Tuesday 25 June 2019

What the ....!!!!!!

The next morning and its time to leave Birmingham.  David and Amanda had taken the rubbish up to Cambrian CART wharf for me and were having a good snoop around.  They were told that Dragon Boat Races were happening today at 10am, we loitered hoping to see, but at 10:40 nothing had happened so we untied and slipped away.  
But at Brindleyplace, it was warming up nicely.  The Teams were assembling, the races were at 11am.  
Oh well, we were under way now.

Teams of Vikings.

A partial team in Onesies.

Teams of Flamingoes.

Lok carefully to pick out Super Heroes.

We pootled around the corner and out of Tourist Central.  I was surprised to see these new builds on the loop at Icknield Port, at first I thought possibly student accommodation was told no these are for real people!  
Reminded me of pigeon lofts but I'm sure they'll be wonderful.

I think the beauty of the bridge is lost by this addition of a form of modern art.

David Lewis and I disappeared inside for him to strip down my gas hob.  I left Amanda and my David on the bridge with her sorting out the route, it's a bit all roads leading to Rome sort of thing but we did want the most straightforward road.
"Keep a look out for the islands" I said over my shoulder to both.  Our gas hob was a bit challenging to a cook, today only two rings were working and the second had to be lit by a match.  Not at all annoying.  Luckily our meals of choice are one pot dishes.  

David got out his Swiss Army Knife and took it apart, suddenly BOOOM!!!!! 

I fell sideways, as did every item inside WaL (admittedly they are not that many) but every item was on the floor or on their sides, all the drawers were open, jars fell out of the larder and David Lewis looked a bit white and was clutching at his heart....

No, it wasn't a gas explosion but that idiot husband, mesmerised by another woman had hit one of those bloody islands in the middle of the canal at forty miles an hour or that what it had seemed like.  
Not that I was cross......

I went up on deck "I'm sorry, I don't know how that happened"

Followed by;

"I was looking out for the islands honestly I was"

I told them that we need a doctor for David Lewis who had believed it to be a gas explosion had had a heart attack down stairs.  
We had coffee to settle the nerves while my David got entangled in the reeds that were growing all around the island and disguised it and continued to swear loudly at the situation.  Several more bumps nudges and a lot of bow thrusting as he tried the other way past the island but returned to the first side and finally getting lined up properly and passed through.

Now five years ago we bumped into them being new to Birmingham and had no idea they were there.  These islands are very low, dark in colour and built of brick and metal, sorry no photos, but masses of hirers come through here, I supposed they get warned but they are a little bit of a hazard.

You'll be glad to here that David Lewis recovered his health and general composure and mended it all the hobs with bravery and a bit of Norfolk magic.

Will you believe it Reader if I was to say we hit another island later?  Yes, I know its unbelievable, there are now four documented  and mapped islands on this Main Line section in our guide book highlighted and written too in large letters.  Don't hit them.

David Lewis took over the helm as we rounded the junction to the Netherton Tunnel.  On a bridge over the junction was a couple of walkers, they called out "Are you going throughout the tunnel?"  Yes we replied, "So are we!"  we didn't think much more about it until we were half was through, but they must have been mad, its long, very long, dark and wet but it does have a pavement it's a very long tunnel too.  

Amanda heard a family of ducks and ducklings within, I feared for them as the exits were so far away I don't think a duck would see them, let alone have the sense to swim towards.   Oh well the great circle of life.

It was pretty drippy so we three left David Lewis to it.  When finally WaL emerged, it was a torrential downpour!  

We or rather the men jumped on the first bit of mooring at Bumble Hole I think it is.
Phew, it was lengthy and heavy but final it stopped.  So equipped with coats and umbrellas we ventured out to walk to Ma Pardoe's Pub aka The Swan in Netherton.  A pub of some renown and brews it's own beer on the premises.  
The men liked it.  The pub is a throw back to when folk came to talk.  It was crowded with groups, some eating but most not.  Just talking.  Hardly a phone in sight.

These two photos by courtesy go Google images.

Is this the last holiday with out Boat Sharers?

Around the corner and on a lot was the one and only lock of the day.  We didn't know how Amanda would cope with only one lock to do.  If she minded she hid it well.
We watered up here at Blowers Green I think it's called.  The rubbish point was well hidden, but I can't be beaten in rubbish disposal!

Looking towards the Dudley canal, open on special days throughout the year.

WaL watering up.

Looking south with the one and only lock today open and ready on the right.

Information boards all along the way of canals.

Best bit of warm sunshine we had today.

So on we went, not so very far and eventually arrived at Merry Hill, it's a vast shopping place, with a few pubs too.
Well would you Adam and Eve it?  Just look who is here!  
If you don't know then I refer you back to yesterday's post;
NB Yarwood.

She is looking very clean, shiny and loved, something that will please her last owners for sure.  

We moored up and took David Lewis to his last pub of the day (All Birthday treats for him)   HERE   

He had been told about it and he text a friend of his who is from The Black Country and this friend reported back that he was very envious as it is the best pub in the country, the beer is all brewed here too.    

Now my David has a spacial place for Batham's in his heart having been brought here by Nick, our son-in-law's dad five years ago.  David like many others considers this the best beer in the world, (Maybe David Lewis does now too).  At our daughter's wedding Nick brought down a barrel of Bathams and it proved very very very very popular.  
So Reader if you are near, pass by at your peril.

Photo of The Vine from Google images.

Back to WaL for a supper of spaghetti Bolognese, followed by Eton strawberry Mess, delicious thank you both. 

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