February 17th – Back in Brownhills, and another azure blue nightfall, which the Canon camera – to which I’m now really attached – really lapped up. I loved the way it picked up the warmth of the lighting on the Watermead estate over the canal from Silver Street and how that contrasted with the cool white of the LED street lighting up at Chandler’s Keep.
I’m sure there’s far more to find out and learn with this camera yet, I’m really loving it.
February 11th – Heading over Catshill Junction to slide down the High Street, I still can’t get over the lights and reflections of the new build, and the way it affects what was a formerly barren spot at night.
Combined with he LED streetlights from Chandlers Keep, it feels quite awake there these days, no longer lonely and isolated at all.
November 6th – I returned home in light but penetrating drizzle in early evening, and again, hopped the canal for a bit of light relief. Canal cycling at night requires good lights and can be mentally demanding, but I do enjoy it, as much for the chance to spot a fox or two as anything.
At Catshill Junction I thought I’d give the camera a go on the tripod. I’ve not done much night photography with this one yet, and and I’m quite pleased with the results, even though rain was getting on the lens.
Those LED streetlights in Chandlers Keep give a wonderfully ghostly white light.
October 13th – It rained heavily all the way home, and with a driving headwind it really wasn’t a pleasant journey at all. I hopped on the canal in Walsall Wood to escape the mad traffic, and stopped at Catshill Junction to have a breather as I often do. It was quiet, except for the music of rain falling on water. There was not a soul around, and even the houses in Chandlers Keep looked deserted.
I was wet, cold and tired, but you couldn’t hate it like this. This was a moment of unexpected peace in a very grim day.
I got back on my bike, and rode home.
July 30th – Interesting to note the cat population seems to have woken up since the temperature dropped a little. I see a lot of tails and bums sticking out of hedgerows on my travels, or furry balls asleep on house-steps, cars and shady corners. Often I’m glared at from under parked cars or over the canal from the opposite bank.
I adore cats.
This midnight lady (I think it;s a lady) was photographed loafing in Chandler’s Keep, as I passed on my way up to Chase Road. Wonderfully black, and those whiskers! I feel sure she could well be a witches familiar…
That’s one classy cat.
May 30th – The Canada geese get a bad press. They’re fine birds, really; great geese, fascinating to observe, and some subtle sub-species to watch out for. They make great, proud parents, and have the cutest chicks. These goslings were on the old tonnage narrows near Catshill Junction, and had cute in shedloads. The whole time I stood watching, dad hissed at me, gently, warning me not to come closer.
May 22nd – I was heading home today from work, and for some reason I hopped on the canal near Anchor Bridge, and headed up and took a look at Clayhanger Common. The sun was bright after a somewhat dull day, and I guess it was my quest for green. Everything is so vivid at the moment you could almost inhale it. Everywhere you look, there is bright, fresh foliage, in shades of emerald more precious and life-affirming than any jewel.
One thing I did notice on my way over Catshill Bridge, is the clock tower added to the roof of a garage in Chandler’s Keep. Has that always been there, or is it new? I’ve never noticed it before.
May 4th – Now, here’s a thing. I’ve cycled past this remaining fragment of wall lots lately, mainly to go and see if the swans had had hatched their eggs yet. It stands at the canal side between Catshill Junction and Anchor Bridge, and I think it’s the last evidence of the Iron Foundry that was here at the turn of the century. The foundry didn’t exist in my lifetime – there were industrial units here in the old buildings. I think one may have been a non-ferrous casting shop. There was also a plant hire company and an accident repairs firm. These were all razed in the 1990’s and Chandlers Keep built – a close of new build housing, named after one of the last businesses here, a boat company. Oddly, this 3 meter section of engineering brick wall, with ancient graffiti declaring approval for Aston Villa, remains.