Priority number one was getting the pump out as all of us were nervous at the prospect of finding out exactly how much space was left. The ice and snow has all vanished. We found the marina had several people working at it and having made sure they knew we were waiting, we hovered at the other side of the canal. Several times someone would emerge from the office or come towards the pumping station and we would think this was it. I realised I would have had plenty time to explore the inside of the church we had seen yesterday. So I decided to explore. I had read yesterday that if was open to the public daily.

It was a short walk to the church and I met a woman walking the other way ” Is it me or is it really warm?”  I agreed it was pretty warm. I certainly wasn’t needing my hat or scarf or gloves today. Arriving at the churchyard, I saw the Ark had an art class on with several people painting at tables. What a great space for at, with such good light! The arch that looked like the main door in to the church, was padlocked like yesterday but I went in the new glass door into a foyer area between the old and new buildings and entered the church from a side door off there.

It’s quite small and adorned with a lot of embroidered panels. I could not find information about it to see any was made by the congregation, or if they were ordered. There were nice tiles on the floor too. I was looking for the organ pipes as I know someone very knowledgeable about organs. The pipes are fairly scattered rather than in one place. I was surprised to see a baby grand piano there too.

Stained glass windows behind the altar
Inside St Laurence Church

I found it hard to get a good picture of the windows, but had heard there was a picture with queen Victoria in it and I was looking for it but found it was behind closed doors, but one was open. I was beginning to feel slightly unsure about where I should go and not go, as the other churches I ve been in recently had curators , guides or volunteers and other visitors and  nobody else was around. I felt like I shouldn’t really be in this room, invading the privacy of this odd bride and groom!


Scarecrows in a church?

Just then I heard a sound like a key turning and hurried to the church door. It was  locked! I called out, then noticed that it could be opened from inside and got out and saw a man in the foyer locking the outside door. I explained I had been visiting the church and he locked the church again and let me out the glass door. The class was still going on so I am not sure  why he was locking up, but the thought that I might have been locked in did worry me. I didn’t have my phone with me.

I left the graveyard by a different route and was relieved to see the roads joined up and also that Shane was not wondering where I had got to when I got to the boat. The pump out hadn’t started yet.

Turning the boat to get it in position for the pump out (and again afterwards) was quite tight. There was not much space and a freshly painted boat was there so I was on fending duty at the front both times.

At some point I thought I saw dog  muck on my boot, now carried on to the boat in smudges, though only outside. I took it off and as I was right beside our bedroom, I was able to change shoes easily. After we had turned I found time to tackle cleaning the area and the boot. I concluded from the lack of pungent odour , that it might have been goose or some other bird, not a dog. As there is plenty of bird deposit splatted about, and it doesn’t smell, I was now less worried about it, but still gave all the soiled areas a good clean and trained the boot through the water as we were moving along – quite effective at cleaning it! I left the boot to dry outside again.

I brought it in when we reached the tunnel as there was a quite a lot dripping from a tunnel roof and I didn’t want the boot wet inside as well. I certainly got lots of drips on me!

We haven’t gone far today but can relax that the pump out was achieved and I haven’ t got lost or locked in a church, didn’t bring excrement into the floor of the boat on my shoe and what is more I saw a kingfisher in the morning and another in the afternoon and we filled ourselves with haggis since it is St Andrews Day. Plus Bryn’s bulging dirty washing bag has been dealt with. 

My next worry is that I will run out of wool to the cardigan I am knitting. It is going to be very close. 

One little sleeve to do…may not be enough left

I need to get buttons in Birmingham. Shane has been for a walk and returned saying we missed the wall of hope. He has brought photos so with my minor anxieties of the day behind me, I can look forward with hope for tomorrow.


Wall of Hope on outskirts of Birmingham.
More Hopeful Artwork