I finally managed to shake off the bug and get to mum and dad’s – but not until Sunday. I rarely ‘do’ ill, it’s so unpleasant isn’t it?
It did however force me to sit still for three days. To rest and reflect. And, looking on the bright side, when I wasn’t too fuddled it enabled me to catch up on a number of projects.
Saturday night fever
Barry meanwhile got us into the centre of Birmingham on Saturday, one of our favourite places. Though on reflection probably not the most ideal mooring on a Saturday night.
Arriving around tea-time, spaces opposite the Sealife Centre were all taken, Gas Street Basin where we’ve previously moored a few times was full (well there’s only two spots there to begin with!), so we plumbed for the prime location below. Well it would be ideal if we were off on a jolly into Birmingham.
It was fun with the side hatch open – for a while. When one man poked his head in and cheekily asked for a pasty, I reluctantly relented and shut up!
This photo below looks so serene, no hint of things to come …
Actually I’m building you up into believing that we had a dramatic and dreadful time. We didn’t. It did, however, become extremely noisy on both sides. There were trip boats to the left of us, and revellers to the right, making us feel like the peaceful party poopers in the middle!
A number of hen parties went past on open fronted narrowboats, music blaring, women of all ages dressed up in their finery singing raucously at the top of their voices clutching their pina colladas. The Away2dine trip boat, with relaxed diners on board, glided quietly past too, as did a fair few fellow narrow boaters, one of whom was even brave enough to moor behind us.
People passing on the walkway continued well into the early hours. Sitting cocooned in our boat, we never felt threatened, but admittedly Barry did jump up from watching a DVD when the boat gave a rock to the right and we heard the distinct sound of someone running over the roof of the boat! He was well gone by the time Barry unzipped the hatch and shouted “Oy you!”, as menacingly as it’s possible for the laid back kiwi!
A relatively minor incident, but one that could scare some people into believing that Birmingham is a dreadful place. One of those stories that could be embellished to your heart’s content to scare people into avoiding this buzzing city.
It was just one of those spur of the moment silly pranks that seem hilarious after a few pints, or just when you’re caught up in foolishness with your mates.
It took me back to my days living in Sutton Coldfield, about twenty minutes from the city, when I’d enjoy the occasional night out here. Not that I ever ran over a narrowboat or anything vaguely similar! But I do recall the feeling of just wanting to have a good time on one of the rare occasions when I could enjoy a night off work.
Apart from the constant hum of voices well into the early hours, that was as bad as it got. I just put my ear plugs in and slept soundly.
This was the scene on Sunday morning as I walked away from the boat to catch the train to Droitwich …
Barry moved a short distance yesterday, closer to the National Indoor Arena, and sometime today he’ll be setting off towards Netherton for our festival at the weekend.
I’ll be returning to the boat tomorrow, by train, meeting him at a place called ‘Dudley Port‘, which sounds like it could be at the seaside not in one of the most built up areas of England!