Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bears in Birmingham

Wednesday 9th August; The Vale to Birmingham

I woke a couple of times during the night to the sound of rain beating on the roof.  Then, well before 7, we were rudely jolted awake by a boat going past MUCH too fast. As Chuffed settled again, we could hear him (must have been a bloke surely!) increase the revs, then as the slapping of his wake against our hull slowly subsided, he upped his revs again.  Ah well.  Back to sleep.

We got up to rain, had breakfast to rain.  The Met office forecast on the computer said it would lessen mid-morning then stop, and so it proved. Before we left I walked Meg along the path which runs behind the trees near to the railway; it runs a couple of hundred yards behind a series of grassy areas interspersed with clumps of trees.  It’s away from the towpath so better for dogs.

We set off around 10.30.  We needed water but Holliday Wharf was fully occupied.  Filming was taking place as we came to Worcester Bar; they didn’t ask us to stop so we didn’t, and the couple being filmed just carried on with their conversation.  I wonder what it was for?

                   1 filming got us too1 filming got us too

We rounded Old Turn junction as the musical chimes rang for 11 o’clock, and went down to Cambrian Wharf where we turned and waited for water.  A hire boat was topping up, and we waited for them to finish.  Although there are two taps, the flow is not very good and we thought we’d let them get done before we started.   After an hour, with another boat having arrived and started to fill, we called it a day and went to moor just beyond the Arena.  We would have preferred to be on the Sea Life Centre side though, where the foot and bike traffic is less, but the moorings that side had all gone.   There was noisy road-mending work happening just a few yards away too, but beggars can’t be choosers as they say.  The restored BW boat Scorpio passed by.

4 scorpio passes

After lunch we had to go shopping; bits and pieces which needed Boots, M&S etc.  We also returned the end of a baguette to Sainsbury’s; we got it yesterday in Selly Oak, and when Dave cut the remains to make lunch today he discovered something black and soft in the middle.  Yuk.  It was probably a squashed olive or something like that but it means that the mixing equipment had not been properly cleaned at Selly Oak.  So back it went.

As we walked through the town we saw several decorated bears.  It is a project of some kind though I can’t remember what, and when it finishes the bears will be auctioned off for a good cause which also escapes me.

aurora bear   repair work

I thought Aurora Bear was still being decorated, but the girl was carrying out running repairs on all the bears.

shakesbear  Shakesbear (groan) was in the pedestrianised New Street and popular with the kiddies.

live long and prosper

Live long and prosper! I am only showing off that I can do the Vulcan greeting, but I am sure a trekkie would tell me I’m not doing it quite right!

                 bearindley placebearindley place 2 

This is Bearindley Place (another groan).  It is decorated with a loose interpretation of the local canals.  Very loose.

We ate in Zizzi’s, which was very pleasant especially with a money-off voucher, and returned to spend a quiet evening in.

Under 2 miles, no locks, and one tunnel, though I don’t think Broad Street tunnel should really count.

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