“The geographical heart of England, Birmingham started life as a sixth- century Anglo-Saxon village. Today, much of this city of over a million dates back to post-WWII redevelopment in the 1950s and 60s. Cutting edge museums and galleries, innovative theaters and excellent shopping have contributed to Birmingham’s appeal as a weekend break destination. Don’t miss the Balti Triangle, home to the Pakistani food in the UK, the hopping bars and cafes of Gas Street Basin, or the National Sea Life Centre”.
So here we are in Birmingham, well just outside of Birmingham in a lovely village suburb called Kings Norton. There’s plenty to see and do in this neck of the woods – and it really has woods, proper English woods, that Pooh bear and Christopher Robin would feel completely at home in.
Today, being Sunday here, we are planning a drive to Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of the Bard himself. As a huge Shakespeare fan – no, I’m not being sarcastic, I’m a librarian remember? I truly love Shakespeare – I am brimming with anticipation. It’s also the birthplace of my dear friend Harry, which makes it all the more special.
On the food front, where shall I start? On the plane. The raw vegetable meals consisted of mostly lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber salads, with the occasional welcome addition of broccoli and mushrooms. Strangely there was often cheese and biscuits, whose inclusion as a raw vegetable baffled me somewhat. So I was not being over-cautious in packing nuts and dried fruit, even so I was starving by the time we reached Dubai.
Dubai airport was no oasis in the desert for this famished raw foodie, the fast food offerings were very fast and far from raw. However there was a shop that sold the most delicious array of nuts and dried fruit I have ever seen. In fatigue and a desperate desire for something other than nuts and lettuce, I succumbed to a soy decaf latte. Hey, I did my 21 days, I’m free to choose now, for better or worse.
Arriving in Birmingham, my lovely friend showed me her fully stocked cupboards, abundantly lush vegetable garden, and even sprouting lentils! Then her husband took us to a beautiful little pop-up food market in the village square. It seems there’s quite the burgeoning vegan movement here and there was bountiful healthful offerings. We lazed in the sun eating and watching the children throw their shoes at each other – don’t ask, just imagine a 12 year old after 27 sleepless hours of travel seeing grass and other children, a tad overstimulated. It was bliss. I’m still pinching myself. I’m in England with my best friend. It’s surreal.
I’m going to sign off. I woke at 3.30am and meditated and did yoga for a few hours before writing this. I think it maybe a reasonable time to actually get up and start the day. So in the words of Bridget Jones “Good morning Britain!”