This week, I wandered into the city centre a lot. I needed to go to the Post Office every day, and while I was there, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore. I thought I knew most of the city centre, but I discovered a lot by walking down the side streets that led to other shopping arcades, malls, plazas, and parks. I finally went inside the city library; I actually have to walk through the library building to get to the city centre, but I’d never been inside the library part. It’s just an ugly concrete building, but the book selection was great. They have books in pretty much every language and on every subject imaginable. I think I’ve found my new study place!

The building with all of the circles on it is the Selfridges store, which is part of the Bullring Mall. I’ve been there before, but I don’t think I’ve shared any pictures of it before. That’s the iconic building that’s in pretty much any brochure or website about Birmingham. I’ve heard it’s supposed to look like a handbag, but I don’t see it. I think it looks like someone let Salvador Dali design a building. People seem to either love or hate the architecture in the city centre. It’s very modern, because everything was refurbished just a few years ago to get rid of all the ugly old concrete buildings from the 70s. Personally, I love the crazy architecture, but I guess it’s not very elegant so I can see how someone might now like it.

It’s been really warm, and I haven’t needed a coat all week. Yesterday, I wore a sweater when I was out, and I ended up taking that off and walking around in my tank top—three days before Christmas, and I was dressed for summer! It’s raining now, but it’s still about 55 degrees outside.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be volunteering in London at a shelter for the homeless for a few days over Christmas. I’ll try to post while I’m there, if my hostel has internet. I’ll probably be back in Birmingham on the 27 unless I leave for my next adventure straight from London. We’ll see what happens.

Have a very wonderful Christmas, everyone!

Love, Elizabeth