Category Archives: recommended

Library of Birmingham

Today I visited the Library of Birmingham for the first time. When I first set eyes on the circular metal cladding (months ago) I didn’t like it at all. Somehow it makes more sense to me now, having been inside the building and up close to the cladding. The design has definitely grown on me; I now think of it as an unusual and inspiring building.

There is lots of light and space inside and it feels very clean and modern, futuristic even. I expect the new library to attract lots of young people, with its funky chairs and beanbags for the kids. Hopefully its primary purpose will still be as a place for people to gain knowledge.

On approach


View from the Discovery Terrace

View from the Discovery Terrace

View from the Discovery Terrace

Book rotunda

Book rotunda

Secret Garden

View from the Secret Garden

View from the Secret Garden

View from the Secret Garden with Clent Hills in the distance

View from the Secret Garden

View from the Secret Garden
IMG_4438

Shakespeare Memorial Room

Shakespeare Memorial Room

Grayson Perry

While in Manchester Heena also took me to see Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences exhibition:

The adoration of the cage fighters


and I absolutely loved it. I watched the C4 programmes about it afterwards. I think it was better to do it that way round i.e. to see the tapestries without any preconceptions whatsoever.

I then searched for what else Grayson Perry has done and discovered that he gave the Reith lectures this year. I’ve heard the first three out of four and they’ve been brilliant: witty, thought-provoking and inspiring.

Grayson Perry

Radio 4 this week

Just William: Pursuin’ Happiness, The Revenge. Love Just William as a kid, still do now.

Woman’s Hour: Choosing to be Childfree and the subsequent phone-in.

The Now Show.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. We went to watch the recording of this and last week’s programmes at Cambridge Corn Exchange.

Parlez-vous British?, Overseas Membership is a story by Christopher Matthew. It’s set in occupied France.