At long last, my new website and a new blog are up and running! My old blog, “Light encounters” (http://beatamoore.blogspot.co.uk) is still available, but will not be updated; all new posts will be here. I was not sure what to write in my blog number one, but a nice short trip to Birmingham helped me with my dilemma. As it is “off with the old” and “on with the new”, I think blog from this town might be just perfect! There are some spectacular old buildings there and some stunning new ones, there are also plenty of old warehouses sympathetically restored and transformed into flats, shops and restaurant. For someone navigationally challenged like myself, it was quite a task to get through the suburbs of Birmingham that spread for miles, but I thought it might be easier in the centre. Not so! All this one way streets and underpasses made me go in circles quite a few times. I have placed a sticker on my dashboard: I need to buy sat nav!!! The very first place I wanted to see in Birmingham was the New Library in the Centenary Square. I saw some drawings of the new building designed by Dutch firm Macanoo and wasn’t sure if in reality it will be that great. Was I wrong! It is stunning, so unashamedly modern but so elegant at the same time. Its delicate metal filigree circles fit Birmingham past craftsmanship perfectly. The juxtaposition of it and the classical white Hall of Memory next to it is bold and splendid. Old and new, soft and glossy, white and gold. Love it! One hundred and fifty pictures later (well, perhaps not that many) I have turned away from the building and wow, glad I was I had my sunglasses on! Ahead of me, in front of the Hyatt hotel is the statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch. Gilded so brightly it seems that it sucked all the gold from the top of the New Library plus from all the stars that the Broad Street is paved with! Nicknamed “The Golden Boys” (didn’t I tell you?), the statue is the work of William Bloye and it depicts three pioneers of the industrial revolution in late 18th century England. With my eyes almost shut I have approached the statue and suddenly the feeling of warmth filled me. I like the scrolls in their hands reflecting light in all directions, I like the fancy coats and elegant shoes, I like positive energy of the statue. It is a pain to photograph as camera struggles with highlights but pictures look good, especially when I use Hyatt hotel as a background. After I have finished with the statue, I needed a cool drink, so a short walk to some restful canals and a trendy bar finished my trip.