So, going back to Birmingham has actually been fairly reassuring. A few stores have closed down, though not as many as I had feared, and a whole bunch of new ones have opened up. Things have changed a little, but not enormously so my entire world isn't off balance like it was when I returned from University to find that half of Solihull had been converted into a mall.
However there is one new, big, fairly ugly player on the skyline:
Probably I don't need to write that in capitals but it seems more apt that way. I love brutalist architecture and buildings that stick out like a sore thumb and, in fact, ugly buildings in general so I'm broadly in favour of them constructing this massive block right next to the canals, but I would guess some people are less so. My photo doesn't place it in its surroundings sadly, but it towers over everything else and effectively dominates the area where they've chosen to place it. I don't know much about what is meant to be inside, but I'm really hoping that it won't be the cyberman processing plant that its name and appearance suggest.