Delayed trains and slow trains were the order of the day but the clouds were parting, patches of blue sky and very occasionally the sun, were appearing so things looked a little more promising as we headed south (albeit at a snail’s pace). I had been intending to return to explore the interior of the library in Birmingham whose exterior had impressed me on as I walked past it last summer and James was keen to see the largest Christmas fair in England. We both wanted to use our day off to go and explore somewhere rather than spend the day catching up on chores. The Christmas markets provided sights, sounds and smells from the street food which were all absorbed. We did not have any shopping to do but I admired the skill of the people whose crafts were on display and we enjoyed the live music:
One drummer was using a homemade drum kit. The Council Building reminded me of a time several years ago when I had had to give a lecture in the council chamber.
and the roof of one of the shopping centres was quite impressive:
Nearby, another corner of the city is being demolished for re-invention.
The interior of the library was as amazing as the exterior.
There were pods to work in and places to lounge in. I could pass a few hours in here, easily.
Outside were planted areas and a terrace with views over the city. Standing there, I was reminded that I would only like to live in a small city, not one that has buildings as far as the eye can see. I prefer those that I can see the hills, or sea or river and get out of fairly quickly. In Edinburgh I can see the hills and in Liverpool the sea or river is not far away. We had lunch in the library cafe and as the tables inside were all occupied, sat outside. Amazingly it was warm enough to do that in December. The big wheel was operating although I could only see a few people aboard. The big wheel was next to the temporary ice rink and made me wonder about their history as every city seems to have one now. Our journey home was quicker than the outward one. I observed herons and trainspotters en route and we were soon back home.