BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘down’

#365daysofbiking Surface water

Saturday, October 3rd 2020 – What was I saying about bad days and beauty? As if to challenge me, a truly foul day when the rain and wind barely ceased.

I busied myself with work, domestic tasks and a little bike maintenance, shooting out after dark to get a takeaway in.

As I came back from Walsall Wood, I realised the roads were empty, and there was something eerily stark about the Coppice Road Junction.

Here’s hoping for a better Sunday!

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#365daysofbiking A break in the weather

May 23rd – Over to Lichfield for some essential shopping and the closed state of the city was expected, but dragged me down. There was only one thing to rectify the gloom: A return via the country lanes of Wall, Chesterfield and Hilton.

On Bullmoor Lane I was caught in the briefest of short, sharp and intense showers, and it passed as quickly as it arrived, leaving nothing but sightly damp lanes and a beautiful partial rainbow.

Summer is fantastic.

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#365daysofbiking Silly things

May 19th – I’m finding working from home impossible, if I’m honest. It’s very hard to keep focus with family life happening around me. There is no separation, I miss the commute; and I constantly find myself needing things from my den, or elsewhere in my workplace that would make tasks easy but without them they take forever.

I need to go back to work.

In the mean time, my daily outdoors fix is essential, and this evening I spent probably longer than necessary admiring my favourite tree, at Home Farm, Sandhills. This handsome horse chestnut is currently in bloom and looks gorgeous in the Tuesday golden hour.

Some things are markers in the madness. These fields, the canal, the sun, and that tree. They save me from nosediving. Silly things, but there you go.

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#365daysofbiking – Silken

April 25th – In recent days I recorded the the female flowering of the sallow trees in Walsall Wood. At the Old Cement Works Bridge in Brownhills, the catkins are starting to go to seed.

The spines of the flower heads split and curl away, releasing the downy, silken fluff inside, each one attached to a tiny seed, easily carried long distances on the wind or any moving thing.

A fascinating and beautiful mechanism that will see the area around these trees soon coated in fluffy down.

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#365daysofbiking When the lights go out

April 5th – An exercise spin out at dusk unusually took my mood down. I wasn’t feeling great and this one scene made my mood nosedive.

I love the view of Anchor Bridge at night from the canal. It’s magical and beautiful and the light is normally gorgeous. Tonight, though, something was missing.

The incidental light from the adjacent Anchor Pub was absent: The pub lights normally add a warm glow to Anchor Bridge night photos.But the pub is dark, silent and closed in accordance with lockdown rules.

I hopped up the ramp to the pub. This normally welcoming place was in darkness, and looked forlorn.

My heart sank.

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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 darkening hour:

March 8th – I was out late the following day, too: the weather was awful and very un-springlike.

I stopped on top of the bridge I’d crossed under the night before and looked at the view. The sky was dramatic again, and the world was quiet, save for a little traffic.

This is a great spot in summer, and a stark one in winter. In spring and autumn, it takes on an otherworldly feel, as if only existing a the interregnum of night and day.

I do wish the weather would pick up.

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#365daysofbiking Here, there and everywhere


February 27th – The Peter Saville thing. It’s everywhere of late.

Later the same day. The rain didn’t stop, it doubled down and rained harder and more fiercely.

Stood, dripping, waiting for a late train at Telford, the rain shimmering on the glass of the new bridge, catching the lights. The angles and patterns of metalwork.

It felt brutal, if not actually truly Brutalist.

Find out more about why I’m in love with Peter Saville’s work here.

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#365daysofbiking Go with the flow

February 27th – The weather at the moment is almost continually foul.

Everywhere is saturated. The canal overflows are at full capacity, like here at Clayhanger; the towpaths are a long series of conjoined puddles. The roads are filthy, swamped and traffic bad tempered.

Every ride means carefully drying waterproofs and bags on arrival.

I’m used to it now. I don’t even frown when I see the rain.

But we must be due an end to it now, surely? Or at least a cessation in the merciless, continual wind please?

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