Yesterday, we left Hockley Heath and started heading back to Birmingham.
100 yards up the road from Bridge 20 is Wedges Bakery shop and we moored up to go and check it out.
They sell the most enormous Cornish pasties I've ever seen, although Roger managed a whole one with ease. He said it was one of the best he'd ever had. Unfortunately I wasn't impressed with the white loaf I bought. It had a lovely crust but was just like cotton wool inside. The ducks seemed to like it though.
When we got to Shirley Draw Bridge we had a bit of a problem. Roger used the water mate key and followed the instructions, just the same as he'd done the other day, but nothing happened. An error message came on the screen telling him to phone CRT which he then did, but he was unable to get the key out again. Unfortunately it was just past clocking off time for the CRT engineers but we were assured they would be with us first thing this morning and as it was almost dark anyway we reversed and moored for the night beside the pub. He took the floaty ball keyring off the jammed key so it wasn't obvious to passers by, just in case anyone decided to mess with the bridge overnight. The CRT guys arrived dead on 8am and at first tried to say that it was operator error, but finally conceded that it was probably a fault with the control box and would get it checked out.
They let us through and we've had a lovely day's cruise back into Birmingham. Although it's bitterly cold the sun has shone all day, highlighting the Autumnal colours.
We've seen lots of squirrels in the past few days and also several kingfishers which have been playing with the boat. They fly off about 100m in front and then perch on a branch until we draw level and then they're off again. They get to the end of their territory, which is about a mile, and then let us pass and fly off back the other way. They're always too quick for me to photograph though.
After stopping for coal and diesel, we're now back in Birmingham and we'll stay here for a few days before heading down the 21 and onto the Shroppie.