Sometimes I comment on your blogs after you have visited me, however the comment you get from me may not be from the site you visited. That’s because I have more than one blog.
So here is a list of my other ones. ūüėė

Crafting

A new me

Our garden

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If you get bored here over there on the right under pages there’s some more rubbish to read.

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Tilly

 

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Telford Exotic Zoo

Exotic Zoo At Lakeside Plant Centre,
Priorslee,
Telford,
TF2 9TT

Admission adults £3.50 children £2.50

This little zoo houses 70 animals, (although we couldn’t find 70). The web sight invites you to ‘Explore our Rainforest Zone, Desert Zone, Nocturnal Area ‘but given that these zones are in fact small sheds that have the cages/tanks set in such a way that anyone looking at one tank obscures two or three other tanks that coupled with a member of staff standing in the doorway holding animals makes it almost impossible to get into these sheds, or see anything when you are in there. From what I can make out this¬† is a newly opened zoo and given this, there are a few pens that have no live animal but to have model animals.¬† They do offer experiences the cheapest ¬£35 for 30 minutes¬† with the Meerkets.

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Moor Street

Birmingham Moor Street station
Queensway
Birmingham
West Midlands
B4 7UL

Moor Street is my favorite Birmingham station, with it’s glorious Great Western style canopies and reproduction 1930’s lamps, clock, seating, and signage. When I heard that it was going to be re-model, (which for me always means turned into a monstrosity) I was a little perturbed and when I saw the artist’s impression I wasn’t reassured, it looks like they are putting a bloody great kayak on the top.

The station was first opened in 1909 with temporary buildings which were made permanent fixtures in 1914. In 1967 it fell victim to the culling of the British rail network under the Beeching Axe, the trains returned in 1978.
In the mid 80s work got underway to create a new Moor Street Station which left the old station abandoned, the last train to use its old terminus was the steam special Clun Castle in September 1987.

The old station was not demolished but forgotten and fell into disrepair. Historians believe being forgotten about was key to its survival.

In 2002 an ¬£11 million transformation of the old Moor Street into a 1930’s Great Western station began and it was joined with Snow Hill.

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Women Cute and Da Vinci

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham
B3 3DH

Admission Free

The museum is offering three new exhibits at the moment the first being ‘Women Power Protest’.

Women Power Protest is part of the Arts Council Collection National Partnership Programme. This programme brings together four major UK galleries were together they curate, host, and share new innovative exhibitions.

It’s been a century since the first women won the right to vote, ‘Women Power Protest’ brings together modern and contemporary artworks to celebrate female artists who have explored identity, protest and social commentary in their work. Artists including Susan Hiller, Lubaina Himid, and Mary Kelly, as well as controversial artists such as Sam Taylor-Johnson, Sonia Boyce, and Margaret Harrison.

The exhibition is a collection of painting, photos, models, news paper cuttings and film, some with warnings as they depict rape.

I had mixed feelings about this, some pieces I like others I just couldn’t grasp what the artists was trying to convey.

Next-

‘Too Cute, sweet is about to get sinister’

The exhibition starts with a video, ‚ÄėDr. Cute‚Äô a grotesque Care Bear like creature (played by the artist) presents a short lecture on the themes explored in the show. The doctor attempts to give an academic account of cuteness and its affects, but is constantly hindered by sudden emotional responses including pulling the head form a very nice teddy bear, as artworks incite reflexes of love, repulsion and fear.

Rachel Maclean’s ‘Too cute’ exhibition is where cuteness is taken seriously. Rachael is fascinated by cuteness’s ability to captivate us. Her investigations and the collections explore both what cuteness has meant to us historically and why society is so fixated on the sharing and reproduction of cute objects and images.

I quite liked this exhibition with its wide range of artifacts, that said the monkey injecting himself unnerved me a little.

Saving the best till last Leonardo da Vinci A Life in Drawing,
This exhibition contains twelve drawings which include examples of all the drawing materials Da Vinci used, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metalpoint.

Da Vinci believed that visual evidence could be more persuasive than academic argument, he believed an image could convey knowledge more accurately and concisely than words. Only a few of his drawings¬† survive as the were never intended for others to see. Which I think is a great shame.¬† I couldn’t believe the amount of¬† detail he put into the drawings, no matter how small the drawing the details were astonishing.

 

Ikon Gallery,
1 Oozells Square,
Brindleyplace,
Birmingham,
B1 2HS.

Admission Free

Hew Locke: Here’s The Thing

Set over two floors Locke introduces a recurring theme ‘the ship’ with countless meanings, they evoke centuries of warfare, trade and cultural imperialism.

The first floor gallery 1 contains a photographic print embellished with acrylic paint and ink, it shows the HMS Belfast surrounded by aircraft from the 1950’s and present day.¬† Another print shows Huan Tian XI a Chinese cargo ship that visited Britain in 2012 and should have joined the diamond jubilee pageant but missed the pageant due to a delay in the Suez Canal. Island Queen is a charcoal and pastel drawing of Queen Elizabeth II, which was made 5 days before the Iraq War in response to the conflict around weapons of mass destruction. Two¬† model ships one the USS Constitution, a heavy frigate used in the War of Independence opposed the slave trade decorated with Benin masks.

Gallery 2 on entering you are surrounded by ‘The Nameless’ made of plastic cord and beads it encompasses the whole room a parade of unlikely characters, part animal part human. The figures march to drums, tambourines, clarinet, trumpet and clapping hands. Winged creatures associated with heraldic imagery can be seen, Cherubim and¬† Seraphim used in funeral adornment are joined by Death who is central to the scrolling parade shown by the presence of skeletal figures and Kalashnikov assault rifles.

The last room on this floor shows ‘The Tourist’ and I will admit this unnerved me just a little, I can’t put my finger on why, it just did. The Belfast visited the Caribbean in 1962 stopping at Trinidad on it’s final voyage. This piece is a video tour of HMS Belfast in which Locke has placed mannequins going about their business and making costumes and props to Calypso music. All of the mannequins wear masks made of beads, chains, skulls.¬† Sitting and standing just in front of the screen are 5 more mannequins 4 of which wear masks and as the guide says ‘ The mannequins are uncanny presence, silently watching their own ‘Holiday movie’.

On the second floor¬† ‘Hinterland’ provokes¬† a feeling of a land behind. There is a reworked photograph of a statue of Queen Victoria, the statue was removed from it’s pride of place in 1970 and dumped in the undergrowth of Georgetowns Botanical gardens.¬† There is an untitled portrait of Queen Elizabeth II known as Orange Queen, the portrait is encased with kitsch accessories, plastic¬† jewellery ,greenery and toys.¬† ‘Souvenirs’ is a shelf of busts of Queen Victoria, Princess Alexandra and Edward VII. The base material is Parian (a porcelain imitating marble), the busts are adorned with handmade and found materials including clay skulls, shells, medals, toys and one which I thought looked for steam-punk, (I do hope I will be forgiven).¬† A collection of¬† Gold loan documents can be seen, the work presents history of trades and colonial power. the final exhibition is an installation of boats¬† called ‘Armada’ the boats are suspended from the ceiling. It comprises new and old ships, if you look closely UN medals,¬† references to current refugee crisis, a small souvenir of HMT Windrush and a model of the Mayflower.

 

The last exhibition is set in the Tower Room and is a video by Lin Ke called ‘Fly’

A young Chinese man sits crossed legged in font of his laptop, his meditative position foiled by irritating movement of the cursor. The artist is networking into a globalised virtual world that is clearly not conducive to relaxation

If you do look at the photos, please for give them, my camera is in for repair and I had to borrow a  camera phone, lest said about that the better!

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Blists Hill Christmas

Blists Hill
Legges Way,
Madeley,
Telford
TF7 5UD

Admission adults online booking for December £17.95 child £10.90, Parking £3.00

Blists Hill Victorian Village is set up like a small industrial town in the year 1900. Queen Victoria has been on the throne for 63 years and the average wage is £42 a year.

There never was a village on this site but it was an area of blasting furnaces, mines, factories, mines and canals. After falling into disuse it was brought in the 1950s by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust who re-created the small industrial village. The canal and blast furnaces are original to the site, other original buildings have been brought brick by brick from other places and rebuilt on site.

There’s a lot to see at this museum however it’s not really for small children, unless they like history. As our trip here was in December the place was dressed for Christmas, there was a Santa at an extra cost and reindeer’s in the Saw mill, a nice touch was the snow that greeted us as we entered the village, a sort of foamy fluff that fell from the top of a building and stuck like snow.

In the Iron works they were holding Mr Morton’s Christmas Party which consisted of a Punch and Judy show which we missed, The Ragamuffins Choir who sang Christmas Carlos, (put me right in the mood), an alternative Cinderella story called Cinderfella and what I found extremely funny The 12 Days of Christmas in which Mr Morton invited people up from the audience to play the parts of the song, I would just like to point out that it was the adults that seemed to be having the most fun while the kiddies all looked rather bemused.

First stop was the bank to change our money into pounds, shillings and pence to spend in the shops, not essential as everything has two price labels, one in todays money and one in old¬† money . The village has shops set out as they would have been, some so small we were unable to get in to see anything, one of the favorite shops seemed to be the fish shop which sold fish and chips fried in beef fat, we tried them and they were fabulous, yes totally unhealthy but oh so tasty. There’s a couple of small cottages to look around and a doctors house, also a school room which was that packed we couldn’t get in to see it. Demonstrations can be seen on different days, we saw pattern making for iron work, and candle making, we missed the lace making. We did manage to get on the last trip of the day on the horse bus, (a ¬£1 a trip).¬† For another ¬£2 you can take a trip on the train into the¬† mine which isn’t a mine but a pipe, once inside in the dark a film is projected onto the wall of a silhouetted father and son mining and trying to get away from the black dust, (carbon monoxide) which killed a lot of miners. Ok for kiddies, not really an adult experience but there’s nothing to suggest this before you get into the tunnel. There is a woodland walk up to the Hay inclined Plane which we started then turned back as the pathway was very muddy and quite slippery and we weren’t really dressed for that. I would like to go back in better weather mid week when it would not be so busy.

Food is available from the fish shop, the butchers who sells pasties and pies and the bakery who sells freshly baked bread. However I would stay clear of The  Forest Glen Refreshment Pavilion, we queued for 20 minutes for  a coffee and hot chocolate, both were cold and the chocolate was just like water, we handed them back and had a refund.

 

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Baggeridge and Himley Hall

Baggeridge Country Park and Himley Hall grounds

Free

Car parking £3 a day

Another visit to Baggeridge, we visited here at the beginning of the year and wrote about it here¬†so I won’t write about it again except to say this time we took the Topper scope trail to the top, up and down some very steep steps, saw the goats that have been brought in to tame some parts of the woodland and saw some beautiful Autumn colours. Got caught in a short but sharp storm that produced a rainbow and finished the walk with a rather naughty hot chocolate. These are the¬† ¬†photos of the walk this time round.

 

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River walk to Bewdley

A short walk from Blackstone car park to Bewdley along the river .8 mile each way.

Free

¬†Bewdley is a small Georgian town in the Wyre Forest District area of Worcestershire. Sitting on the River Severn, its name comes from the French words Beau Lieu – “beautiful place”.

Bewdley  town is  home to some very pretty  churches, a museum, 3 beautiful gardens,  pubs, takeaways, restaurants and walks, something for every one.

The walk we did is a favorite for us when we want to go into Bewdley, we park at Blackstone car park and walk along the river into the town. On this walk you pass a llama farm before hitting the river path, sometimes this path can be very muddy, but short and relatively flat the mud is rarely a problem. The walk is around .8 mile each way so easy for even little legs, often ducks and swans can be seen swimming along. Always pretty no matter what time of year, on the day we walked the autumn colours were coming through and leaves were falling from the trees as we walk along. Once in the town there are lot’s of things to see and places to eat so if you have a day to fill or just an hour it’s easy to find something to fill the time. To get back to the car park you can retrace your steps or take the river path on the opposite side, however towards the end of this path there is a steep set of steps to climb up then a short walk along a very busy road, or up the steps, short walk along the road, down more steep steps and back past the Llama farm to the car park.

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Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

Pershore Road
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B5 7RL

Admission adults £6.25 child £3.30

The name of the game here is conservation, the zoo works with other zoos to help with breeding programs.

The zoo itself is small and flat, there is a picnic area and a play area for little ones, some of the animals they have include European Lynx – a big cat that used to be native to Britain, and many groups are hoping to reintroduce
Monkeys, tamarins and lemurs and the rare species  Yellow Breasted Capuchin Monkeys
Domestic animals – goats, pigs, guinea pigs and sheep from around the world
Cranes and ibises – wading birds
Snakes and lizards – including the amazing Rhinoceros Ratsnake, skinks, geckos and a very handsome Komodo lizard
Red Pandas Рa few years ago one of these cheeky chaps appeared  on the news after he escaped from his pen
Otters, antelope, wallabies, a very cute sloth, and ‘oh I want one’ little armadillos.

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