BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘coronavirus’

#365daysofbiking Flower power

April 30th – Nature gets me through times of no hope more reliably than hope gets me through times of no nature – and throughout the pandemic, for all the horror of the news and social media, the simplicity and beauty of the world continuing to turn about it’s seasonal axes is really keeping me going.

The hedgerows, waysides and edgelands are alive with ragwort, bluebells, green alkanet, forget me nots, dandelions and a whole host of others.

And on that daily exercise ride, they really bring joy to a troubled, concerned soul.

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#365daysofbiking National pride

April 23rd – Something odd is happening. Well, lots of odd things really with the current pandemic that has seen changes that just six months ago would have been unthinkable.

But what’s interesting me is small, almost unnoticed shifts in national opinion.

The outpouring of wholly justified love and respect for the NHS is one such case in point. Rewinding that six months, I bet lots of folk in love with it now would have been at best ambivalent towards out state healthcare system back then..

Years of attrition from some political quarters had let to our National Health Service – something that’s saved my life on three occasions and I have always been a staunch advocate for – being treated as a Cinderella, and something to be improved or that was inadequate, or failing.

In a heartbeat, that’s all changed. Pro-NHS sentiment and memes are spilling off social media into real life. The UK is once again, painfully aware of the value of what we have and what we need to protect.

Here at the old Duckhams Bridge near Stubbers Green, an anonymous hand is echoing a love we all now share.

At a stroke, some political positions have become untenable overnight.

If nothing else about this awful time is positive, this new found regard for those who work to care for us and the service they work within may well be.

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#365daysofbiking Fallen silent

April 3rd – A dusk ride out on a Friday at 7pm and there’s an unnatural silence descended on the area. The Shire Oak Pub should be alive, homely, lit up and buzzing with activity.

Because of the Coronavirus restrictions, it is silent, and shut.

Curtains drawn, it’s fallen silent, like the roads around it, in which I feel like an alien intruder.

These are very strange days indeed.

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#365daysofbiking Trying to see clearly

March 29th – The first light, British Summer Time evening of 2020 was grey, but quite soft. At Pelsall Road on the canal the old Victorian railway bridge took on an ethereal air in the mist, which was actually caused by a garden bonfire nearby.

Up on the old Cement Works bridge, I continued my mission from the night before, as I tried to clear my head. I stood here in the chill, watching the lights come on.

These are incredibly hard times. I’m better off than most – I am reasonably financially secure, and I have a job which is needed. But I have no idea where I’m going or where this will end.

I can’t see if there’s a way through, so all I can do is to take the next step.

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#365daysofbiking In a grump

March 25th – The country in which I live is slowly shutting down in a way I never considered likely, or even possible. Little things that make my daily life normal – stopping for coffee, calling into the supermarket – nipping out to the park – are now either not going to be possible, or require a lot of planning.

I have key worker status, and for now cannot work from home. So I continue to be out and about, but always with a letter, announcing my status and reasons for being considered so, should the police stop me.

There is now a normal, defensive hostility from strangers – like this gorgeous ginger and white floof who gave me the shoulder in Walsall Wood from the opposite side of the canal.

We’re all in a grump now, I guess.

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#365daysofbiking The last day

March 20th – I passed the Shire Oak open for the last time for the foreseeable future.

The lights were on. It looked warm, welcoming.The sky, street light and and atmosphere made it look gorgeous. People were inside. I considered joining them. Fleetingly.

What on earth will this country be like without pubs? I have no idea.

At least we can still get a curry… For now.

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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 Dead quiet

March 18th – Every day the streets are a little bit more dead. People are wary of each other. Public transport is emptier and emptier as worried people abandon their journeys and work from home.

I had to go to Telford.

I’m using sanitiser, obeying instructions. New Street and the train services I caught were eerily quiet.

This is a momentous time, yet it feels like it’s arriving by stealth. While everyone is… Out.

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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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