Saturday 28th September; Birmingham to King’s Norton
We were woken by the first boat leaving at 6.30. There was bright sun once full daylight came, but a strong wind. It didn’t stop us turning easily at Monument Hill bridge, where the towpath crosses a short stub of canal, but the stretch of canal down to the Mailbox acted as a wind tunnel which was uncomfortable to say the least, especially with the sun in your eyes. We pulled in behind a boat on the Holliday Wharf facilities and waited while he finished filling his water tank, before we filled ours.
As we approached the Vale, where there are mooring rings, I spotted a gaily painted cruiser for a photo opportunity. Oh dear! The lens on my camera was making a nasty rattling noise and wouldn’t come out. I wonder if there is a spring that has broken. By the time I got my phone sorted we had gone quite a way past and so it’s not a good photo.
|Cruiser Bob Marley|
Its name is Bob Marley, and it is painted partly in green, gold and red, the colours of the Ethiopian flag as used by followers of the Rasta faith – Bob Marley, of course, being a well-known adherent.
The wind remained cold as we pottered on to the University railway station, and moored for a visit to the Barber Institute, Birmingham Uni’s art gallery. There is some armco here for mooring but the bank is steep and I couldn’t reach down to it without kneeling – two muddy knees later, we were on our way over the bridge and walking down through the university grounds, only to discover the gallery was closed for maintenance of the air-conditioning! Just a bit fed up, we went back for lunch on the boat before moving on. There was light drizzle in the air now.
We didn’t want to go through Wast Hills tunnel today, so moored at King’s Norton playing fields, a few hundred yards from the junction. There are bollards, but a boat was already there. Anyway, they are right outside a cottage and we needed to run the engine – the batteries have been showing their age and we haven’t gone far today. But before we did that Meg needed a walk. She knew exactly where we were and remembered which way to go to the park, even though we haven’t been here for over two years.
The recent rain meant that the overflow opposite the park entrance was running strongly – and noisily - so we moored further back. Unfortunately it is under trees. But the rain this evening was so heavy and prolonged we didn’t notice any tree-drip!