Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Canal basin, Birmingham

I don't know Birmingham at all well, but yesterday I had a quick trip there to meet my brother. We had to do the final stage of dealing with Dad's will, namely going to swear an oath that everything we'd put on the probate form was true. (Well, in my case I affirmed because Quakers don't swear oaths.)

We'd thought that might take up to an hour, but in fact it only took a few minutes, despite having to be wanded by the security people on the door to the court who were checking that we weren't taking any weapons in there.

We then made our way to the art gallery to look at Pre-Raphaelite paintings. When I started my OU degree I did the Arts Foundation Course A102 which included a big case study of the Victorians. There was an illustration book with reproductions of the paintings we were going to study and I've now seen just about all of them in real life. Manchester art gallery has a good collection of Pre-Raphaelites and there are a couple in the Tate in London. So being able to see the ones in Birmingham more or less completed the set.

After we'd done the art, we had a nice lunch in a restaurant just by here.

Canal basin, Birmingham

It was good to have a catch up chat with my brother who now seems to be getting his life back together after the divorce. Then it was back to the bowels of New Street station to catch a train home. I'm afraid New Street is one of my least favourite stations and despite them spending a huge amount of money up at street level, where there is now a huge open space under a dome that lets in lots of light, the platforms are narrow with hardly enough space for a crowd to wait for a train and there aren't enough escalators to get people up to the higher level quickly. It's OK if Birmingham is your destination, but not so good if you're changing trains and it's a tight connection. So, if at all possible, we change at Wolverhampton which is a much more civilised station with toilets and a café on the platform so you can have a quick comfort break and grab a snack, even if you don't have long before the next train.
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