Which meant that towpaths would have been very soggy today- so I stayed at street level for a visit to Birmingham City Centre.
Not much to report, really - I had gone out with the intention of photographing a couple of headstones in Key Hill cemetery, but it was that wet that I couldn't identify where they were. It was part of a project to add to my flickr page - adding some pictures of public art, statues and memorials around here.
In the event the only one I was able to take a picture of was this one - the bull sculpture in the Bull Ring shopping centre, which now illiterately calls itself bullring. The Bull Ring name doesn't come from bull fights - but the area was the site of bull baiting; the bull would be tethered to an iron ring set in the ground. We are quite strong on bloodsports here - not far from me was the scene of the last legal cock fight in England; it was on one side or the other of Hockley Brook, which, until 1910, formed the boundary between Warwickshire and Staffordshire. Handsworth was moved into Birmingham - and hence Warwickshire - at that time. Handsworth Grammar School still has the Staffordshire Knot as part of its badge.
You can see a link to my flickr page on the left side of this blog. There you will also see a link to Chris's blog - which is well worth looking at. It's got plenty of photographs of canals around Birmingham, and some very interesting links, too; there's also a link to a map of the canals around here, done in the style of the London Underground map.
Tommy, our Mission Nutritionist, tells me after looking at a previous posting on this blog - the one that referred to West Brom's striker Jeff Astle, who died of a degenerative brain disease caused by heading heavy old footballs, that the same sad fate befell Stoke City's John Ritchie. Ritchie and Astle were both centre-forwards; they would have played against one another many times. John Ritchie's widow does fundraising for the fight against Alzheimer's Disease.