Life, of course, keeps going and staying in the moment too long is not a good idea. I have a business to run and a personal life which continues to grow and move forward as I inch ever closer to moving my base across the pond, which right now is where I am as I write this week’s blog. I was only back in the Northeast for a few days, after arriving back from the Bay Area, so a very quick turnaround. When I returned from Europe a month ago, I only had one bag and a backpack full of stuff, meaning that most of clothes is resting peacefully in Italy. Having used up the clean clothing, it was necessary to get the wash done and re-packed to be here. Where is here, England to be specific and I have been here, now a week where I have been in meetings with potential partners with different countries from Greece, Italy, Georgia (the country, not the state) and many others at a meeting last week called Global European Marketplace. My goal was to connect and re-connect with partners to help enhance the experiences for my valued clients, which is what I did.
It was not all business, as this past weekend, I hopped the train to a city in England, the second largest in England in fact, after London, and a place I had not been previously in my travels to the UK. That place, Birmingham, which, while not on everyone’s list of places to see, such as York or Newcastle or Manchester, offers much in the way of arts and culture and history. In only a weekend, and a nice morning walking tour, I learned much about England’s second city and glad I made the trek there for the weekend. One must know that it, during WWII, was bombed, so its architecture is mixed and it away, it is a very youthful city. It was not destroyed, but heavily damaged as it was one of the industrial centers of England, but not a heavily damaged, as Coventry, for example, that very much was destroyed during the war.
Interesting facts about Birmingham are that it is not built on a river as most great cities are, so to move goods and services, it has a series of canals, that in distance are longer than Venice, and more than Amsterdam, two cities known for their canals. Also, in the 1800’s, and the date I do not remember, was a time where Birmingham did not have representation in the British Parliament, so even towns and cities in England as recently as the late 1800’s did not have representation. Funny, America fought for its independence based on not having representation in the British Parliament back in 1776. So perhaps, history repeats itself and that is why we have so many problems around the world, but that is for a different commentary.
Birmingham is also considered to be the birth of heavy metal and several bands of note have their origins in Birmingham. Everyone has heard of Black Sabbath and a very interesting character by the name of Ozzie Osbourne. Yes, the Ozzie, was from the area, so depending on your musical taste or perhaps of the generation that watched the Osbourne’s, this is where is from and there is a Black Sabbath Bridge over one of the canals and a bench the members of the band. Other bands that have their origins include Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), which for the record, is the first rock and roll band I ever saw live and a double bill with Hall and Oates. Back in July, when I was last in the UK and Rosa cam up to be with me, before we returned Italy, Darryl Hall was an opening act for Billy Joel. In any case, that first concert was at the old Civic Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which is not the Xcel Energy Center. I know, you would have thought that BOSTON, which is my favorite rock and roll band, and saw some 28 times since, would have been my first concert, but no, it was ELO and Jeff Lynne, which started in Birmingham in 1970 and he has a star on their walk of fame.
As I only had a weekend there, I did not see everything and the weather was not terribly cooperative, but I did what I came to do and see myself returning sometime. Cadbury is there as well, for your chocolate fans and there are many music venues and museums to explore. I am glad I took the time to see the city but had to get back to London for more business as I am currently attending another world class event called World Travel Market, which started yesterday, and a side event called Denmark Day and an evening with the Danes and other representatives of the Scandinavian countries.
My purpose is, as noted earlier, to connect and re-connect with representatives of these and other countries and travel organizations around the world. I have built my business on working with many locals in many different destinations around the world to provide more unique experiences which are not necessarily or readily available online. Having these partners allows me to enhance your travel experiences, so that each and every travel adventure is unique to you and I will be attending the today and tomorrow as well, so if there is something of interest to you, a place you have been dreaming about for your next travel adventure, I am your man for the job, and have the right partners on the ground from all over the world be it in Europe or any other destination. In any case, I leave for the continent in a few days and then back stateside on the 15th, but those happenings to be shared later.
Once again, I thank all of you for your comments and considerations about the death of my birth father and know that he is in a better place, and I can move forward at peace knowing that my future life, to be shared in my blog will be brighter, having had the 40 year friendship with Kenn. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin