Monday, 3 September 2012

Strolling around Birmingham...

The noise in the pub abated by about midnight, of course Deb couldn't hear a thing. The closest pub has a balcony over hanging the wharf. We are lucky to be here though as every time we have been here it has been choca bloc! As we had arrived fairly late on Saturday we snuck onto a pontoon with a private sign on it. I reasoned that whoever should be here probably won't be back tonight. I chatted to a couple moored alongside the lock who, after three years of continuous cruising, had bought a residential mooring here for the next few years. Chances are the private mooring would be theirs but they wouldn't be moving until Monday when CaRT staff are around.

I was up and around early Sunday fretting that someone else may be waiting to get back on their mooring, there was nobody around so we decided on an early walk to check out our surroundings now the hustle and bustle of city centre Saturday has gone.

Towards gas street earlyish Saturday night

We bumped into and had a quick chat with the CaRT lads who refilled the canal the day before and crossed the iron bridges to explore. A few spots if rain were quite refreshing as I was a bit heady from not quite enough sleep (I really need seven hours or so now), the extra exertions of the locks and the fact that we hadn't stopped for a lunch break on route (it was about five straight hours of locking towards the end and ten hours mooring to mooring)

After a bacon sarnie and massive coffee from the 'mailbox', which was pretty good value at £2.95 each we strolled back to LJ. It was an eerily quiet morning baring in mind that we are sandwiched between the city centre and three high-rise blocks of flats. There wasn't a whisper on the moorings either so we relied on a little sun for solar power and kept the engine off.

The mail box at night

Soon after Deb had started her weekly catch-up blog the guy next door started his engine, I held my breath, could he be leaving? Yes he was! We leapt out untied and pushed LJ across to the next pontoon. How lucky was that! We now had a visitors mooring spot for up to 14 days in the centre of Brum.

Pleased that we wouldn't have to change to a canal side 48 hour mooring we set off to have another explore. This time the sun was getting warmer but we took fleeces and a brolly just in case. We walked miles, through the many squares in Brindley Place, back up to the cube, through shopping malls passed new street station to the bullring and back. We even managed to stop for a coffee in front of the bandstand and watched a duo 'lady and the sax' for a while. They entertained with a good variety of music, everything from Elvis to Jessie J. After our grand tour we now had a bit more of an idea of where everything was.

we've got no TV signal in the wharf

Town hall where the festivities start next weekend

 How many street cleaners does it take....etc, etc

He was actually such better on the blues harp than the sax

This was important as we had timed our visit with Birmingham art festival next weekend and needed to know what is happening where. Jess had told us that she would be getting in at new street station and that it was having a lot of work done so we wanted to see where we had to meet her as she would be coming straight from work getting here about 9.30. She has managed to swap a shift in the patisserie and is now arriving Tuesday night through to Saturday before heading to London for a party on the Thames, and then heading back to Poole depending on whether or not her O/H was up in Wembley watching the footie (I can't remember life being quite so hectic when I was a student)

I have a small list of things I want to do here this week so it looks like a busy one.
I want to see the Birmingham Back to Backs, we will be going out for our Balti, Bullring shopping,  Bangra to Blues in Brindley place, Beer Burgers and Bangers from the farmers market...phew

I thought there was a lack of Bees this year, sounds like all the B's be up ere in Brum :-)

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