#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:
November 13th – Back in Darlaston I paid a visit, as I always do, to the beautiful and moving town War Memorial just near Victoria Park and the Town Hall.
This sombre, noble and beautiful monument is one of my absolute favourites: It is respectful, dignified and in just the right place, surrounded by a lovely, well-tended garden.
Laid out at the food of the plinth and in the surrounding beds were the wreaths, crosses and other keepsakes of Remembrance, and a good deal of time was spent reading their dedications and reflecting on my way to work on this sunny, beautiful, better day.
We will never forget.
#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:
October 28th – I was charmed and humbled passing through Hednesford on a much needed restorative ride to Cannock Chase to note the main square has been decorated with knitted and other hand made poppies and material for Remembrance.
It’s really very impressive, and sobering. It’s beautiful to see so many displays of Remembrance in towns and villages at the moment, particularly on the centennial anniversary of the end of the Great War.
My thanks and compliments to those who took time out to make and arrange this display. Real community in action.
July 8th – At Hammerwich earlier in the ride, a disappointment. Flax had flowered here in characteristic blue a couple of weeks ago, but now it was over and I never managed to catch this stunning crop. But I had been told it was currently redeeming itself by showing a riot of poppies.
Well, it was and it wasn’t.
In fairness, in real life it’s gorgeous and well worth popping to look if you’re passing – but somehow, I just couldn’t capture it with a camera. Whatever I tried, the shots came out dull.
July 3rd – Also on the towpath near Darlaston, the poppies are beautiful at the moment, too. Another kind of urban pioneer, these too will grow just about anywhere, be it in a wayside patch or a fissure in some brickwork.
Riding urban backwaters at the moment – be they canals, tracks or inner city streets – is a real riot of natural colour.
June 15th – I heard about the local poppy field on Facebook, and it being very sunny and early, I took a detour on the way to work to check it out.
The field is just on the east of the Chester Road before the Wood Lane junction and is glorious. A few snatched pictures don’t do this gem justice. I will revisit it soon.
I love to see the poppy fields at this time of year, and welcome their rise since the drop in farming use of herbicides that used to kill them.I also adore the randomnesss of the places they appear – never the same two years running.
A beautiful and ephemeral thing – get out and see it while it lasts.
June 9th – It’s the season of poppies, and there are some beautiful examples in the hedgerows, edge lands and waysides locally. I prefer these little clubs in forgotten, neglected spaces. Ragged, at various stages of maturing and going over, these to me are real poppies; dramatic, beautiful, natural, and naturally flawed.
I even love the alien-looking buds, almost prehistoric in their furry splendour.
I spotted these in the sandy embankment just by Shire Oak Quarry on my return to Brownhills.
A true hero of the hedgerow, and a worthy and apposite symbol of Remembrance.