One question I've often had to field since I dragged this blog back to life is "why?". Not "why are you trying to visit all the stations on a map?", because most people I know have long given up on trying to get a justification for that out of me. No, what they want to know is "why on earth would you willingly spend your free time travelling round the Midlands?"
The Midlands - particularly the Birmingham-related parts of it - have a reputation as one of Britain's least lovely spots. You can find people who'll defend London's grimiest inner cities or Middlesbrough's industrial wastelands or Liverpool's abandoned docks, finding true beauty in their desolation. But it's rare you'll get someone sticking up for Birmingham. It's a sulky, unloved part of the world.
One of the reasons why I'm doing this blog is to explore this massive, highly-populated part of the country that I know very little about, and to find good spots wherever I can. You might find this hard to believe but I don't go to the grimiest hellholes with glee on my face, looking forward to tearing it to pieces in a barely-read blog a few days later. I want to find goodness. I want to find charm. I want to be dazzled.
Unfortunately I was at Tame Bridge Parkway.