Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Birming HAM

I am going to need a whole lot more patience.
It takes HOURS for these guys to get going.
I start waking them up at 11 am and I'm lucky if we leave the house before 1.
And then it's all, "we haven't had breakfast. We need foooood."


Today we went to Birmingham, but first I had to park the van at the train station. The regular lot was full. And the overflow lot was full. So I had to parallel park in the only spot left -

(That's my black Peugeot there.) And I parked perfectly on the first try.
I just backed right in to that spot LIKE AN EXPERT right-side-of-the-car driver.

Just like that.
No one cared.

We got our tix to Birmingham (5 pounds return) and hopped on the next train (a 2 minute wait.)

I LOVE train travel. Someone else had to worry about staying on the correct side of the road for a change.
So relaxing.

I can so see doing this with people who play cards. Or talk to each other. Or like to color with crayons...

When we got to B'ham, it was apparent we all had different ideas as to what would be fun.

So we split up.
The 4 guys went their own way - and I went mine.

I wandered around the old section, peaking into book and stationary stores, admiring the architecture.

I'm perfectly content to walk through foreign cities by myself.
I don't have to wait for anyone to look at clothes. Or go to the bathroom. Or listen to anyone fight with their brothers.

But once in awhile I think how nice it would be to share this with someone.
Someone in my family.

At 3 pm I saw this poster outside the Art Gallery and got excited.
The photographer who took this famous shot (below) had an exposition in the gallery and it was FREE.
I rushed as fast as flip-flopped feet and a wonky hip would allow me to travel to the meeting place where the kids would be.

Unfortunately they weren't as enthused about the show and besides they were hungry and they wanted food NOW. I told them we'd get something along the way, but they 'hadn't had breakfast and were starving' and what was the hurry anyways?

The hurry was the gallery closed at 5 and it was getting close to 4 and fine. If they needed to eat, they were welcome to. I was going back to the show.

So I fast-waddled back to the gallery and spent an hour doing something I love.
First I browsed through the painting section:

And then with the clock ticking, I moved across the street to the photo display:

He is a brilliant photographer and I could have sat and looked at his work all evening.

This photo makes me want to cry.

This one is disturbing. It's a mom and her daughter sleeping in a hammock with a great big snake slithering underneath them.

This is a tailor, walking through flooded streets with his sewing machine. LOOK at his smile.

Seriously. This is how they fish.
Wish you coulda seen these photos. My pics of his pics are not conveying the beauty of them.

At first glance, this pic, below, looked like a Rockwell painting.

But then I noticed it was called "The Cobbler's Shop" and that guy in the middle? With the shirt and tie? Is getting a pair of shoes made. And those cobblers? Are half naked, crouching in a hovel.
So sad.

Steve's website is here.

Anyway, at 5 pm, they kicked me out into the sunshine.

I met up with the kids at the mall where they'd spent their afternoon:

They ate lunch at one of those cool sushi conveyor belt establishments:

THIS (below) was the outside of the mall. I think I prefer old architecture.

We took the train back to Leamington Spa, freshened up quickly, then walked down to King's Head for dinner:





(Chowing down on peas. He's been concerned about scurvy...  apparently he hasn't had many vegetables recently.)

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Perfect exploring weather.
2. God enjoys my company.
3. The opportunity to explore this beautiful country.

Grace and peace to you, today.


Anonymous said...

First off, a standing ovation for parallel parking in one try on the "wrong" side of the road in a foreign country! I am so impressed.

Second...good job making the most of your time even when your travelling companions don't seem to have the same vision for the day.
Beautiful pictures!

Kim N

valerie said...

I am family, love train travel and brought cards for us to use. We have taken 9 trains so far and played crib while on them. This part is good and we are REALLy looking forward to seeing you in England. Oh yeah, FANTASTIC job of parking.

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are, as always, amazing. Wish we would have known you would be in Birmingham. When Jemma went back, she had to leave behind 3 suitcases and a guitar and we have been trying to find people to take back some of the important stuff! Oh well. Hope you are enjoying your trip even with late risers!