Ship To Shore

Leaving Edinburgh I chose a Scottish song blog title, partly because it was just after Burns Day and partly because we didn’t plan to be away for very long as Shane has extra appointments this month. Little did we know how short a stay it was going to be. Two days later, we are abandoning ship, before it runs out of fuel! Still we had a pleasant last morning with the kingfisher returning to its fishing branch near our mooring spot for its breakfast. I tried to get a picture without disturbing it by sneaking the camera through the flaps of the pram cover at the back deck. The blue was just visible in the tree.

kingfisher across the canal perched in a tree.

It flew off and returned, with its feathers still a little damp, so I tried again.


The kingfisher in its favourite tree

As part of packing and and tidying up to leave, we were deciding what food to take or leave or throw out, having shopped initially for a longer stay. The heel of a wholemeal loaf was designated as not worth travelling, but we knew some residents would like it for their breakfast.

Some of the ducks really bicker and peck – there was a a stray feather on the water. They are regulars there and we saw quite a fight between two drakes the day before.

We headed a little earlier than we needed to in order to have a leisurely changeover in Birmingham and find lunch there. It also meant there would be no panic if a train was delayed or cancelled. The office staff called to us on the way past and had found out themselves when the locks were due to be open. Shane had settled up what was owed so far and bought more electricity. The Christmas tree is no longer up…perhaps that was for January only!

We were catching a train between two strike days and thought it was possible it would be crowded, but we had a comfortable journey, with no excess waiting. When we reached Birmingham we had time to have a walk to the sister eatery to the Warwick Street Kitchen, rather than grabbing something beside the station. The route was not too much of a diversion as we had to go to a different station anyway. It took us through a pedestrian area (not all the car drivers seemed to notice this…nor the one way signs) and there was, as usual, a busker. Shane noticed the unusual appearance of the musician and quipped “Why the long face?” l remembered I had change and thought it was tuneful and we had time to pause, to admire the keyboard playing and make out the song “Eternal Flame” so went over. Seems like the player is a young romantic, and not just because of the music choice, but I couldn’t see their face. I wonder if they need to earn enough before Valentine’s Day?

Romantic Horse preparing to get down on one knee.

We passed some interesting buildings, some I recognised from previous visits and tours with Paul and some academic buildings that I hadn’t remembered.

The Saint Kitchen was at St Paul’s Square which is a place I have been a year ago but when it was dark. It looked a nice bright green space in the daylight. The menu was the same style but a different range and service prompt and friendly. I haven’t had the pleasure of black garlic hummus, harissa and Jerusalem artichoke in a bagel before.

Lunch at Saint Kitchen -Very different dishes except that both had black garlic hummus

We bought some cakes for later and had a quick look in St Paul’s before making our way to Birmingham New Street. On our platform, I met another horse, looking footloose and fancy free this time.

New Street Station Black Horse and our train to Edinburgh