Saturday, 4 August 2012

Big Brown Scouring Pad...

Yesterday I changed our blog profile photo. The previous one was taken when we had a few days off work last September when we were suitably coiffured. Well before the last suit went in the bin I put it to friends at work and family as to whether I buy some clippers and keep everything short and neat or let it all grow. I was quite surprised by the unanimous vote for letting it all grow with Pip even voting for dreadlocks. I must say that I am not bothered either way.

'After' photo to follow
My last shave was 29th March, my last haircut about the middle of January. Looking in the mirror a face stares back through a big brown scouring pad. Its time for a trim, nothing drastic, just a rewind by a few months.

Tamworth was a bit of a surprise when we went in a couple of days ago. We had picked up the Bongo after the docs and stopped briefly on the way through to our newest parking hidey-hole. For some reason I had put Tamworth in the same category as a lot of Birmingham suburbs that I had heard of but never been to, Wolverhampton, Solihul, Edgebaston. I do hope when we eventually travel through those that they are all as nice as Tamworth.

Some of the tick list for a nice town to visit or live in have to be – a good mixture of shops with a pedestrian area, a good degree of historic buildings, open parkland, clean and tidy, countryside close by (within a mile or so), good value places to eat and drink, plenty for kids to do (either entertain you own, or keep everyone else’s off the street corners), out of town supermarket/leisure complexes, river/lake/coast. Now a lot of towns have all these and more. Poole has a lot although very spread out with no room for any more because it merges straight into Bournemouth, then Christchurch. Ok the upsides are the Purbecks and New forest within ten miles or so but that is further than ideal.

Castle and Gardens

Bandstand overlooking the Anker

What I really liked about Tamworth it that it is all so central. There is a pretty castle overlooking the river Anker. Why did towns expand away from their castle rather than keeping it central? The shopping precinct has large glass doors that provide access directly to the pleasure grounds, castle and river, the older part of town runs parallel to the precinct so everything is central. Across the river bridge is more parkland, kids play area, tennis courts and skate park. There are the usual names for eating and drinking which are as popular as ever but an independent place that looked worth a try if we go back was a 99p cafĂ©. Everything was 99p – tea, coffee, baguettes, jacket spuds (plus a further 99p for any two toppings) – great idea but subway still had a queue of holidaying youths spilling through the door waiting to spend £3 on their chain brand sarnie.

The Old Market Hall

One of the many little side streets
Even Thomas Guy had a hand in some of the local architecture, building a terrace of almshouses in the centre of town. Not as well known as his London hospital but still very pretty and still used as it's intended purpose hundreds of years later.

Housing firstly seven poor women and extended to home seven poor men.

Some of the showers have been really sharp over the last few days and we have been lucky to escape them. Never passing up an opportunity we had our foray into the woods to scout for wood. Of course we don't need any right now but if we find some nice fallen oak, ash or beech then it's worth replenishing the stores.

Deb weighs up the afternoons tasks
Today, among other little jobs we sawed, chopped and stored the majority of our collected wood supply. Harder work than previously when the sun is out. The canal has been much busier than the last few days, as I type this ready to post later an old 70ft British waterways working boat and matching butty have just chugged by under the boughs of the crack willow trees.

We will move on a couple of miles later. Although it is a nice spot, we have been here a few days now the trees are blocking a lot of light from the solar panels and blocking the satellite reception so we have been making use of BBC’s digital Olympic radio channel.

Tomorrow, painting out the battery compartment - or maybe the day after, no hurry J

1 comment:

  1. Tamworth looks interesting. We certainly hope the weather improves for you soon. Here its very hot , yesterday it reached 43c in the afternoon, right now its 5am and 33c, hence the reason i am on the internet , too hot to sleep!

    We are busy now packing and getting things sorted here for our trip. Thanks for your advise on the umbrella, we have taken a chance and bought a sun-unbrella here in makro and hopefully it will arrive OK in Birmingham after 3 flights ! if not then we will find a replacement. We have new signs for the boat too and some cushions for the seats in the bow.

    Keep having fun and we shall look out for you on our travels !