You have reached your (first) destination

First time we’ve ever managed to moor here – some obliging fellow was just moving off so we didn’t hesitate

So how did yesterday rate on my 1-10 Happy-ometer? I think a stonking big 11. A gentle pootle up to Brum central, a just vacated mooring on the Oozells Loop that I snuck into without demur, a bit of shopping, some overdue abluting, a simply wonderful meal at Lasan, and out like a light as soon as we crawled into the bed ‘ole. Simple pleasures, but the best ones.

Some extra notes. Wast Hill was remarkably clear for once; previous passages have always been through a ghoulish miasma, setting my imagination running and seeing Kit Crewbucket loom out of every brick. We didn’t meet any boats either, so no  mid-bore games of chicken. Shame.

Follow the trade – canal carrying lives

We also had a quick ‘stop and collect’ to do on behalf of the first mate. One of his customers lives a minute from the cut at Bourneville so arrangements were made for him to hand his busted synthesizer over for Andy to fix – long live canal carrying. It’s a heavy beast too, quite useful as compensatory ballast for the cack tank in fact.

Unfortunately this rendezvous meant that we were unable to avail ourselves of an enterprising canal-side facility, the Barge-Thru Cafe; it also meant I had to politely refuse a gentleman boater’s kind invitation for a coffee, a cappuccino no less. This was offered while Andy was below, but I think he was more enamoured of the boat than its captain; a strong gambit though, you can’t fault a man for trying.

My sort of cafe

While watering at Holliday Wharf, a lovely couple who had just come into the city to give notice of their marriage got some snaps of themselves and the boat, and they were very interested in the whole subject, citing Great Canal Journeys and confirming once again Tim and Pru’s PR value. They thought initially I was a trip boat and asked how much…now there’s a thought.

So nice not to have to park the car

Once we’d moored, I took a wander with the hounds, spotting FMC Bream and Barlows’ Gort opposite one another on the main line (both looking very fine, I might add). I hear from Sarah on Chertsey that a further historic flotilla is coalescing from the east along the bottom road and I know that the Finchers on Flamingo are coming up the North Stratford. The clans are gathering!

Bream and Gort pit-stopping in Brum before presumably heading for Brownhills

Final note a propos of nothing but encouraging all the same for the Challenge in May….not one thing on the prop yet. FLW.

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