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Published: July 23rd 2017
Fletcher, Sue and Steve on one of the locks
Our trip to the World Champonships got underway on Friday night. We headed to Adelaide airport about 6pm for our flight on Emirates to Dubai. At check-in I was greeted with a cheery "Hi Mrs Mac! It is Lucy Holland" Handy to have an Old Scholar on the check in counter. She gave us seats in the front row of Economy but couldn't guarantee that we would have all three seats to ourselves. In the Qantas Club I asked for the football to be switched on to the TV so we were able to watch the Crows defeat Geelong while waiting for boarding. Once on the plane no-one came to sit next to us so three seats to ourselves!! 3 wins for the night!!
I slept much of the way during the 13 hour trip to Dubai. We then had a 3 hour wait in the lounge at Dubai airport and then we flew Qantas to London. Arrival in England was met with typical English summer weather, overcast skies and 15 degrees. After completing formalities we took the shuttle bu to pick up a hire car and then we were on our way. It was about 3-30pm when we set
out to head north to Redditch where friends we had met on our cruise in 2015 lived. Steve had sent us an email with detailed instructions on how to get there, but we also had a GPS in the car which confirmed his directions. The roads were busy and the conditions poor for driving with heavy showers and spray blocking the view at times. However, we made good timeand arrived at Steve and Sue's house in Redditch about 6pm.
There we were welcomed with open arms and shown into their lovely 4 bedroom house with a beautiful garden at the back. Sue is the ultimate hostess who did all she could to see that we were comfortable. We had a welcoming gin and tonic and then later a lovely meal and caught up on all the news in the nearly two years since we had seen them.
Sunday morning dawned more promisingly with some blue skies showing through the clouds. After a leisurely morning Steve drove us to Tardebigge locks on the Worcestshire-Birmingham canal. Here there are 30 locks in distance of three miles. The canal was built between 1791 and 1815. We strolled along the
tow path watching several canal boats negotiate the many and very narrow locks. It was the first weekend of the summer school holidays and there were plenty of people out and about. It is a very picturesque landscape and we walked for about an hour and a half until we came to the Queen's Head Hotel whose outdoor eating area runs along the canal. As it was 12-30pm by then we headed into the pub for lunch and a drink or two. The pub was packed with people enjoying the ambience and the sunny skies. there were several party groups there and we found a table outside right alonside the canal. We had a great meal here. I had the roast pork which was very tasty and was accompanied by delicious veggies and crackling. Fletcher opted for hake while Sue copied me and Steve had a pizza. We shared some white wine though Steve opted for a beer. Many families were enjoying the sunshine and the local ducks and coots were being fed with scraps. We also opted for dessert and I had a very nice creme brulee while Fletcher declared himself an expert on tarts and devoured a lemon
Fletcher salivating at the sight of the pub!!
one. Steve volunteered to walk back to the car (an hour away) while Sue, Fletcher and I enjoyed another bottle of wine. A lovely afternoon, relaxing and talking with good food and wine!!
Then it was back to Webheath, the part of Redditch where they live and a relaxing late afternoon.
The trip has started well and as it will be more focussed on meeting people and watching Athletics later we are expecting a slow pace and are under no pressure to race about seeing lots of places.
Tot: 2.501s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 9; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0503s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb