Looking Up And Honking. 7th and 8th May

St Vincentes Street Bridge Moorings, BUMingham

Time to record the latest socks, with Mick out doing chores and picking up a hire car I could use the dinette table. Out came the white card and the next four pairs had their portraits taken. They were then packed up, labels at the ready to be printed. I had to wait for Mick to return as the printer had got a touch lost with the new router.

Recording socks for a future project

Mick packed a bag and made his way to move the hire car, the nearest parking spot during the day at the Arena at £5.50 for two hours, he didn’t want it to be any longer! Then he was on his way heading to Scarborough to sit and wait for the engineer to arrive tomorrow to upgrade the boiler. When he arrived it was 11 C and the sea fret was in, good job he’d taken a coat with him.


I went for a walk down to the Bull Ring Markets. I’d thought of buying us some fish for tomorrow, but I really didn’t want to have to buy three or four fish at once, everything seemed to be sold in trays for £15, or the fish were SO big they’d have lasted us a month! Instead I just had a good wander round.

The meat stalls you need a good stomach to look at, not just a lot of offal, but sheep and goat heads too. Fabrics and very sparkly outfits. A DIY stall which had lots of wheels, but they were the cheap variety that we’d not be able to remove the wheel, which is likely to be the only easy way to get our pull out cupboard working properly again without dismantelling the whole galley.

Lots of grapes

Outside the fruit and veg was being sold by the bowl full, £1 of ‘QUAL…I…TAY!’ I also didn’t need that quantity of anything, so just walked round and soaked up the atmosphere.

Nearly all soy sauce

Next into China Town to find a supermarket, plenty to choose from. I stood and studied the shelves for ages, hunting out gluten free sauces I might want to buy. A big bottle of low salt soy sauce, two of bags tapioca starch (commonly used in gf cooking) and some rice sticks/noodles. All just over £5 bargain.

On my way back to Oleanna I decided to walk through Piccadilly Arcade which links New Street to Stephenson Street. Over 100 years ago cinema goers would flock to the ‘The Picture House, New Street’ in order to escape their daily lives and become engrossed in a silent film. The cinema closed its doors in 1925 and was transformed into the Piccadilly Arcade. I have no idea what shops were in there as I immediatly looked up to the ceiling. Six big gilt frames surround large paintings, similar to those you’d expect to see in a church or fancy hall. Wow!

A Life In The Year of The Chinchillas, by Paul Maxfield. Each panel depicts a scene as if the ceiling has been taken away and you as the viewer are looking up to another world overhead and those who inhabit that world look down aware of your presence. Wonderful trompe l’oile, reminiscent of that you find in the top of a dome where chubby cupids look down on the congregation. Paul painted this in 1989, it’s doing well for its age. Seasons are depicted, birds, hot air balloons, parachutes, the false perspective is masterful. Two small panels give you the title and the other a man offers you a piece of paper, I am guessing this may be the artist wanting to give you the story behind the paintings, or is he inviting you to join the world above.

These are brilliant

I stayed as long as my neck would allow. I suspect I’ll go back when we visit again. This nearly made up for the Art Gallery being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays an exhibition I’d have loved Victorian Radicals. Hopefully we’ll be back before the exhibition is over.

The painting of David Bowie is now a Magpie by Annatomix

Back at Oleanna Tilly had the opportunity to go out, she didn’t make the most of it. It’s just far too busy to sit and wait for friends out there! I stir fried some left over chicken with some pak choi and settled down to some knitting. Well quite a lot needed to be pulled out, yesterday I’d knitted enough to work out the tension of my pattern and also two verions of spacing. Unfortunatly I preferred the spacing of the latter option, but fortunatly I’d calculated the number of stitches correctly, so I didn’t have to start all over again. Up in Scarborough Mick sat in the kitchen of the house, with two lodgers (one each side) it was a little bit odd knowing where to put himself for the evening, not wanting to invade anyones space.

I so love our bluebells

Wednesday. Mick would be waiting for the engineer in the house today, a shame he’d asked for an afternoon appointment At least it gave him time to cut the grass, remove a few trees from the lawn and enjoy our bluebells. We really must try harder to get a gardner to bring the garden under control when we’re not about.

Meanwhile here in BUMingham, I had my next visit to the dentist. Permenant fillings to replace the temporary ones I’d had in Leeds along with checking to see if a root canal was required! I left an hour and a half later with a very numb head, a big filling, no root canal required as that tooth was no more, my bank balance sighing with relief!

Hello Paul!

I had a slightly wobbly walk back to Oleanna over Liberty Place Footbridge, a quiet afternoon onboard with Tilly was required. In Scarborough the boiler was sorted and mid afternoon Mick headed back to BUMingham.

Thank you to Frances Phasey for the photo

The shoreside Whats app group for the campaign cruise to the Houses of Parliament was busy busy along with Rose ‘n’ Gin’s facebook page. The forecast looked suitable and the first boats on the cruise were given the go ahead at 03:08. Two locks full of boats headed out from Limehouse Lock heading down stream and out through the Thames Barrier. Apparently today marked the 40th Anniversary of the barrier being opened by Elizabeth II. The second part of the cruise was given the go ahead at 08:05, these boats would join the others heading up stream, leaving Limehouse at around 11:00 (three lockings). By the time the tide had turned and they were heading back in towards London the sun was out, oh what a lovely day to be out on the Thames.

Thank you Kev Maslin for your photo

More and more photos came through from London. One of my favourites by Kev Maslin, the twenty narrowboats stemming the tide infront of the Houses of Parliament. There are plenty more fab photos about, Scholar Gypsy has a blog post here

A trip boat had been hired for the VIPs, who included Sheila Hancock. I think everyone made quite a noise as you can see from Kev’s footage https://fb.watch/rYMSM-Nn-D

Not the day either Mick or I had wanted, we’d have far preffered to be out on the Thames beeping our horn at the Houses of Parliament. I suspect Tilly is the only one who preffered her day.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 white car, 3 pairs posted, 500ml of soy sauce, -1 tooth, 1 sighing bank balance, 6 hourly pills, 20 plus boats bipping and honking, 1 very bored cat.


One thought on “Looking Up And Honking. 7th and 8th May

  1. Christine Geraghty

    Great post, loved the ceiling pictures. Sorry I didn’t get down to Westminster but looked like a good show.


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