Wednesday, April 05, 2006


'Our House, In The Middle Of Our Street, Our House, That Was Where We Used To Sleep, Our House'*

So I have moved back to my home town of Stourbridge. I was absolutely astonished - perhaps naively - to discover that it has a Wikipedia entry. Want to know about it?

'Much of the town is made up of Suburban streets, broken by green spaces. Stourbridge borders on green belt land, and is often suprisingly close to unspoiled countryside . . . It has been said that you could go west from Stourbridge and not encounter another built-up area until past the border with Wales.'

'It remains part of Worcestershire for postal and cricket purposes; a significant minority in the town still consider themselves to live in Worcestershire.'

I love that 'for postal and cricket purposes.' There are, of course, no other important purposes to consider. I also love the 'significant minority', as if they were a bizarre political grouping, like ETA or the Cornish separatists (and by the way, isn't 'Cornish separatists' just the most endearingly hopeless political grouping one could possibly belong to?)

It also mentions that Johnny Briggs, who was or is Mike Baldwin in 'Coronation Street' lives in the town. I can go one better than that. He actually lives about 1000 yards from where I'm writing this now. Isn't that mildly interesting?

One fact it doesn't mention is that if you stand on top of the nearby Clent Hills, if you could attach some kind of jet pack that moved you at exactly the same altitude exactly east, you would not bump into solid land until you hit the Urals. Don't say that I never teach you anything!

You might be thinking; nice place to bunk down, Steve! You would be wrong. I came back home from the pub tonight with a plan - tomorrow, I was going to go and see 'The Three Burials Of Melquaides Estrada.' This film, allegedly excellent, has been on my 'desperate to watch' list for ages - it won 'Best Actor' and 'Best Screenplay' at Cannes.

Sadly, no cinema within 100 miles is showing it. Finally, desperate, I looked it up on the BBC Cinema finder, and guess what? The nearest cinema showing it is Cornerhouse in Manchester, 30 minutes away from where I live normally.


In between writing that sentence and writing this one, I spent five minutes stapling my nose in frustration. Just thought you ought to know.

This film appears to have everything a man could want in a film - dust, prostitutes, and Tommy Lee Jones in a cowboy hat. How could all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune hit me at one moment?

*Madness, 'Our House'.

I was equally inflamed when I heard that The Libertine would not be showing anywhere in the local vicinity. Johnny Depp, raucous nakedness... dammit
The Guardian were giving The Libertine away free in November, and I was gutted when I missed it. From what I've heard, it was the surprise quality film of last year. I do still find it funny that they released it for a week on one screen in America in order to make it eligible for the Oscars, and it didn't get a single nomination.

Ah, how the mighty fall . . .
Sounds charming, I suppose. Where did you move from? Where were you? Where are you going?
Well, I live in Manchester most of the year, in possibly the world's least salubrious house. Still, it does at least have the advantage of being a city, with things to do, as opposed to this barely half-horse town.
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