Saturday 30 June

Last Saturday morning, after an enjoyable evening out on the Friday night, we woke to clear skies.  Andy and Mandy were up and about quite early and they came to say their ‘goodbyes’ as they were keen to head off before it got too hot.   Pip and Mick heard us chatting and they too came to wish them a good journey.

We spent the rest of the morning quietly packing and at lunch time we too said our ‘goodbyes’ to Pip and Mick before heading off towards New Street Station to catch a train back to Chester.   This commitment had been in the diary for some time and something we’d planned our trip around.  Mark and Laura were both heading off abroad with work commitments; one to Italy and the other to Florida,  leaving Summer and Joseph with us.

We were happy to leave the boat in Birmingham, something we’ve done many times before.  There are 14 day moorings here which are overlooked by flats and there is a steady footfall of pedestrians so the area is well policed.

Day time view of our mooring

… and a night time one

Laura and Marc had left us a list of jobs to do while the kids were in preschool and nursery, so on the three days when they were out all day we cracked on with these.  With temperatures in the high 20’s/early 30’s we tried to work indoors or in the shade.   On the two days when Joseph was off nursery and Summer only in pre-school in the morning we spent the afternoons at Sandy Lane Park beside the River Dee.   A brilliant place to take young kids as it has an area of water jets for the kids to run through and we all had a great time keeping cool.

Today we’ve returned to Birmingham for a rest.

Our journey was a little longer and more complicated than planned due to a point failure near Wolverhampton which added another hour to our journey.  Not what you want on a boiling hot day.   We were advised to leave the train at Stafford, catch the London train to Euston, get off at Tamworth and from their catch a cross country train to Birmingham.

I don’t quite know what is going on in Birmingham at the moment but all the streets between the station and our mooring seem to be ‘under construction’ and the once familiar pedestrian routes had disappeared so finding a path back to the boat was challenging.

We were so glad we’d left the boat electrics on as it meant we had two cold beers in the fridge to revive us.

I popped to the shop for some milk and a bread loaf and we had poached eggs on toast for our tea.

Tomorrow we will slap on the sun scream and continue our journey southwards.

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