Monday, October 16, 2006

Away for the weekend

A change is as good as a rest. The Man of the Place and I along with our youngest boy went down south for the weekend. After dropping Polly off at the kennels first thing on Saturday morning, we motored down to Preston for the Sunderland v Preston football game. Our lads didn't do so well and Preston won 4-1. It put a damper on the rest of the afternoon as we drove further south to Birmingham.

Once in Birmingham, the mood lightened a bit as we drove to our favourite curry house, Saleem's. You may remember me writing about Saleems before. After a late dinner we retired to the cozy beds of the Premier Travel Inn in Sutton Coldfield. It's not an expensive chain of hotels, but they do have the most comfortable beds of any hotel chain I've been in.

Waking up in the morning, we had our breakfast and headed towards Birmingham again and the National Exhibition Centre or N.E.C. . The Dive Show was this weekend and we wanted to see what it was all about.

The Dive Show is the conference for the diving industry in the UK. Being held at the N.E.C. over two days it attracts divers from all over the world as well as the UK. There were manufacturers of diving gear and equipment, retailers, tourist boards, travel agents, boat manufacturers, publishers and training agencies.

We saw so many wonderful new toys. The new compressors looked so shiny, but even though this house holds three divers, it doesn't justify the expense of our own compressor. There was a stall selling new tanks. Tanks of every size and for any sort of diving gas were available. You could buy your new tanks and then leave them there, picking them up as you left to go home. We're all okay for diving equipment. My regulators are off being serviced due to a little bit of air escaping and really, Henry's BCD could do with being replaced, but all in all, we have all the gear necessary to dive.

Most of the travel agency booths had competitions where, if we filled out a card, we were put into a draw for a diving holiday. If we filled out one of those, we filled out twenty. We also filled out cards to go into draws for dive computers and courses to learn to be a rescue diver. Our name, however wasn't drawn in any of the competitions. Maybe next year, huh?

By the time we were getting ready to go, we were absolutely laden with brochures to dive tropical islands on both hemispheres. The consensus was that there wasn't a place we didn't want to dive. The glaring exception is perhaps Belfast harbour and possibly Norway. George is quite keen to dive in Norway, but his parents don't want to go.

We attended a lecture in one of the syndicate rooms during the conference. It was on diving in Norway. Going to this lecture accomplished a couple of things; 1. I got to sit in a darkened room for a little while and 2. George got to find out about diving in Norway. Before I nodded off I did find the slide show very interesting. I almost forgot that those gin clear waters in the fjords were less than 10 degrees Centigrade. There is an explosion of wildlife in the water up there, the visibility is good if you don't dive in July and August and it's not crowded. The down side is that it is way too close to the arctic circle for my liking.

The gals in the Jamaica Tourist Board stand were so friendly. They gave George a nice little travel pouch with his brochures. I liked hanging around the Caribbean Island areas. They had some steel drums and made me feel like I was in the Bahamas for a second or two.

Our fingers were quite sore too from holding all the plastic bags full of magazines, brochures, fridge magnets and pens that were thrust upon us. We walked SO much on Sunday, I even got a blister on the top of my toe! I've never had a blister there before. One of my socks had wrinkle in it and that's where my foot blistered.

We did get a couple of heavy duty hangers for diving equipment. Chunky plastic ones that won't corrode on contact with salt water. Henry also got some new dive gloves but that's it for purchases.

There are no photos available from this weekend. I forgot my camera. I guess I had a vacation from my blog too.


sally said...

Sounds like a blast! What appears to be your next diving destination?

gawilli said...

Two holidays in one! We are looking forward to getting away this coming weekend. Sounds like you had a great and busy time. Tropical dives sound good also! Welcome back.

Joy Des Jardins said...

You know, it's really nice to just get away from all of it sometimes Peggy. I hope you enjoyed every minute. Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Saleem's! Fantastic Ladypool Road curry house, even if the food can be bettered locally. I went there in my first week at university (Aston) back in January 1979, being led astray by the caving club, and was a regular visitor during the next five years until moving away. Have been back occasionally and delight to see how neon-bling the road looks these days.
First meal there was vegetable curry, two chapatis and a rasmalay (excuse spelling), and all for £1.
The menu in my uni days included brain curry, but none of us ever fancied that.
There was a great juke box in the place as well, amidst the wall decorations of photographs of wrestlers. Favourite track was B15 (I think) which, while we couldn't understand the verses, included the chorus "kick in the b*ll*ocks", much to undergraduate amusement.
Once saw the local celeb Alan Towers eating in there, so knew Saleem's had achieved a certain cultural status in Brum.

Peggy said...

The food "can be bettered locally"!?! I've seen tables up for less than that! You're going to have to back that statement up with some facts. :-)