Please don't take my bottle

Sudo had to have a load of teeth out a while back because he will not let us clean them. And if he wouldn't let us before, the existentialism that would force a person to acquiesce has not hit him yet so it's probably only going to get worse.

He used to love playing with these bottles but went off it after his extractions. Now he's apparently back on it as if nothing happened. Dogs are smart.

This sofa is filthy because it's a dog bed now so don't start.

Sunday Rock-pooling

Tabitha wanted to go rock-pooling; Charlotte wanted to make soft pretzels. Who am I to argue with either of them?

Incredibly hot day today. Perfect for someone with my complexion to be standing in direct sunlight for an hour!

This guy was just playing his wooden flute, as you do.

Can't be hanging out with us if you have that fear of stuff with holes in

Best to follow the seagulls - they know where all the interesting stuff is. Only saw dead crabs, fish and shrimps. I think they beat us to it all.

This guy was chipping off the groyne stones. In case you needed any more reasons not to climb on these things.

Birmingham 2019: Day 4

Final day mooching around Birmingham, and the obligatory shots of Grand Central, which I love. The change from the Pallasades is unreal. Had to try and get some nice shots with all this lovely mirrored panelling.

Before the drive home, we did the obligatory Finding of Some Sort of Animal Park, and ended up back at Cannon Hill Park for the nature reserve. It could've been the grey day, or the fact that we were right next to a busy road, but this was a very sad one. I took a lot of pictures, but most of the animals looked super sad or bored. Not into it. Two-toed sloths and baby monkeys, though!

The meerkats know when it's nearly feeding time!

I am very glad to be home. It's not really been a relaxing break from work!

Birmingham 2019: Day 3

We went to Cadbury World. I haven't been for absolutely ages, and I've heard that it's kinda rubbish compared to what it used to be. It's a lot more abstract than I remember - I'd be more interested in looking at the factory, and the production process, but obviously kids would not be interested in that! It was fun to write your name in chocolate and do some tempering, though. I've wanted to do that since I saw it being done at BeChocolat, and it's exactly as satisfying as I'd imagined.

You get a reasonable amount of free stuff - it's basically three bars each. I remember it being more, but since they sell misshapes in the gift shop now, they're not going to be giving them away as well I guess.

Writing your name in chocolate is more satisfying than it has any business being

I feel like I was born to temper chocolate

These burst chocolate pipes look unappetising to me.

The merch is some of the best I've seen in a place like this before. It's normally naff but there's loads of good plushes and clothes here. Plus, large bags of misshapes!

Tabitha wanted to be covered in the chocolate we bought and were given

We went for a wander beforehand and saw a couple of things.

We're definitely not in Brighton.

Birmingham 2019: Day 2

I've cycled the canal network before, but fancied going on a canal boat trip, as there's parts with no path, so we picked one up this morning. Unfortunately, to pack as many people on, they squished everyone up and we ended up in a position where you could almost see nothing. So that was great. Got a very grudging refund though.

Birmingham's new(ish) library is quite raucous. I don't know if I like it

We went to the Jewellery Quarter. I think we all had a different idea of what this place would be like, and it probably was that way 100 years ago. So we went for a wander and found a cemetery. There was a volunteer caretaker who gave us a map. Easily the best cemetery visit I've ever done.

They're renovating the catacombs. Which would be a great name for a black metal band.

Then we came back to the centre for food and the obligatory wander around the Bullring. I nearly bought some trainers but they were a little small (and I don't need more shoes). I do want more shoes, though.


We went to the highest-rated restaurant in Birmingham and honestly I'd never have gone in there without these reviews. From the outside it looks like a standard breakfast café, but the vegetarian breakfast was lovely, and they swapped out stuff I didn't want (mushrooms and tomatoes) which loads of places won't do. They do mozzarella and cheddar on toast, which Charlotte and Tabitha had (but Charlotte added mushrooms). I had a bit of Tabitha's, owing to her glacial eating pace, and that was delicious too.

We went to The Warehouse Café for lunch/dinner and I had the best burger I've had in absolutely ages. Seitan doner meat and a fake-meat patty, coleslaw was delicious. Fries were a bit chunky for my tastes so Charlotte and Tabitha shared them. Charlotte had halloumi "fish" and chips, and they managed to get the battered halloumi to stay nice and crispy. I've never had that - the moisture from the halloumi always soaks the batter and makes it really cakey and unpleasant. Tabitha's Buddha Bowl (emphasis on Buddha) was huge and she loved mixing all the ingredients together. Would definitely return here - some of the best vegetarian-only food I've had for ages.