On Friday evening we reported back to BMI Priory for David’s post operative appointment with Imran Masood. Imran was pleased with David’s eye and also pleased with the fact that Pakistan beat NZ at cricket a couple of days before. We told him it was our gift to him. And the less said about yesterday’s game against Australia, the better, OK?
David’s IOP (intraocular pressure) was 12 in both eyes and his acuity is 6/9. Apparently that is pretty good, especially for a man who has previously been partially sighted. So now I am pressuring him to start doing some of the steering. Boat, but not car or motorhome … The former is safer because it is made of steel and travels at 3mph. The latter two are less structurally robust, and if David was at the wheel, would probably do the same speed as the boat. And, as I think I may have mentioned, there is a tetchy relationship between me and patience.
|Superhero, or safety man? They do the job of protecting him and that is all that matters.|
We are now on the move again – the weather has cleared up, Salvi and Ann are here, and we are boating! Having two more steerers on board is great, as well as it being great fun playing cards (5 Crowns and Up and Down the River), talking c*ap, and doing lots of laughing.
|Declared the most comfortable bed for ages - those duvalay topper pads are good value!|
Salvi and Ann have been doing their big adventure over the last few months, travelling up into the Arctic Circle, doing a river cruise from Vienna to Nuremburg, going with other friends (they have other friends??) to Greece and Puglia in Italy. They have spent time in Italy on their own, and then came over to Truro to spend time with Ann’s cousin. Then, oh fabulouso, they came to stay with us.
They have been with us three nights now, and so far the maxim about fish and friends doesn’t apply. Of course, that could all change …
We had an afternoon and a night down at the top of the Tardebigge flight (same place we stopped with Bernice and Roy), and we all walked a fair way down the flight – Ann and I went further, and did a bit of cleaning up after 4 teenagers who had clearly gone to sit by the reservoir to drink beer (Stella) and smoke. We brought their cans back to the boat for disposal, damn their eyes!
|The top lock and that is Waka Huia on the right. A lovely spot. Bernice and Roy will notice that this time, we winded before mooring up ...|
|Salvi is an engineer and was interested in lock operations.|
|This is the old pumping station building that is now a very lovely home. Those are three kiwi tourists looking admiringly.|
|This is the manky scum that gathered at the head of a couple of the locks - that duck had just swum through it and back out. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!|
|Is it just me, or does that wall slope outwards at the top? Is it a design feature or a flaw or age and settling?|
|Regardless, it is a very attractive church. I it doesn't have a cross on top of the spire - it's a wind vane. So that's OK then!|
|Salvi on drinks duty.|
In the morning we filled with water (Salvi and me), emptied the elsan (me), emptied the rubbish (Ann) and then Salvi steered us back to Alvechurch for a pump out – well, we thought it might be wise … Then on in to Edgbaston with Salvi on the tiller.
|See, Mick, Salvi does the rope trick too ...|
We threw Ann and Salvi off before Kings Norton Junction so they could get a cab to a cemetery in Birmingham to see the site where Ann’s baby brother had been buried 65 years before, before her mum and dad emigrated to NZ. Ann and David had done the investigation on the net and Ann had made the call to the sexton – the cemetery closed at 4.30, so we had to make sure they would have plenty of time.
David and I continued in to Edgbaston. Much faffing ensued at the moorings while we tried to find the best space. But what a lovely place to moor – so peaceful and friendly with walkers and cyclists and other boaters coming past. It was very hard to realise that we were within a mile or so of the centre of Birmingham. And what was interesting (to me, anyway) was that I have absolutely no memory of the details of the canal from our trip in their in the company of Laughing John a couple of years ago. Apart perhaps from the rubbish in the cut. That was familiar.
We walked to BMI Priory – a 20 minute walk away through the most beautiful suburb and the university. Edgbaston is the Parnell or Remuera, the Khandallah of Birmingham.
The appointment with Imran was very heartening, and David is clearly seeing much better. So the next appointment in a fortnight will be with Imran and Pete, and we think it’ll be the last one required if all continues as it has been.