When I wrote recently about buying a rail ticket to Wolverhampton (read again here) I was pretty sure that despite Virgin Trains' subsequent email, Wolverhampton didn't really want me and, in fact, didn't care much whether I went there or not.
But neither did I particularly want to go to Wolverhampton. The nearest station to my actual destination was Penkridge, but in the crazy world of rail fares a ticket to Penkridge would cost over twice as much as one to Wolverhampton, despite being a shorter journey. In any case, Penkridge wasn't my destination either - that was Gailey - which is equally conveniently reached by bus from Wolverhampton anyway.
You may by now have guessed that my forthcoming trip is canal-related. When I received a comment on an older page of this blog from someone who I'd last seen forty years ago on a Willow Wren hireboat organised by a group of students at Salford University, I was pleased that it led to an exchange of reminiscences - and photographs - of those long-lost days. I was also interested to see that Steve had gone on to be a boater himself - as have a number of the other participants. But what I didn't expect - at least quite so soon - was an invitation to join him on the cut!
Steve has a share in "Twelfth of Never" - a shared-ownership boat based at Gailey Top Lock and one I remember seeing about quite a bit when I kept Starcross at Norbury Junction. Someone has had to drop out of next week's planned trip to Birmingham and the Black Country and so Steve has very kindly - and bravely? - offered the place to me.
Winter Boating on the BCN! Yes please!