I arrived in Birmingham at around half two on Friday and was leaving Birmingham at around half one on Sunday. So I was there for 47 hours but how was it?
Getting off the train at Birmingham New Street my mind sharply returned to the last time I was at that railway station. It was the spring of 2003 and there was a girl involved. That is all I’m saying but she was nice however the previous night she had met someone else and that as they say turned out to be that.
I found my hotel despite going the wrong way out of New Street station and checked in after a 20 minute wait because three old women were busy trying to book their Christmas Dinner meal for December 4th. Seriously women is it that important that you need to sort it out on September 16? Annoying. I got into my room and found out what to expect from a 3* hotel. Clean and decent but nothing special. It had a TV that wasn’t widescreen. That stunned me.
I changed my top as it was wringing with sweat and put on another hoody and headed up to go through accreditation. I sailed through. The police were happy enough to let me in although the police officer managed to lose my passport. What a tit. Luckily it was found and handed in at reception. I was going through accreditation at the same time as all the workers at the ICC and due to the fact my details were already on file I was in and out within half an hour. They weren’t so lucky.
Following this I strolled back to the hotel and then I was out again trying to meet up with a couple of twitter people but I couldn’t find them but I had a backup plan. Whilst en route to try and meet them I was accosted by a prostitute asking if I wasn’t to use her sexual services. I declined. Politely. So I went to watch The Inbetweeners which I thought was a decent movie. There was a couple on a date behind me and I was totally enamoured with the lasses accent. I think it is fair to say that I am an accent man and the Brummie accent is first rate. I went back to the hotel and blogged and got some sleep.
On Saturday I watched both rugby games before meeting up with Zadok Day for some lunch. Well I say lunch – I had a muffin. After that I made my way up to the ICC and bumped into Peter Welch who was the PCC round here last May. Luckily he took me under his wing as I knew no-one and I’m very grateful to him for that. There was a vote on something that people seemed really riled up about. In the evening there was the rally which basically was full of terrible jokes that made my soul cry whilst I was busy following Penn State’s game at Temple on twitter. I saw Kelly-Marie Blundell and told her that I was sitting near her making me sound like a creepy stalker.
I went to the East of England event and met several people including Andy Strange who was the ‘face of Liberal Democrat defeat’ in May. At least he has some fame. Then I popped over to the Lib Dem Voice Blog of the Year awards where I was up for a couple of gongs. I won neither but such is life. I met a few bloggers but sadly didn’t catch up with Jennie Rigg. That disappointed me (as did not properly catching up with Kelly) as I have had interesting conversations with both so it would have been good. Next time. Next time…
Then I met Matthew Gibson and Helen Duffett and proceeded to talk with them for the evening. Matthew was grilling Helen and making her think very deeply about many things. That guy would be a very interesting interviewer. I walked home at about three in the morning and by the time I’d unwound after the two mile walk home it must have been five. I’d wake up at around eight for the main reason I had made a last minute decision to go up to Conference – interviewing Nick Clegg.
The interview is up for all to see and not much more to add. It was a great experience and hopefully between the four of us we have given some insight to various Lib Dem policies and to how Nick Clegg thinks. After the interview I headed off back to the hotel which I’d checked out of but left my bags there and made the three minute walk to New Street. A train to London was leaving not four minutes later and I hopped on.
It took 1h20m to get from Birmingham New Street to London Euston and 50 minutes to get from Euston to Liverpool Street. Seriously Boris? Seriously? Weekend tube is disgraceful. C2C doesn’t get let off either as because the line was up I had to take the Southend Victoria line home. I got home just after half five and very quickly weighed myself. Three days of no food plus lots of walking = 4lbs of lost weight. Result.
So overall a whirlwind experience for me. Very exciting and next time I really need to plan it properly. Interviewing Nick Clegg was fantastic and meeting those who I did was enjoyable too. It was a shame I didn’t meet half as many people as I’d have liked to though. Also perhaps most importantly I remembered just how much I loved the Brummie accent. I also love the Preston accent and the Geordie accent but the Brummie one may be right at the top. Not sure if that’s a bigger story than meeting Nick Clegg but still…
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