BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘commute’

#365daysofbiking Here it comes


January 15th – In Kings Hill Park not ten minutes later, a vital discovery, my first snowdrops of the year.

Not hugely populous yet, just the early ones, the advance party; but strong, bold and yet delicate. There are here in enough numbers not to be a fluke, and instead cheering me with the realisation that there will soon be glades of these gorgeous flowers all over the place, and that yes, it may still be dark, mostly wet and chilly, but spring? Yeah, it could well be a thing.

How fantastic!

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#365daysofbiking I love this post

January 15th – Passing through Darlaston’s Victoria Park on a journey back from the hospital in Walsall late morning, I met this tidy, glossy coated very black cat, languid and sleepy on a fencepost at the Wednesbury Road end of the path.

He wasn’t particularly pleased that I disturbed his sleep, but welcomed my chatter, chin and ear tickles, for the first few minutes barely opening his eyes.

A cat of clearly senior years, I think he must live on the new esate over the back.

And adorable, aloof yet affectionate fusspot, whose acquaintance I was pleased to make.

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#365daysofbiking A late arrival

January 14th – A grim, mostly wet journey to Telford and an even wetter one coming home that really wasn’t conducive to photography.

One thing I did notice in the morning though was that after about two years of being out of order, the information display on the Birmingham bound platform of Blake Street Station is finally working again.

Excuse upon excuse was made, with vvarious parties blaming each other yet nothing seemed to get fixed. Occasionally someone would clearly have a go, as the garbage the screen displayed would change, or it would throw up network status mesages.

At long last, due to the late arrival of the display, we can now see how late the arrival of the train is.

I suppose this is progress, of a sort…

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#365daysofbiking Trapped in my steelwork

January 13th – Spring ended with a bump. Leaving a meeting in Birmingham late afternoon it was wet, windy and cold.

On a deserted platform at New Street I waited for a train home. The service seems to have improved a little. It was only five minutes late. And mercifully warm. Praise the lord.

I was half expecting to be buttonholed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street on the train on the way home, explaining how hard he’d worked to sort the trains out and how I should therefore vote for him.

Thankfully, I wasn’t harassed by Brum’s very own Charles Hawtrey tribute, but it did take a while to get back. As I stood with my bike on the train, gently and rhythmically rattling over miles of steel through the January night, I felt down that there were still weeks of wet, cld and dark commutes like this still ahead.

But they will end, the light will always creep through. The steel, light and shine of New Street by night will once more be a rare treat, and not the trap it seemed like this evening.

Tonight it just looked frighteningly inevitable.

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#365daysofbiking Life in all it’s forms

January 10th – At this time of year, I desperately scan the world around me for signs of the oncoming spring, however small or odd. Today, I spotted one.

This floating root in the canal at Walsall Wood spotted on the way to work is just such a sign. It looks like a random piece of flotsam in amongst the maturing algal bloom which in recent weeks has turned red from green. But this root is actually the front guard for a larger movement.

It’s a water lily rhizome.

These roots break from last year’s dead growth and sink to the floor of the canal, then as spring comes, they gain buoyancy and begin to float. They move with the currents, boats, winds, waterfowl moments and eventually settle and sprout roots.

In high summer they will provide a new carpet of the familiar huge leaves and bright flowers for us to enjoy.

So it’s good news: Lily thinks spring is coming!

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#365daysofbiking A dark chicken

January 9th – One of the more comedic things about curating this journal and blog is that I comment a lot about a geographical local feature with a very amusing name – the Black Cock bridge. Named after the pub nearby, the Black Cock has long been the source of much schoolboy innuendo and humour, but is actually a decent, old fashioned pub that always looks welcoming when I pass, particularly on a dull winter evening.

It does, of course, have a far cruder colloquial name I shan’t detail.

However, I do love the thought of sweaty-palmed people banging Black Cock into search engines, which then return multiple hits to this journal rather than the desired subject…

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#365daysofbiking Flocking hell

January 9th – I had to nip up to Newtown in the morning, and went via the canal  and Ogley Junction. I was intrigued on the bridge by a quiet but fairly large roost of birds in the trees behind the old lock cottage by The Long Pound.

It turned out they were just wood pigeons.

Whilst very familiar with these ambling, affable birds, I can’t recall seeing flocks of them like this before, but I guess it must be normal.

An intriguing thing on an otherwise very dull morning.

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#365daysofbiking Up the junction again

January 7th – It had been raining and the towpaths were gunny again, so I did something I now find myself doing frequently: Leaving the canal by Anchor bridge and continuing down the High Street. It’s longer, but cleaner and less slippery.

Auto mode on the G5X is weird. I honestly feel some aspects of this camera are not complete in terms of software, or have some issue.

Auto seems to go very graining in specific conditions. It really doesn’t seem to know what to make of very white-blue LED light. In such cases it tends to over-expose.

It’s a funny little camera but I do love it, for all it’s faults….

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