January 19th – My health doesn’t seem to be improving. After getting over the worst of the fever of last weekend, I’m left with a rattly chest, a cough and a head cold.

It feels like it’s never going to go. My average speed is down to a miserable 10-10.5mph. I feel unfit and lost. And the weather? It’s lousy. It’s been like it since before Christmas, and right now I could do with sun, some warmer temperatures and some spring flowers. And the ability to do 15mph without feeling like I’m about to collapse.

‘Tain’t too much to ask, is it?

Meanwhile, in a chilly Darlaston, a view I’d not noticed before – with no leaves on the trees, looking over that splendid, dignified war memorial, the whole range of Darlaston architectural history: The Post Office, Rectory Avenue, The Columbarium, St Lawrence’s Church. What a fine set of buildings on that skyline…

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