Bitterne Parker

Bitterne Parker: Robin Bluemel

boris bluemel
Robin Bluemel – often known to his friends as Boris – was born in Southampton in 1991 and lived in Shirley until he was eleven, when he moved to Bitterne Park. He was previously managing delivery drivers but has now given up all other work to fully focus on The Veg Shed at the Triangle, and the Bitterne Box Co, a local fruit and veg delivery service. Robin has dreams of running a greengrocer’s-come-wholefood shop at the Triangle – but says he's still trying to work out how best to make this a viable enterprise!

The Qs & the As

What's your link with Bitterne Park

Moved here from Shirley about 13 years ago, loved it and loved the community spirit: haven’t left since!

What’s your earliest memory of the area?

Riverside Park and the train rides as a child; pretty blurry though – hard to judge exact age!

How could the area be better?

Could have a better local pub. The Bitterne Park Hotel isn’t the friendliest and the Butchers Hook, although lovely, is a little expensive and small for regular drinking.

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Tell us something we probably didn’t know already about Bitterne Park

You already know everything! The Clock Tower used to be in Town (I reckon you know that!)

What’s good – or not so good – about the wider city?

Southampton is an active city, there’s lots going on, and for all Southampton City Council’s downfalls, they do put on lots of events in the city which are very good, for example Music in the City.

What’s your passion in life?

Dancing on the grass in the sun. We don’t do enough of it in our lives.

How do you put bread on your table?

Sell vegetables! I run The Veg Shed at Bitterne Park Triangle every Saturday 9am – 2pm, and I also run the Bitterne Box Company, delivering fresh fruit and vegetable boxes across Southampton with as much local produce as possible.

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What really gets your goat?

Rubbish fruit. Winter berries are awful; we bring strawberries over from Egypt and Ethiopia and they are unpleasant, but the western market demands them. The whole thing is so wrong: we are growing rubbish fruit, polluting to transport it and then barely enjoying it when it finally does arrive!

How do you relax?

Getting outdoors and exercising! I love cycling and sailing and often sail with my friends and brothers from the slipway in St Denys where we store some boats.

Which is your favourite pub?

Hard to choose between The Dolphin, South Western Arms and The Butcher’s Hook.

What are you drinking?

Coffee – it’s morning!

What do you listen to?

Everything. Lots of hip-hop but also folk and varying through drum and bass to metal!

Can you recommend a really good read?

‘Good Omens’. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen, working together. Need I say more?

What’s a great day out?

We sailed down to Poole last summer. The first trip was Hamble to Yarmouth on the Friday night: that was a harsh, hard voyage, but the Saturday sail from Yarmouth to Poole was absolutely fabulous – a great day out.

What scares you?

Not knowing!

What would you most like to change - in the world and in yourself?

Waste. We produce so much that we do not need, from packaging to unnecessary products or overpacked food. We produce disposable junk, ship it around the world only to throw away and return to sender. It’s madness!

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What’s on your bucket list?

More things than I could mention on here! I’d quite like to see the Northern Lights.

Tell us a joke

Why can’t you run through a campsite?

You can only ‘ran’ because it’s past tents.

Finally, what would be another great question for other Bitterne Parkers?

If you could bring one business to the Triangle, what would it be, and why? [These are the top five businesses readers who responded to our survey in late 2015 said they wanted.]

Thanks so much for taking part!

The Veg Shed Facebook page is here. The Bitterne Box Co Facebook page is here

Tune in next time when another Bitterne Parker answers our searching questions.

Read about other Bitterne Parkers

• Bitterne Parker T-Shirts are back - available from The Veg Shed!


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