Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Towpath grass cutting, and a visit to our favourite Birmingham curry house

We had another day of light cruising, moving from Warings Green Wharf on the north Stratford Canal to Bridge 5 on the same canal, two-and-a-bit hours later.

On the way we saw something to delight many towpath moorers: the vegetation being cut back.

The team of three were being careful not to cut where there were already boats moored; the strimmer operator even paused while we cruised by. This will be of especial interest to Nev on Percy, who suffered a couple of nasty cases of inconsiderate grass cutting a while back.

This stretch of canal brings you by imperceptible degrees into built-up Birmingham; in fact, it's not really until you're on the Worcester and Birmingham very close to the city centre that you're suddenly aware that you're in a truly urban environment.

The section of Stratford Canal we did today is tree-lined most of the way. The sun penetrates with difficulty but, where it does, the light bounces back into the foliage and creates a magical effect.

One place where the trees give way is Shirley, where the electric drawbridge operates silently and quickly to allow canal traffic through with the minimum delay to road users. And it's a lot easier than Lift Bridge 28!

The still, bright conditions were great for reflections.

After tying up at Bridge 5 (Yardley Wood Road) we went to Kings Heath for shopping. I cycled, while Jan took the bus. Kings Heath has a long and amazingly busy high street. Busy, that is, with shoppers, not just traffic. We've been there many times before, so we knew our way around.

The first thing we did was go to a small café I knew for lunch. I slightly overdid it, considering what was to come later, with a fabulous full English breakfast (2 egg, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, 2 hash brown, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, 4 pieces of toast and a mug of tea - all for £4.99). I donated one rasher of bacon to Jan to go with her jacket potato, but I left a clean plate.

And then, in the evening, we went to our favourite curry house: The Sweet Chillies. Despite only going when we're in Brum, which isn't really all that often, the owner recognises us and welcomes us warmly. Their Peshwari naan is simply the best. (No, that isn't all I ate!)

No comments: