First full day of half term. A rail infrastructure paralysed from overnight storms. What shall we do? Ah, I know, let’s get the train into the big city and see the sights.
To be fair, the trains this side of Oxford didn’t seem to be hugely affected by last night’s storms. I think it was a different story further south. We, however, travelled to Moor Street with no problems. The kids were suitably impressed by the iconic Selfridges building
Selfridges., but were possibly more impressed by the Krispy Kreme doughnut factory in the basement of Selfridges. A quick pit stop for dough nutty refreshments and then frog marching them past The Entertainer, Build a Bear etc to the famous statue of the Bull
The Bull which epitomises the Bull Ring. Bizarrely it was wearing a dinner jacket. Sometimes you just have to accept these things. Just as we accepted the Predator who was Boogey-ing to Brimful of Asher
We had two main reasons for visiting Birmingham. The first was to go to the beautiful museum and art gallery
BMAG for the Julia Donaldson exhibition. Both my kids grew up on Julia Donaldson. I can still recite huge chunks of The Gruffalo in the same way I used to be able to recite chunks of Shakespeare. Obviously it’s less impressive at dinner parties. But as I can’t remember the last time I went to a dinner party this doesn’t bother me to much.
So the exhibition is super. Probably more aimed at the younger fan, but even our ever so cool 11 year olds got stuck in to creating a collage of Donaldson characters, writing on the walls of the Cave Baby cave and generally romping around the cast of characters who are as familiar as old friends.
The Smartest Giant and the scariest midget.. It was wonderful to see the original artwork from Donaldson’s books, particularly the work of Axel Scheffler
The Gruffalo’s child. Do go if you get the chance. With or without small child for an excuse.
Our second reason for visiting Birmingham was to see the new, umpteen squillion pound Public Library. I really think Birmingham should be applauded for investing in its Public Library when other authorities are cutting funding to the core and beyond. Less than impressed with the facade, which looks like its trying to complement and/or compete with Selfridges, but is just trying too hard
Birmingham Public Library. Inside, well, the chairs look comfy, but it does feel a bit like the turbine hall of the Tate Modern. Not sure how conducive to prolonged study it would be. The kids loved riding the escalators and the great glass elevator up to Floor 7 and the Secret Garden
The Secret Garden.. It’s definitely an intersecting venue. Does it work as a Library? Hmmm, not so sure.
Our final stop was to the bubble tea shop. This is a strange phenomenon (ba,baaaa, bababa, manamana,ba baaa,baba) (ahem) which has come, I believe, from China. You choose a tea base (green or black) then a fruit flavour for the tea (e.g. Blueberry, strawberry, kiwi etc) and then finally a flavour for some large juice filled bubbles which sit in the bottom of the cup and which you slurp up with the tea and then pop to release the juice. Like big, round, juice filled Randoms. They are very bizarre, but strangely compulsive
Honeydew melon tea with strawberry bubbles. Definitely worth a try, but watch out for the brain freeze.
A good day 🙂