Thursday 16 April

As I cleaned the boat Storm and Max went off with a short shopping list into Alvechurch.

They returned with the most important item, some wine and a bread loaf, but were a little baffled as the local co-op didn’t sell any fruit and veg.

We later discovered that Alvechurch has ‘secret’ shops. The ‘florist’ apparently sells fruit and veg but doesn’t advertise the fact and a miscellaneous shop next door to the post office that just carries a sign ‘We are open’, is where you should go if you want fresh bread. There is no sign of bread in the window, nor smell of baking from outside.

At lunch time there was the sound of a diesel motor starting up and the crane in the boatyard opposite was getting ready for action. It was time for Lilyanne to fly again and return to her rightful place afloat.   It was an anxious time and Pip and Mick watched from a safe distance as their home dangled in mid air, held aloft by just two strops…

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After all the excitement, we decided to move both boats two and half miles to Hopwood for a change of scenery as Pip and Mick have been in Alvechurch for nearly a week now.

We passed under the M42, and passed the Lower Bittell reservoir where the sorry sight of a burnt out narrow boat met us. We then entered the long straight cutting before arriving in Hopwood.   We moored up and got the chairs out on the tow path and sat and had a cup of tea.

Pip and Mick came for supper at about 7pm and we had another very pleasant evening in their company and the time flew before they left at about 11.

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