Three Phase Pigeons. 12th April

Fradley Swing Bridge to Hopwas Wood

Rain! Oh well we’d have to get wet today.

We pulled back to the water point to fill the tank. The tap here is much much faster than the one back round the corner at the services, but that means the bins are further to walk to. Mick did the honours.

Beef and Beetroot curry

A day with no locks meant I felt happy using the stove to cook our evening meal, no chance of the pot being jolted from the stove top. The dish I had in mind would normally take three hours on Gas 1, so the perfect thing to sit on the stove all day.

Mick stood in the rain at the helm with wafts of cooking coming from below as I browned off some beef, steamed beetroot, zuzzed spices together added stock and left it all to very gently cook for many hours.

Streethay Wharf

The rain did stop, round about the time I’d finished cooking strangely enough! We’d reached Streethay Wharf and started to move away from the busy noisy A38.

Three Phase Pigeons

A group of pigeons sat on the electricity wires preening themselves. Fields recently tilled . The blackthorn blossom just starting to turn pink having just passed it’s best.

Mind those wires!

Works on HS2 can be seen across the fields. Cranes and earth movers. We hoped some of them were aware of the electricity lines!

At Whittington we crossed the border from the Coventry Canal (detached section) onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, marked by a stone on the towpath and the bridges no longer being numbered but now being named.

Pretty uninspiring

I hoped for a good photo of Whittington Bridge to be able to use as a first night card for panto this year, Dick Whittington, but everywhere was really rather uninspiring with grey cloud hanging around.

The poly tunnels are set back from the canal now, is it asparagus that is grown here? The weather vane still looks good even without sunshine.


We pootled on, the West Coast Main Line coming and going. Round the next bend was that familiar boat again, NB Freespirit. We slowed and said hello as we passed the windows, glancing back I could see the front door being opened. Mick popped Oleanna into reverse and then we hovered, managing quite a chat and catch up with Ian, Irene and Toffee their son’s dog. Lovely to see them again, they must have passed us at the crack of dawn.


Just a bit further on for us, through the woods where the armed forces practice shooting each other, then we pulled up as soon as we could.

Trees ahead!

Trees! Lots of trees! Not that Tilly went climbing, she was far too busy checking out the friendly cover.

As the afternoon went by the aroma from the pot on the stove increased, it just needed to be finished of in the oven. I cooked some rice and made some gluten free nan breads to accompany the beef and beetroot curry. It is a recipe I discovered when we were getting regular veg boxes in the house and it is very tasty. Today I didn’t have a red chilli to add into the paste so it wasn’t hot, just the occasional kick from the ginger. It is still very tasty and there’s one portion left which has been frozen for another time. Would anybody like the recipe?

Curry and Nan (gf) Click on photo for recipe

Food was all done and dusted with in time for an on line talk by Alarum about the Birmingham Canals before they all got cleaned up.

Two thirds the audience this evening

Despite some IT glitches the talk was very interesting with reminiscences from women who’d helped with the clean up of the canals and what they’d been like before hand. The biggest surprise was how enclosed they all were. A gate into Gas Street basin and one entrance out of the Farmers Bridge flight, it was a locked away world. All those metal bridges you see are new. Plus the bridge at Worcester Bar, yes the one we all take photos of, back in the 70’s it was just a plank across the cut!

0 locks, 7.69 miles, 140ft reversed, 1 full water tank, 1 curry, 7 hours, 2 many boats on the move, 1 blogger, 278 trees, 1 cat happy, 1 canal talk.

3 thoughts on “Three Phase Pigeons. 12th April

  1. Dave Ralphs

    Sounds really tasty. Hire boat next week doesn’t have a stove but one at end of May does so might give it a go that way.
    So yes please to the recipe.

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