BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Footherley’

#365daysofbiking Timeless

May 22nd – It’s been a week of wonderful views, that started very much on a downer, but the restorative power of sunshine and landscape really improved my mental and physical wellbeing.

Riding around Shenstone and Stonnall in a sunny, listless golden hour I crossed Footherly Brook as I have for many years using the hump-back bridge on Gravelly Lane.

Something about the light, atmosphere and my mental state combined, and I stood there transfixed for a good few minutes, just drinking in the atmosphere.

I have seen this view in rain, hail, snow, sunshine, dusk, dawn, noon and the dead of night. It remains, and always will be, utterly timeless to me.

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#365daysofbiking These lanes were mine

April 19th – The ride took me down Hobs Hole in Aldridge, over Wood Lane and Lower Stonnall, and around by Stonnall Church. It was a beautiful afternoon, and nature did it’s best to entertain me and lift my mood, which wasn’t all that great with an attack of IBS.

Nature succeeded. And there was barely a soul around.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I hate the lockdown, although I understand how necessary it is. But I’m loving these quiet lanes.

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#365daysofbiking Angels of the hedgerows

April 10th – Another working from home day – indeed, it was Good Friday, so I took off for an exercise ride at teatime. The lanes and tracks of Stonnall, Shenstone, Raikes and Hilton were warm and quiet. I saw the odd fellow cyclist, or runner. But mostly it was just me, the birds and the flowers.

The stunning yellow archangel is looking gorgeous at Footherley again this year – a relative of the nettle, I hadn’t noticed it for years, and then it seemed I couldn’t stop spotting it in places where I must have seen it before, but never noticed it.

The grape hyacinths – muscari – are also like little shocks of blue in the hedgerows and gardens I slid past.

We may be locked down, but the riding is surprisingly good at the moment.

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#365daysofbiking The villages of the evening

December 7th – Christmas is starting to ramp up now and I find myself increasingly on errands and trips to sort things out for the upcoming holiday, and so it was this evening when I had to visit Shenstone, to collect some stuff I’d ordered and check out a present in the huge, soulless garden centre there.

Shenstone and the lanes between there and home were gorgeous in the night, same as they ever were: From the welcoming dignity of the pubs to the beauty of the old workhouse. And then, the gothic horror of the church, which I’m still not used to seeing without it’s massive, stately yew.

It was nice to be in these lanes on a relatively dry night for a change. They made a pleasant contrast to the consumer hell of a garden centre that seemed to specialise in everything except … gardening.

Am I turning into The Grinch? I think I might be.

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#365daysofbiking Neon yellow

April 23rd – A day of bike maintenance, then a run late afternoon to Shenstone on an errand. The weather was changing; it was colder and the sky looked threatening.

However, the spring colours, although muted in the grey light, didn’t disappoint. The oilseed rape between Shenstone and Footherley was gorgeous and the path through it to the woods magical.

Refreshing on a grey day.

Hope the sunshine returns soon.

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#365daysofbiking It must be spring!

March 15th – Heading home from the station after a long afternoon legal meeting in Birmingham, in order to mitigate a rather evil wind, I took to the back lanes.

On my way, I passed this wonderful sight, which catches me by surprise every spring.

They must have been planted by some wonderful individual as they go in colour bands.

A beautiful thing.

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#365daysofbiking Squaring the circle:

September 24th – Returning via Shenstone from an afternoon trip into Birmingham, I noted that the recent days, having been sunny and comparatively warm, were bringing out the joy of Autumn, and I was feeling more positive.

At Footherley Lane the old bridge was beautiful as the sun went down.

Soon these trees will be golden, then bare once more, but it’;s all part of the circle and the circle must be round.

And as long as there will be some fair weather, I think I’ll survive.

June 25th – Riding home from Shenstone it seemed like the hottest afternoon ever. Of course it wasn’t, but I was tired, the hay fever was giving me hell and energy was low.

I notice now that the haymaking is ongoing, in great weather for it, a the Footherley Brook looked as gorgeous and changeless as it must have done for decades.

I was quite impressed with the image quality of the cathedral view from Shire Oak: for a camera with limited zoom that’s not a bad image at all.

April 20th – Returning home from from Shenstone on a gorgeous evening, passing lanes full off other cyclists whose general absence was noted when the weather was not so lovely, I stopped to check the familiar and have a rest.

There is a piece of scratched graffiti amongst many others in the soft sandstone of Footherley Lane’s brook bridge. It says ‘Billy + Tracee 30-4-83′.

I remember this when is Wass freshly cut, when I was a kid exploring these lanes. Coming soon will be the 35th anniversary of this act of what was presumably, love.

In this beautiful spot, Billy and Tracee recorded their love, and I often wonder if they’re still together, and remember this.

I do hope so.