BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Catshill Junction’

#365daysofbiking Light in the distance

Monday March 15th 2021 – I’m spending more working time actually at work now, and things seem to be getting more back to normal, albeit a different form of normal with social distancing and masks.

Things after the pandemic will never, of course, be the same again but as spring comes, and I find I’m starting to commute in light at both ends of the day it feels like the world is waking up again. Just a little. Infection rates are falling, less people are being lost and hospitals are less full with virus victims.

The vaccine seems to be having an effect and things look positive, for the first time in twelve months.

Crossing Catshill Junction on my way to the High Street in the dusk, I stopped to capture the dying light and reflected on what a difficult year it had been – but also, on how at last, there was light in the distance.

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#365daysofbiking Glad to be back

Friday January 8th 2021 – A warmer day, but not much: The snow was mostly melted and the frost slight as I headed home from work.

Between Catshill Junction and Anchor Bridge I opted to leave the muddy canal and hit the High Street.

I always like the end of the first working week after Christmas. The festivities seem an age away, it’s now not really dark until well past 4:30pm and things seem to be heading toward spring. Of course, the pandemic is a huge worry, as is Brexit and problems it’s causing at work, but I think we can endure.

It’s actually nice to be back in my routine.

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#365daysofbiking The changing skyline

Thursday December 17th 2020 – Another classic muse for me in winter is the view from Catshill Junction Bridge towards Brownhills, over the wide of the junction to the new flats in the foreground.

When I started this journal, only the tower block to the left was here and the rest was mostly derelict scrub, cleared of a large tower block in 2004.

As the years passed, new housing appeared and the skyline has totally changed – you used to be able to stand here in a feeling of solitude, but not anymore. Humanity is close now: You can smell cooking, cigarettes. Hear chatter, TVs and kids playing.

The skyline has changed, for the better, and I think makes for a more interesting photo. But I do miss the solitude a bit.

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#365daysofbiking Haunting lights

Thursday December 10th 2020 – Coming home on yet another wet night, I turned to look at Chandlers Keep across Catshill Junction just as it was starting to come on to rain again. I thought it might make a good photo.

This worked better than I imagined it would, and I think it’s mainly due to the reduced sideways glare from LED streetlights used on that development.

They also give a really interesting ghostly aspect from a distance, that seems more pronounced in damp conditions.

There really is a theme lately: There is beauty in the grimmest nights I think.

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#365daysofbiking Hiding in the dark

Monday November 2nd 2020 – A windy, wet day with little to commend it. I took this photo from Catshill Junction bridge in the pitch dark on a long exposure and it’s not great, but does show the movement in the skyline well.

It was a foul, wet night – it’s rare I leave the towpath to hit the High Street due to mud and slipperiness but I did tonight.

But one thing redeemed the shot: I never realised the swan family were there, hiding in the dark.

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#365daysofbiking Just resting

Sunday, October 18th 2020 – A rest day, with just a small loop around town in the evening to keep my legs moving.

It was dry and quiet when I rode up to Catshill Junction and back down the High Street. Not a soul around in the blessed, blanketing dark.

I love to see the town like this. It has such a curious character at night, when you feel like you’re the only person to witness it.

Long rides are wonderful, but sometimes the short ones are pretty fine, too.

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#365daysofbiking Tinseltown in the rain

Wednesday, September 30th 2020 – Unusually of late, I was working over, and came home in the dark, but also it was raining steadily, which felt almost alien to me as it has been such a dry autumn really.

The towpaths weren’t yet swamped and riding them wasn’t too bad as I paused at Catshill Junction to text home.

This view has changed a lot in the last few years – I remember a second tower block here, where the new apartments are now, and life never felt so close at night – but it’s still a lovely spot for a breather.

Not a soul around, only the sound of a TV in one of the dwellings, the cough and tobacco scent of a nearby garden smoker and the rain rattling musically on the surface of the canal.

Wet rides can be really enjoyable if it’s not to cold, not too windy and you’ve decent waterproofs.

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#365daysofbiking Nest option:

April 9th – Also a welcome and cheering part of spring are the antics of the waterfowl. Not so much the riotous, anarchic mating of the mallards, but the pairing off, nestbuilding and sitting of the other waterfowl – coots, moorhens, Canada geese and swans.

Mrs. Coot was clearly very pleased with this spot as I rode off to work along the canal.

It’ll be nice to see chicks again.

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#365daysofbiking Into the light

March 19th – It’s not just public transport that was deserted, either: The roads and towns are too.

Like something in an apocalyptic 1970s drama, all of a sudden people are draining out of view in this country. It’s most odd.

At this time on a weekday on the canal at Catshill Junction I’d normally see a dog walker or two, usually some runners.

But not today. Even in these final days of winter time, before the clocks change and light floods back to the evenings.

Very quiet.

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#365daysofbiking Trouble on the wind

March 16th – Due to coronavirus, there appear to be odd times coming, and I don’t much like the look of them, I can tell you.

Returning home in the dusk the canal was still as I paused before heading to Silver Street and central Brownhills. People had been panic buying hand sanitiser, cleaning products, long life food and toilet rolls.

All because of a virus we are lost as individuals in the face of. There is not much we can do, so we panic buy for the reassurance of affirmative action.

This is not my country.

Thankfully, though, the calm of the canal and falling night was still reassuringly so.

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