Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sunday 29 March - Birmingham

I felt a little guilty taking a break in Birmingham during lent but there were a number of interesting points. The first was with reference to the current financial situation. Walking round the shops on Friday, it was buzzing (why aren’t all these people at work - perhaps they have lost their jobs) but there were quite a few empty shops. Woolworths is always a stark reminder but several others showed sings - either closing down or sales or just abandoned. And although the streets were busy several of the shops were empty of customers.

The restaurants were interesting. Perhaps I’ll cover these in more detail after lent but Birmingham has many excellent places to eat in a very small area. Both places we tried were full of customers and showed no signs of the credit crunch. Perhaps as always the situation has divided further the haves and the have-nots.
We did some culture, too. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery had a number of special exhibitions: the famous contemporary of Turner and Constable, David Cox (who?) His paintings, virtually all watercolours of landscapes, had similarities with Turner or Constable. There were hardly any portraits, but the one or two drawings of buildings were fantastic - the light and shadows were great. There was also an exhibition of Edward Burne-Jones’ Perseus series. These were great, too - except that all the people looked similar: all sad, all faces tilted about 15 degrees!

But most moving in the current situation was the original of Ford Maddox Brown’s ‘The Last of England’ showing a family emigrating sadly from England.

We also visited St Martin’s in the Bullring: the parish Church which is right in the centre of The Bullring. They had a ‘Journey of the Heart’ - an interactive prayer journey to experience the emotions of Christ as He faced the cross. More of this later.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Well , I'm afraid I didn't manage to complete today's task - take a walk in my local area! We had every intention to put on our walking boots and head off to Shardeloes, but to be honest we didn't quite have the energy! It had been a long week for us at work. So today was spent relaxing and enjoying some time at home!
Wendy and I attended the Lent discussion in the evening- our first! Very interesting, but also a very challenging subject to get your head around.....! Thanks Eddie. Would be good to hear what others thought?