Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Preparing to leave

We are now moored in sight of the mail box.
On Monday we went to the Alexandra Theatre to watch Thoroughly Modern Millie with Joanne Clifton of Strictly fame. It was an amazing show which we both 'thoroughly' enjoyed!
We knew it was first night in Birmingham, but didn't realise until we were there that it was first night of the tour. Can recommend it, however, doesn't come anywhere near Devon! Bristol being the closest. Not only can she dance, but can sing too. Michelle Colin's was in it too.
Yesterday we got the train to Walsall. We did go there a few years ago by boat, but the train was much quicker! Today it was our intention to move on and I suppose we have. About quarter of a mile. We got water and moored for lunch. It then started to rain so we are staying the night moored just behind where this boat is.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Once more to Birmingham

Gas Street, where the Main Line meets the Birmingham and
Worcester Canal
We made it to Merryhill on Thursday only to find that Sainsburys where we had shopped in November had closed down! Still PC World was open so Paul got himself a new tablet. Another Acer. So between that and the rugby Paul has been well occupied. We stayed there until Monday when we had, for us a long day, and cruised on to Hawne Basin and spent the night there catching up on washing and stocking up with coal and diesel.
Lots of building work and the new library
We also met up again with Anita and Kevin on Tuesday before returning once again to Birmingham. Friends Barry and Leyanne came over from Rugby to see us. So another trip to the pub! 
Today we have had a few flakes of snow and it's very cold so will be staying around Birmingham for a few days yet. At least we have all facilities here.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Locks away!

We headed out of Birmingham on Wednesday. This time we thought we would take a different route back to Windmill End! Previously we have used the New Main Line, very straight and

Galton Pumping Station
 flat. However this time we thought we would go on the Old Main Line! As you may guess from the names this one was built first! It is windy and has 6 locks, 3 up and 3 down, to get us to Windmill End.  We usually make a stop at Galton, either for coffee or lunch. This time it was lunch and as we were on the Old Line this time we were moored on the
The old and the new!
Above is the M5
higher level.
Moving onwards we traveled on under the M5, not the most picturesque! We spent Thursday night at Oldbury where on Thursday morning we shopped in a nearby Sainsburys. However we were surprised to see a garden centre with cafe and mooring where we had visited only a year ago was closed down. Leaving there we negotiated the 3 locks at Brades Hall Junction. The first 2 are a staircase. Just about an hour and half later we moored for the night at Tividale. For a change we are heading now for Merry Hill!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Return to Birmingham

We spent a few nights at Windmill End. Paul helped Kevin with cutting back some trees around his mooring and as a thank you we now have a roof full of wood. So we will be keeping nice and

Amazing Show
warm over the coming weeks!
We returned to Birmingham on Thursday. Not many boats here so plenty of mooring. Went to see Anton and Erin's on Saturday at the Symphony Hall. Just a short walk from our mooring. The show was every bit as good as we had been expecting. They had 6 supporting dancers and Lance Ellington, one of the singers from Strictly. Only booking tickets the day before we had excellent seats with uninterrupted view.
Will be here a couple of days yet before heading back to Hawne Basin again.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Gosty, Ghosty or Gorsty

We had returned to Coombeswood Canal Trust at Hawne Basin so we could help out on their work party on Sunday.
Part of the work party returning from emptying the first load!

You can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Arriving there on Friday afternoon we got on with the important jobs of pump out and laundry, also buying some more coal. Not the time of year to be running out! Also their prices are so good. With pump out at only £8, CRT is more than twice that and we have paid more than £20 on some occasions. The bar and the kitchen are open at weekends. What more could you need!
The top of the tunnel sir shaft. It pops
 up in someone's front garden!

On Sunday morning we had to be ready to go at 9.30, bit of a shock. There were about ten of us and we all went in the work boat to clear some of the trees and undergrowth near the entrance of the Gosty Tunnel. Though I have seen it spelt as all of the above in different places! We were very glad of our lunch when we got back.

Eventually this morning we left the basin and returned to Windmill End. We plan to catch up once again with Anita and Kevin tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Back to Windmill End

After spending a pleasant weekend in Birmingham on Monday we got the train to Leicester to catch up with friends Joan and Dave who live in Birstall. They came and picked us up at the station and we spent a lovely day with them chatting, eating and drinking. We managed to keep busy on Tuesday, so didn't start on our way back to Windmill End until Wednesday.

Frosty Friday morning at Bumble Hole Cafe at Windmill End

Busy polishing the brass
A lovely frosty Friday morning out side the Bumble Hole Cafe at Windmill End. So lovely to see blue sky after so many days of grey skys.  We are getting water and meanwhile Paul is busy in the stern polishing the tiller arm. The rain makes all sorts of marks along it. Once all was done we set off to Hawne Basin for the weekend.

Friday, 13 January 2017

It's all white now!

View from the galley window this morning
We finally left Hawne Basin on Monday, heading back to Windmill End, a favourite spot for us at the moment. We caught up with friends Anita and Kevin in Ma Pardoes on Tuesday evening. Then yesterday saw us arriving in Birmingham. As the forecast is for snow and wind we have taken shelter in the city. Will be staying here for a couple of days at least. The snow has now stopped and the little that laid is fast disappearing.
Hope all is well where you are.