No matter how successful you get or how far away you end up, never forget where you come from.
Those were the wise words given to me by my Grandad George whilst having a pint on the Rose & Crown in Erdington, Birmingham. Fast forward fifteen years and I can still picture the inspiring old man sitting across the table from me. A lot has happened since that moment, alas the words have stuck with me throughout the years and they’ll be words I pass on to my son.
Living on the other side of the world from where I grew up still blows my mind if I think about it too long. How on earth did a lad from a council estate in Birmingham, end up being a dad and the founder of a charity in New Zealand? Well, I guess it comes down to the fact that growing up, I was surrounded by people with a work ethic that just got shit done. It was the Brummie way…
It’s this Brummie work ethic (plus cheeky ways) that help me to balance everything that’s going on these days; daddy daycare, running a charity, trying to blog, grow a garden etc. At the end of the week, Anj and I are pretty cream crackered (knackered) and we just need a bit of escapism. Recently we’ve been binge watching some Netflix and we’re finally watching a show which my sister has been telling me to watch for years.
Now, I’ve taken Anj back to my hometown, just after Taylor was born and it was interesting to show her around where I grew up. What’s even more interesting, is showing her where George would have grown up back in the 1920’s, by watching Peaky Blinders. What with the whole show being based and partly filmed in Birmingham, it’s a bit of history lesson into what life was like a few generations ago. Apparently the plot is loosely based on real life events, which is a pretty scary thought. It made me giggle in the first episode, that the Shelby gang were going to St Andrews to watch the football, which is the home of Birmingham City, the team I’ve supported since I was a kid.
One thing you should know about us folk from Birmingham, Brummies, is that we have a pretty distinct accent…often mocked by the rest of the UK. So to see the likes of Cillian Murphy (the lead actor, who is from Ireland) speaking with a really authentic Brummie accent made me smile. Also, Sam Neil (a nod to me new home) pulls off a pretty impressive Irish accent. And yep, after watching the first episode, I was feeling distinctly homesick. Not so much for the city, as it certainly wasn’t much to look at back in 1919, if the show was anything to go by, but just thinking about my Gramps growing up in these times.
This show was based around a hundred years ago, yet there is still so much which hasn’t really changed. The cities we live in have improved somewhat, but there still the same old social issues beneath the surface i.e. gangs, poverty, racism, immigration etc. I wonder how the period dramas of the future will portray todays “Peaky Blinders”, will the Brummie accent still exist?