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Sunday 7 August 2022

Commonwealth Games

On Thursday morning we drop the Lad off at Babbington Kennels as his usual hotel is fully booked up. Then we get the train across to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. Having booked into our eye wateringly expensive Holiday Inn Express at Snow Hill (because it’s full of athletes and their supporters) we then head off, by train again, to the NEC to watch some netball.  

We see South Africa beat Scotland in a dead Pool A game then England beat New Zealand to win Pool B and set up a Semi Final with Australia who lost to Jamaica to finish second in Pool A. That however is as good as it gets for England.

On Friday it’s Beach Volleyball at Smithfield in a temporary sandpit erected in the centre of Birmingham. It’s the men’s Quarter Finals and we watch Rwanda beat New Zealand and then Australia beat Sri Lanka. 

We follow this with a boozy night out in Birmingham. We have one first in a real ale pub called the Wellington but then find a better one, a Thornbridge pub called Colmore where we stay for quite a few more before heading for a really hot Thai Green Curry at restaurant called Chaophraya.

On Saturday we head across to Leamington after finally finding a train with some space on. Free travel is available to anyone with a games ticket meaning the trains are packed and being a claustrophobe I really don’t like these modern airless trains when they’re busy.

Having arrived at Victoria Park in Leamington we miss most of the first bowls game as we can’t get a seat to watch it as they put both Gold and Bronze medal games for the Women’s Pairs on the same block of pitches leaving loads of seating unused by other pitches they could have used.

They then spread the later games out and we watch the Men’s Singles Semi Finals on one pitch before catching the end of the Men’s Fours on one of the others. At the end of play everyone falls into the Cricketers pub afterwards, medallists and us included, which is rather nice.

We then go to our hotel, the Thomas James, which is massively cheaper than the one in Birmingham. In the evening we meet Son and his wife in the Five Rivers Indian for an excellent meal before just the two us round off the evening in the Woodland Tavern on Regent Street.

On Sunday we head home via the kennels where we collect a very hoard sounding dog. They had promised they would post pictures of all the dogs on Facebook but somehow the Lad had managed to avoid the camera. So it was good to find out he was still there.

(Sunday 7th August)

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