Birmingham Blipmeet (Wed 23rd September 2015)
I learned just a couple of days beforehand that I had after all been enrolled onto an NT tour of the Back To Backs in Birmingham, and so, after a quick picnic in the Arcadian Centre, I was pleased to be able to join hildasrose, her husband and chantler63 at the sweet shop where the tour began. It was fascinating but the light in the small rooms was understandably low so my interior photography was not successful, though I did get some better shots in the shared courtyard.
I was also keen to see New Street railway station, which had been under wraps for several years until a couple of days earlier, and after a welcome cappuccino in a Wetherspoon's opposite, we all trooped off to see it. The impressive new atrium is super-huge and light, thanks to an expansive sky-lit dome, and is full of hi-tech destination boards and route planners. Most of the shops were on the first floor and would not be functional until the following day, and a lot of last minute shopfitting seemed to be going on, but there were some ground floor franchises including M&S Simply Food, WHS and Pret A Manger.
Afterwards I had a long wander around the streets of the city centre, and noticed a silver rhino inexplicably placed on the roof of an UrbanKitchen.
I left Birmingham at 1830 hr. It took a while to get clear of the city but I rolled up in Stratford-upon-Avon an hour later and added another Waitrose to my growing list of those branches sampled. I spent an hour there with a coffee and a flapjack, catching up on my iPad, and all went well on the journey from there until I reached Stow on the Wold.
Stow Hill was blocked by roadworks for a few yards and I naïvely followed the diversion signs, little thinking I would be sent 20 miles out of my way at a cost of half an hour, via Chipping Norton and Burford, and a re-route. Furthermore when I reached the pit of despair that is Swindon, without any advance warning I found the M4 was also blocked and I had to go on to Marlborough and return along the A4, getting back at 2230 hr.
Yesterday brought the unwelcome news in the post that the Warwickshire Police Camera Enforcement Unit hat not taken kindly to the manner of my progress through Studley on the Alcester Road on the way up to the Blipmeet. Oh dear.
1.10.2015 (1246 hr)
Blip #1665 (#1915 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #009
LOTD #899 (#1020 including archived blips)
Taken with Panasonic Lumix LX-100
A Visit To Birmingham, 23 September 2015 (Flickr album)
National Trust series
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Gwenno - Chwyldro (recorded 2014)
My trip up to Birmingham was enriched by Gwenno, who was talking to Lauren Laverne on her show and playing live. She used to be in the Pipettes and has her first album, titled Y Dydd Olaf recently released on Heavenly Recordings. Chwyldro, which I think she played, is Welsh for Revolution.
One year ago:
Bowood 2014 #35: Tractor Ted's