Saturday 18 December 2010

Proud Mum and Dad

Karl, Karen and Baby Andre.

And a doting Jilly.

Birmingham in the Snow

'MR' at 3pm Saturday 18th December 2010

Sherborne Wharf
This is 6 or 8 inches of snow, it could be either but it depends on whether you're male or female.

Friday 17 December 2010

Mustn't grumble - we cruised!

We cruised to the water point and back. There was a small window of hope that we might escape to the north stratford where we were booked in for xmas. Whilst walking the dogs I met a BW tug and barge that was trying to break through - it had taken him 3 days to cover around half a mile!
So that's that then. Portholes covered in ice and chucking it down with snow again. We have water, expensive fuel (no logging to be scrumped) and shops for food so why am I getting so fed up; should add fat and fed up. Hopeless at being stationary.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Last Night at the Proms

Lesley and Jill waving the flag
Last week saw us at the Symphony Hall again this time to see The Police Symphony Orchestra do their version of last night at the proms, it was a cracking evening enjoyed by all present. 
We had to be on our best behaviour as we were seated directly behind the Chief Constable and quite a few assistant Chief Constables from several forces, but once the second half was under way there was no stopping us, singing/wailing waving throwing, even the scrambled egg took part, High Spirits!

Rings on her finger, bells on her toes/wrists this lady 'll make music! where'er  she goes.

Monday 13 December 2010

New Arrival

At 5am this morning, after 2 contractions, a new addition to my family arrived, weighing in at 6lb 14oz.

Andre Karlton Campbell
Karen  and Andre are doing well.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Second year cruising anniversary dinner

On Monday the 6th December 2010, Caxton and Matilda Rose have been cruising these beautiful lands of ours together for 2 years. 
Cafe Rouge, Brindley Place, Birmingham.

Armed with Tesco vouchers Lesley, Joe, Jill and I had a wonderful meal at Cafe Rouge, we ate drank and became merry, well very merry.
So merry in fact that Jill and Joe were having a chameleon competition, neither quite managed to obtain the right shade, but there again, neither would a chameleon, can anyone tell me why?

Wednesday 8 December 2010

A visitor calls

Since we have been Iced in here in Birmingham, we have been neighbours with a boat named Jacala, and one of our neighbours came to call whilst his dad went to the shops.
Dylan is a cross Border Collie, Jack Russell and is adorable, our boys just love him. He settled down very well until.....

 Daisy came to visit, and he was totally mesmerised by her, she was not so happy having yet another intruder enter her inner sanctum.
Dylan and Daisy stare each other out. Dylan wishes he had longer legs!

Sunday 5 December 2010

Free Jazz in Birmingham at the Symphony Hall

Friday evening after she had returned from a free classical guitar concert at the Museum, Jill persuaded me to go to the Friday Rush-hour concert at the Symphony Hall.
Carol Brewster and her Band
The theme was Jazz, Jill had said if it got too heavy we could leave, but there was no need for that. We had front row seats and the entertainment was superb. I couldn't understand Jill's infatuation with the Sax player!

Thursday 2 December 2010

Bit o' culture in Birmingham

It rather looks as if we could be over wintering in Birmingham whether we like it or not. We expected to stay for about 5 days, but we all know what happened next. With G away at an RAF helicopter reunion in London, I took myself off to the Symphony Hall for a Classic Rock Concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - it was sensational and I bounded back to continue rocking around MR high on adrenalin (there was no one around to bother, only the boys and Daisy and they are used to a lunatic mum). 
Flushed with joy at a reunion with live music, I booked myself into the Town Hall for a lunchtime organ recital on Monday.
A magnificent beast. Unfortunately, due to G returning from London with man flu, I was very tired and had a tendency to nod off. That's my excuse, but it was a little too highbrow for me if I'm honest. So I've gone back to basics and booked last night of the proms and a carol service-bit more suited to an unedumacated me.

Birmingham now starting to look quite festive - this is Brindley Place.

Stalactite hanging under the bridge as we walked home. I can do culture!!

Birmingham's Pantomime Horse Races

The Birmingham Pantomime Horse race took place last Sunday, Jill, Lesley and I decided we needed a bit of an cheery uplift, as we are stuck hard here on the BCN. The crowds were out in their thousands at the German Market and a few spilled over into Broad Street to watch this hilarious event.

Horses and riders lining up to enter the Parade Ring

Competitors pay the event organisers £50 to hire the costume and then are able to raise money for their chosen charity

The Ladies Race was a stylish affair, but as the race went on we saw who were the fillies and who were the mares.

The men's race was a little more hectic, not so much studs more like thugs, sorry lads.

Mens race on the final run in down hill to the finish.

Ah and here comes 'Viagra' a little 'Hard' to control 

And 'Viagra' again with his trews down around his ankles, the pill must have worn off!
We didn't have any money on the outcome, but a good time was had by all. Now off to the Pub for a little warming ales.

Thursday 18 November 2010

King's Norton Junction

These photos of Norton Junction were taken when Lesley and I walked the dogs up from Warstock - there is a distinct shortage of footpath's around here and, because the walks are uninspiring (up and down the towing paths basically), so we are not getting enough exercise to walk off the beer! This is the wooden guillotine lock - the old stop lock, no longer in use.
Looking South down the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.
Stop lock gate at t'other end - looking quit majestic in the autumn sun.

Tariff showing cost per mile per ton of carrying different products.
Lesley and the boys having a quick pose. Below, to the left, looking North up the Worcester and B'ham and, to the right, looking back down the Stratford towards Brandwood Tunnel.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Morris Dancers at Kings Norton

We're hanging around a bit waiting to take delivery of our new mattress at Lyons Boatyard at Warstock, so we wandered up onto the Worcester & Birmingham Canal  to Kings Norton last  Friday.

Woke on the Saturday to glorious sunshine and wandered up into the town to find, not only a farmers market,
but also to find that morris dancers were in town; dancing in front of the old Saracens building and the 14thC church.

This old Lambretta stirred some old memories of the "enemy" although no furry aerials in sight! More a leathers and big engines girl me.

I was careful to say Morris Dancers rather than 'Men' as, apart from the musicians, only two of the dancers were men - they are clearly struggling to keep up membership and I think we should enrol Graham & Joe.
Very special - England at it's finest.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Kings Norton Junction and very welcome visitors

Last  night just before I went to bed I received a message to say that my Cousin Mark  and Lynne were in Stratford upon Avon and where were we? A couple of phone calls later this morning and we had very welcome visitors.

Mark learning the right way to ENTER 'MR'
Baxter taking up his usual position on a visitors Lap
Lynne in the background nattering to Jill whilst Mark and I watch the Grand Prix.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Daisy is offering Nemo swimming lessons

Slobbing out on the boat this morning, G saw a Border Collie hit our bow followed by ripples extending out where Daisy over-shot her safe haven and went straight in on the other side. G shot out into the well deck and I hit the waterside hatches - no trace of her! We were both thinking she'd gone straight down when we saw the sunlight catching drops of water off the stern deck!!!!! In the time it took me to open the side hatches, she'd swam 66ft of boat and exited via the rear tipcat (should it be called an exitcat?) and was shaking water off of her coat. She's always been a strong swimmer, but that was impressive. Now David and Sue on NB Beefur have recently acquired a kitten called Nemo who seems to be finding difficulty in staying out of the water. I've had a word with Daisy and she's happy to teach Nemo the basics (ie crawl, breaststroke and butterfly) plus exit techniques  using fenders, tipcats, branches, dogs tails, etc..
This was our mooring at Dickens Heath as we left today in the sunshine. We needed water and we needed to make arrangements for delivery of our new mattress, so we moved up to Warstock to see if Lyons Boatyard would let us have it delivered there. They kindly said that we could. A pint in the dog friendly local also revealed a quiz tomorrow night, so we, weather permitting, might just give it a go if we can keep Lesley up late enough.

G taking MR under Shirley lift bridge. I liked this one, all it takes is the twist of a key and the push of a button to drop the barriers, lift the bridge and stop the traffic and joggers. POWER; I love it.

Monday 8 November 2010

Dickens Heath

The Management company who run this complex think that it's a little down market to call the Stratford Canal a canal, instead they call it the Stratford on Avon Waterway, 1 bedroom apartments start a £116,000
 4 Bedroomed town houses £350,000
 Unfortunately this development is like a ghost town, talking to a local some of these units(many of them) have been unsold for at least 2 years.

However, there is a handy Tesco Express and wine bar available!