I love having a day off from the office and taking a long weekend.  Just that extra day makes me feel refreshed. The plan, this weekend, was to meet up with friends on Friday and then Saturday head off to Buxton in Derbyshire for my friends hen weekend.  However, the weather had other ideas.  Friday did start off as planned, and saw me venturing into Birmingham to catch up with two of my lovely friends.  We met at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Edgbaston.  This art deco building which was designed by Robert Atkinson, one of Britain’s leading architects of the 1920s and 1930s, has some lovely external features and typical 1930’s interior, with parquet floors and travertine staircase.  Not only does it have the fine arts gallery but also a music auditorium where lunchtime and evening concerts are held.

Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham UK (7)

We wanted to see the exhibition on Lady Barber, the founder of the Institute, but we hadn’t realised it finished last month.  Instead we wondered around the gallery marveling at the paintings and pointing out which were our favorites.  The gallery houses paintings from Rubens, Van Gogh, Turner, Monet, Renoir and Van Dyck to name a few.  I can tell a Turner painting as this is one of my Mum’s favorite artists and I can usually pick out Monet.  I was impressed with JT who was very knowledgeable about many of the artists and could identify them from the painting and not having to read the information.  Definitely someone to go to an art gallery with.  We made time to have coffee and catch up on what’s been happening since the last time we met.  I never fail to laugh, sometimes with tears, when in the company of these two.

On the way home the snow started to fall and since Friday afternoon I have been indoors.  Whilst it has put a stop to my plans there is something magical about snow.  There was a plan B arranged for the hen but even that was sabotaged due to the amount of snow that fell.  With a whole weekend ahead of me I wondered how I could fill my time.  At the start of the day it felt like I had got endless amounts of time, but somehow it just seemed to vanish.  I feel like I have achieved a lot but at the same time also feel very relaxed.

Both days started with watching foodie programmes, which then gave me the desire to bake.  I spent time looking through my baking books to decide what to bake based on the ingredients I had in the cupboard.  The end result was chocolate caramel brownies (recipe to follow).  I caught up on writing blog posts and planning for the next few weeks. There were also a few interesting emails that I needed to respond to and glad that I had the time to digest their content rather than just respond on the hop.  I had a lovely telephone catch-up with the hen. There is now a plan C and we’ll be getting together the week before the wedding for Sunday lunch and cocktails.

Chocolate Caramel Brownies (9)

As much as I would have preferred to have been exploring Buxton and having girly chats, all in all I’ve ended up having a lovely unplanned weekend spent at home.


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