Sunday, September 08, 2013

#BigUpBirmingham

Happy Birthday and Congratulations!


The phrase coined by Usain Bolt at the London Olympics

In the UK, Birmingham, the second city, is always overshadowed by the big lights of the capital -  London. Having lived in both cities, I do have to admit that this is somewhat justified; nonetheless I’m proud of our little town, and wouldn't yearn to live anywhere else within the UK.

I find it quite amusing when I’m abroad, especially America, and the natives hear my British accent and automatically assume that I’m from London; when I tell them I’m from Birmingham you can see their little minds ticking over: “Birmingham? Where’s that?” Anyway, I guess as a ‘brummie’ I shouldn't be offended that Birmingham isn't ‘on the map’, after all, one of the Russian ministers believes the whole of Britain is “just a small island”……… and that “no one pays any attention to them”.

The city of Birmingham celebrated two landmark events this week: 1) the Bullring's 10th birthday; 2) the construction of Europe’s largest library, based in Birmingham's Centenary Square, was finally completed and opened to the public. I decided to join in the celebrations by capturing some Kodak moments.

THE BULLRING
The Bullring was renovated in 2003, and is the city’s main shopping destination; it’s described as the glamorous heart of Birmingham and houses one of only four Selfridges department stores and the fourth largest Debenhams and Forever 21. I describe it as the place responsible for nearly maxing out my credit cards; nonetheless I wanted to pay homage and visit the Bullring (as I do every week, eeek) for its 10th birthday! For more information about shopping in Birmingham see http://www.shoppinginbirmingham.com/.











The iconic bull sits right in the centre of the Bullring - what a cute birthday suit!


The grade 2 listed church of St Martin has pride of place between the Selfridges building and the city's markets

The sculpture of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, who visited Birmingham in 1802, stands proudly in the centre of the Bullring

Below is the new library – a bookworm’s dream. Unfortunately it closed at 4pm, which I didn’t realise, so having spent hours shopping in the Bullring I ended up being too late to actually go inside, so I’m afraid you will just have to settle for outside shots. It cost £200 million to build and holds a million books!



Here are two of the reasons why I was late to the library; in preparation for autumn/winter I indulged in couple of pairs of sensible work shoes. The heels (Dune at Selfridges) are chic, but low enough to maintain comfort throughout the day, and the boots (Topshop) with their flat sole will be perfect when the snow and icy weather arrives!


Later x

25 comments:

  1. Very sensible shoe purchases! Love the heels - they go with everything...You are going to laugh but I used to be a huge Duran Duran fan and as a tweenie I would be my father to take me to Birmingham where the boys were from!! In fact one of my first few trips out of London was to Birmingham! :) xx

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  2. Congratulations on the Bullring and the library! I thought of you when I heard the news about the library...would Colleen be clickety-clacking her way there? :D I've never been to Birmingham, so if I do get to go up there, I think we should meet up :) Speaking of Usain Bolt, I met him when I was still working for Gucci. That was years ago and he wasn't as big as he is now. I was struggling to get a bag from the top shelf and he saw me struggling, so I 'ordered' him to get the bag. He gladly did it. I did think he was familiar and only realised it was him when staff from other stores came to ours to have his autograph. Damn! I was too embarrassed to have a photo taken with him. I also did that with Leo Sayer. I asked him what he does for a living. He just said he was musician. But anyway, I'm typing too much! The shoes are classics--perfect choice! And you don't have to justify the purchase. We understand! Hahahaha. Have a lovely week xx

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    1. Yes yes you must let me know if you ever decide to come to Brum!

      JEALOUS! I need to be getting me a job in a designer store: Emma Bunton; Usain Bolt; Leo Sayer - you lucky devil!

      ha ha, you got my subtle justification about the shoes - me stressing that they were work shoes, lol. You know me too well! x

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  3. I outing my self, i was also a big DuranDuran fan and got a big crush for Andy. But please keep this secret. ;)

    I never visit Birningham, but i`m sure the city has his own flair. Great Pictures and the heels are just perfect. I´m looking for someone like these.

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    1. well Duran Duran are not my cup of tea, but they are very successful so I'm sure your love of them is justified and you are certainly not alone ha

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  4. Hi Colleen! Both buildings could be my paradise! I wish I was there to visit them! The Bullring looks fab, I would lose myslef in it, I believe you spent hours there! Love the shoes you got, they both are too cool!:) Also the library must be outstanding, love reading! Kisses dear, have a great start of the week! xo

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    1. thanks hun, cant wait to look inside the library!

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  5. HI colleen,

    Thanks so much for sharing these pics! I had a moment of shock when you mentioned it was the 10th anniversary of the Bullring, as I remember it clearly in the late 80s when I was an undergrad living in Brum!
    Then I realised that you meant its refurbishment!
    I can't believe how much it has changed!!

    It was very, very different in 1987... full of rather unglam shops and grotty cafes! I spent many a happy half day wandering around it! Is the rag market still going? I had a Very Impressive collection of suede fringed jackets from the Rag Market... In fact I still have a black leather coat I bought in about 1988 for 3 quid!

    Happy memories!

    Good to see Brum is holding its head high - it's a very cool city!

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    1. oh yes I remember the glum brum you are referring to, and thankfully it's very different now. Yes the rag market is still here, but even that has had a bit of a makeover, in fact you can just about make it out in the background in the photo of the church.......

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  6. 'I can show you the world...'
    I can actually see the world thru you.
    Beautiful pictures.
    That library is huge!

    Love the shoes you bought.

    http://justporsh.blogspot.com

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  7. Hi Colleen, the shopping centrum looks great, lovely pictures. I love shopping in the places like that with my friends, everything is under one roof.
    Have a great week.
    Dusana :-)

    www.letnedni.com

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    1. I agree, loving shopping complexes where everything is pretty much under one roof - especially in the winter!

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  8. Morning sweetie!!! The pictures you have here are super Brilliant, Am sure you had so much fun colleen. The idea of padlocking a message on the bull is fabulous but a bit creepy lol, Don't mind me! I have been to Birmingham twice but i didn't have much time to visit all these wonderful locations, Although, i was there to visit a friend who just had a baby so she didn't have the time to take me around.I need to come visit again,I need that Chelsea boots in my life.
    Kisses..

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  9. Now I wanna go to Birmingham!!:) I actually had no idea that it was the second largest UK city, so thanks for that info. And what's with the bull, there's one in NYC too, as I'm sure you remember.;)

    In my last post I decided to tag you because I had to tag my favorite Internet friends. If you don't want to do it, it's completely fine, I won't be offended or hold it against you.:)

    P.S.: I can't believe a Russian minister said all of those things, that's hilarious!:D

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    1. eerrr after the road trip you have just done, you will be wondering why I'm making such a big deal about my city! ha

      I do remember the bull in NY, although here I think it has more significance - the Bullring, lol!

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    2. It definitely looks prettier with that b-day suit if nothing else.;)

      Babe, 6 months ago I had no idea what tag is, the verb or the noun, so we're in the same boat.:) Some people come up with questions, answer them and tag other people who "have to" answer them as well and tag other people and so on. I saw the tag on YouTube, thought it was fun, answered the questions and tag people I like - you.:)

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    3. And I forgot to tell you something! If I seem more relaxed in photos lately, it's because I'm taking all of the pictures myself now. I got a tripod, a remote control and I'm doing it all solo. Takes the pressure and stress away. Even thought it still feels weird looking at a bazillion pictures of myself when I edit them.:D

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  10. The snaps makes me go to Birmingham, right now!!! never been there.. and you right-London is over shading maybe but the little sister is so much cool and beautiful!!!

    Have a great week hun,

    http://rosdays.blogspot.co.il/

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  11. amazing pics...the cup cakes look tasty and the shoes are adorable...

    Have a great day....

    http://lttreasure.blogspot.co.uk/

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  12. I must admit, I'm probably guilty of allowing London to overshadow Birmingham in my mind... but I would love to visit the city, it looks just lovely in your photos! And anywhere that has shoe shops is worth visiting for me ;)
    xox,
    Cee
    www.cocoandvera.com

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  13. Your photos of Birmingham are stunning and first of all I have a confession - I don't think I have ever been there (apart from the airport) and just look what I've been missing! As we live just forty-five minutes from both Manchester and Liverpool it's so much easier than getting stuck in the M6 traffic. However, I think we should hop on a train and explore your lovely city. The library is so attractive and I could enjoy a couple of hours in the bullring! A good mix of traditional and modern archticture which I like too.

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Hey....I'd love to see your comments, and given one of my pastimes is reading other people's blogs, I'd love for you to leave your URL if you have one too. Later xx