BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘craft’

#365daysofbiking Consolation

December 8th – I went out early to catch a festive market at Chasewater.

By 11 O’clock it was called off, apparently due to the wind. I found the situation baffling, if I’m honest: I got there as everything was being packed away. I’d actually been looking forward to the event, and felt deflated.

Still, nothing to be done and it was actually quite a nice day, so I carried on for a spin, bumping into this group of ladies on my way to the cafe, which was a decent consolation if I’m honest.

Always nice to see the deer about.

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#365daysofbiking Soul food

December 23rd – Wet but happy, with a pannier full of Christmas goodies, I called in at Curborough Craft Centre to visit an old, old cake cafe stop. Mabels, a favourite of the late, greatly lamented Maurice Purser, can always be relied on for great food and the best, stodgiest deserts.

Today it was a hearty ploughman’s lunch followed by pear and almond tart and custard.

Wonderful food, and fortifying for the wet, hard ride home.

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July 1st – This is just wonderful. I spotted it a couple of weeks ago but I couldn’t stop to photograph it. Outside a recently well-renovated house on the A461, a new house sign lovingly and beautifully made in the image of the house.

Just look at the detail in that, the tiles on the roof. Its wonderful.

My compliments to the householder, and huge respect for the craft and skill of whoever created this wonderful curiosity.

December 18th – A trip to Middleton Hall via Buzzards Valley for a cuppa and some cake, as well as a few card deliveries and other errands.

I was rewarded with a truly stunning sunset, but also I saw Middleton Hall and the courtyard in the dusk. It was gorgeous, and made me feel very Christmassy.

I think I’m finally getting down with the Christmas spirit…

My 15th – A pleasant recovery ride down to Faxeley Junction in Tamworth to see an old friend – there was a ‘floating market’ there which I caught the tail end of; it was a lovely, gentle event.

As at any canal gathering, the dogs were the stars of the sow; the two retrievers on the doggie boat were gorgeous, even tempered things. Others snoozed, loafed or begged treats from passers by.

There was plenty to see and do and it was a lovely afternoon in the sun to soothe my aches after the long ride of the day before.

June 20th – I came back along the lanes around Stonnall for the first time in a while. On such a warm, sunny afternoon they were a delight to the soul, and very green and peaceful.

At Stonnall itself, I noted the barn conversion at the top of Main Street is nearly complete. A beautiful, painstaking job, the pointing alone has been a work of art. I was initially shocked when the covering bushes were cut down, but this is a sympathetic and lovely conversion and the craftspeople and designers should be proud. I love the way the dovecote in the eaves has been preserved, too. 

A fine thing indeed.

June 1st – I took a mosey up to Chasewater to check out the second Craft and Farmers Market. It was larger than last time, and better spread out, but I was disappointed with the lack of produce. As a craft market it was OK, I guess, but I got a lot of feedback on social media after advertising the event on my main blog that this wasn’t a Farmer’s Market. I concur, and unless they get some produce, I don’t really think it should be called that.

It’s a fine effort, but it’s sad not to see more food there. Hopefully, things may improve as it establishes.

May 4th – I was, to put it bluntly, shagged out. I slept well, and there was nothing wrong with my legs or body, but my eyes were sore and I felt weary.  Not the usual post-ride dehydration, though, so the new gels I was using must be working. The day after a century ride I normally feel hungover. Today, just jaded.

I nipped up to the new Farmers Market at Chasewater, and was pleasantly surprised; after the disaster of the Innovation Centre-organised Christmas Fayre with 4 stalls, this commercially organised event was busy, even at my late hour. It wasn’t huge, but there was some interesting stuff to buy, and I spent fifteen quid on various bits and pieces.

Only one snag – no real produce stalls: if this was a Farmers Market, the farmers didn’t know: I hope this can be rectified for future events – we have Big Tasties locally for meat, bakers and cheese-mongers, so lets hope they take a stall; if they do, tis market will be banging in no time at all.

I was taken with the basket hack on a bike I spotted locked nearby; serious thought has gone into that. Bit more needs to go into the locking technique, though…