Friday, 26 November 2010

Taking the D to Brum

We are just back from five days in Birmingham (nicknamed Brum for those of you unaware and confused by my cryptic title).
It was a first for all of us having never really got to know this lovely city before.
And it really is such a lovely, multi-cultural, friendly, lively city.
I really was so very impressed most especially at the fantastic, friendly service in all the cafes and restaurants. People spoke to me and engaged with Frank.
It is sadly not always the case elsewhere.
We had such a good time, stayed in an apartment in the Chinese Quarter and spent lots of time at the Frankfurt Christmas market that is there every year.
Andrew and I did what we call "divide and conquer", which involves us taking turns spending days or half days with Frank. It seems to work for us and then we get alone time in a coffee shop and a gallery or just mooching around.
Day one saw Frank and I at the Sealife Centre where his treat was this rather fetching shark on a stick! I try hard to get as many wooden and natural toys as I can but, c'mon, he's four and a half, sometimes a shark on a stick is just what is needed!!
At the market there was a cute little roundabout, which the boy had to ride three times and still kept chanting "Again, again, again, again" but at two quid a go we had to stop there.
At no point did he smile for me on this thing as he was so engrossed in driving that engine.

On our last day we went back to the BMAG (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery) to show Frank the activities for children. We had both visited it on our alone days and want him to find some of the joy and beauty that we do in art.
Brimingham has the most amazing collection of art by the Pre-Raphaelites. Oh my, it was lovely.
It also boasts an Edwardian Tea Room, which is no bad thing ...
And then there was this amazing, just amazing, tactile, warm wooden puzzle of the Modigliani portrait above.

I loved this so much. Frank did it three times and had to be dragged away.

And then back home Frank and I had so enjoyed the pretzels we'd eaten we decided to make some of our own, leaving out the poaching them in water first (as I nearly set fire to the house last week making bagels and not remembering that a tea towel placed on the oven top next to an open flame WILL CATCH FIRE - I've lost a little poaching mojo).
And onto the BIG D.
We had such a varied time with it all with Frank's number being so bloody random that I sometimes wonder if it isn't all a great big social experiment. His fingers are increasingly reluctant to bleed and I loathe pricking him four or five times every meal time. It's so crap and whilst I am on forced-jolly-auto-pilot, there is a part of me still screaming that I hate it and it's not right or fair.
My poor beautiful, brave, brave boy.
I find that wearing.
One night I slept so little and was up four times in the night that when it got to my alone day I spent it in the art gallery and then
bought a DVD and some yummy hummous and salady bits and lay on the sofa half asleep for the afternoon. Oh, and some chocolate.
Is it bad to go all the way to Birmingham to lie on a sofa for a couple of hours?
I will be back tomorrow with my response to Jen's kind award (Thanks, lovely Jen!!) and seven things about me that you might not know.
You already know that I use the words "salady bits" ...


  1. Ah...sounds like a great time! Love the shark on a stick and your "salady bits" Jules. Unfortunately, on the "d" front the numbers do that...especially when they are so young. I don't say this much, b/c I don't want people to think I am annoying or anything, but I can say with experience that the numbers do become a bit more predictable with age. Hang in there ... I hope my words provide some hope...I remember thinking when people would say that to me when Joe was 3/4/5 that .... yeah that is like 4/3/2 more fucking years of this shit til things "stabilize when he is 7 or 8". But...thought maybe it would be comforting from someone who has lived it.

    I love you guys!

  2. It is aggravating! Those numbers seem to have a mind of their own sometimes!

    Another lovely trip under you belt, and yes, I am completely jealous. I love the divide and conquer idea, almost as much as I love the idea of laying on the couch for the afternoon with salady bits!

  3. Hummous is Yummous! And Salady Bits were my fave Irish band in the 90's! ;)

  4. I'm totally in love with that puzzle! I want to run my hands over it. :)

    We're due for pretzels, too - it's been a while.

    Nice to meet you!

  5. She most of loved riding on the fire trunk.

    -Zane of ontario honey