Monday, 23 September 2013

Attractive Birmingham

The rest day wasn’t that restful but certainly interesting.  First thing was the weekly Skype call back to dear old Mum in Perth, WA.  After that Jan headed off early intending to complete her retail therapy before lunch whilst I completed a few small maintenance tasks on Waiouru.  Jan returned having discovered most of the shops wouldn’t open until 11.00am (it was Sunday).  I made her a coffee and we were starting to relax when a voice called out from the non towpath side.  Jan opened the side hatch to see Nick and Jeff on nb Telemachus.  They have been two days ahead of us in our journey around the northern BCN this has let us know what we might expect to find.  Nick & Jeff live in Aberdeen but somehow manage to find the time to head south and do some cruising.  It was our first fleeting meeting and hopefully not our last.

Jeff & Nick

Just after noon we headed for the nearest pub (The Malthouse) for a Sunday roast.

The Malthouse

We both chose the roast beef which I must have found rather tasty because I cleaned the plate.  We then went for a walk around the centre of Birmingham.  Jan wanted to find a Marks & Spencer which we duly arrived at having used Google Maps.  There was a gold statue out the front.

The golden cowboy with Marks & Spencer in the background

We came upon a  second gold statue near Centenary Square.  Unlike the cowboy, these figures didn’t move!

Mathew Bolton, James Watt & William Murdoch

Jan noticed her car had been parked in a side street.  It fell to me to explain we might only be able to afford the polish rather than the car.

She will have to wait for that winning lotto ticket

A number of buildings captured out attention.  It was the decorative brickwork and “Hogswarts” architecture that attracted us to this one.

The name and entrance to this restaurant appeared somewhat exclusive. 

Some of the civic buildings also looked interesting

Jan and I parted company in Centenary Square.  She headed back to Waiouru whilst I wanted to explore the view from the library and then walk around the local towpath.  The library is reasonably modern and quite popular, although most of the visitors were (like me) going to the top storey for the view.

Birmingham Library

The exterior of the building appears to be clad in large circles

The queue for the lifts were very long and in a fit of enthusiasm I decided to take the stairs.  Nine flights later I was at the top where there were some panoramic views.

<blog writing paused here because were received an impromptu visit from a very well known boater and blog writer who owns the following boat>

Granny Buttons is now moored in front of Waiouru and we’ve just had an interesting chat with Andrew Denny.  Back to tonight’s post.

Of course my initial photo focus was on canals.

That’s the top of the Farmers Bridge Locks

Further to the left was Oozell Street Loop and the NIA

The NIA is the round white sponge cake and Waiouru is moored in the middle of the photo.

She is the last boat on the right.  If you can’t see her then the next photo is taken from the opposite direction with the library in the distance.

Sanity returned and I took the lift back to the ground floor before walking to Gas Street Basin for another canal ‘fix’.

Gas Street Basin with BW’s closed James Brindley pub in the background.  Why is it that every other business in the basin appears to be either surviving or thriving and the BW pub has failed?

Sherborne Wharf on the Oozell Street Loop of the BCN.  The apartment buildings overlooking the canal make it an attractive area.  One assumes the residents find the movement of boats below quite interesting.

The only ‘negative’ to this mooring are the local Trip Boats who speed past.


Jennie said...

Hi Tom and Jan, How long are you in Birmingham for and where are you off to next? We are heading for Birmingham and expect to be there by the end of the week. At present we are in Wootton Wawen and are going to come up to Brum via the Stratford Canal and then the Worcs and Birmingham canal. Our blog (nb Tentatrice) is a few days behind as we have had friends aboard (Boatwif and the Captain from nb Cleddau) for a few days and were having too much fun to get sidetracked with a blog!

Jennie and Chris

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jennie,

We are going to miss each other. This morning we left Birmingham and are no on the Grand Union heading towards Warwick.

Pity about that but hopefully there will be another occasion.

Happy cruising

Tom & Jan

nicknorman said...

Hi Tom and Jan

Good to meet you in person, albeit briefly. Hope you enjoyed Birmingham. You timed it well because the library, which you describe as "quite new" was in fact only opened a few weeks ago!

Nick &Jeff