After a great night out on Friday at The George Hotel in Lichfield, Barry managed to achieve his canal fix over the weekend, though it was touch and go for a while! We were meeting up with Andy, aka Captain Ahab, who'd informed us he was somewhere between Tipton and Oldbury.
Without either an A to Z or a GPS, just a road name and a large AA Road Map, it was rather challenging. I was just about to give up, saying I'd had enough and we'd have to stop somewhere to buy an A to Z, when we spotted Andy at the side of the road - hurrah! He'd said he was on Dudley Road West, but in fact it turned out to be Dudley Road East - we'd been travelling round and round in circles looking for the west of the east road (!) and been on the way to Sedgely, wherever that is, before turning round!
Barry fills up with a cooked breakfast before the canal clean-up
Hurrah! Finally we found the Captain!
Barry was a bit late for the canal clean-up that was in full swing, but he did manage to pull out a few plastic bags and other random bits and pieces. Following the work party, he and Captain Ahab and Jeff found their way back to Wand'ring Bark and took a short trip to the pub to celebrate St Patrick's Day, had an overnight stay and then a cruise back to the Marina - Barry would have been in his element.
Collecting him from Whitchurch Rail Station on a sunny Sunday evening, we stopped off at Grindley Brook for a bit of a waterway walkabout ...
Grindley Brook, a few minutes drive from where my daughter Lisa lives
Tomorrow Barry's catching a train back to Birmingham to meet up with some more friends, Fred and Sara from Sheffield, and Lisa and I will drive back to Ombersley with our adorable grandson.
Barry's hand and our grandson's hand etched to compare 56 years, versus 2 years of age!
Only eight days of our trip left, we knew it would fly by and it certainly is, but we're having a fabulous time and it's so uplifting to spend time with my family - and we know that when we return to New Zealand we'll be on the countdown to coming back to live in 12 months time when we won't have to rush around so much either on the canals, or with family and friends.