Hurrah! Another Monday over and done with, and only one more to go until I am on holiday again. I'm in a terrible habit of wishing the days away at the moment, even though I know it's a totally counterproductive way to spend the time. I get a bit like this in the autumn, at the moment it's partly because of my general state of mind but I think it's also the sense of anticipation I always seem to feel at this time of the year. I am really looking forward to getting home to see my folks, though. Having been ill, I'm looking forward to the comfort of sleeping in my bed at home and waking up to the sounds of the countryside. I've been feeling really homesick, and hearing some lovely Northern Irish accents will be good for me. So will a week of eating potatoes, no doubt!
I worked from home on Friday and, despite some minor IT related stresses, it was a pretty nice day. The previous evening Nic and I went out for a date to a new South Indian restaurant around the corner. The food was amazing, and the service was incredible as well and Nic and I had so much fun. We had planned to follow dinner with a drink in Wilde's, but after an enormous meal all either of us could think about was going home. So, we had our date on Friday evening instead. I love Wilde's. It's in a basement at the top of the parade, and it boasts that it's Leamington's oldest wine bar. I can't really think of another wine bar in Leamington but, whatever, Wilde's is really nice. And because Leam is pretty small you can usually be guaranteed to bump into someone you know in there. Last time it was Meg and her lovely man and on Friday night it was Lucy, which was a delight.
Nic and I were up bright and early on Saturday morning. As well as being the Leamington Food Festival, it was also Birmingham Zine Fest. On our way along to the station, we had a quick browse around the food stalls that were set up in the Pump Room Gardens. I'm not a big foodie, so I can't say if it was any good or not but we did manage to bag some tasty free olives before catching the train. Birmingham Zine Fest was really cool. There was a fair being held in The Victoria on Bright Street, so we went along to that first and spent some pennies on zines. I hadn't read a zine since I was a teenager and my friend Miranda and I attempted to collaborate on one, and I had forgotten how cool they can be. We met some seriously nice people, bought some fantastic zines and Nic came away feeling really enthused about writing and creating something like that for himself. In fact, a sketch he did was printed in a zine that was published that day but he's going to write about that himself over at his blog Squeezegut Alley so go and read it there!
After spending some time at the zine fair, we headed down to Digbeth to the Warehouse Vegetarian Cafe for lunch. It was delicious, and when we were finished the sun had come out, so Nic took my outfit shot for Saturday:
Darling dress, Marks and Spencers patent belt and Bertie Orkney shoes
Those shoes should be comfortable because of the little heel, but they ended up really rubbing the back of one of my ankles. By the end of the day, I had a fetching cut and blood on my stockings. Classy! After lunch we had a browse around the vintage shops, before taking advantage of Heritage Open Weekend to visit the Back to Backs. It was pretty good, but seriously crowded and so after a short time there we decided to check out what was happening in the Arts Fest, which was also on over the weekend. I don't go into Birmingham terribly often, but we really did have a lovely day out. We finished off the day by a cup of tea in the railway buffet in Moor Street station. Call me old-fashioned, but I was really tickled by the station crockery:
Some other photos I took on Saturday:
Nic picking out some delightful ornaments in Selfridges
A case of eyeballs in the Back to Backs. Not quite sure what the significance of this was...
Some lovely architectural and artistic features at The Custard Factory
The obligatory photo of me posing in a hat
We ended our evening with pie from Urban Pie, a science fiction film and some cocktails:
For some reason I felt really blue when I woke up yesterday morning and found it hard to shake off all day. It might have been down to having been tired from a long day in Birmingham, and certainly the anxiety dreams I'd had all night didn't help. I was feeling really strange and teary all day but luckily I had Nic around to help to cheer me up. We spent some time pottering around at the food festival and enjoying the intermittent sunshine. We had some free (and delicious) food from Kayal, and bought some cheese but I think it's usually the case that these food festivals are better for meat eaters. There were four hog roast stands, and not a great deal for vegetarians, but that was fine. As I said, I'm not really what you could call a foodie. Instead, we visited some of the properties that were open as part of Heritage Open Days and enjoyed a drink on the terrace of the Grand Union restaurant on Clemens Street. In anticipation of doing a bit of walking, I wore my red cowboy boots. They're in need of a bit of polish, but I think they look pretty good:
We had a quiet evening in with dinner, a Spencer Tracy film and a bath. It was what I needed and, although it didn't quite chase the blues away it certainly helped.
I've been struggling a fair bit recently with feeling low and anxious and, while I have been feeling generally better recently, I felt very low on Sunday and today. It's stress related and I'm doing what I can to make things better and to think more positively. I had some time off work, which helped. I've been trying to talk more about how I am feeling and what it is that's causing me stress - there are a lot of things, all of which are out of my control. I suppose the only thing that I can attempt to control is how I react. I'll be honest, I'm finding it hard and that's why my posts have been sporadic. I'm trying hard to get better, but it might be a little bit up and down around here in the next while.
I'm hoping I'll have a good week, and there are some good things lined up. A guest post for Squeezegut Alley on a subject very dear to my heart, spending time with friends, and maybe a trip to London on Saturday. And right now? Some cuddles with Nic on the sofa, and an episode of NYPD Blue.