Friday 9th Sept
We arrived at 6.30 am on Wednesday and managed to stay awake till 9 pm after a brief nap. Stephen and Judith took us for a walk to Harborne High St in the afternoon where we nearly drowned in a torrential rainstorm. The water flowing along the gutters in seconds became a small river and all the people on the street scattered to the shelter of shop awnings and doorways.
Thursday was also wet intermittently, we had a quiet day at Stephen’s getting over the jet lag and napping. The tv news prepared us for the inevitable with updates on the royal family being called to Balmoral to be with the Queen. She died in the afternoon. What a huge effect that has had on everyone here. I feel as though a member of my family has just died, a benign great aunt perhaps. She was such a constant in our lives. Today, some shops are closed, planned strikes have been cancelled, sporting events and entertainment stopped out of respect.
However, we visited The Falconry Centre this afternoon, a hidden gem behind a huge garden centre. The small area is home to a collection of eagles, falcons, vultures, owls, all endangered in the wild. We watched for over an hour as bird after magnificent bird was flown free, returning for a morsel of food to the handler.