As soon as I open my mouth people instantly know I'm "not from around here". We exchange pleasantries, and the infamous question emerges..."So, WHY did you move to Wolverhampton?" Followed by a list of reasons why Wolves (Wolverhampton's nickname) is not the ideal place to live. Of course I give the polite answer of...."work reasons", but that's not the entire truth. I'm thrilled to live here! Wolverhampton is like an hidden unpolished gem.
(Above: Lady Wulfrun, founder of Wolverhampton)
I am surrounded by history at every corner, people who are tough and "don't take no chit" (as my loving father used to say), but who are polite, know how to have a good laugh, and make you feel welcome. My neighbors will stop and talk to you in the street, with a warm smile and hearty conversation. Our local grocer will give the boys a piece of fruit every time we pass his shop...just because.
(Above: Discovering the sweet shop with Donna & Vicki.)
There is an indoor and outdoor shopping center with food carts lining the streets, an accordion or guitar player (depending on the day), sand artist, fire breather, and juggler to entertain you while you shop, a showpiece fountain, and St. Peter's Collegiate Church (which stands on the site of a 10th century monestary) at the end of it all, sitting atop a hill, showcasing it's beautiful gardens and lovely architecture.
(Above: Liam playing in front of St. Peter's Collegiate Church)
Not to mention the fact that this area is the birth place of the industrial revolution. I mean, where else can you book high tea and go to a pub that would make Ozzy Osbourne feel at home?! In Wolverhampton's heyday the main road from London to Holyhead (where you catch the ferry to Dublin) went, and still does, go through the center of town. This made Wolverhampton grow from a farm town to a bustling city. You can see it's history at Wightwick Manor, Mosely Hall, The Black Country Living Museum, Bantock House, Boscobel House, White Ladies' Priory, and much much more.
(Above: High tea at Gluttons for Nourishment. )
(Above: Partying Ozzy Osbourne style at the Giffard Arms. Thanks to my awesome gal pal Vicki Frost for capturing the moment!)
Also, did I mention I can walk to the grocery store, bakery, hair salon, nail shop, bank, the park and pool, gift shops, and tea houses all within 7 minutes?
(Above: Shops just off of High Street | Tettenhall, Wolverhampton)
You can look at where you are in many different ways, but from where I'm standing, Wolverhampton is spectacular, a city rooted in history and still reinventing itself for the modern age. It's an old city with tons of new beginnings (the church cathedral on Tettenhall Road has been remastered into a technology company's headquarters). This multi-cultural city is on the move and has so many things to see and do...I'm thinking I'm living in a city that's constantly reinventing itself.
(Below: Wolverhampton Art Museum)
(Above: A few shops just off the High Street | Wolverhampton)
Wolverhampton's Motto: Out of the darkness cometh light.