Monday, 13 July 2015

Birmingham again!

Not that that’s a problem, it’s lovely being back here amongst friends. 

This is Abi and she wants to transport that tree in her car to Malvern...
It’s been a relatively quiet week for us, my sister Denise’s birthday on 8th July so we went round to see her on the day before to find she’s had a bit of a cancer scare with the family’s dodgy gene (Lynch syndrome) that we all have, so her birthday was spent taking the ‘liquid dynamite’ to clear her out ready for her colonoscopy the following day. All clear, so whoop, whoop!

So they wrapped it in mesh - as Sooty cat approached. Can you see her?
Met up with our friends Sarah and John in our home village of Alvechurch on Monday and went for a lunchtime meal in the Red Lion. S&J have very kindly let us use their address as our UK contact address, so all our mail goes there and Sarah scans all our post and emails it to us wherever we are in the world, so we really owe them. Great to meet up and have a good catch up, Sarah works at the BBC, where Jackie used to work, John works freelance for the BBC, covering the Formula 1 Grand Prix worldwide, golf and, this year the Glastonbury Festival, so it was great to hear of everything they have been up and talk about what we’ve been up to. A splendid lunch and a couple of beers – on a Monday lunchtime!

Jackie and I carried it through the house....
Wednesday was a ‘business day’ out for us. Met up with my colleague Terry Spencer and his wife Sue in the city centre to take a look at one of the apartments we own in the Jewellery Quarter of the city. Caught the train in, walked past the jewellery shops, collected the keys from the agent and met Terry and Sue outside the gated community of old jewellery factories converted into luxury apartments 10 years ago, of which we bought 2. We have a month ‘between tenants’ so took the opportunity for a rare visit to see what we own. There was a bit of wear and tear after 10 years of use and a few jobs that need doing, but on the whole not too bad. It was followed by a business lunch on the company that we still own, so we walked along the redeveloped canal, passed the Sea Life centre and onto Broad Street, the vibrant centre of pubs, clubs, restaurants, the Symphony Hall and new library, making it THE place to be in Birmingham.

We loaded it into her car....
The lunch was a 2 hour affair in a really nice restaurant, three course with wine, a proper business lunch! It’s one of the few times we’re able to do this these days, not that we miss them, ‘been there, done that’, but it’s quite nice as a treat and we all very much enjoyed it.

Had another lunch on Thursday, this time with Helen. Crusty bread and various cheeses together Helens home grown salad and cups of tea all taken outside in their garden on a hot, sunny afternoon, these weekday lunchtime meeting are becoming a habit, good job we’ve managed to get to the gym a few times this week as well to work off the additional calories!

And it fitted, much to her satisfaction after I told her it wouldn't fit!
Saturday was Mike and Ella’s summer BBQ fancy dress party at their house in Kings Heath, with the theme ‘cartoon characters’. We’d managed to obtain some costumes while we were dog sitting in Ledbury, so we met at our friends Ian and Helen’s house, took Monty dog out for a walk, enjoyed a couple of G&T’s in their garden before putting on the three costumes we’d bought and the one borrowed from Paul, my brother-in-law. Jackie went as ‘Princess Jasmine’ from Alladin in a very fancy, tight fitting (even for Jackie) costume, although she chickened out and got some material to cover her midriff. I went as King Louis from Jungle Book in a ‘onesie’, also very tight. Helen dressed up in the Sleeping Beauty outfit we got and looked very sweet, Ian went in a onesie skeleton outfit. Not sure what cartoon character he was, but there were dancing skeletons in a Disney cartoon from the 1920’s so that did.

The gated community Jewellery Quarter apartments
A great evening was had by all, I met up with some old IVC friends from 20 plus years ago and got talked into giving them a ballroom dancing lesson next Wednesday, Jackie met up with an old friend from IVC from 15 years ago, our friend Bill from our Monday evenings pub night was there and lots of other people we know. Mike and Ella really know how to throw a party so a bit of BBQ food, plenty of beers, lots of loud dancing music and we were away with a great evening that disappeared all too quickly, arriving back at Ian and Helens at 2:00am, where we stayed the night, after leaving our car at Mike and Ella’s and walking back home.

Forgot to mention Jackies fabulous paella that we ate outside one night
Had an easy Sunday morning before leaving Ian and Helen to it to enjoy their first wedding anniversary and came back to Sooty, who hadn’t missed us at all and then vegetated in the lounge all afternoon trying to recover from hangovers. Oh how familiar that all is!

Ready for the party, Ian, Helen, Jackie and Brian

That's our friend Bill, forgot who he went as

Helen, Ian, Jackie, Manu and Crystal

Manu and Brian with Jackie making a 'V' for victory sign

Crystal, Mary (a person I didn't know, but one of the people I'll be teaching dancing on Wednesday) and Sotarula, who was my Rock n' Roll partner 20 odd years ago, before I knew Jackie

The dancing is underway and Helen enjoys swinging her skirt around

Host Mike in his Scooby Doo outfit

Sleeping Beauty Helen and hostess Ella as Princess Elsa from 'Frozen'

Scooby (Mike) and King Louis (Brian) in deep conversation

Helen, Jackie and Mike. Difficult to know how people can be serious looking like that!

Mr skeleton Ian, beer in hand

1 comment:

  1. What an eventful week! Birmingham is certainly the place to be for variety of activities. See you soon. Xx