Sunday was a day of 2 halves, my daughter trying on Mrs T’s old wedding dress and 10 of the family visiting Birmingham on an outing to a restaurant and then a pen museum, like a school trip except for the restaurant which was really first class.
So the usual jostling for the bathrooms occurred at my folks house, they don’t lock the doors and so any attempts at pushing open the doors is met with an abrupt blurting out,
“I’m in here”
and so you have to turn tail to find one of the other 2 loos, 1 of which is not used purely to keep it for best. I’m sure if the Queen or Teresa May was to visit, they would be allowed to use the “best” loo, and wash their hands in the patterned shell shaped basin. I’m just jealous retro is coming back.
The second half of the day was spent, after a motorway car journey; 2 cars, boys against girls, 3 generations in each and gasps of “Oh my goodness” from my Dad as we overtook lorries and slipped quickly into the suburbs of Birmingham. It was interesting for me as I only really ever see the A38, St. Chads circus underpass and ultimately Birmingham Children’s Hospital. That has really been the only reason for us to go to Birmingham, which before you ask is ok, both the kids are superstars, the violists now are purely precautionary. We ended up in Edgbaston, I think at a wonderful pub at which I had my first ever elderflower drink which with ice and cucumber was a revelation. With lunch I had a beer; a pint of Hoegarden, cloudy and retro with a chunk of lemon dropped in the top and about double the price of a pint of HPA I wager, my daughter, ever the modest lady, asked for a non-alcoholic strawberry Daiquiri.
Why the hell did we go to a pen museum you may ask, or you may not, you may think that this is what we Brits do for a touch of Sunday afternoon light entertainment. And to be honest, I really was thinking to my self, “Who the hell is going to be in the pen museum on a barmy Sunday after lunch” The answer was surprisingly loads of people, and the reason was that in the late 1800’s up until the early to mid 1900’s more than 120 massive pen nib making factories existed in Birmingham and I think the stat was that in 1900 80% of the written word world wide was written with a pen nib made in Birmingham, and my Great Grandfather had one of those factories. He made pen nibs which you stuck onto the end of a stick and dipped in ink repeatedly whilst writing, an incredibly laborious process, but very profitable. He had a factory for 40 years until the fountain pen arrived on the scene also he couldn’t seem to keep his dick inside his trousers, which got him into a great deal of bother and financial ruin!
I saw some very cool stuff, the pen nib boxes were awesome in design, the pens exotic in name, and i’m sure they were meant to write differently, maybe they did maybe they didn’t.
I love the anti satanic pen, very popular with exorcists, and the climax pen, well, for the million, everyone likes a good climax.
I also learnt that somewhere down the line I had a relative called:
Which I shall be adopting for my own use as a description, of what I haven’t worked it out yet, but i’ll get it into the English lexicography, mark my words. He wore his feathered hat in an excuperious manner…
That is the factory which he seemingly pissed up against the wall with women of dubious lineage.
I loved it and to see my Dad, my tired old Dad, absolutely fascinated by it all was a picture, I should take him there again on my own, he’d really like that I think.