The mad ramblings of a fallen angel .... (also known as the mad ramblings of a middle aged woman). Somewhere to vent, so I don't pee off too many people!
The weather here is ...
Friday, 16 January 2009
Manuel, Sangria and Tapas
Well, what a brilliant day off
'D' and I dropped 'E' and 'L' off at school, drove into town, parked the car and then got the train into Brummijum. We found seats immediately in front of a pleasant enough gentleman ........ well, that is until he starting coughing like a TB sufferer! I couldn't face sitting there, so we moved further down the train.'Manuel' (real name on ID badge), a very gorgeous, young, Spanish looking gentleman with spiked hair checked our tickets and 'Hola'!
A journey that is often quoted as taking only 15 meetings, seemed to take longer than half an hour!
We spent a long, long time in the book store when we got there - set over four or five floors, with a most impressive central staircase.
The bookseller told me that the store used to be a Midland Bank in a former lifetime.
I also picked up a small, hard volume of Fanny Hill, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland (more of an inpulse buy, than something that I was looking for particularly ......)
Another treat was picking up some more of my most favourite notebooks, Moleskine (pockets - naturally), one in a gorgeous yellow ... the Van Gogh Museum edition and a five tabbed, black, info book for my new activity which will be revealed later ....
We went walking around the City and found the building I used to work in, opposite the House of Fraser, in Martineau Square (it used to be called Commercial Union Building) and when I worked there, there was a Kardomah underneath where I would stop for coffee before going into the office.
All very different now, with new structures and sails in the Square. Mind you, it has been about 27 years, so I'm not surprised.We came out of the passage opposite HoF and I was amazed to see a vending machine, dispensing umbrellas for £3 a piece! I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like it before and it made a welcome change from condom dispensing machines!
Accosted ...As we walked around, we were stopped by market researchers. Now ordinarily, on a busy work day, I don't really have the time to be stopped - task and finish. However, today, I figured I was on holiday and could take time out for them - after all, it was freezing. A nice, middle-aged lady asked me if I used deodarant?!? I resisted the immediate impulse of bopping her and replied politely. She offered me £5 to go with her for fifteen minutes! I figured, well it might be the best offer I get all day, so I agreed. I called out to 'D' who accompanied me and the nice lady into an office building.
I can't go into details about what I did there but needless to say it was 'an experience'. That said, if the product ever does come on the market, I doubt I would buy it! Enough said.
The food was great, 'D' had lamb koftka with tzatziki (sp?) and baked mushrooms with goats cheese and chili. I had rocket and manchego salad and duck, cucumber and spring onion wraps. We shared paprika fries! 'D' did the usual of not bothering to see the dessert menu. The waiter asked if I wanted to share? I guess the guy didn't understand that you cannot cultivate a substantial frame like mine, if you share! Still, I forgave him when he brought my beautiful, baked cheesecake and strawberry compote out!
The picture doesn't really do the food justice, but it was all scrummy and gorgeous and before we knew it, we had been there for hours!Anyway, further on in the search for shopping ... we walked through The Mailbox and down to the Wharfside and Canal Walk. Cold though it was, it was nice to look at the ducks and geese on the canal - so many great places to eat and drink down there too. All very different from when I worked in Birmingham and absolutely hated having to go there by bus and train and foot every day!
We walked back towards the railway station, stopping only to ask likely-looking art students if they knew of an art supply store nearby - success, they did, where I was able to buy some more pencils, varnish and other supplies in the hope that I will take up sketching again some time soon.
Finally stopping off to get some freesias and impromptu, birthday gifts on the way back to the railway station. The flower seller had some very unusual flowers, that neither of us had seen before. They were proteas from South Africa. I didn't feel tempted to get any, even though they did look very distinctive and unusual.
All in all, a lovely day out was had by all. We did do lots of other things, and bought lots of things too - but they're not really for here ......