The hottest day of the year ended with thunder and lightning in the evening but no rain. It was still pretty warm when I set off early this morning to travel to Birmingham for a conference. The train got busier as commuters got on at Wolverhampton and Coseley but we were soon at New Street. I had not been in central Birmingham for some time and always said that New Street was my least favourite station. However, it has had a makeover and is a much more pleasant place to be in. The conference centre was only about half a mile away and is part of the complex containing Symphony Hall. Next door is Francine Houben’s post-modern Library which looks very striking and I am only sorry that I did not have time to look inside.
The conference was stimulating and I caught up with several colleagues that I had not seen for a while. When I emerged at the end of the day, it was raining so I scuttled down to the station to get the train home. After Wolverhampton it was less busy and I saw that the sheep in fields had been shorn, a sign of summer. Wildlife spotted included a trainspotter with camera and tripod who was supping a cup of tea on the platform at Stafford and a flock of Canada geese feeding in a field north of the town. Finally, I saw a rainbow before we drew into Crewe.