2. As t__m__i said, we went to see the disability athletics (or whatever you call it, general term other than 'Paralymics' is not fully established) in the Alexander Stadium. This amused me slightly as this is the location I have to send forms / cheques for England Athletics, though I didn't see the offices anywhere. This particular bit of Birmingham looks slightly less unlovely than it used to, but Birmingham as usual could do with a wash and a coat of paint. Also more properly separated public transport i.e. not caught in the permanent traffic jams.
Having seen the dog stadium from the bus I can see why Alex got so excited when he saw the running track at Tilsley Park - though Perry Barr greyhound stadium used to be the Birchfield Harriers' athletics stadium before they moved to the Alexander Stadium (and the greyhounds moved from another stadium to the current one) which explains perhaps why they look so alike. (He also got very excited at seeing a horse trailer this morning for some reason).
We had very good seats for the athletics (for 5 pounds each), just in front of the long jump pits and the start of the sprints - basically at the side of one of the cheaper stands closer to the main stand. There were also small children with blades / wheelchairs, possibly the stars of tomorrow - I was slightly surprised they didn't have subsidiary events as the warm up to the main event, but they didn't.
3. Did I mention we had a trip to Lille on EuroBadger? There was a tiny bit of drizzle on a day which was hot in London, oh well. We went to the organic / wholefood restaurant we found on Happy Cow - and had to move indoors from the balcony because of the rain. The food was the sort of stuff you expect in organic / wholefood places - they did us the cauliflower tart without cheese. We went to the art gallery in Roubaix (which you get to via tram / underground - we went on the tram but it turned into a replacement bus service).
I don't understand why it isn't a more popular / well known destination for day trips from London. Everyone is very friendly, when we were looking at maps etc. we were approached and asked if we needed help three times.
The underground is, as I have said before, a bit odd - as though there was a line from Oxford to Didcot via Abingdon etc. completely underground - this isn't 100% analogous as the area is a bit more urbanised.
4. It was a bit hot for Alex at the Parkrun today, so again he only did one lap. The idea was to just run with him for a few hundred yards since he wouldn't care how far he ran as long as he did for a bit (e.g. the length of a greyhound race), but we didn't get there in time for me to position myself. He was very excited though at the prospect of going, so clearly he couldn't be left behind.