#365daysofbiking No ifs, The Butts:
November 15th – Riding home again on a late one, I swung a shortcut through the area of North Walsall called The Butts. One of my favourite parts of town, I love the dense, busy terraced streets, frantic rooflines and the way it all looks so warm and homely at night. There are real architectural gems here, and also usually cats, wandering dogs, people taking the air.
Sadly I don’t come here as often as I perhaps should do, as the dense parking makes for many a close shave on a bike, but it’s so worth it fro the brisk, handsome urbanity.
August 31st – This week has been difficult as I’ve been in work very early and out very late, so stopping for photos has been a bit difficult, so I apologise for the limited range in the last couple of days.
On my way to work – thankfully still in daylight, despite the early hour – passing through Kings Hill I noted a lovely, lithe ginger puss, who meowed and wanted fuss. As I reached for the camera, this clearly very busy individual spotted something worth stalking the other side of a factory years fence, squeezed through and was off.
I hope we meet again – that’s a handsome tail for sure!
August 29th – A day of animals with no time to talk. I saw the tabby with the remarkably bush tail strolling purposefully down where else but the Catroplis that is Scarborough Road.
I suspect puss is female, and was having no truck with my sort. Despite calling, making gentle gestures and the like, she said me zero heed and continued her walk down the road.
The squirrel in Victoria Park was similarly busy, gathering and burying acorns, storing food for winter, or ay be just starting off new saplings, who knows?
Neither animal stopped long enough for a good photo, so sadly, you’ll have to make do with these snatches quick ones, because… they were so busy.
January 8th – A rushed day in which I went to work, came back mid afternoon, did a couple of jobs at home, then had to dash here, there and everywhere on errands.
Sadly, in all the hubbub I failed to notice the camera was accidentally set in some awful scene mode and all my pictures came out horrid, except these.
I had to zip to Walsall Wood, then over to Shenstone, calling at Stonnall on the way back. The sunset was beautiful, and it felt like the air was warming up again.
The water, though: everywhere. Everything is saturated from all the rain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a winter like this. I thought Christmas 2013 was wet, but it was nothing in comparison.
July 18th – A mad day when I didn’t have much time for anything, and again, I was suffering with a dismal stomach. But in the late afternoon, the sun was warm and the wind wasn’t so bad, so I headed over to Burntwood to get some errands in. From there, I headed back over to Aldridge for some stuff I couldn’t get. In-between the two, the canal near Wharf Lane was limpid, dark green and beautiful.
Summer really is wonderful at the moment, and just the tonic for my wayward digestive system!
July 3rd – As readers who follow me elsewhere will know, I have been extremely busy with work and other stuff in the last few weeks. Today was no exception and very heavy: I had an 2pm afternoon meeting near Eastbourne to attend, so I handballed my bike on the train, rode across London Village from Euston to Victoria, arrived at my destination – Polegate – and then took advantage of a great traffic free trail to arrive bang on time.
In the early evening I returned, again crossing London, and got home near midnight.
I loved cycling in London – around Trafalgar Square, down the Mall – and I understand a lot more why the city has such a notorious cycling reputation: If you leave 3″ of space, there’s either a tourist, a taxi or a cement truck in there. You have to be assertive, attentive, and dare I say it aggressive.
But what a blast.
I have spent most of the weekend after knackered. Maybe I’m getting to old for this shit…
March 30th – When I have to work in Leicester, I always get off the train if I can at South Wigston. The place I visit is actually closer to Leicester, but the journey from the centre isn’t very nice, to be honest.From South Wigston, on the other hand, it’s a delight. The station – whose desolation I loathe – is tucked away in the backstreets. Hitting the High Street of this suburb, about 200 yards away, it’s a busy, active and buzzing little town. There are some interesting shops, and it hums with activity. I visited a pub here once, a good few years ago now, after my train had been cancelled. It turned out the guy running it was from Brownhills. Odd, really, as at the time The Royal Exchange in Walsall Wood was being run by a couple from South Wigston…