in B&Bs.  I’ve also met a couple of women who work at the University of Southampton, thanks to Twitter where a friend in Brum put us in touch.  I even managed to go to a Tweet Up.  That was such a great place to meet people and I will do all I can to be at the next one.

So all in all a lot to take in.  The location is great; it’s not like Brum, but I don’t think anywhere can be quite as comforting as the place you’ve called home for the last 32 years.  We’re saying goodbye to so many special people: friends and family.  I will miss some of you dreadfully – I already do.  But life is for living and just sometimes it’s invigorating to step right out of a comfort zone.

So, we’re still driving back up to Brum every Friday (I’d strongly advise against the A34 north round Oxford on Friday evening btw)!  But hey, we get to pack more boxes every weekend and share time with our good friends.  We’re gonna miss you lots, but not quite yet – which reminds me, it’s Thursday night, I should go and pack our bags…

Andy Mabbett has commented that my bins are getting boring.  Well anyone can tell you if you pop your head a little over the parapet someone will try and knock it off…  But, I’m a great believer in responding to customers’ demands.  I’m less convinced about responding to the demands of one customer.  So, I thought I’d put a bid out to all my lovely bin viewers.  Tell me what you think?

Should I change my bins or bin blogs?  Should I leave them just the way they are?  If I need to change them, then how?

This whole blog stream began for me as a way of checking what time I actually get round to doing the bins.  I do invite people to view them.  I wonder sometimes how that feels.  Lots of people comment on it.

Because I’ve put it out there, do I have a responsibility for how entertaining it is.  But we have no contract, I made no promises.  I’ve used it to complain, successfully, to the council about the BCC bin collection service.  I even post blogs when I’m on holiday.  Indeed, my previous bin post was from Spain – which is quite exciting.

But, no, pause, rewind…  Back to the customer feedback issue:

If my readers want change, then I’ll take a look.  Let me know.  Tweet (@parboo), FB me or leave a comment below.  If I get plenty of responses I’ll do another poll – that was dead exciting last time.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

I set up this blog post way back in 2008 (autumn) and began by contemplating what I found as I rambled round the interwebs.  It occurred to me the other day that this had been quite a journey.  I have never been scared of IT, or nervous of the internet – I got a Computing O Level in 1979, so I know my stuff!  What I hadn’t really realised was how much control I could have on the interwebs.  So what’s happened since I set up this blog?

  • Attended a Birmingham bloggers meet (December at the Frankfurt Farmers Market)
  • Attended the Birmingham Twestival (12 February in the Arcadian)
  • Set up and hosted a B’ham City University Tweetup (January, with about 15 attendees)
  • Set up and about to host the next one (19 March, over lunch, Bar 42)
  • Was in at the concept and helped deliver #wxwm (the antidote to SwSWi, March Kings Heath)
  • defined a hashtag @tagref and @tagalus
  • had over 2,640 views on this site since November
  • Created a brand new website celebrating great Brummie Women
  • Had a couple of impromptu social media lunches in the Fighting Cocks on Moseley Farmers Market Days
  • Instigated a late night snow hunt with 6 other people in Cannon Hill Park (url available on request)
  • Crowd-sourced ideas for Modern Day Plagues and found 10
  • created a tumblr website with my dort – and lost it!
  • posted photos on twitpic
  • become an iphone addict (thanks to our uni)
  • made so many new friends, I’ve lost count

Some say the social media world in Birmingham is a clique.  Well, I have to say it’s a very easy clique to break into.  I don’t know where else a newbie like me would have been allowed to get away with quite so much.

So, one of the categories I’ve been filing blog posts under is “the ramblings of a novice interwebs adventurer“.  As we know, my newbie days were not very long ago.  But what I also know, is that if I met someone with that list I would not think them a newbie.  So I’ve decided it’s time for a new category.  I’m thinking “the further adventures of an interwebs adventurer

So what next, I do want to start embedding this into our work more.  Our website is coming along, but we need to be having conversations with our stakeholders through the internet.  Meanwhile, thanks for reading my first term report.  I look forward to stumblin’ over you in the ether sometime soon…

Dear BCC,

I can’t believe that every time I park at the car park next to the Rep something goes wrong. So, today I was so very careful. I gathered every coin in the house, so I’d have the right change. I tripled checked the price, so I didn’t pay the weekend rate. I bought 4 hours parking, when 3 would have sufficed. All set, I went off content to my meeting.

You cannot begin to imagine my feeling when I approached my car and realised it was adorned with one of your PCNs.

I had paid and displayed and returned while the ticket was still valid. Your operative stuck the PCN next to my ticket in an attempt, conversely, to convince me that I had not clearly displayed a valid pay and display ticket.

So, the PCN number is BM15211041. The ticket is No. 16614592 (as reference on the PCN).

The PCN is dated 04/03/09 timed 12:38. The ticket is dated 04 MAR 09, timed 14:28.

I cannot identify a single problem with this. I suggest you offer me an apology and send Civil Enforcement Officer BM452 for an eye test.

Yours faithfully,

etc etc

WHAT DO YOU think?  Please leave me a comment…

Andy Mabbett quite rightly pointed out that in my earlier blog post “7 things” I was supposed to name 7 more people to similarly do a blog post on 7 “thangs” about themselves.  Oops… I pass the gauntlet or indeed baton on to the following fab women:

Happy writing one and all…

022Shockingly my first visit to the building site that is mac, was on a snowy February day.  Sadly no evidence of anyone actually working on it – mind you it was a bit nippy.

My old office in the Hexagon - above the theatre...  Nice new windows.

My old office in the Hexagon - above the theatre... Nice new windows.

Thanks to Joanna Geary for choosing me for this task.  I say thanks, the further down the list I’m getting, the less thankful I am.  7 is a hard number.  To find 7 things that are interesting enough to read and which one is content to share is something of a challenge.  So here goes:

  1. I used to hate doing the bins every week, I started a blog post as a record of just how late I did them, never before midnight.   Now I post on it, they’re done before 9 every week!
  2. I appeared in A Very Peculiar Practice as an extra (student in the freshers talk scenes).  I was clearly recognisable: when at a new job in a College of HE 2 years later I was left a message from a lecturer surprised that I’d been a student at Lowlands University.  I still own the top I wore for the filming (in 1985!)
  3. I don’t do pets.  Whenever I have, I haven’t done them well.
  4. I am a gran, to my husband’s delightful granddaughter Jasmine, who lives in Sheffield
  5. I won the Business & Professional Women‘s Young Business Woman of the year award back in the day – when I was young!
  6. I am proud to say, that I have claimed to be the first person to direct Liz Light, Artistic Director of Stage 2.  She took part in the school house play I directed way back in the late 70s (Our Town).  I imagine it was one of the worst productions she has ever been associated with.  When she was the first person to direct my dort in Spoonface Steinberg in January it was one of the best.
  7. 7 is the square root of my favourite number and that’s why it’s my favourite number.

Phew.  Didn’t think I’d make it but actually managed to finish before the @cluedo game on twitter…  night all.

lovely-stats2My reputation goes before me, my most admired stats to date were irresistible.  So I thought I’d save them here, so I can get on with Tweeting again!


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