BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Butts’

#365daysofbiking Somnambulent streets

Friday February 5th 2021 –  I was coming home at the end of a long week, tired and hungry. The weather was again unpleasant and it felt like snow might be coming in again. I just wanted to be home with a mug of tea and the family.

At the bend of Borneo Street in The Butts, Walsall, just before it joins the Lichfield Road, one can pause at the allotment gates and look up the terraced street of Victorian houses towards Walsall.

On this night it was dark, and maybe a little bit spooky, with so few folk around. The blue-white LED lights contributed to the ghostliness, but the contrasting house lights here and there made me realise there was warmth to be found within.

Taking that as a cue, I took a quick snap, and rode home to the warmth and comfort of home.

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#365daysofbiking Morning due

October 24th – I had to be in work very early and woke up bleary and grumpy. The cold air, clear skies and empty streets as I seed through north Walsall though were gorgeous.

Cycling through sleeping suburbia I heard alarms waking folk from their beds, and watched the day coming to life and I felt a bit like a low rent Dylan Thomas without the talent. There’s something special about being out legitimately obscenely early. I always love it.

The church visible from North Street bridge was beautiful against the sky as was the college and listening skyline.

Riding a bike can really set you up for the day.

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#365daysofbiking Baby, that’s neat

June 5th – I’ve been passing by this graffiti – if one can call it that – for weeks and only recently realised what it is.

I have no idea of the purpose or intent, but it’s very neat.

A baby, in the womb, on an otherwise unremarkable wall between Victoria Terrace and the shops on Lichfield Road, Walsall, just by the Mellish Road island in the Butts.

I really, really like it and would love to know more…

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#365daysofbiking An venerable old lady

April 8th – Returning home at gone 7pm in grey light, I spotted this elderly lady watching me from the open space in North Street.

I suspect she’d been having a standoff with a factory cat from the yard over the road.

She looks in good condition and wasn’t fazed by me at all.

Beautiful animal, and a pleasure to see.

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#365daysofbiking Floof!

January 25th – Passing through the Butts in Walsall mid morning, I was able to photograph this delightful character, whom I’ve met before. She’s a tiny, gorgeous little cat I’ve since found out is called Belle.

A very friendly, affectionate puss, I often see her on the bins here but usually can’t take pictures due to the nearby school.

Today, she shared head boops, nose and back tickles and purred appreciatetively, without taking her eye off the neighbourhood.

Nice to be meeting cats again…

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#365daysofbiking That old imperative:

September 13th – First of the year for me, I would wager that conkers are irresistible to any British male of any age. We can’t simply walk past one of these beautiful shiny nuts lying on the ground.

In our childhoods, we hunted and sought these out, and today, they’re plentiful; but I still can’t resist collecting a few when I see horse chestnuts.

There lovely examples were in Lichfield Road near the Butts.

One of the nicer things about autumn.

#365daysofbiking Home on the range:

September 9th – I rode up to Cannock Chase late in the afternoon, going via Chasewater and Cuckoo Bank then over Rainbow Hill and up Kitbag Hill; from there down Abraham’s Valley to the A51 and back through Rugeley, Armitage and Longdon.

Autumn is always a return here and the fungi is starting to come through, but there is still colour in the hated Himalayan balsam and evening primrose. The forest was thankfully deserted and a climb onto the old butts on Wolseley Plain was worth the effort.

Autumn is really tapping me on the shoulder now and seeing sunset at 7:30 was a bit of a shock.

Ah well, a nice ride but could have done with a bit more sun…

May 13th – I was still feeling groggy but it was a lovely day and the outdoors beckoned, so I headed tentatively for a ride, not expecting to get far.

It was a lovely 52 mile ride, actually, fluid and enjoyable, but sadly dogged with mechanical issues. Time to break out the spanners and do a little maintenance I think.

I headed out to Hints through the backlanes of Stonnall and Shenstone, then on to Hopwas, Wigginton, No Mans Heath, Netherseal, Overseal, Coton in the Elms, Catton and back home through Huddlesford and Lichfield.

I haven’t visited the church at Wigginton for a very long time – it’s a remarkable place: Foursquare, built of very red, red brick. The main church dates from 1777 but the Spital Chapel dates from 1272. This is a very historic place.

The flowers are out, hedgerows are verdant and the landscape a patchwork of gold, white and green.

Hard to think that just a few weeks ago the Tame in the same spot was filling the flood channel.

David Oakley will be pleased to see Chilcote Pumping Station remains pretty much unchanged as viewed from Honey Hill. I adore that view.

A great ride that was much better than expected.

January 31st – Oh my days, or nights rather. We never get a normal moon anymore. All we get are ‘super moons’, or for some reason our already lovely satellite is pronounced unique by the media at any given time around on it’s 28 day appearance cycle. 

I have to admit, this time it was impressive; a blue moon true enough – it’s second fullness in the month, but it was large and bright and shone out in the sky of an urban Walsall, guiding me as I cycled home. 

It was beautiful, but then, it always has been. It is special every time, because it’s distant and mystical and humans went there once. And sometimes, on cold nights in late January, the thought that if humans can go all that way and return is very reassuring. If we can do that amazing feat, perhaps we can do anything, and life is not so bad after all.

I was not the only soul the moon was clearly guiding on; as I crossed the Black Cock bridge in Walsall Wood, I startled a small, brisk, nervous cat who was clearly up to important cat things, and had no wish to share them with a human on a strange mechanical contraption.

January 9th – Oh my, what a gorgeous puss this one is, a garden wall sentry in the Butts, Walsall.

Uninterested in me until I called, it was watching human proceedings down the street. An impressive neighbourhood presence, I suspect someone loves this one a great deal.

I think the cats must be emerging out of frustration. I later saw, but was unable to photograph a black puss hunting on the wasteland at Bentley Mill Way. I’m not used to seeing cats this active in the dead of winter.

Welcome though. Most welcome…