BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘cross’

#365daysofbiking Rather cross

Saturday February 6th 2021 – On an errand in Walsall, I found the deserted town annoying mid-day: It saddens me to see it so lifeless. I headed to Caldmore to get some more… Comforting shopping: Asian snacks and sundries.

It says something when what is effectively an inner town suburb is far more vibrant than the town centre by several factors.

Heading up over Church Hill, a decorative cross above fire exit on the monstrous aberration of architecture that is Asda. It’s a horrid, warehouse like building and the market never stretches this far up hill now, and hasn’t for many a year.

I have never spotted this in the 8 years it’s been up there.

You can almost hear the admin folk at the store saying ‘Oh, go on then, if that’s what they want: But nowhere prominent’ – so a piece of somewhat pointless vanity art gets stuck, barely to be noticed on the side of an ugly shed, above an anonymous unused doorway.

Two what actual purpose is anybody’s guess.

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#365daysofbiking Unkind cuts

November 17th – The Canal and River Trust are still doing their best to piss me off, their talent for which is so prodigious I doubt they actually have to try.

After grumbling a couple of weeks ago at pointless towpath grass cutting up on the Anglesey Branch on the way to Chasewater, I see they’ve been up on the canal through Brownhills too.

They are cutting grass that the hungry waterfowl would have grazed overwinter. a colony of earthstar fungus has been destroyed. Grass mulch now is all over the paths, bunging up the bike and folk’s shoes. Parts of the grass that were formerly lush and verdant are now a cropped mud bath.

Why? Who the hell cuts grass in winter? This is sheer, pointless, piss-poor grounds management, and an utter waste of desperately needed cash.

Please stop!

A canal towpath is a wild place. That’s it’s charm – a rough cut twice a year would be more than enough.

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January 6th – Meeting this fellow in Pier Street was a shock. Of course, I’m assuming it was a fellow, but this large puss  had a very male disdain for my very existence and was clearly wishing I’d go away.

In the winter months it’s a joy to meet a cat out and about rather than curled up in the warmth and this one, despite the face, obliged me by tolerating it’s picture being taken.

I do hope we meet again on friendlier terms.

September 8th – I had to take a short cut across Church Hill in Walsall on my way back and as I passed St Micheals Church in Caldmore, I remembered it had a curious feature: A football perfectly wedged in the wrought iron cross on the roof.

Legend has it it’s been there for years, and bounced into it’s trap off the opposite wall.

Glad to see it was never removed. You can find out more about this little oddity here.

December 5th – I had to go to Telford, and on the way I bought a ticket from the Arriva Trains Wales conductor, as I usually do.

It appears the staff have been issued new ticket machines. Instead of printing a return on two standard, credit-card sized stuff card tickets, I was awarded this scroll: a twenty inch by three inch piece of thermal paper bog roll. This is the new standard for tickets issued on trains.

So, just as Network Rail adopt automatic barriers at stations, train operators start issuing huge, impractical tickets that won’t operate them.

Well done to everyone concerned. I’m really impressed.


October 14th – I finished work early and headed back to Brownhills to make an appointment, and at Walsall Wood, hit the canal. Passing the rear of Lindon Drive on my way to the Pier Street bridge, I noticed this splendid marmalade fellow watching me from the opposite bank.

He didn’t look very pleased to see me, but what a gorgeous colour, and what a fine puss!

November 10th – The sadness of things. Post Remembrance Sunday, Darlaston War Memorial is a small sea of wreaths and small crosses, many with dedications to the lost and fallen.

I’ve said many times, this is the most sombre, sensitive and beautiful such monument I know. Standing there today, on a grey morning buffeted by the inclement weather, I was lost in contemplation for a good while.

It must have been the wind making my eyes water.

September 22nd – The cat population of the UK doesn’t seem very pleased with me lately. After being scorned by the posh pusses of Lower Stonnall yesterday, today this black and white fellow glared at me from wasteland in Leamore. 

A lovely cat though: love the three spots on the nose and white tail-tip.

I remember when cats used to stop for a bit of fuss. Not at the moment, it seems…

September 13th – He wasn’t very happy with me at all. Sat on a waterside deck in Walsall Wood, in a garden that backs onto the canal, I was amused by his furry tummy.

He wasn’t keen to have his picture taken and yowled at me from over the water.

Oh well.

August 29th – My apologies to the toad-phobics, but I had to share this wee fellow. He looks bloody angry and he had a right to be: I was a shade from running him over in the dark on the towpath near Pelsall Road, but a last minute swerve just missed him.

I picked him up and popped him in the grass, annoying him further.

In true laissez-faire toad fashion, he never moved a millimetre on his own.