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Tuesday 28 November, 2006
#Birmingham canal blockcade, 25 November

Perhaps it's my mildly radical upbringing, but I know a demonstration when I see one. As soon as I walked out of the ICC and saw four boats abreast across the canal I knew something was up.

On the way to the rather fantastic Tumbling and Trampoline World Cup, came upon a canal blockcade. It all seemed very good natured, and smelt pleasantly of coal smoke and steam. DEFRA is cutting the inland waterways budget by 7 million quid, a fact which upsets rather a lot of people.

Ewan said I saw that too - you must have been there later on, they hadn't mustered four abreast by 9:30ish. A very genteel protest.

Why were we in the vicinity? Had been the previous day at the less intriguing-sounding, but no less fantastic for free nibbles and drinks Good Food Show at the NEC. Featuring Jamie Oliver on drums...

[added 29th Nov 2006]

I arrived there a little after midday when they were four wide and several deep, with more arriving.

We went to the Good Food show a few years ago - saw Madhur Jaffrey (she's tiny!) cooking up curry. It's good fun, isn't it? [added 29th Nov 2006]

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