I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic this week

I have been missing the life I was creating for myself in Birmingham. I can’t imagine I’m the only one missing things about life before lockdown, especially those of us who moved away from Birmingham to see out the lockdown with friends and/or family.

Here are ten things I miss about Birmingham. This list could have gone on forever but I decided to limit myself to just ten. So, in no particular order, here are ten things I miss about Birmingham.

1. On campus catch-ups

There’s something magical about taking 30 minutes, or longer, to catch-up with a friend in the middle of the day. Talking about anything and everything while you sit on a sofa, tea cup in one hand and most likely a cookie in the other. A stream of students and staff passing all around as the ebb and flow of university continues around you. I miss this, a lot.

2. Exploring Digbeth

Digbeth quickly became one of my favourite places in Birmingham to try new things. Be that playing board games, trying to get a hole-in-one at crazy golf or eating food at the Dining Club. I can’t wait to go back and see what new street art has appeared.

3. Having friends over

I never thought of myself as a particularly social person (although my housemate would disagree) but it turns out I love having people over. I miss having people over for a my monthly party. I miss having a friend over for dinner and board games. And I miss having friends come and stay for the weekend as I show them my new city.

4. Getting books from the Library

Would I be an English Literature PhD student if I didn’t miss the library? True, I’ve been managing with online resources but there is something uniquely wonderful about browsing the stacks and discovering a hidden academic gem.

5. Talking to other PhDs at Westmere

I only had my desk in Westmere for a week before the lockdown went into effect but even in that short time, I enjoyed getting to know the people I shared an office with. I miss the random chats that would happen after sitting in silence for two hours while you both focus on your research, until one of you (usually me) just needed a five-minute break.

6. Late night chats with my housemate

Moving back into my parents for lockdown, who religiously go to bed at 10pm, has been an adjustment for a night owl like me. It’s meant a lot of late nights chilling by myself with the family dog. The upside is it’s made me appreciate the late night talks me and my housemate would have while watching some random programme on Netflix or Prime.

7. Walking to and from university

I never thought I would miss my twenty minute walk to campus, but it turns out I do. I miss watching the season change from autumn, to winter, to spring. Despite the terrible pavement full of holes, I actually miss walking along that street and seeing Birmingham happen all around me.

8. Grabbing a drink, or three with friends

Whether it’s a large group of 15 cramped onto an eight person table at Bacchus or just three in a booth at Joes bar waiting for food to arrive, I miss being able to grab a drink with friends. I miss being able to catch-up with people, or even meet new people, at the end of long day of work with a glass of wine or cider in hand.

9. The hustle and bustle of city life

I’m one of those people caught between two worlds: the city and the country. When I am in Birmingham, I miss the peace and space of the countryside. Now I’m back in the countryside, I miss the hustle and bustle of city life. The way something new is always happening, be it a party, a gig, or a dinner out with friends at a new restaurant.

10. Lazy weekends editing in a café

Perhaps the thing I miss most from Birmingham is my routine, particularly my weekend routine. The way I would get up late on a Saturday, walk to a cafe and spend the next three or four hours editing a new video on my computer, or writing a blog post. Then once I had finished, I’d go to meet my friends or even return home to have a chilled evening to myself.

Ultimately, I miss my friends from Birmingham. I miss the life I was building for myself and I can’t wait to return to it all when this is finally over.

What do you miss most from pre-lockdown life? Let me know on Instagram at @phdlifewithlucy