#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…