Birmingham: 2013's Half Time Whistle!

Honestly, I seriously underestimated the complexity of my final year! I know that the Christmas holidays are just around the corner, things will be fine has the 'Half Time Whistle' sounds for this part of my final year at University. It's not all been stress and deadlines, I have been busy with other ventures that have opened my eyes to a new country! My blog will prosper further!

Back from the summer holidays, I had plans to see another side of Birmingham. My time as a student in the city is dwindling, I wanted to experience the Balti Triangle! Being curious about discovering Birmingham's most famous dish I found Sparkbrook to be like a scene from 'East is East!' I chose to eat at 'Shabab Balti Restaurant' where I had a delicious Balti dish, worth the price I certainly ate well during my Balti session. Getting to Sparkbrook was a memorable task because the walk from the Maltings showed me the sketchy neighbhourhood of Highgate, it was an eventful evening! I'm glad that I hadn't discovered the Balti Triangle until this September for it showed me Birmingham has many different international communities that open my eyes to a new side of this vibrant and emerging city. I might well return to Sparkbrook before I say goodbye to university life in Birmingham. No, I can't answer that BH! 

Chinatown, Birmingham gave me a new found zest for this blog, I subconsciously created my 'Southside: Birmingham's Oriental Heart' blog from a simple visit to the Chinese Quarter on the 4th of November with my friend Kelly. We do try and make time for a Bubble Tea or two at Caffe Chino for all this academic reading for our Dissertation's can get very tedious, so a little break down Cathay Street sorted us out. Getting to grips with Day In Supermarket proved to be a lesson of discovery for I learnt about some of the different products that sat on the shelves ready for purchase, compared to the usual visit to Tesco it was very interesting to see another culture go about their grocery shopping ways. I look to Birmingham's Chinatown as my first stepping stone on my way to visiting Hong Kong as I have learnt a lot about the Oriental cultures from this part of town and real-life stories from my friend Kelly. I found Oolong Tea, I had not found this tea for an age plus it was loose leaf! I loved it! 

From an academic stance, this semester has been crazy with the constant barrage of new assignments that frankly have too many words! I admit that things have been tough but I'm learning that pushing through the stress works a treat because there's nothing more fulfilling than a finished piece of final year coursework. The dreaded Dissertation hasn't been too brain-taxing so far, I'm actually enjoying the process at the moment so I hope that positive term of phrase sticks for the remainder of the year! I'm putting the finishing touches to my draft Literature Review, my experience so far with this research project has rubbished the whispers from previous final year students! We will approach our Dissertations in our ways, some of us will wait until the last moment where the rest of us will prioritise time for the deadline and binding date to arrive problem free. I'll treat every word with a night-out! J, drink up! 

The Christmas holidays are insight, for sure the last few weeks have been a struggle to say the least. Aside from the Dissertation I have been studying two other level six final year modules, Operations Management and Strategic Management have been the highlight! Operations Management has so far been really quite interesting for its allowed me to focus on functional practices from my placement in Newark last year, so I have a lot of material to utilise for my 3,000 word essay. Strategic Management has been the bane of my life just recently for it can only be described as 'laborious!' Yes, strong words I know, but the presentation that me and my group presented yesterday took some stress to complete. Our company was Merlin Entertainment, they own Alton Towers. We all had a lot of work so we would grasp the subject let alone be familiar enough with the company in the first place! The whole experience has been a worthwhile process even the drama! It's all done now!

I would like to think my blog has reached new audiences throughout the last three months, further broadening the types of visitors that boost the overall viewings of my blog. Using social media platforms like 'Twitter' has alllowed me to gain support from 'Visit Birmingham' for my 'Brummie' orientated blogs. I would like to think that they have been a hit with their social media team? Thankfully, most of the posts have been retweeted, I see that as a positive step! I took part in a promo video for 'Visit Birmingham' as a part of their Christmas campaign, highlighting one of my favourite things to do in Birmingham at Christmas. I hope to remain in contact with Birmingham Airport as I was delighted to be contacted by their social media team after posting my blogs on their official BHX Twitter feed. With the first direct flight from Beijing, China slated to happen sometime in 2014, I'm really excited about that development B! 

Above to the left is the promotional bag I received from the event I attended on Thursday, which was hosted by 'Visit Berlin' to showcase its new 'Pink Pillow Collection' hotels in Berlin. The 'Pink Pillow' hotels will cater especially for Gay and Lesbian guests. I remember checking a strange looking email to find that I had been cordially invited to an exciting event, well I was very surprised because I have never been invited to fancy events like that one! I made use of some advice given to me by a fellow 'blogger' friend to design some 'blog' business cards for the event to publicise my blog website further. I exchanged business cards with the spokespersons from 'Visit Berlin' and 'Out Now Global' to see what opportunities may arise from attending this event. I'm hopeful to book a trip to Berlin, Hamburg and possibly Bremen soon! Deutschland better watch out! Some sweet developments, transformed that Facebook note in 2012 into a blog post was the best decision to make! Oh, yes! 

I Better Work!

Joseph Harrison


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