Sunday, 26 February 2017

Away and back again

Our mandarin neighbour
We finally set off out of Birmingham on Thursday getting as far as Bournville. Yes the chocolate village and home to Cadbury World. We have been there before so didn't venture that side of the canal. On Friday we got the train to the NEC to the 50 Plus Show. We were more interested in seeing the NEC really but it
Lisa came to visit
was a good day out.
Spent the next few days cruising southwards towards Alvechurch arriving there on Monday. The lovely mandarin duck was our neighbour for a few days. My cousin Carole came
Tonight's mooring
to see us on Wednesday with her friend Sandra who lives near Alvechurch.
Thursday saw us heading back towards Birmingham in the midst of Storm Doris. All was well until we came out of Wast Hill Tunnel to find a tree across the canal. CRT were unable to help until the next morning so fortunately we were able to cut our way through as neither of us wanted to spend the night in a cutting with trees either side of us. So with another overnight stop at Bournville we arrived back in Birmingham on Friday morning.  Just in time as Lisa arrived in the afternoon to spend the night. She came with our mail and in the evening we went to see A Judgement in Stone at the Alexandra Theatre.
At the moment the plan is to stay here until Tuesday and then start slowly heading north. But weather forecast could change all that!

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!