Leaving Behind a Legacy

website design

As fast as time is flying, my Spires expiration date has not been reached yet and so yes the title is a bit dramatically deceptive. Recently, I have been engaging more in the website content side of the business and that is why I am talking about leaving a legacy; all the content I am putting out there, be it on the website or in the form of my blogs, should outlive my Spires shelf-life so everyone will know I was here. This is all dependent on management being pleased with what I am doing so if I leave and everything changes, I can take that as a subtle hint…

In terms of the website, apart from uploading all my blogs, I am also helping to write and design for the special offers page and the brand new Edinburgh section. This includes choosing what photographs to display and writing about all the attractions and restaurants that should be headlining an Edinburgh “Must Do” travel list. I am really enjoying having the chance to engage in such activities as it is positive to have somewhat tangible evidence of the work I am doing and to know I am doing work that is of benefit to The Spires and will hopefully last for a considerable amount of time. It is also useful to have evidence to show my university that I have indeed been working and not been getting up to too much trouble!

One thing I did not expect was the use of coding that sometimes comes in handy with embedding social media content. Although it is by no means complex coding, it is still quite satisfying to see if I can manage to input a new widget onto the website or on the WordPress blog. Looks like my Higher Computing has proven to be a bit handy!

Having reached my two month mark, I am really happy The Spires chose me to be an intern. Although it is a challenging time for the North-East, there are so many important developments happening here that it is really exciting to be even playing a minor part in facilitating that. It is always beneficial experience to be working in such a dynamic environment and with such a lovely, enthusiastic team as well. Even though I am a Sales Administrator intern, I swear I am not trying a selling plug here!

Till next time,

Alex

Bollywood Meets Birmingham

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               Today marks a sad day as we reach the closure point on our Bollywood Meets Scotland series. If you had mentioned to me at the start of this year that I would end up blogging about the connection between Bollywood and India, I would have been somewhat doubtful to say the least; predominantly because I had never even realised that any Bollywood films had been filmed in Scotland. However, fortunately I have now been enlightened, and I have been thoroughly interested to discover just how many a Bollywood movie has been filmed here and the wide array of locations that have been featured. However, before we bid adieu to this blogging series, there is still one important stop to make: Birmingham.

                Ok, so geographically we are all well aware that Birmingham is not a part of Scotland. However, considering the increasing popularity towards filming a Bollywood movie in Britain’s second city, there is no reason why a Bollywood adventure in Scotland cannot turn into a Bollywood adventure in the UK. In 2013, Birmingham even celebrated the 100th year anniversary of the Indian movie industry through hosting a wide range of Bollywood themed activities from live music, dance and entertainment, such as “Bollywood’s Got Talent” to functions which included the attendance of famous Bollywood royalty such as Zeenat Aman. With classic Bollywood movies being shown during the month-long festival, it would be inconceivable to consider leaving Birmingham out of all the fun.

               Prior to last year’s festival, less than 12 films a year used Birmingham as a backdrop but to that ignorant likes of me, that was a much higher number than I had anticipated. One of those dozen films which Birmingham squeezed its way into (it even held the premiere) was the recent Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, a UK-based 2013 action comedy sequel to Yamla Pagla Deewana which focused on the trials and tribulations a married Indian man from Canada experienced when searching for the brother and father in India he had lost contact with. Although not setting the Bollywood Box Office on fire, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 did succeed in generating £2.5 million for Birmingham’s local economy which only goes to reflect the positive benefits of film tourism. This is particularly true when it is considered how the likes of big stars like Dharmendra have now visited Birmingham, putting it on the map for their loyal fans. Happened to have watched Yamla Pagla Deewana 2? Well, Birmingham featured extensively in the movie and some iconic Birmingham sights to keep an eye out for include the Gatecrasher Night Club, the Rotunda Apartments and the NEC Birmingham.

               Another recent movie to feature Birmingham was Tezz, a 2012 action movie featuring a rather darker plot with a man hiding a bomb on a train in order to avenge the wrong that had been done to him in his past. Birmingham’s St Phillips Cathedral played a part in the action as did Victoria Square where the ransom money was even dropped.

                A particular link that can be found between Birmingham and Bollywood is the food series “From Birmingham to Bombay” which followed the renowned head chef Alan Coxon as he discovered how the 5 favourite UK curries, cooked by the best Anglo-Indian chefs, matched up against their authentic Indian counterparts to see just how they compared. Filmed in both the UK and India, if you like curry, spices, food history, Indian food, beautiful scenery and a captivating knowledgeable narrative; this is one for your viewing. As a disclaimer, just remember to have some food at hand because the odds are favourable that you will begin to feel a bit peckish! Make sure to check out the whole series on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6afkSPLHc0. Not to name-drop, but also look out for the credits on Episode 1 where a certain serviced apartments firm makes a sneaky appearance….

birmingham youtube

               One final link that reflects just how intertwined Birmingham and Bollywood is that Birmingham was the first UK city to open up a Bollywood Academy which teaches vocals, acting, singing and dancing from expert teachers who are well renowned in the UK and India alike for their Bollywood based talent. As a result of this academy, the awareness of Bollywood themed Performance Arts in the UK can only be increased and enables further opportunities for the industry.

Alas, that brings us to the final stop on our Bollywood venture through Scotland into Birmingham. While the story may be over, your journey can only just begin if you choose to follow the action, music, dancing and romance in the movies and live it out for yourself. See where all the famous stars acted out those iconic moments in some of the UK’s  favourite and most beloved cities that are full of history, culture, entertainment and beautiful landscape. The whole way throughout your journey, The Spires can accommodate you and with apartments that come with fully equipped kitchens, spacious lounges and comfy bedrooms, we can cater for the whole family. So what are you waiting for? Engage in a little bit of Bollywood magic and follow in the paths of the stars. Make sure to share those movie-ready selfies with us!

Photo: VisitBirmingham

Want to go back and look at how the Bollywood journey began? Or have you just tuned into all the fun now? Here are our previous Bollywood blogs…

https://thespiressuites.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/have-a-bollywood-adventure-in-scotland/  

https://thespiressuites.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/bollywood-meets-the-north-east/

https://thespiressuites.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/bollywood-meets-glasgow/

https://thespiressuites.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/bollywood-meets-edinburgh/

There is No Place like Home

Some questions, such as in mathematics, have a set answer to which it can only be classified as right or wrong. However, some questions are a bit more subjective and can have any number of potential responses. The question on our lips today falls more into the latter category unless you can tell me otherwise that there is a definitively correct answer to the question; where is home to you? The reason behind the subjectivity of this simple question is that it is an incredibly personal question which will undoubtedly garner a whole host of varying answers. No one person will have the same answer as the other, particularly if you answer the question with a very specific answer that details the exact house number, street and postcode of the residence in which you can currently inhabit (which is probably what the dictionary definition would have you do).

When it comes to thinking about where home is, a saying that typically comes to mind is “home is where the heart is” reflecting that sense of how a home is somewhere you belong-where you can be yourself. Consequently, it conjures associations that a home is where your nearest and dearest are, such as your family and friends, because it is those who you should feel the ability to be yourself with and where you feel safe. Home could be where the true essence of you lies and is that one place you can rely on. Maybe it is not even a particular place; maybe it is more abstract and is your country of residence or even a person. Similarly, it is also said that “a house is not a home” which also goes to reflect how a home is not necessarily a physical object, it is more of a feeling or a sentiment. Therefore, a home does not have to be a permanent building; we can make it wherever we go as there is more to it than just bricks and cement.

Why am I getting all philosophical on this Friday afternoon? Well, recently I have taken to uploading old (maybe it is more fashionable to say vintage) videos of The Spires and one that particularly caught my attention was one where we asked 50 people one supposedly simple question: where is home? To us at The Spires, home is so important because obviously we are part of the hospitality industry and therefore no matter how briefly our guests stay, we want our apartments to feel like a home to them. Some of our guests can stay for multiple months due to a business project or even just due to a temporary relocation, and so in these cases it is even more critical for us to make our guests feel like The Spires is their home away from home. That is why we fit our apartments with fully-equipped kitchens; spacious lounges; comfy beds and a familial decorative touch so as to create a warm, inviting atmosphere which guests feel comfortable in and are excited to return to. The atmosphere that an apartment provides cannot be matched by that of a hotel where due to the limited space and freedom, it is incredibly hard to make your room your own and feel fully comfortable there.

Consequently, I hope you all enjoy watching the video (which you can view here: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiresSuites/videos)  and that it causes you to ponder where exactly home is to you to the same extent that it has to me. On that note, I suppose it is only fair and fitting for me to finish off by providing my own answer to our pressing question of the day. To me, home is a safe haven and is that aforementioned feeling of belonging. Consequently, in my perspective, you can have more than one home as there are numerous places and persons with whom you can go home to at the end of the day and feel totally free and comfortable. Whatever it means to you, there is no denying the importance of the concept of the home. Therefore, I hope that no matter who you are or where you are, somewhere or someone is a home to you because as that old saying from the Wizard of Oz goes; there is no place like home.

P.S. We cannot help but love this response as to where home is…

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Image: http://weknowmemes.com/

Image:  www.digitalclaritygroup.com