BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘food’

#365daysofbiking Soul or food?

September 4th – Calling in at the Co-op in the old Spring Cottage pub in Shelfield on a late commute home, deciding what takeaway to get. Chips, pizza, Indian or something for the soul?

I settled on a curry.

August 7th – Also showing a good, plump and juicy crop this year are the blackberries, so profuse at the moment, everywhere I go they’re so ripe they’re falling off the brambles. I see plenty of folks picking them, but there are just so many.

If you’re a crumble fan, get out there. These wonderful fruits are fee and so sweet and tasty this year.

April 5th – There will be a series of muggings on the canal in coming months.

A pair of familiar criminals met me on my way home – gone for the winter, these fair weather foes appear in the spring every year, and raise a local brood, surviving on the abundant local greens – but also on the tidbits and seed they bully out of passers by whom they harass for treats.

If you’re on the canal between Clayhanger Bridge and The Black Cock, take seed or something to shoo them off with…

January 8th – Off to work on a miserable, grey and cold morning. I hit the canal in Walsall to avoid the morning crush hour and was accosted in Pleck by a very cross character demanding food. Sadly, my supply of corn was in another jacket, and the swan who was so aggressively begging showed it’s displeasure by repeatedly pecking my feet.

Of course, the swan was not starving, but urban swans are very lazy and accustomed to the high life, and when loafing in ice-free swim holes near bridges on cold days, they have little better to do that harass passers by for tidbits. I suspect the policy works best on passing mothers and fathers with children, whose guilt twanged, will come back with food.

The ice itself wasn’t severe. Moorhens and coots skittered about on it, but I doubt it would have supported the portly resplendent girth of your average drake mallard. 

On the wonderful Dru Marland Canal Ice scale, I guess it was somewhere between IC2 and IC3. Check Dru out here: she’s wonderful.


December 9th – Lichfield Food Festival was huge, and very busy. I dined on tasty burgers, sweet treats and some rather divine curry goat. I bought cheese and treats and enjoyed a busy afternoon in the city, feeling very festive in the dying light. It was much better than I expected and I had a great time.

Sadly, all the food took it’s toll and the ride back was arduous. But as ever, Lichfield at Christmas was a joy. I’m glad I went, but a bit more snow would have made it perfect.

December 9th – I was looking forward to a snowy ride out to a couple of food fairs – one at Whittington, and one at Lichfield. Sadly, when I escaped at lunchtime, most of the lying snow had melted away and the ride was just greasy and dirty with meltwater and mud.

Still, the ride out through Little Hay was nice, and up over the Heath. The Whittington event was decent, and I was amused by the tiny, real snowman standing sentry on the door. 

After a look around, I headed to Lichfield with a keen seeming wind against me, still a bit miffed about the snow melting. But as it turned out, it didn’t turn out too badly…

August 20th – A much better, brighter day for me, but not the weather, which got worse as the day went on.

Out for a meal and a ride with someone I’d been missing while they were on holiday, a ride out to a local pub for a huge steak blowout and then a ride to work it off.

There was no wind, and I started in sun; but it soon became overcast and the rain started. But for once it didn’t matter. Returning home 50 miles later in darkness and soaking wet was actually a joy after a wonderful trip out.

Travelling up the A515 through Abbots Bromley, I noticed the modernist, brutal concrete Jubilee Memorial bench, which must be one of the first examples of a very particular municipal style; and then the Best Kept Village trophy sign, which lists all the winners since the competition in Staffordshire began, which is actually fascinating.

I do wonder why that’s in Abbots Bromley, though, and not somewhere else. It seems very… specific.

August 16th – Another delight of the season, that frustratingly I couldn’t harvest: Giant puffballs on the patch of fenced off grass used as an occasional football pitch right in central Walsall between Smiths Flour Mill and the turn off the ring road for Birchills.

These are about the size of a football, and are pure white and lovely to eat. There were about 14 in total over the field, but due to the gates being locked, they were beyond the range of my frying pan. 

Nice to see these huge fungi though, looking for all the world like alien eggs.

August 12th – One local treat I look forward to in late summer is local growing wild apples.

I don’t know who planted the row of fruit trees of different varieties which I discovered in a remote spot 10 years ago, but they tend to fruit copiously and the delicious apples, ungathered, rot on the ground. Every year for a decade, I’ve made a point of passing, checking the crop and gathering a pocketful. This year the russets are a little hard and tart, but the cox’s are delicious.

A lovely little local secret.

July 12th – Spotted at the bottom end of Scarborough Road in Pleck, the local sandwich shop has been taken over.

I like places named with humour and a tongue firmly in cheek. Not like the clever-clever names for hairdressers and narrowboats that rely on crap puns, but genuine warm humour.

One of my favourites was a emergency retail glazier that used to exist (and may still do) called Total Board ‘em, and a cafe in Sandwell called Sam ‘n’ Ellas.

I wish Fay and her baps well, and like the idea of good food in a good mood.

Mmmm. Bacon.