BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘festive’

#365daysofbiking A completed job

Saturday December 12th 2020 – One thing that had been a bit sad about the Christmas tree going up on the miner island in Brownhills was that there seemed to be an electrical fault with the existing, permanently installed lights on the trees around Morris. When the tree was connected, these stayed resolutely off and we assumed there was some terminal flaw.

Thankfully, council electrical wonks attended, and have got the lights working again, for which we are all grateful: Morris now has that Vegas sparkle returned and he is surrounded by festive sparkle.

A job well done, and seen through to completion: Thanks to all involved!

You can find out more about, and donate to the Brownhills Christmas Tree Appeal by clicking here.

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#365daysofbiking Lighting the parish

Tuesday December 8th 2020 – I’m not certain it’s still the case, but fairly sure that the local councillors in Walsall Wood still fund the annual Christmas Tree outside the Parish Church of St John themselves; It’s an act of community spirit and largesse that I’ve always respected and appreciated, despite being miles away from the councillors politically.

The tree is the standard walsall borough tree and lights, but always looks that bit more festive in the grounds of the church.

A pleasure to see. My thanks to those involved.

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#365daysofbiking Tree cheers


Monday December 7th 2020 – Thanks to the tenacity and dedication of Susan Forster and friends who work so hard to raise money and organise the provision, Brownhills finally had it’s second festive community Christmas tree lit up on the miner island for all to enjoy.

Some electrical issues and council staffing difficulties meant it was a few days late, but no less excellent and very, very festive for us all to admire.

The tree is paid for like every other local tree in Walsall Borough by community donation and commercial support, and the volunteers have worked like demons to sort this out. The first tree they organised was in 2019, and that was the first we’d had in Brownhills for over a decade.

My thanks and best wishes to the all. You can find out more and make a donation at their Facebook page by clicking here.

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#365daysofbiking Spruce up

December 28th – I called in a a friend’s house, who’s garden was done the whole hog for Christmas – but unlike the usual garish, flashing lights theirs were small, gentle and beautiful.

There is something unendingly charming about Christmas lights on spruce, and I can see why it has captivated generations.

It was nice to see something so pretty amidst all the garish flashing and glare elsewhere.

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#365daysofbiking Further abroad

December 23rd – And on, from Ashbourne to Matlock, then Bakewell. Bakewell was a different proposition – night was falling, and there were early revellers around (including one in a rather fetching sprout suit)…

In Bakewell it was Christmas: Bitingly cold, with beautiful lights and a hushed air of determined shopping. The shops themselves were gorgeous.

Several hours were spent before returning for home. A great pre-Christmas trip.

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#365daysofbiking A tale of two trees

December 10th – Christmas trees in Walsall Borough have to be externally funded and the council won’t pay for them. In the district centres where they are present, someone has either usually been generous individually (like the three councillors who personally pay for Walsall Wood’s tree) or the public have come together to pay for them.

Setting an early example in the public subscription stakes has always been Rushall, whose community work hard every year to raise the money required to pay for a tree to be erected on the square outside the ‘Village Hub’ – the old library – and jolly festive it looks too.

Contrast that with the pitiful string of lights thrown on a random tree every year on the public open space in Shelfield, on the corner of Four Crosses Road and Lichfield Road.

I really don’t know why they bother there, I really don’t.

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#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 Never say never again:

December 19th – Recovery, and finally getting things done. Catching up with stuff, then Christmas shopping in Brum with good companions.

Every year I say I won’t do the Christmas Market again, but every year I do and I always fall for the lights, the pricey but tasty food and the atmosphere.

Birmingham is still changing as it has been since I first came here 40 years ago. I love this city. I  adore it’s quirks and festive foibles.

A great evening rounded off with excellent saag paneer and lamb tikka on the Soho Road.

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#365daysofbiking Pork squared

 

December 15th – I popped up to the Christmas Market at Chasewater Railway, hoping to catch a little of the festive spirit, and despite the weather putting a dampener on things, it was actually a great event. Plenty of stalls with interesting stuff and some decent entertainment coupled with a decent butty in the cafe.

The rain, however, was relentless.

You can tell it’s a Black Country event when they sell exotic flavours of pork scratchings, though – although the apparent tautological pointlessness of bacon flavour had me a bit nonplussed…

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#365daysofbiking Light work:

December 10th – Christmas means it’s time for the annual Christmas light inadequacy moaning game.

They’re never enough. Not Christmassy enough. Where’s the tree? and other festive traditions.

In reality, we haven’t had a tree in Brownhills for years, and actually, I think this year’s lights – which appear to be new – look pretty nice.

I think it’s coming on Christmas, folks.