Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A brief visit to Birmingham City

We had a meeting in Birmingham.  Well it was actually a meeting at Heathrow and Birmingham was the nearest major rail connection.

But first I want to mention our 32” Panasonic TV with in-build FreeView and FreeSat tuners.  It’s in perfect working order and needs a good home.  It seems such a shame to dump it in a skip.  Does anyone want it?  Only condition is that you must collect it!

It was the boat trading weekend in Birmingham and all the usual moorings were full, however we managed to find what turned out to be a good mooring away from the usual areas. Jan noticed nb Wandering Bark and we did manage to stop for a brief chat with Helen and bought some jars of her lovely chutney and jam.

The tomato and ginger chutney is delicious!

I had purchased in advance cheap tickets (Birmingham-London) and boarded the Virgin train only to find the carriage full and someone in my reserved seat.  On requesting he vacate my seat I was informed Virgin had cancelled all reserved seating which made me more than a little annoyed.  Eventually I found another seat, but have yet to forgive Virgin…… (it may take some time!)

After topping up the Oyster card I made my way to Heathrow Terminal 3 on the Tube.  Our niece from Perth was arriving on Emirates via Dubai and I wanted to find a position where I could observe her entry into the Arrivals Hall before greeting her.  I’d previously informed her the best way to avoid any touts was to confidently stride through the crowd giving the appearance she knew where she was going (it’s her first time to the UK).  She did very well.  In fact so well that she confidently walked right passed me without even noticing me standing beside a column.

However her immigration and customs clearances had taken longer than I had allowed so it was a frantic dash back to Euston Street Station for the train to Birmingham.  The pressure was really on when; with only 5 minutes before departure time; the Virgin ticket machine refused to accept her booking code.  Eventually I tried a second machine and off we dashed for the train.

With only one full day together we planned a short cruise down to Kings Norton Junction.

This was piece of canal we hadn’t previously done.  At Kings Norton Junction the Worchester & Birmingham Canal meets the Stratford-Upon Avon Canal.  On our last hire boat holiday in 2009 we had come up the Stratford-Upon Avon Canal and turned left, away from Birmingham.  We can now say we’ve cruised all of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

The main reason for deciding to head south was to reach this place.

Because the way to a girls heart is….

Where some serious shopping took place.

We had a lovely dinner together.  One jet-lagged niece managed to stay awake until 9.00pm before crashing into a very heavy sleep.  As expected she was awake at 4.00am, but managed to nod off for another couple of hours.  Hopefully she is now over most of the jet-lag.  We took her to New Street Station for her trip back to London where she is meeting her girlfriends to commence her bus trip around Europe.

6 comments :

John said...

Hi Tom,

If you need to travel by train from Birmingham to London again try Chiltern Railways from Snow Hill or Moor Street stations. Cheaper, more comfortable, free Wi-Fi and Marylebone Station is just as convenient as Euston.

John

Tom and Jan said...

Hi John

That is useful information to know. I'll do some research

Thanks

Andrew Tidy said...

Hi - sorry I missed you last weekend. Glad you like the Wild Side products. Can we "borrow" the photo please? Andy

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Andy, It's a shame thefamily reunion prevented a longer meeting. There will be another occasion! Of course you can use the photo. If you send me an email I'll attached the original.

Best wishes

Tom

Halfie said...

Tom, if the telly is still on offer I'll take it off your hands. The only thing is ... we'd have to do a boat-to-boat transfer. We will be heading north from Milton Keynes in a couple of weeks time.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Halfie
We can do a boat to boat transfer. Where are you going north? You can email me if you like. Address is one the blog!