I commented when I first moved here on the fact that there are a lot of parks about – an unusually high number, in my admittedly limited experience of cities. So far today I have visited two of the green spaces within a few minutes’ journey from my flat. This morning was the local farmers’ market, based in the grounds of a community cafe and church just up the road (it’s also where my running group meet for club runs, so I go there a lot). I bought a bag of fruit and vegetables to tide me over until next week when my next fruit and veg delivery box arrives – I’ve increased the frequency to once a week, since I’ve been so hungry at and after uni this week that I’ve devoured almost everything I got last week already – and wandered around looking at the various stalls.
Then after a quick lunch, I got on my bike and cycled through unexpectedly glorious weather along cycle route 5. For some reason I’ve been resisting route 5. Every time Google maps has instructed me to follow the cycle route, I’ve stubbornly adjusted the map to take me along the road instead. I think I was envisaging a land-locked twin of the canal towpath, which is narrow, heavily used and usually muddy. But in fact the cycle path was glorious! It’s paved, comfortably wide and winds through parks and green space, usually next to a small river. If it weren’t for the awkward road junctions I’d need to navigate at the end of the cycle path, I would take that route to university instead of the muddy towpath, but unfortunately the traffic on the junctions is heavy enough to put me off entirely.
Anyway, I wended my way along the cycle route to Cannon Hill Park, where the Midlands Art Centre (mac) is based. I was there for a job interview with a new babysitting agency, which went well and hopefully will lead to some occasional or possibly even regular work. Although I’d seen mentions of the mac on various websites and brochures, I hadn’t quite appreciated what it was or how glorious the park around it is. I’ll definitely be going back there, especially in the summer although this gorgeous weather is pretty tempting as well. There’s a boating lake, a big park with lots of paths for cycling, a small funfair which might be temporary but I wasn’t sure, several children’s play areas, picnic benches, lots of bike parking, and of course the arts centre itself which has a cinema, theatres, art galleries, a cafe… I am even more certain that I want to stay here for the rest of my life!