Saturday, 1 September 2012

Art for Art Sake ...

The summer holidays are drawing to a close and Miss G and Miss J are starting to get cabin fever as it seems our two week holiday was years ago. So we decided to get the bus and pop into town. Town for us is Birmingham and about twenty minutes or so by bus. We start by doing the obligatory shopping which consisted of Miss J's constant search for shoes that are nice to look at but also suitable for her 25 minute walk to school (she is starting 6th Form on Tuesday). After searching without success we head to Paperchase so Miss G can ogle at the lusciousness of it all and decided what to buy. Whilst she was narrowing it down to about a hundred items I went to look at the cards with Miss J which resulted in us laughing loud and hysterically to Miss G's disgust. Eventually she decided on a pen and a postcard and with that we set off for a spot of lunch.

We passed the Iron Man on the way and he has been there since 1993 which makes him the same age as my son.

We also went past this willow and plant canoeist which is one of 23 I believe dotted around town to mark the Olympics. I've only spotted around four of them so I am not sure where the rest are hiding!

Food is not always a straightforward affair in the Handmade Lifestyle House. We are a family of five and we have two vegetarians (Miss J and Miss G) a vegan (me) a husband who never eats meat at home but will at any given opportunity when he is out and about and a son who was vegetarian for eight years and then after a year away at university now eats meat.

So we decided to try Veged Out which is a vegan/vegetarian cafe in Fletchers Walk near Birmingham Library. I had a gorgeous potato and spinach curry and the Misses had pizza. I followed that with THE best carrot cake ever - all cakes are vegan - which had no icing luckily as I really don't like that and the Misses had a chocolate cupcake.

We trotted along to the Ikon gallery next as Miss J was keen to go as she is about to embark on A level Art and had been previously with friends.

An enjoyable half hour or so was spent looking at some amazing pieces of art and then naturally we had to browse in the shop where both girls bought a few postcards of some of the exhibits and a badge. 

The top of a building near the Ikon. I just love the little tower.

After this we decided to stroll back down to the bus stop and get the bus home. We went past the new library which is due to open next year. I'm still not quite sure what I think of it and will reserve judgement until it is complete I think ... 

Over the road from this on Broad Street - home to a lot of Birmingham's nightlife - is the statue of Matthew Boulton and friends. 

Matthew Boulton was a manufacturer and partner of James Watt and together they installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines which made possible the mechanisation of many factories and mills. 

I do wish they hadn't been painted gold though. I preferred the original stone.

I just love the view along the canal and we decided that next time we would go on a canal boat as well.

Miss G absolutely loved this car and cello! Not quite sure of the connection though ...

I can't leave out a few pictures of the Council House and the Town Hall as they are my favourite buildings in Birmingham.

Finally before getting on the bus we were treated to some live music from Bolshy who were AMAZING!!!

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