Most people who haven't been to Birmingham think it sucks big time. Almost everyone who spends any time there begins to love it. The trees; there are many. The canals; more miles than Venice. I could go on. I will. The architecture; a picture of young and old getting on fine. The venues, the museums, the people - all great. The city is beginning to get dress sense too. There are a lot of cool people walking around town. People who know what it's all about and how to show it. I popped home today to have lunch with my boy and just loved it.
But the place we went, The Old Joint Stock next to St Phillip's Cathedral, is a delight. To start with it's a Fullers pub, one of the few outside the capital. The London Pride is lovely.
Secondly the menu is interesting. We shared a soupy beef casserole and bread. One big pot for two delivered to the table with a serving spoon. Very civilised.
Thirdly, it's a converted bank (the name's a clue). There can be no greater delight than going home to a place you love. Add to that two hours of good company with one of your own kind and the pleasure overflows. But the explosion of wonderfulness is complete when you go for a post pint pee and find that the toilets used to have another use. You are relieving yourself in a room that is labelled Bank Manager.