Dear Birmingham by Emma Pursehouse

Dear Birmingham,

About yower proposal…heaven knows, we’m close. I love ya, yow’m great.  Yow’ll allus be my mate. Wos not to like? Yow’m the second city, yow’m sitting pretty off the back of a thousand trades.  And though for the most part beauty fades, yow, well yow doh look yower age. Slum clearances, nips, tucks un one or two liposucks can werk wonders cor they.  And the bling!  Oh that golden cow thing, just outside the bullring, must’ve cost a bob or two.  But you, yow carry it off, ower kid.  You’ve got the Midas touch.  With yow it werks, it ay too much.  Yow’m god modern, fashion conscious, oozing style, going that extra mile to stand out.  Bubble wrap!  Who’d a thought of wearing that?  Not me.  But yow’m, brazen.  And that’s meant as a positive…it is.  Not in the brassy sense of the word.  I’m sure whatever I’ve heard, it’s just rumours.

Anyway, I digress, what I’m trying to say is…how shall I put this…well, my old pal, my laddo, I’m just feeling a bit, yuh know, in yower shadow.  Ridic’lous, I know, but there it is.  It’s out.  Yow’ve moved on.  And arm pleased for yow I am.  I’ve know’d you since yow was Brummagem.  And yes, we’ve had some fun.  Iced bun at the museum café!  Oh ay that wuz the day.  Remember the life size Tyrannosaurus Rex you had?  Yow shared that with me.  And I’m glad.

I used to come over on the bus and the pair of us ud see such stuff.

Back in the 80s yow bought yowerself a ski jumper from Oasis.  Ooo cocker, remember my first pair of dockers?  Purple!  From the rag market.  It was just afore I went goth.  What a loff.

Except yow doh do you?  Loff that is.  You larf.  And that’s part of the problem.  We’m as different as chalk and cheese.  As vowel sounds.  As pennies and pounds.  Yow’m gold and silver.  Yow’m R and B (in the Timberlake sense of the word) and I’m more heavy metal.  Bang, Crash, Wallop, Thrash.  I’m onomatopoeia to your assonance.  Yow’m ballet and symphonies, royal and world class and I’m chains and nails and glass.

I never used to be one of the play up your own end brigade, but I’m afraid, we’ve grown apart.  Now look, you’ve made me blart.  But, yow need tellin’.  Excuse me for yellin’.  Yow claim to care and yet, I bet you haven’t noticed I’m upset.  I’ve not been near you since you went all arty farty, skinny latté.

Come and see a band you say? Well, FYI the last time we did that together was…Thin Lizzy…the Odeon in 83.   Even the 79 bus doh go near yow anymore.  Those days are gone.  It stops at West Brom.  Like you even care.  Wam bam thank you mam.  As for tram.  Snow Hill Station is the twilight zone at night.  Nobody around, it’s like being underground.  When all is said and done, I’m too scared to come.

Even in the daytime I find it hard.  Last time I came to your yard, I got blisters on my feet.  Three hours to find mi way out of New Street and that was just the station!  Even the sighting of a minor celebrity in the canal basin, (Michele Paduano eating a banana), didn’t make it worthwhile.  I couldn’t even raise a smile.

I know…I know…I’m being unfair.  It’s just set me off…this Greater Birmingham malarkey.  Greater Birmingham!  Like yow’m better than me.  And I know you’ve been sniffing around the other fish in the sea.  Like Coventry.  Seems like yow wouldn’t have to look far.  What about Warwick, Leamington Spa?  I bet they’d have yower hand off.

Playing a Peaky Blinder you are.  Real star.  They’ve even heard of yow in London…don’t know where you are exactly on the map.  But heard of yow at least.  And so…with due consideration, I don’t think we should be together.  Not now, not never.

And I’d like to say it’s me not yow.  But it aye.

Yours…no scrub that…not yours at all.

Best wishes and kind regards from me.

The Black Country.

PS  I doh like to brag…but I’ve got my own flag!