Monday, 31 October 2016

Great British Bake Off Halloween Special.

Last week we saw the final of the Great British Bake Off 2016.
They made meringue, Victoria Sandwich and a picnic showstopper including a chocolate cake.
I did feel a little disappointed at the skill set needed for the final. Surely it could have been more difficult? The things they made for their picnics I've made loads of times for parties, meringues are not difficult so long as you are careful not to break them and my nine year old daughter knows how to make a Victoria Sandwich without instructions.

The winner was Candice and I believe she deserved it as she seemed the only one who really put any effort into making something unique. I still remember her gingerbread pub, and her marzipan peacock was fantastic. Going back to my run down of week one I had Candice and Jane, two of the finalists, as my favourites to do well. I wish I'd put a bet on now! 

My girls really wanted to make meringue so I let them make some and they made little meringue ghosts for Halloween. I decided that a chocolate cake would be nice to make so in keeping with the Halloween theme I dressed it up as a trick or treat cake.

We like our meringue crispy so we always bake it in the oven. The eyes were piped on with a little melted chocolate.

little ghost shaped meringues with chocolate eyes
























My chocolate cake is a favourite in our house and I make it frequently. I don't always cover it in chocolate but I decided to do it this time, only I wish I'd left myself a little more time to do it a bit more neatly. 

Chocolate Cake:


Ingredients:


  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g soft butter
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs

for butter cream:


  • 125g soft butter
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 10g cocoa powder

topping: 


  • 200g chocolate
  • assorted sweets to decorate.

Method:

heat oven to 180C
grease and line a 20cm cake tin

mix the sugar and butter together in a large bowl
mix in the eggs one by one
sift in the flour and the cocoa powder
fold in until you have a smooth batter
pour batter into cake tin
bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
leave to cool

make the butter cream by creaming the butter with sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder

fill cake with half the butter cream then smooth the rest around outside of the cake as a crumb coat

melt chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water
pour over cake
drop sweets over cake

chocolate cake covered in sweets


To finish my Halloween theme here are the pumpkins designed by my three children

pumpkins






Mummy Mishaps

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Phantom Loos...a Halloween Horror!

I want to tell you a story that will make your skin crawl.

Imagine the scene, you are out with your family enjoying a fun day in the sun. You are at a wildlife centre and there is so much to see and you. Your kids are running around having loads of fun and they want to do everything and see everything. After looking at some animals, the Lynx was a great attraction what a majestic cat. With long long teeth that would scare off a vampire!

Suddenly things take a turn for the worst, a nightmare scene!

mum needs the toilet in horror text image


It's ok says Dad, there is a disabled toilet you can go in there.

Mum is in a wheelchair you see and can't use regular toilets. It's so important that attractions and places of interest have disabled toilets.

Mum wheels herself half way up the ramp to the disabled toilet but it's a bit too much. Dad comes to the rescue and helps her to the door.....then
horror written in horror text

The wheelchair does not actually fit in the toilet!

This is quite common, you would not believe how common.
Either the disabled toilet is too small to get the wheelchair in and shut the door, or as in this case even just get the wheelchair in. So many disabled toilets are in a small corridor and it's almost impossible to navigate the wheelchair through the door.

All was not lost even though Mum was getting very desperate at this time.
Mum had her walking sticks in the bag and could walk the last few steps into the toilet. Then very carefully use the loo in the tiny cubicle. Thankfully there were hand rails so she could get up again. There was also a baby changing table for a small child.  BUT, what if you had an older child who could not use the toilet. What if they needed changing and the disabled toilet was so small and un-equipped that your only option was to change them on the floor. Would you like to lie on a toilet floor?

would you like to lie on the floor horror text image


Having a disabled toilet is a necessity, but isn't it about time that disabled toilets were actually equipped and accessible for disabled people. Putting a sign on the door and a few bars around the loo is not enough. These cubicles need to be larger and cleaner, with good accessibility and a changing area for older children or adults.

For many years I walked passed disabled toilets wishing I could  use them just to avoid the queue for the ladies.

Now, my biggest nightmare is having to use a disabled toilet.


Read other #accessibilitystories at The Inclusive Home - Accessibility Stories







#Blogtober16

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Dear Graham

I love writing letters, they allow you to say what you really feel when you might not say it all out loud. With less than a month to go until my marriage to my partner I have taken today's Blogtober16 prompt 'A Letter To Someone,' to take this opportunity to write to my husband to be.


Dear Graham,


We met almost sixteen years ago when you rescued my kittens from a neighbours tree and I rewarded you with a coffee. You helped me celebrate my birthday just a couple of days later, and we have been together ever since.

Looking back I can't understand why you wanted to take on me and my two young teenagers. We were all going through a really tough time and my life was upside down. There was no-one who could fix things, but you were a great support. Sometimes it was rocky, but we made it with a smile.

I always knew you wanted children of your own and even though I was getting older I wanted to provide you with at least one. It took a while but we ended up with three! I always remember your reaction when after having two girls we found out we were having a little boy and you danced down the corridor in the hospital.

We've had some rocky times too but always made it through. We've had the usual hiccups in our relationship and sometimes we've been bickering a lot, but somehow we kept going and worked it out. Sometimes when you are in a long term relationship all it takes is to talk things through but it's easy to forget that.

Then on New Years Day I was admitted to hospital where I spent two weeks in bed mostly on my back. I couldn't move and I had plenty of time for thinking. I was so grateful that you kept everything going smoothly at home. I'll admit that I knew deep inside that you were not coping anywhere near as well as I would but my mindset started to change. Instead of focusing on what you may be doing wrong I accepted you for who you were and that you were doing your best.

When I came home I still couldn't do much and you had to carry on. At first I'd get annoyed that you didn't do the vacuuming or the washing up as good as I would have done if I could. Soon, I stopped that and realised that you were doing ok really, it must be hard having to keep up with everything when you were not used to it. For so long I'd been the one to do everything, but it wasn't because you were lazy, it was because I'd stopped you from doing anything, because I had to be in control.

You've asked me many times to marry you but I've always thought there was no need. I didn't realise how unhappy this made you feel. I was thinking just because I'd been married before and in the end it had meant nothing, that I couldn't see the point in going through it all again. To me marriage was just a certificate, and I didn't really need it.

After a  lot of thought I changed my mind and realised that getting married seemed to make our family closer. It's not just a change of name or a certificate, it's about accepting you as a family member rather than the father of our children. It's a union between you and me and together we are stronger.

My older children are still very much a part of our family even now that they are grown up, and they always will be. We are family, all seven of us.

So next month we will be married and the celebrations are all planned. It's going to be a very special day and I can't wait.

I've been a Mrs for 30 years but now I will be Your Mrs at last.

Thank you for being there all this time, and thank you for being willing to stay when things got rough. You are a great Dad and I'm sure you will be a great husband too.

I love you forever,

Anne xx



#Blogtober16

My Sunday Photo 30th October 2016

The Little Man with a sailor hat standing in front of the biggest lego ship in the world




























We went to the Lego convention Brick Live on  Thursday this week (I'm still recovering.) This is my favourite photo of the loads I took. I just love how cheeky my little man looks and his crooked hat.

He's standing next to the Worlds Biggest Lego Ship made with over a million lego bricks. It truly was huge being over 12 metres long, 2.72 metres high and weighing 2860kg




OneDad3Girls

Sunday Snap

Brick Live 2016 and Lego Scooby Doo Haunted Hollywood

Do you have Lego Bricks in your house? I think most people have. We love lego, we bought loads last Christmas and on Boxing Day me and Graham spent most of the day (and night) building Ninjago Dragons!

The Little Man loves his Minecraft Lego too and the girls also have boxes of Lego Friends. Over on Brick Dave you can find a brilliant article about the Top 10 Ways to Learn with lego, it's really interesting.

On Thursday we attended Brick Live as Press and had a fantastic day. There is so much to do we were there for hours but the time went so quickly. I'd be here all day if I mentioned everything so I'm just going to mention some of the things we enjoyed. You can take a look at all the rest over on Bricklive.co.uk

When we entered we were greeted by a lovely Halloween themed display.
halloween display in lego

halloween display in lego


The Kids were thrilled with the chance to play Lego Dimensions, we really wanted the Green Arrow special character so we had to do several tasks to get cards. Then we swapped our cards with other visitors until we had 20 different ones which we could then use to get a Green Arrow. You also get to keep the cards you collect. Another task was to watch the Dimensions film on the Live stage. The kids were enthralled and excited to watch and so many questions to ask after the demonstration.

lego dimensions

lego dimensions


There was also a Spooktacular Scooby Scavenger Hunt in which you can find all the Hollywood Stars gathered around the show and win prizes...big clue...the stars are on the floor, not in the lego displays as I first thought. We also got to see the new 'Lego Scooby Doo Haunted Hollywood' film which was really good and so funny. I do love a good Lego movie, it's weird to think of the lego characters as animated actors but in a strange kind of way it really works and adds a whole new dimension to the animation. I'm getting a DVD to watch again, it's so much fun. The DVD is only £7 to buy and you can get it from the show or Amazon with a free lego figure.

lego scooby doo haunted hollywood movie

lego scooby doo haunted hollywood movie


Brick Live is on until tomorrow 30th October, if you don't manage to attend you can always sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss out next time.

There were some amazing things built from Lego including the worl's biggest Lego Ship with over one million bricks.






























The Little Man love seeing Iron Man's Hulk Buster, and he was so huge!






































We had a fabulous day and will definitely be looking at going next time it's on.


Recipes for Monsters - review and competition

I've just been sent a fabulous cook book to review and the opportunity to give away three copies.
It's not just for Halloween but I though it would be fun to get this competition up and running in time for monsters of all kinds.



The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook is full of everyday recipes for the Living , Dead and Undead. I love it! I'm going to be cooking recipes from the book over the next three weeks while promoting this give away.













The book is highly amusing as it is written as if for monsters, but the recipes are completely safe and sound amazingly delicious despite their creepy names. This would make a perfect gift for all monster, horror and fantasy lovers, Harry Potter Addicts, The Walking Dead Fans, Horror Movie Buffs or Terry Pratchett Enthusiast (like myself)

There are recipes for Zombies, Wearwolves, Vampires, Mummies and Witches. A few of the recipes are translated into monster languages to make it easier for the monsters. The website also has the facility for translation which is fabulous for the monsters looking to purchase this book.

The recipes fall into the categories;

  • Sweets and Pastilles
  • Biscuits and Cookies
  • Cakes and Bakes
  • Jams and Preserves
  • Savoury Snacks for Entertaining Monsters
  • Potions and Poisons


Despite gruesome names like Warm Kidney Cupcakes, they are completely safe and doable recipes for anyone, even if you are not a monster.

Take a look at this video for Maggot Brownies.


video

The humour throughout the book will appeal to all humans and there are sections devoted to those special little additions like labels for gifts and buffets, cave games, rules for entertaining and how to carve a human (very similar to those guides of the best cuts of a cow!) 

The book retails at £13.00 and is written by Mitchell Beazley.

The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook comes from the Hoxten Street Shop found in East London (unsurprisingly on Hoxton Street) and is the purveyor off all kinds of everyday items for the living, dead and undead. Due to a curse all profits got to The Ministry of  Stories, a creative writing and mentoring charity for young humans. At the shop you will such goodies as Earwax Cubes, Salt Made From Tears of Anger or Banshee Balls as well as the fabulous cookbook.

So if you are looking to treat that monster in your life, you now know where to go.


So let's get on with the competition. 

First up is a question: Which would you like me to cook?

Toenail-dusted Sweet Cakes
1,000 Year Curse Cookies
Night Terror Torte

The question can be found in the Rafflecopter Gadget and you can answer in the comments. If you answer in the comments you do not have to fill in the gadget but it will give you more entries into the competion.

Rules: 
UK only, sorry
Please make sure you leave me your e-mail for contacting the winners
Winners will be chosen at random
The rafflecopter gadget will appear on other posts but you only need to fill it in once
No prize alternative will be offered
Prizes will be sent out by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
Raisiebay will not be responsible for unreceived prizes
Prizes must be claimed within 28 days after the close of the competition.
Competition will close on November 29th 2016
All entries will be checked




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 28 October 2016

Break - Word of the Week


This week I'm choosing the word break not because anything is broken but because it's half term and we are taking a break from routine.

We hadn't planned anything too exciting but it's not been a bad week. We spent some time crafting some lovely lanterns for Halloween. Quite simply we covered old clean coffee jars with strips of coloured tissue paper and then added black spooky cut outs. They are quite effective when lit with a tea light candle. We like to put them by our front door on Halloween.

halloween lanterns made by the kids


Yesterday we spent the day at Brick Live which was great fun. There was so much to do and I have a lot to share so look out for my post about it all later. We also got to preview the fabulous Lego Scooby Doo Haunted Hollywood, now available on DVD.
LEGO Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood (includes Limited Edition LEGO Minifigure) [DVD] [2016]

lego city concrete mixer and workman



Brick Live is on at Birmingham N.E.C until 30th October so there is still time if you fancy a visit.

Today we are going to attempt some baking. The kids really want to have a go at making some meringue after watching the Great British Bake off final. We will probably make a chocolate cake too if we have the time. Look out for our yummy bakes later.

I do love half term, just not having to get up and rush about in the morning is nice, but I also like having my kids around and doing lots of fun stuff. I hope all the other parents are having a great half term, and if not then no worries, it's nearly over.


The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

10 Home Businesses Where You Can Find Your Christmas Gifts.

I'm feeling a little excited, not just because it will soon be Christmas, believe me, it will be here before you know it, but also because I've had a home business idea. It's just a little spark at the moment but I'm certainly going to research how I can make it become real.

I have quite a few friends making a go of things from home, or supplementing their current incomes with a little crafting business. At Christmas time is when their order books should be overflowing so I'm going to share some with you so you can see just how marvellous they all are and maybe show them a little support.

So in no particular order...

Stan's Sock World: We are big fans of Stan's Sock World especially after winning one (called Jeff) in a give away recently. They are really well made and full of character. If you've ever wanted a cuddly toy made from a sock (they are all brand new socks) then this is the place to look.


JuTstix: If you know anyone who uses a walking stick then this lovely lady paints them so beautifully. Custom made to order the recipient will surely be thrilled. If you don't need a walking stick then just take a look anyway, her art work is worth a peek.



Bozeys: I am so lucky to own a piece of this lady's work, she really is talented. If you are looking for something unusual and/or personalised then do take a look. She really is ace at paper cuts. 



Bling Your Things: I own more than one piece of this lady's work and everything I've received I've been really happy with. These Christmas in Heaven Blocks are proving to be very popular this year.



Made by Mummy Treasures: Such lovely pieces of jewellery that will please young and old alike. Or maybe something a little different like a pom pom wreath for Christmas is more what you are looking for. Whatever you choose you are bound to be happy.


Dawn's Craft Works: I've known this lady a very long time, we actually went to school together! Now she makes paper cuts and folds books in her spare time, and she's very good at it too.




PPBears Creations: Maybe you could find a home for one of these cute bears? They are extra special because they are made to order memory bears.




Now for something a little different. These next few friends do not make things but have set up their own business from home so also worth a mention.

Younique By Caroline West: Caroline used to be a neighbour of mine. She sells Younique make-up and makes some great Facebook videos.

PPBears Library: If it's books you love then take a look at my friend's Usborne Books page.

JMC Photography: Finally, if you are looking for a photographer in Birmingham then this guy might just be the answer.

I do hope you will take a moment to check out some of these lovely sites, most of them are on Facebook.

All photos on this post belong to the site owners and should not be re-produced elsewhere. 




Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Which Super Power?

I've had a few days off Blogtober16 but today I'm back with the prompt 'Which Super Power?'

When I was in hospital  the lady in the opposite bed was also immobile like me and one day she played 'I Believe I Can Fly by R.Kelly





We both decided that this would be our 'tune' from then on. If we were never going to walk again then we both believed that we could fly.
So you'd think that my superpower would be to fly....but I already believe I can!

My superpower would be more magical than flying, anybody can fly.

My superpower would be to stop people being horrid to each other, whether it was words or violence I'd be there in a shot (probably flying) and stop them in their tracks, make them think of what they are doing or saying and they would just walk away.

Bullies would apologise to their victims and leave them alone forever more.
Criminals would stop hurting to get what they wanted and find another way to live.
Soldiers would put down their weapons.
Warmongers would sit down and discuss their problems instead of dictating to people.

My superpower would be Peacemaker, but much more powerful than anyone who has tried before to install peace. I would be able to do it in an instant to anyone who is disrupting the peace in this world.

Not only would I install peace, but those I've stopped will understand why I've stopped them. They will understand that what they were doing wrong and make sure they never do it again. Those that have been hurt will have a soul full of forgiveness so the hurt goes away and they never think of it again.

To start my peace campaign I will smile, and spread my smile. Soon everyone will be smiling and at peace. What a world we will live in.

































What Super Power would you choose to have?
To see what other bloggers have chosen please visit the #Blogtober16 linky.


#Blogtober16

Monday, 24 October 2016

Great British Bake Off Fondant Fancies

I can't believe that next week is the final of the Great British Bake Off, this year has gone in such a hurry.
This week we saw savoury Palmiers for the signature bake, a Savarin for the technical bake and Fondant Fancies for the Showstopper.

Andrew did really well this week saving himself from final elimination as it was Selasi that was shown the door with just one week to go.

I have made Palmiers before and I don't have a tin to bake a traditional Savarin, although I do have something similar, I guess I didn't fancy it.

The kids had already decided for me anyway, they wanted to make Fondant Fancies.

Of course, my kids like their cakes pretty plain so when we were coming up for ideas for their cakes they wanted chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and icing. So, forgive me these are not the most exciting or fancifal Fancies.

Also, I really can't get on with watering down fondant. I still have nightmares from when I had to do it when I made the Mokatines from last years Bake Off. This time I messed up when the icing was just not runny enough to cover the cakes, so I watered it down a little more and then it was too runny.

Maybe if I'd been decorating them myself I would have been more patient, but it was not good when the kids were all keen to do it but have the patience of a flea. It was really mess too. I think there was more Icing on the greaseproof paper than on the cakes themselves. I tried to scoop it up for a second coating but the kids were pretty quick at scooping it up into their mouths.

fondant fancies with icing dripping off
messy cakes
The cakes were tasty enough, but I wasn't happy with the decoration.

Fondant Fancies

Ingredients:

300g self-raising flour
325g soft butter
325g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
4 eggs

buttercream

100g soft butter
200g icing sugar
10g cocoa powder

Fondant

500g fondant icing
75g water
drops of food colouring of choice.

Method:

preheat oven to 170C/gas mark 4
grease and line two 7" square tins
cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl
add eggs and beat in one at a time
sift in flour and cocoa powder and fold the mixture together
pour evenly into tins and bake for 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean
cool the cut into equal cubes (9 per tin)

Make the buttercream by creaming together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter

coat four sides of the cakes but not the top and bottom
put the remaining buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a shell on the top of each cake

Chill in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour

Make the fondant by mixing the icing with water and food colouring.
We split our icing into three and made one white, one blue and one orange.

put the cakes on a cooling rack over a sheet of greaseproof paper
pour the fondant over the cakes from the top and allow to drip over the sides.

Another method I've heard of is to put a fork into the bottom of each cake and dip them into the fondant icing, covering all sides, then leave them to drip on cooling rack.

Do not do as I did and make the fondant to runny.

Here are our finished Fancies.























As you can see from this next photo, I also could have spent a little more time mixing the fondant with the water and there were some lumps present.
Next week, I'm going to attempt a bake without the help of the kids.



Mummy Mishaps

Friday, 21 October 2016

Getting Zapped - More Hospital Tests

I had some tests at the hospital last week and it was quite a surreal experience.

I arrived for my 6.30pm appointment and the hospital out patients was closing down for the evening and spookily quiet.

I waited for no time at all as I checked in, was told immediately what desk to go to, and as I arrived at the desk there was a nurse waiting for me to go straight into the consultation room. How often does that happen?

The Dr was in soon afterwards and I had to lie on the bed on my side. Not my most comfortable position, but he needed to get to my back. From my position the only thing I could see was the wall so my other half has told me what happened next. I didn't feel anything.

I had two needles put into the muscles either side of my spine. These were to measure the electrical activity in my muscles. I was then asked to move my head back and forth as the activity was recorded on a noisy machine. This procedure is called Electromyography. I can only speak from experience in saying I felt nothing, I do still have a lot of numbness in the areas tested so it may be more uncomfortable for others.

The next part of the test was a Nerve Conductive Study. This measures nerve and muscle function and is used in the diagnosis of a lot of spinal conditions. During this test I had little pads attached to various parts of my body and I was 'electrically stimulated.' On my legs I felt nothing but my legs did move. By this time I was getting really uncomfortable so I was happy to be able to go onto my back. The pads were then added to my arm and I found out that electrical stimulation was actually little electric shocks! It hurt a little but I was more fascinated by the way they were making my fingers move with their shocks and the pain was soon forgotten. I can imagine this kind of test being quite stressful for someone with normal sensitivity.

I now have to wait a few weeks for the results.

I know my Consultant is testing to see how my nerves are reacting and if he can pin point any damage. He is also testing for Stiff Person Syndrome, but I'm pretty sure I don't have it.

I'm still getting used to my new medication but I'm not sure if they are making me worse instead of better still. I'm now approaching my fifth week of taking them and I thought my body would be getting used to them by now, especially as I have to increase the dose next week. I've been a lot more tired which is bad enough, but I've also been more unsteady when I do walk, I've walked a lot less and I'm getting more pain.

I'm also waking more in the night, even though I take strong  painkillers to help me sleep better. I woke the other night in so much pain I got scared for a while. In my sleep state I'd forgotten that my body was damaged and the pain I often get just surprised me by waking me up.

Then last night I'd only been in bed for an hour when I woke up because it felt like someone was shaking me. It took a few seconds to realise it was my body shaking and I couldn't stop it. I managed to turn over to reach my mobile and I quickly sent a text to my partner. It just said, can you come please. He came straight away but by the time he had reached me the shaking had stopped but I still felt very weird and quite nauseous. He felt the muscles in my legs twinging and I realised that all I had experienced was muscles spasms. I vaguely remember having them when I was back in hospital over nine months ago. They've not been so bad since, until last night.

I get a lot of muscle spasms but they are usually the stiff type, you can't tell so much in my legs when I'm having a spasm but you can in my feet. I may even feel brave enough to record it one day. My feet go stiff and my toes separate. Sometimes my feet turn inwards, or outwards (They are not fussy) and during a spasm I cannot move or control them at all. The pain is pretty bad while it's happening, but I have got used to it. This can happen ten or more times a day.

My legs stiffen too but I don't get the twitching type of spasm very often. I get them more when I'm in my wheelchair because my body is in a more 'confined' position. Or late at night when I am tired. They don't last as long as the stiff spasms. I've not had a continuing spasm of such extreme since the very early days of my condition.

So, is it my medication making me worse or is it my condition getting worse?
I don't know so I guess I'll have to speak to a Doctor. I'm going to wait until I get the results of my tests and see if they have any answers first. I know my GP will not have a clue and getting an appointment at the hospital is not so easy.

In the meantime I'm determined not to get any worse, especially before my big day next month.




Thursday, 20 October 2016

Five Super Cool Things About the Place I Live

I'll start close to home and move into the City, see if you can guess where I live.

1. Tudors. 

We live very close to a Tudor Church and one of the oldest school buildings in the Country, they date back to the 15th Century. In front of the Church is a Merchants house and between them they are the finest collection of Medieval buildings in my city.

A photo of the 15th Century Merchants House
The Merchants House


2. Cadburys: 

Yes, chocolate! We live close to the original Cadbury factory and of course Cadbury World. 
Now, everyone knows about Cadbury World and the chocolate factory, but it is in the most beautiful part of my City and most people don't take the time to notice that. George Cadbury built the factory when his chocolate business took off and he had a village built to accommodate his employees and their families. He wanted them to have nice homes which were not as cramped as the general housing of that time. He called his village Bournville after the Bourn river which runs through it. He also named a chocolate bar Bournville but you probably know that already. As George Cadbury was a Quaker there were no pubs built in the village and there are still none today. (However, if you did fancy a drink they do have a licence to sell alcohol at the nearby Rowheath Pavillion, which is also worth a visit.) 
Opposite Cadbury World is a school and the entrance to which has a bell tower. This is no ordinary tower though, it holds a Carillon of 48 bells which are played by a keyboard. The Bournville Carillon ranks as one of the finest and largest instruments in Great Britain. George Cadbury commissioned the Carillon as a gift for his workers in 1906. Because of the way the Carillon is played it is very different to normal bell ringing. You can hear it being played on weekend afternoons. It really is very beautiful. If you visit Cadbury World, do take note of this wonderful building, and if it's the weekend then stop and listen when it is playing.

A photo of the carillon bell tower of Bournville




































3. Canals.

It is said that my city has more canals than Venice! It's probably true but the canals are more wide spread so don't worry, you won't need a gondola. 

I have a canal that runs alongside my house, it's just behind the trees I keep sharing photos of. We can walk along it any time and it really is lovely. We see lots of barges going past. The kids can even walk to school along the canal. If we carried on walking we would end up in the city centre but I can imagine it would take a long time. The train line runs mostly along the canal and takes around 20 minutes to get to the city, so it would take a lot longer walking or by barge.

The canals in the city have been refurbished and you may see one if you visit the International Conference Centre or the Barclaycard Arena. More common attractions of my city. Even the Sea Life Centre is next to a canal. 

Here are some buildings sitting alongside a city canal.

canal buildings in the city centre




































4. BullRing

Now the canals have brought us closer to the City Centre I have to talk about our city Icon The BullRing. 

 attribution


The Bullring Centre was built in 1964 and the Rotunda in 1965. I've lived in this city as long as the Rotunda!

The Rotunda has had a bit of the facelift but the Bull Ring has undergone major redevelopment opening again in 2003 looking very shiny and new and is now one of the most visited shopping centres outside of London.


5. Grand Central.


We had  a pretty big station in our City, it was called New Street Station. If you went up the escalators you could get to a shopping centre called the Pallisades. It was a bit dated and grubby so they decided to give it a bit of a makeover. Ok, they gave it a major makeover, all while the station was still functional. We could watch the changes before our eyes. It's now a very nice place to visit with some fabulous shops. It's been open for just over a year now, I bravely went to visit on opening day.

Grand Central Station






































So, have you guessed? What City do I live in?


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