Not quite sure where the past couple of days have gone - but we found a nice little sunny spot in a little spot called Earlswood - quite near Solihull, I think !
We had originally only planned to stop at a private wharf to get water, the we found they had a private Elsan too - and rubbish disposal - and there was mooring just across the other side of the canal - and the sun was out ... what more could you want in life !!
So we settled in for a day or two of boat maintenance / painting (Paul) and soap making (me)! Here are some pics of our mooring ...
... and there was a pub just up at the bridge ... this pub - The Blue Bell - was quite nice - friendly folk etc - and really really busy, especially with the sun shining !
If you are in this area ... ONLY GO TO THIS PUB (more later)!!
On our second day of 'stopping' Russ rang to say he was going to join us for a few days - yay ! So - we finished cleaning up the boat and Paul finished his painting bits and Russ and Tracy joined us on Satuday afternoon. During the day we had taken the dogs for a walk and found another pub down the lane, so we thought it would be a good idea to all go there for dinner ...
Here it is - The Bull's Head - looks nice, doesn't it?!
Just to set the scene, a boat had moored behind us, from which 12 young people had emerged - they had also headed down to the Bull's Head. When they got to the bar they announced their arrival to the Barman - who declared that he had thought they were kidding when they had booked the table and that the Chef 'would be really mad' !!!
We got our drinks in and selected our meals from an amazingly large and interesting menu - placed our order and waited ....
... after 45 mins we asked the Barman how much longer our starter (shared) platter would be, to which he replied that he had put the order in for everything to come out at once and, by the way, he had forgotten to tell us that there was about a 45 minute wait ! We asked him to check with the chef to see if we could have our starter platter now anyway - and off he went. Mr Barman came back sheepishly to tell us that the Chef had thrown our order chit away and had since started on food for the table of 12 and by the way had sworn at the Barman just for good measure ! We were hungry at this point and just asked him to resubmit the order anyway - hoping that perhaps it might be given some priority !
... after another 45 mins we asked what was happening and were told it would be another 10 mins! After 15 mins we asked for our money back and were given it without question! It was about 9.30 pm now, so we marched back up the lane - and thought we might just check with the other pub, just in case they were still serving food! When we got to the other pub we met the 'table of 12' from the other boat - and we told them of our experience - then they told us of theirs ....
They had got dribs and drabs of food that came out from the kitchen - in particular a chicken dish came out, in which the chicken was still raw! They too had walked out and only paid 20 pounds, for what would have been a good earner for the pub, had they actually received food (and cooked!). Just to add to the whole story - they had asked to see the Manager - and were told that the Manager was the Chef ... and she was pissed !!!
All in all, we thought we had a lucky escape (from Salmonella poisoning ?!) - and we ended up having a 'spag bog- a-la-Paul' back on the boat before retiring for the evening !
So - just to summarise - don't go to the Bull's Head at Earlswood - it is BAD!
This morning, Russ and Tracy kindly took us shopping to Tesco's and Pets at Home - and we got thoroughly restocked !! Tracy left us as she has to continue working this week - someone has to ! ... and Russ and Paul got the boat ready to roll !
What a wonderful time I am having - I am blogging while Paul has walked the dogs ...
...in sun and various rain showers !
Mind you, Paul has just hopped back on the boat and announced it is Beer-o'clock - I will chuck him back off again soon to continue his lock duties !!