18.02.2012 - 18.02.2012 8 °C
The day started with another ride on the 'Hotel Hoppa' to get to Heathrow and a coffee to start the day. It became a bit of a challenge when the Barrista and I could not agree on what I wanted; A Latte with no froth sounds like a simple ask but as someone behind me commented "it should not be this difficult - it's coffee". Then it was back to the Tube to get to Marylebone Station for a Chiltern train to Birmingham Snow Hill. I had forgotten how crowded the trains could become but I had a seat and kept a close eye on my luggage.
The trip was good and it went through a few places that We had visited when we were here in the UK. It also went through my home town of Royal Leamington Spa. We passed right at the back of the place where I used to live in Waverley Road but shame on me I was to slow to get the camera out and get a picture, not like me at all.
On th approaches to Birmingham there were all the usual landmarks that I was so familiar with but what stands out from all the rest is The bullring. What used to be just a market is now one of the premier shopping precincts in Europe and where many retail centre's are struggling, the Bullring seems to be going from strength to strength.
We arrived at the station and there were Derek and Anne to meet me. we had a few hours to get sorted and catch up on all the news from about 4 years then we went to 'The Plough' an old haunt from when we lived in the UK. It is the place where comfort food takes on a new meaning, their Irish Stew is something to experience and one of the only places in the world where you can order 'Fish Finger Sandwiches'. It was a saturday night crowd but a table had been ordered and we had a great time. I had a 'British Beef and Ale Pie' with mash and peas, and a 'Portagaph'; life was almost complete.