A Gypsy and a Restless One

You know you have trouble on your hands if you have to pick your friends up from the police station in the rain don’t you? Have no fear, I ‘put leg in bed’ under her umbrella and marched her to the safety of a café. Dear Jo and I sat and talked, and laughed, and laughed and talked, until the sun came out and we hit the streets.

We got on well from the start, we have much in common and there wasn’t a moments reserve between us, just hugs, giggles and a desire to learn all about each other and the city we were in. Jo had come south to Birmingham the afternoon before and found her way around, I’d got up at 4.30 and the coach whisked me northwards, to the midway point.

Neither of us had spent any time in Birmingham before, and Jo wondered what she’d let herself in for, it seemed that lots of the city was being pulled down on the northern perimeter that was her approach, but here is our first glimpse of the shopping area near the Bullring.


There are trams all around Birmingham and Jo loves them, I confessed to never having been on one, I’ll have to give it a go in Barcelona this year.
I wonder if they’ll have any pink ones!

birm5On we wander, arm in arm like a couple of school girls, or do I mean old women? We both fell for this killer heel.


And the matching bag.

birm6Our cameras were happy as we were enticed into elegant arcades.


We oohed and ahhed at the reflective, wibbly wobbly walls, and the city is full of quirky miscellanea.

The sculptures around the centre are amazing, and of course Jo is as enthusiastic about them as I am.

We ramble around, very excited and seeing amazing things everywhere we turned, Antony Gormley’s Iron Man was an unexpected treat.

birm11Just standing there minding his own business.


Old and new architecture blends beautifully, and the building that looks like it’s been crocheted was a huge favourite for both of us.

Jo had booked us onto a guided walking tour in the early afternoon, it took us all around the canals, like here,

birm15and we had to squeeze our way past hundreds of graduating students, being photographed in their gowns, against the backdrop of this surprising city. Before that we had time to visit the countries biggest library, the crocheted building above.


Here’s a sneaky peep at one of the libraries two roof gardens, and a certain lovely lady trying to decide if the broad beans were worth snitching!

I’ll be back as soon as I can with the next bit of my amazing day with Jo, meanwhile, it will probably leave you traumatised because there are photos . . . of me, arrrgh, as well as Jo’s view of the day, here.


40 thoughts on “A Gypsy and a Restless One

  1. Thank you, sweetheart! That’s the trouble with posting first- you can’t link to the other! 😦 I will now 🙂 I’ll probably have to set them all straight about the police station, and I forgot to tell Meg about the trams. They’ll be in my 24 hours in Brum, but you were far more important. You did so well with that camera! Some lovely shots, and memories. No broad beans though 😦

  2. I think you have captured the good bits, it certainly has changed over the last 20 years. But I still hate driving around/through the city and I loathe the dungeons of New Street. You and Jo should try Sheffield next time. Another city that has evolved with some amazing street art and trams!

  3. Gilly…I was half expecting a haiku to cover this adventure! Looks like you both had a lovely time! I like the contrasting buildings in the same setting, old and new. Lovely shots.

  4. What a great complementary post – almost as if you and Jo visited different cities. That’s one of the things I love about co-photographing. Special pleasures for me? The pink tram, the crocheted building, the killer shoe, Jo inspecting broad beans, the wibbly wobbly walls and the thought of you two hugging and wandering arm in arm. (Could I possibly appropriate the image of the killer shoe to make a postcard for an Australian friend who loves shoes and needs cheering up? With due acknowledgement of course.)

  5. OMG! This is like a dream team blog meet! Two of my favorite bloggers, and I’m not there. 😀 It is so so so nice to see you two walk together. And the chosen areas are so Jo-like. 😀

  6. What Fun …!!! You’ve posted fabulous photos, Gilly. BUT … the best part is reading the wonderful time you had together with Jo. Isn’t it a lovely feeling when everything clicks so well? It looks like there may be many more Gilly and Jo encounters filled with stories for us to enjoy.
    Issy 😎

  7. Fabulous post and photos. How wonderful that the two of you could meet up and spend time together, exploring the city. I have to say that Brum looks quite different to when I was at teacher’s college and hubby was at the university there in the late 60’s. I love the shoe and bag sculptures. 🙂

  8. How fun, and you took some great photos during your visit! I wish I had the opportunity to meet up with more of my fellow blogger friends in New York City. (I haven’t had the chance to travel recently, so NYC is really my only location to do so right now.) My last meet-up was this past January with Marion of Loves Travelling, and I really enjoyed our visit and adventure.

  9. Thanks for your report of Gilly and Jo’s big Brum day out! This is the city I was born in and it was interesting to read your take on the city…I rarely go there although I only live about 30 miles south but know all the areas you discovered…it was good to experience the city through your fresh eyes! Thanks!

  10. It’s nice to hear your version of your meeting with Jo, and to see a glimpse of Jo, as we got to see you in her post! I love your photos, especially that shoe and matching bag, and the interesting architecture and sculptures of Birmingham. What a fun meeting all around. 🙂

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