December day in Birmingham

A visit to Birmingham before Christmas was an unexpected treat. The changes taking place in this city have moved it far beyond the dour greyness I remember. There is an exciting fusion of handsome old architecture with newer delights such as the fabulously revamped New Street Station, the new tram system and a quaint pedestrian square emerging amongst interesting older buildings. We walked along the stalls of the unusually and unfortunately quiet German Christmas market (this was a few days after the tragedy in Berlin). A clamber up to the rooftops of the Birmingham Library proved enlightening. These photos from the roof garden were taken with my iphone.

Birmingham roof tops from the Birmingham library
For lunch we enjoyed hanging chicken kebabs dripping with garlic butter at the Botanist pub/restaurant. We had an interesting and relaxing day.

Getting ready for Christmas

The amount of hype this time of year always amazes me. Cook this recipe, buy this present, wear these clothes. All I really want for Christmas is to spend time with those dearest to me and capture magical memories.
We have managed both in the run up to Christmas.

Duran Duran
Last Friday we went down to London by train and saw Brian and Robin’s Christmas Compendium at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith. We had a wonderful evening after having no idea what to expect. There were so many highlights a real eclectic entertaining mix. Interesting bits of science from gravitational waves to beaver scent glands. Great comedy and music rounded off with Duran Duran!
Fortunately we had booked a hotel in Hammersmith as the show began at 7pm and did not finish until 11:15pm. We would have missed so much if we had rushed to catch the last train.
We had a lovely day on Saturday. We had a wander around Stamfords Travel bookshop and made a few additions to our Christmas shopping. This is definitely a place we will be returning to, just loved the range of books and travel related bits.
We then walked towards Euston via Covent Garden. We enjoyed the Wellcome Collection near Euston and the welcome company of family.
Wellcome Collection entrance