BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘home’

#365daysofbiking Somnambulent streets

Friday February 5th 2021 –  I was coming home at the end of a long week, tired and hungry. The weather was again unpleasant and it felt like snow might be coming in again. I just wanted to be home with a mug of tea and the family.

At the bend of Borneo Street in The Butts, Walsall, just before it joins the Lichfield Road, one can pause at the allotment gates and look up the terraced street of Victorian houses towards Walsall.

On this night it was dark, and maybe a little bit spooky, with so few folk around. The blue-white LED lights contributed to the ghostliness, but the contrasting house lights here and there made me realise there was warmth to be found within.

Taking that as a cue, I took a quick snap, and rode home to the warmth and comfort of home.

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#365daysofbiking Monumental

May 5th – Looping back into town, I caught sight of Morris, the Brownhills Miner, a statue and work of art I hold dear.

Morris is not particularly accurate, or even a true representation of our history, as such, with Brownhills actually maturing as a town long after the immediately local mining had all but ceased. But he captures the spirit of our town, and our collective history, reflecting that many Brownhillian lads were miners, but working in pits in adjacent towns and villages.

Morris is also uncomfortably Soviet, to anyone who’s any experience of Eastern Bloc public art; he’s exactly the sort of thing many soviet states would have willingly erected.

But this lad, pick and lamp aloft, is ours. And it’s always good to see him silhouetted in the dusk.

It’s how I know I’m home.

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

April 16th – Life may be on hold at the moment, but Brownhills has been steadily changing and improving for a few years now, and I can’t see that process slowing up much, even with the current unpleasantness caused by coronavirus.

A few short years ago the view up the canal from Silver Street towards Catshill Junction would have been blighted by the empty market place and waste ground where Silver Court Gardens once stood, a set of five tenement blocks that really were quite grim.

But now the view of houses and trees in blossom over limpid, peaceful water is a world away from those bad days.

And I continue to watch my community evolve.

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#365daysofbiking Crosstown traffic

September 20th – That evening, coming up from Stonnall as dusk fell I was, as I usually am, held at the lights.

There are few homecomings more significant to me that this small, triumphant wait – having climbed a large hill, all that’s left between me, a mug of tea, home and family – and often, the food in the pannier – is a long, pleasurable freewheel down the hill, over Anchor Bridge and into Brownhills.

Just got to wait for the lights, and I’m nearly there…

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#365daysofbiking Going for gold

July 20th – A day of maintenance, work interruptions and grim weather. I spun out mid afternoon into the wind for a run over to Burntwood on an errand.

As summer advances, the greens of the hedgerows and woodlands are darker and more weary, and the fields are now turning gold for harvest.

How quickly this year is passing. But the summer is still beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Glowing

February 2nd – A better, more springlike day was what I expected, and indeed, it was at least decidedly warmer. There was, however, a bitter wind that made progress slow and a the nagging cramps of bad IBS attack niggled at my energy.

Any remaining snow was confined to the shade of hedges and field margins, and the afternoon sun made the red soil of Home Farm at Sandhills glow beautifully.

I note the sheep, now reduced in number, are still working on clearing the field of what I think is kale; its been a real treat seeing them here. IU hope they become a more permanent fixture.

I note the hedges along here have been cut, and as ever, the auto-flail has ripped the hawthorn overgrowth into short, hazardous, thorn-armed fragments, lying on the towpath waiting for a vulnerable tyre.

If you haven’t tough tyres, probably best avoid the stretch between Anchor Bridge and the Ogley Junction Bridge for a couple of weeks or so until the fragments have been cleared or rotted by the weather.

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#365daysofbiking Oh flock

Boxing Day – Another day pressed for time, so another short but fast run up the canal. Intrigued to see that there is a flock of several hundred sheep grazing on what I think might be kale on Home Farm, Sandhills.

I don’t think I’ver ever seen livestock on this land before.

I wonder if the sheep are resident on the farm now, or if the crop has been sold for grazing?

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

December 17th – Returning home through a darkened, very wet Brownhills. A generator was quietly ticking over by the waterside, and there was the clatter of Tesco unloading, and the distant windy sweep of the odd car on the High Street, but little other evidence of humans.

Brownhills looked somnambulant, peaceful and homely, and it was good to see.

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#365daysofbiking Getting there

December 17th – The weather is still awful but finally finished the work paperwork, which always means that Christmas is beginning for me.

Just the medical stuff to go and a couple of days at work, and that’s it.

Leaving work late, I noticed the Christmas tree in reception glowing in the dark, and it made me feel happy…

Merry Christmas everyone!

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July 28th – There was not only a remarkable sunset, but a partial rainbow within it, so I shot out on the bike to catch it in what I thought would be the best place – from the canal overlooking Sandhilsl and Home Farm.

When I got there, I realised that I had a problem: The hedge was too high to get decent pictures. So I rode up the canal to the gap in the hedge, and crawled through. Walking the field of uncut wheat was wonderful, particularly so following the day’s showers, which made it a sensory delight.

How I adore that horse chestnut tree.