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This weekend saw us visit Birmingham as the regular monthly meet coincided with Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar, a large fetish market that usually takes place on the third Sunday of the month but was moved due to Easter. This gave us an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, so on Saturday morning we drove the two hours south, arriving at our hotel in Bordesley Circus shortly aftet 1pm. We were shocked at just how far out of the city centre it was - about 2km - but at least the walk gave us some much-needed exercise, even if traipsing with the suit was somewhat inconvenient.

We arrived at the meet at around 2pm after stopping off at Subway, with the event in full swing. I decided to eschew alcohol as the weather was glorious, meaning the fursuit walk was set to go ahead. This was my first one in the city as rain had prevented the February one from going ahead. The walk was quite fun, even though it was slightly curtailed due to a protest going on at the top end of town. I was surprised by the military style organisation of it, with high-viz jackets and walkie talkies, but the route was through the centre of the city across a number of main roads, so I guess that figures. The walk itself enabled a large amount of interaction, but photo opportunities seemed to be the priority, particularly on the steps of New Street station where we were arranged for a picture. We were then asked to form two Vs (so a W then) for some reason before I highlighted that the reflective ceiling above us would make for a very good snap. We then walked to a little statue near BrewDog before turning back, with the 20 degree heat being too much for some people.

Once we got back to the venue, which sadly the meet is moving from after this one, a number of us compiled a little dance video on the other side of the road from the bar. We then went back inside to socialise some more, grabbing some food which took nearly an hour to arrive. It was quite disappointing but at £10 for two burgers, you can't really complain, before we rounded off our socialising and headed back to the hotel for about 7pm.

After a shower and a small snooze, we headed back into the city centre, waylayed by a little craft beer bar down a gentrified alleyway in Digbeth, the part of the city through which we had to walk from Bordesley to the centre. Upon stepping inside, we saw a few people sat at the bar and a nice corgi slumped on the floor. Almost immediately we got chatting to them, finding out that they were a couple in their early fifties and another regular who frequently pop into the bar. With eight taps and over 200 bottles from which to choose, it was a very cosy and friendly way to spend an evening and we ended up staying up to closing time, sharing some beers with our new friends. Towards the end of the night, I was even taken around the corner to a little pop up dining area with a number of different eateries all set underneath a viaduct adjacent to a dance music type bar. The burgers there looked exquisite but we were still full from our dry versions earlier in the day so we did not partake. The barman, a man from Liverpool, let the couple eat the burgers in the bar while we grabbed more drinks, chatting about their wonderfully behaved dog who turned out to be a stray rescue from Romania. He was really friendly and called Porto, although I intermittently kept calling him Pablo and Pedro throughout the evening.

Everyone there was really friendly and we swapped details at the end of the night. Our new friends said they were going to visit in Leeds over the summer, so I suggested we should meet up and we could show them around as they too are huge fans of craft beer. We even gave them some recommedations of beers to drink in the shop, which they bought and took home with them. They left at about 11pm and we followed soon after, chatting briefly to the barkeep about the bar as we finished our final cans. We then headed off and instead of calling it a night, we decided to head into the city, calling at Tilt and BrewDog, which had been our original destinations. Due to the time, we only had time for one beer in each although we did get a cheeky sample of a chocolate stout in Tilt as the barman remembered us from February. This was also the case in BrewDog, with the server again remembering us from two months ago, as well as saying he had seen a sophisticated pink husky dancing past earlier in the day. In BrewDog we sampled a few more beers, with Wolfie four pints ahead of me due to him drinking at the Meet. Consequently he was more interested in pouring chilli sauce on the crips we bought than drinking. We stayed until last orders before being given disposable cups into which we could pour the dregs of our beer. We then walked the half hour back to the hotel, at which I got to watch the riveting Nutriblast infomercial for half an hour, something I really find fascinating because it's so incredibly corny.

We didn't sleep overly well and woke up a bit groggy, so it wasn't until midday when we checked out. We were allowed to stay parked at the hotel so we walked back into Birmingham - for the third time that weekend - to check out the Bazaar, stopping off at a greasy spoon cafe at Birmingham Market for some breakfast. Wolfie had a full English whereas I had beans on toast, and we reminisced about the late Jocasta, who had taken us here when we visited her in the city around six years ago. After this, we headed over to the market, which was a little smaller than what I was expecting but still went over two floors. Most of the stuff was items we had already seen before, but there were a number of interesting new devices we opted to buy, whereas we decided to take the plunge and buy a proper estim unit too. We had been meaning to do this for a while but thought now was the time, with both of us securing payrises last week. We also picked up a few other implements, spending over £200 in the place overall, before heading back to the car and eventually home.

We are starting to feel quite at home in Birmingham and are looking forward to visiting again, likely in June. We are starting to get to know more of the local furs and there seems to be a good fur and fetish scene down there. The hotel was a little out of the way, but good if we are driving as you can avoid the city centre, plus the walk isn't too bad in the summer months. In the winter though we may have to consider elsewhere.
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