10 reasons why it’s great to live Birmingham

grateful birmingham UK blogger

This week in the Gratitude Challenge it’s time to talk about the city I live in. I have to admit this made me a tad teary when I realised I had to talk about Birmingham instead of Glasgow (I moved here in July 2016) but then I remembered I have so much to be grateful for!

1. Blogging community

In Glasgow I wasn’t talking blogging seriously. There may be a blogging community back home that I just wasn’t aware of, but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing compared to what I’ve experienced down here. When I took to Twitter I found a Brum Bloggers Facebook Group, a regular Social Media Cafe Event and a weekly Brum Hour that lets local businesses meet up online.

2. Restaurants galore

I’ve not tried out nearly as many restaurants as I would like, but I’ve made a good attempt. Sunday lunch in The Fighting Cocks in Moseley is one of the best ways to see out the weekend, and I recently had some great grub in Cherry Reds. Other places I’ve enjoyed visiting include The Stable and The Cosy Club.

3. Change is good

I knew when I left Glasgow that I was so ready for a change. Although I’ve city-hopped I still feel like there’s been a substantial change in my mindset. There’s something freeing about feeling lost in the crowd of a brand new city, where no one knows you and you can be whoever you want to be. This has really shown in my newfound body acceptance and change in hair colour!

birmingham blogger

4. Career goals

I was lucky enough to find a part-time job within the first few weeks of arriving in Brum, after an initial panic of thinking no one would hire me! Although I’m more focused on improving my blogging income I’ve also had an interview for a writing job that I would never have been able to commute to if I’d lived in Scotland. There are just so many more opportunities for people with big career goals.

5. Friendly people

My social anxiety was a big concern when I moved so far away from home. I was under so much stress after recently losing my job as well as relocating our entire life in 30 days that I was sure my anxiety was going to be particularly bad. However after meeting some lovely bloggers (Bryoney, Erica, Claire, Emma, Elizabeth and Sinead) I felt so welcomed and at home.

6. The shopping is good

When I first visited the Bullring I couldn’t believe how many brands were on offer. Even six months later, I still get lost and have to visit the information point for help. I always forget where I am and have to stop for emergency coffee breaks; luckily there’s no shortage of chain and independent cafes in Brum!

7. Christmas Markets

The German Markets that set up shop in Birmingham every Christmas attract millions of visitor, which I thought would be pretty terrifying to witness. We ended up joining the crowds every weekend in December and even took a brave turn on the big wheel. The atmosphere was certainly exciting, and it gave the already busy city even more to offer tourists.

8. It’s full of creative people

Blogging has led me to lots of like-minded people in Birmingham. I’ve met lots of people who are successfully pursuing their passions in the creative industries and just as many who are happy to do it in evenings and weekends as a hobby. One of the best things is that I’ve found a local WordPress trainer who has helped me polish up my tech skills in order for me to redesign my blog.

best things about birmingham

9. Canals

People are always telling me that Birmingham as more canals than Venice. While admittedly it doesn’t have quite the same amount of sunshine, it definitely has its fair share of canals. I’m lucky enough to live just a minute away from Brindley Place where I can walk along the short canal walk to the Mailbox. It’s a great scenic trot into town!

10. Close to London

Although we haven’t ventured to London yet, it’s kind of exciting to know we’re just an hour or so away from the capital city. I wouldn’t normally be able to attend blogging events or training days in London, but now that scenario is totally do-able; an enticing thought as I broaden my horizon and explore more creative ventures.

What’s your favourite thing about the city you live in?

 

 

The most terryfing thing about relocating your entire life…

The most terrifying thing about relocating your entire life

My husband and I relocated to Birmingham last weekend from Glasgow. I wasn’t planning on blogging about it because I wasn’t sure it was that big of a deal. It would probably be the first thing on most writer’s minds when they start to type, but sometimes when you’re so deeply involved in a situation you disassociate yourself from the enormity of it all (a whiff of denial is definitely in the air here). I certainly do anyway. I’ve been focusing on the little things that occur on a daily basis – making a nice dinner, rearranging the new flat, exploring my local gym – instead of worrying about the fact that we’ve moved 300 miles away from home. No biggie, right? In fact, distance is only as far as you make it. Since moving I’ve actually reconnected with so many people who have private messaged me to say good luck, or even offered to come visit us. I’ve spoken to most people more than I usually would because I’m so aware of the geographical space between us, and I instinctively want to make the communication lines stronger.

The other thing that has helped me maintain my sanity (for 90% of the time) has been to surround myself with comforting things. I don’t mean physical things like cuddly toys but more like activities that give me comfort, things that help calm my insecurities and make me feel in control of my now non-existent routine. I ordered an online grocery shop to arrive the day after we moved in, because I have wierd issues with food (for evidence read any food related post on this blog) and like to have healthy, satiating options available to me at all times. This is some deep-rooted fear of starving to death by the way, brought on by restricted eating for the last decade of my life. Obviously I ordered some treats in there to help with my emotional eating too (I’m looking at you peanut butter) but overall I just wanted to fill our new home with familiar foods that I could use to rustle up a fulfilling plateful, whilst minimising my anxiety around meal times.

I try to make going to the gym a daily habit – for my mood as well as my waistline – so I wanted to ensure I could do that as soon as we moved in. Luckily there is a budget gym just around the corner from that flat and I was already a member so I just changed my location online and I could use it straight away. I’ve never been able to find a gym with a regular yoga class, so when I saw my local offering four classes a week I jumped (don’t worry I stretched beforehand) at the chance. I was up for the 7am class on Wednesday morning and it felt great to be back practising a good habit for both mind and body. Did you know that early morning exercise actually gives you the legal right to spend the entire day telling everyone what you did and being a smug little twat about it?

So my attempts at damage control seemed to be working pretty well and I’d only uttered “I’m FINE!” in the style of Ross from ‘Friends’ one or two times under my breath and it had gone unnoticed. All was well. That was, until we need furniture.

Yes people, the most terrifying thing about moving away from home has been having to purchase new Ikea flat-pack furniture and trying to build it before my husband got home from work in some sort of attempt to prove I can be useful. I’m currently unemployed, and after a two day stint at constructing and ruining two sets of drawers I’ve tainted any dream I had of becoming a joiner. There were tears, and mainy curse words were spoken but I guess I’m still here. I didn’t fail; I just made a bit of an arse of it.

And on that note, let’s raise a glass to making terrifying life-changing decisions! What’s the worst that can happen?