This morning I ventured forth into horrible weather en route for Birmingham and my “English Language Test”. I really dreaded this test because of my poor hearing and my awful accent and a few other reasons that I wont enumerate here. As usual I traveled via Cheltenham and it was one heck of a miserable day to be travelling. Photography will be sparse I am afraid because it was all grey skies, rain and enough wind to make a windsock leave for a quieter area. Last month when I passed through here I had spotted a number of interesting pieces of street art that I wanted to try get images off, but they really did not work out as well as I would have liked.
A bit further on was this beaut. Again, my special thanks to the people that have so much talent, I don’t know who you are but you are amazing.
I really wanted to get an image of the building below but was on the wrong side of the street and could not cross because of a barrier. I did try a far off shot but typically every car in town was trying to turn in there.
Had the weather been better I would have walked around the barrier and taken a shot from close-up but it was miserable with over 25km/h winds forecast and rain too. I really wanted to get to the station as quickly as possible and out of this weather! Fortunately I was able to grab this image near the station without having to detour.
The train to Birmingham was packed and my seat was occupied by somebody else. I was not in the mood to shout the odds so just found another and read as we headed to Birmingham. It was the same train that I had caught last month so the travelling was almost a carbon copy of that trip. Birmingham New Street is a cold uninviting station though. If this was an upgrade then what was the original station like?
Because I had some time to kill I explored that shopping area above the station called “Grand Central” and it was full of those shops that seemingly cater to people who do not frequent stations.
Was that a branch of Wasabi in the the background? that is enough of a reason to come here again one day. I had roughly 45 minutes to kill before I had to be at the testing centre but I just had to make sure that I left out of the correct exit or I would end up lost (naturally I then left out of the wrong exit and almost ended up lost). Had I followed the tram tracks I would have come out where I needed to be anyway.
The place where I needed to be was on the corner of Victoria Square and that was deserted today.
And because there were fewer people I discovered a fountain that I had missed before. It was not working though, but I must check my images from 2015 and see whether it was working back then.
Then it was time for the test. I wont explain too much about it, suffice to say that it was via a video conferencing type connection through a tablet. I used my earphones instead of the hearing aid but that did mean that I could not hear how I sounded. Did I pass? I do not know and will only know tomorrow or Monday. It was hectic though and under normal circumstances I expect it would be easy to pass, but when you are hampered with poor hearing things do take on a different hue. Test over I still had just over 90 minutes to catch my train and naturally I went to…
Satiated I stopped at Tokyo Toys and Anime in Birmingham to buy a figurine of one of my favourite characters. The rain was coming and going and I still wanted to head across to the church of St Martin In the Bull Ring to try for pics from ground level. But the rain really defeated my efforts which is a pity because there were relatively few people around.
Very close to where I took the pic above is the Birmingham Civilian War Dead Memorial which is entitled “The Tree of Life”. Unfortunately none of the images that I took of it were any good, so it is really a bucket list item if ever I am in Birmingham again.
Just after this I gave up and headed to the station. It was raining steadily and I was fed up with it and just wanted to get home. I finally got home at 15H30 and am ready for the weekend, hopefully I will have a positive result because frankly I do not feel up to doing it all again.
Result: Just got my preliminary result and I passed with an AA (which is excellent).
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