Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Big One (16-2)

Friday 27th of July 2012


Late last night the cooling breeze arrived. The air inside the boat changed from warm and humid to cooling and dry. The lightweight duvet we recently purchased at Lidl proved to be something of a boon. 

Well another beautiful start to the day with a flotilla (26) of Canada geese in line astern rippling the water surface. Soon afterwards it was the turn of the bleary eyed late night drinkers to return to their stag night party boats. Then the plodding early morning joggers wheezing their way along the towpath. I find this keep fit malarkey quite tiring to watch!

Later a couple of accomplished lady runners seemingly floated along at high speed. Their feet hardly touching the ground. Stylishly complete with trainers, shades, baseball hats, water bottle and a ponytail that swings in time to the footfalls.

Cultural and ethnic diversity (PC correct gobbledegook) is very apparent in Birmingham as people of many different skin colours and national identities turn up on the towpath. There for a common purpose. I enjoyed the sight of a woman clothed in a plain "Muslim" style of dress standing alongside another woman of the West African origin in her brightly coloured dress and the bright flamboyant head scarf tied in a huge bow.

So what is this shared common purpose?

They are all there to chatter with each other whilst at the same time feed the ducks and geese. I watched as one group of geese precessing along the canal, did a quick about turn when they recognised one visitor with a child in a pram. Soon they were calling to be fed. The lady dived into a carrier bag and brought out a few slices of bread. The child was enthralled and soon wanted to join in with the feeding fun.

At lunch time, there is a "feeding" shift change. Now its the turn of the workers coming to eat their sandwiches on the canal side. The birds seem to know when the crumbs are about to be distributed.

The evening shift arrive sometime after dark. Calling the birds to feed with loud screams, shouts and laughter before feeding the birds with a concoction made up of MacDonald's leftovers or Pizza crusts served up in a tastefully designed cardboard or polystyrene box. The geese have not yet been weaned on to the joy of cardboard or polystyrene as most mornings the boxes are still to be found floating in the canal.

How many canalside rubbish bins are there to be found in the "jewel of the canal crown" that is Gas Street Basin and it's surrounding area - How about zero - nada - zilch - none! So how about a BW rubbish disposal point, zero - nada - zilch - none! Sanitary station, zero - nada - zilch - none! When it comes to disposing of the detritus of the late night pizza or kebab the canal is such a handy place!

Daily Total
Miles: 0.0
Locks: 0
Swing/Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 0.0

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 997.3
Locks: 722
Swing / Lift Bridges: 119
Tunnels: 15
Pump Outs: 12
Engine Hours: 2286.1


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