BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘eerie’

#365daysofbiking This is not my homecoming

Friday November 20th 2020 – I’d been in Birmingham and returned early evening on Friday. It wasn’t late, maybe 7-7:30pm. Shire Oak Crossroads, a homecoming beacon for me for decades with it’s brightly lit pub, frenetic traffic and air of hilltop crossing has always been special to me.

For one thing, it means the journey from here is almost completely downhill and I can coast. But it also means I’m very nearly back home and I love to see the lights and busy but patient traffic at night.

Except at the moment, during the second lockdown, there is surprisingly little traffic and the pub whose welcoming lights I cherish sits in darkness, forbidden from opening.

This is not the homecoming I love. This feels desolate, empty and almost nightmarish.

I’ve talked a lot about steadying influences and anchors the last few weeks here. This is one I rely on usually that has sort of gone – well not gone, but been temporarily lost. And it affects me more than I would imagine.

It’s now like a symbol of the times.

Ah well, these days will pass. They have to.

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#365daysofbiking Living in another world

January 25th – Of course, I came back through Chasewater for a reason. I wanted to get Chasewater and the area surrounding in mist, when I actually had time to experiment.

As it happened the experiments pretty much all failed, but some notable successes – mainly by accident – were evident. The glass-hard Nine-Foot pool; Chasewater pier looking like something from a film set. The curing wall of LED streetlights over the distant sweep of the deserted M6 Toll. The eerie otherworldliness of the Black Path with its sodium and skeletal trees.

It did indeed seem like another world, but in that one my photographic talents sadly remained as erratic and hit and miss as in this one.

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#365daysofbiking Nearing home

March 8th – By the time I got to Brownhills, it was late and dark. I didn’t mind though – the rain had stopped and I wasn’t far from a hot shower, fish and chips and a big mug of tea.

The keen wind was drying things out an on the lonely but familiar Black Path, I reflected on what a hard week it had been , and how glad I was that it was over.

Some weeks you’re glad just to survive to see the end of them.

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#365daysofbiking A quiet bower

February 23rd – The mist that fell in the last hour of this gorgeous day was possibly the best light in which to see Hoar Cross church. It was beautiful, and I’ve missed it so much.

The Church of the Holy Angels was built next to the great hall at Hoar Cross, but otherwise in the middle of nowhere by Lady Meynell after her husband was slain in a hunting accident (at least, according to Staffordshire historian Henry Thorold). Whatever it’s genesis, the grey blue light highlighting the peaceful but eerie church and grounds made for a serene and thoughtful 30 minute break.

Nice to see the primroses in flower here, and also the view over the Needwood Valley from the spot opposite the church which still has the bench donated by Noel Woodford, with the wonderful passage from Keats.

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#365daysofbiking Sleeping silence

February 21st – I’d been in Lichfield meeting friends, and came back late in the mild evening. Cresting Shire Oak ready to roll down the long hill into Brownhills, the quiet interested me.

Shire Oak junction was dark, the pub shut and almost eerily somnambulant. There was little traffic and nobody around.

Always strange to see such a usually busy junction deserted.

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#365daysofbiking Portal:

November 27th – Coming down from Priorslee in Telford along the cycleway to the station past nightfall.

The lighting here is still shrouded by the last remnants of the summer’s greenery and was changed at some point in the year for new LED fittings.

The combination of the much more specifically directional light and the tree overhang was some remarkable tonight that I had to stop and take a picture. 

This image hasn’t been doctored in anyway. 

April 28th – On my return, I needed fresh air so shot out around the canal and common at dusk.

It was one of those evenings when the sky was a sort of luminous blue, and it was really quite still.

I love how eerie the canal and particularly the old cement works bridge at the Slough is at this time of day. Just the tonic after a very hectic day.

January 24th – Despite the gradual shift to white LED lights, the colour of the urban night here is still sodium orange. It makes for interesting, haunted townscapes and renders corners of the town eerie in the monochromic light.

Here at Holland Park, normally a busy, bright, pleasant place, it looked empty, haunted and unsettling. It’s fascinating once you get used to it.