Greetings from Birmingham…UK, that is! And introducing York’s Bakery Cafe!

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I’ve been in the UK for basically a week now and am loving it! The people, the food, the experience has just been fantastic! One of my favorite experiences so far occurred this past Thursday when my friend Jo and I went into the Birmingham City Centre (she lives in an area called Erdington) for massages at the University College of Birmingham’s Spa. Fully relaxed, we headed to a place called Yorks Bakery Cafe, located on 1 Newhall Street in Birmingham this cafe is fresh and eclectic. The atmosphere is one of relaxation and sociability. It’s unique industrial look makes you feel as though you were in an old abandoned flour mill turned swanky cafe.

The staff are the friendliest (we met Richard, Liz and Simon) and very efficient and prompt in their service. A bit of a mixed clientele makes for interesting scenes throughout.

One of the things that impressed me most was the lighting. Mostly large hanging bulbs, they hang from chains giving that industrial atmosphere its finishing touches. If you are from Birmingham and have not been by yet you must stop in! If you’re travelling to England you’d do well to stop over in Birmingham and sit down to a nice latte with a peanut butter and white chocolate blondie, you’ll not regret it. If you can’t stop in, just peruse my photos and at least imagine that you’re there with the locals having a drink and a good time!

Enjoy!

From the back of the hall...

From the back of the hall…

A writer's dream...

A writer’s dream…

A popular and open space for gathering with friends.

A popular and open space for gathering with friends.

Ahhh...coffee! Creativity juice!

Ahhh…coffee! Creativity juice!

Follow the queue!

Follow the queue!

Industrial meets fabulous!

Industrial meets fabulous!

Even the hardware looks fantastic!

Even the hardware looks fantastic!

At the counter...Barista: Richard

At the counter…
Barista: Richard

Goodies!!!

Goodies!!!

My favorites, the Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Blondie.

My favorites, the Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Blondie.

Yum!!! So many goodies!

Yum!!! So many goodies!

All hail the espresso machine!

All hail the espresso machine!

It's all in the flour.

It’s all in the flour.

I wish I'd been able to sample them all but there were just so many!

I wish I’d been able to sample them all but there were just so many!

A table of goodies and crafty delights.

A table of goodies and crafty delights.

Latte art...

Latte art…

Tea!

Tea!

A very satisfied customer! My friend Jo.

A very satisfied customer! My friend Jo.

Ladies.

Ladies.

Gents.

Gents.

Bulbs of perfection, #1.

Bulbs of perfection, #1.

Bulbs of perfection, #2.

Bulbs of perfection, #2.

Bulbs of perfection, #3.

Bulbs of perfection, #3.

Comfy and cozy--the two best qualities of a perfect armchair.

Comfy and cozy–the two best qualities of a perfect armchair.

Letter writing at the coziest spot in the joint!

Letter writing at the coziest spot in the joint!

And just in case you get bored...

And just in case you get bored…

Lastly, c'est moi! Your guide to the best spot in town.

Lastly, c’est moi! Your guide to the best spot in town.

Yorks Bakery Cafe is open:

Monday -Friday 7:30am -8:00pm (20:00)
Saturday 8:30am-6:30pm (18:30)
Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm (17:30)

Website: http://yorksbakerycafe.co.uk/

Phone #: 0121 236 8090

Redecorating an old journal and…

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I took an old notebook I had lying around which looked like this:

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Replaced the flowers in the window with this:

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Which I felt was more suited to a dream journal and the end result of my work was this:

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It’s amazing what a few scraps of paper, an old card, a glue stick, and a strip of washi tape can do, right? How would you have re-decorated this old journal? The idea of starting to keep a dream journal came from my dear friend Nigel Wolf, kundalini yoga instructor extraordinaire with the kindest heart I know. His joy of life and vivacity are contagious! He has an awesome Facebook page called Tantrajam (his music is beautiful, I’ve heard it on Myspace) which is very inspiring and he also holds various yoga retreats throughout the year in Canada. Thank you, Nigel! WAHE GURU!

 

 

Busy as a little bee…

Life got hectic in the short month of February and as you can see I only posted twice…not exactly my goal with this new blog but there never seems to be time in each day to do much of what I would like. Working a bit far from home sees me getting up very early and then getting home too late to get very creative. My mornings consist of taking the bus to Sarasota and hoping I don’t get hepatitis or something awful like that. It’s a different world when riding the city buses between Bradenton and Sarasota. I’ve snapped some photos with my iPhone during my travels to work each morning. Here are some of the urban shots I’ve been able to get:

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Aboard the bumpy bus…

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A mini walk from the bus brought me to one of my favorite places in Sarasota, Simply Spoiled Boutique.

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What’s left on Main Street of the old European Focus Village Shop…I miss that place…

Across the street during my short walk was the historic Kress Building.

Across the street during my short walk was the historic Kress Building.

Restaurant Salute, Downtown Sarasota still closed in the morning.

Restaurant Salute, Downtown Sarasota still closed in the morning.

 

On a separate occasion: a shot from the back of the bus.

On a separate occasion: a shot from the back of the bus.

Relics of an almost obsolete media platform: the newspaper machine at the bus stop by the college.

Relics of an almost obsolete media platform: the newspaper machine at the bus stop by the college.

"Nobody's Listening" by Sarasota-based sculptor Jack Cartlidge (1924-2006), Sarasota City Hall.

“Nobody’s Listening” by Sarasota-based sculptor Jack Cartlidge (1924-2006), Sarasota City Hall.

"Pioneer Family" by Jack Cartlidge, Sarasota City Hall.

“Pioneer Family” by Jack Cartlidge, Sarasota City Hall.

Looking up at "Pioneer Family" sculpture. City Hall is near the bus station.

Looking up at “Pioneer Family” sculpture. City Hall is near the bus station.

A little bit of color amongst the green.

A little bit of color amongst the green.

Beautiful pink hibiscus in the vicinity of Sarasota City Hall and the SCAT station.

Beautiful pink hibiscus in the vicinity of Sarasota City Hall and the SCAT station.

People waiting for their buses at the SCAT station, Downtown Sarasota.

People waiting for their buses at the SCAT station, Downtown Sarasota.

Urban addictions: Cigarette butts and religious paraphernalia.

Urban addictions: Cigarette butts and religious paraphernalia.

Remnants of where bus schedules were once housed.State College of Florida Bus Stop, Bradenton.

Remnants of where bus schedules were once housed.
State College of Florida Bus Stop, Bradenton.

At the Saturday Market in Downtown Sarasota as I waited for the #17 bus to get to work.

At the Saturday Market in Downtown Sarasota as I waited for the #17 bus to get to work.

This week promises to be interesting as well as I embark on a journey abroad to England. I look forward to posting from there and hope that it will be more frequent this month. Tomorrow is busy for me but I hope to get a trip to the museum in before heading across the pond.

Here’s to a beautiful week!