What looked like a couple of hours on the map turned out to be a four hour slog through a mainly very shallow canal occasionally augmented with rocks. But the end was in sight so we soldiered cheerfully on.
Before we left I caught up with Captain Ahab loading the Jam Butty, and finally got to see that delightful craft in the flesh (having played a small part in introducing the Captain to its rear end and thence to its creator).
We were pretty much the first boats to arrive at the site of the gathering, and following a brief encounter with another rock, managed to get in reasonably close to the bank. There are moorings on both sides and at first the offside looked more attractive, but we couldn't get in there and we just might be better off where we are, as there are a lot of dog walkers the other side. Also we have Tesco's.
We wended our way over the footbridge to take Ricky for his evening constitutional and found a path weaving through extensive woodlands. It was lovely and to be honest not what I had expected of Brownhills. Even more surprising, on the way back, just as it was getting dusky, we saw a group of deer - I think they were female red deer - feet from the path. They seemed not at all nervous end even when Ricky barked they only retreated a few yards.
Jim is now happily reading the Walsall Express and Star, which is apparently big on domestic murders.
Location:Brownhills, outside Tesco's