Last night we went to the Birmingham Beer Festival. It was the opening night for CAMRA members only so it wasn't too packed. I have a bit of a phobia about crowds but there were only about 500 people there compared to 1500 when it's open to the general public so it was perfect for me and we had a really good evening. This was the first time we've had glasses marked into thirds as well as halves and pints. The thirds are more sensible if you want to try lots of different beers without getting too wrecked.
There wasn't any entertainment on last night but there are groups on every night for the rest of the festival. We could have played darts but never actually got round to it.
There was plenty of food available including huge bratworst sausages, burgers, curry, pork pies, scotch eggs and assorted baps - proper food to go with beer.
I really liked this jute shopping bag but as it got warm under the lights it started to smell awful. It must have been mouldy as none of my other jute bags have ever smelled like that so I took it back for a refund.
Today we filled with water at the top of Farmers Bridge Locks before moving to Smethwick. C&RT have replaced the cast iron water stanchions with these flimsy new ones. The expensive padlocks are only held on by a small shackle which is easily unscrewed so I can't see then lasting very long.
We're now moored just above Smethwick Locks along with other members of the Birmingham Canal Navigation Society (BCNS) for the annual Bonfire Weekend. The canal is very shallow here and we couldn't get the stern anywhere near the bank but at least we got the bow in so that Chico doesn't have to walk the plank.
After mooring up and going to volunteer for tomorrow's work parties, we walked into Smethwick for a look around. It's a very ethnic area and the first building we saw was this huge mosque. There are plenty of "meat shops" (Halal butchers) and Asian sweet shops and the grocery shops all have market-type stalls outside with the fruit and veg being sold in bowls at £1 each.