Friday, October 9th 2020 – Some rides start out pretty badly, but you plough on and realise how wise you were to do so: This was just such an instance.
I wanted to be out. I’d set my heart on it, but mechanical problems delayed me, and not more than a couple of miles from home, it rained heavily. It was cold and I was feeling grim.
But I persevered and the sun came out upon a sodden south Staffordshire and I headed to Hoar Cross over Armitage and Rowley.
I returned via Woodmill, Morrey, and up the A515.
Amethyst deceivers were found near Chasewater, their vivid purple colouring marking them as one of the UK’s most beautiful toadstools; there was a cracker of a rainbow over the Needwood Valley as I rested on the bench at Hoar Cross. And the day wrapped up with a gorgeous autumnal sunset.
I went out feeling distinctly blue, but nature showed me the whole spectrum and I returned much happier.
May 23rd – Over to Lichfield for some essential shopping and the closed state of the city was expected, but dragged me down. There was only one thing to rectify the gloom: A return via the country lanes of Wall, Chesterfield and Hilton.
On Bullmoor Lane I was caught in the briefest of short, sharp and intense showers, and it passed as quickly as it arrived, leaving nothing but sightly damp lanes and a beautiful partial rainbow.
September 14th – Passing through Walsall in the late evening, in a rain-soaked golden hour. Just after a heavy downpour, the light was lush, soft and suffused with gold.
The merest hint of a rainbow over St Matthews reminded me why I love this town so much.
August 23rd – On the way home, a real treat to compensate for the persistentt wind and rain – a vivd, beautiful rainbow.
I caught it over Shelfield and Jockey Meadows. It was perfect, and I revelled in it for 15 minutes, steadily getting wet.
A beautiful thing I was lucky to witness.
April 3rd – The day had been beautiful, but the late afternoon was punctuated by frighteningly intense rain and hail storms, and riding back home tentatively in light drizzle, my tenacity was rewarded with one of the finest rainbows I’ve ever seen.
Wednesbury was a great place to catch it, and it was worth the soaking.
The weather doesn’t have to be good to have a beautiful day…
November 7th – Long, long before the wonderful John Cooper Clarke was a sort of cult national treasure doing voice overs for oven chip adverts, he observed the everyday diesel spill on wet tarmac and made it chilling.
‘Revenge is not enough There’s a dead canary on a swivel seat There’s a rainbow in the road Meanwhile on Beasley Street Silence is the code’
I find easy, cheesy, greasy, queasy, beastly Beasley Street still chilling and an absolute classic, and after hearing it 30 odd years ago, I never looked at the urban terrace street in the same way again – including oil slicks flowing down the Darlaston Road and catching the light.
John Cooper Clark is one of the best performance poets Britain has ever had.
July 30th – The weather was sunny with squally, heavy showers and due to domestic complications I didn’t get out until late in the afternoon. When I did, I didn’t have a great deal of energy and the wind was a bit fierce so I took a leisurely bible to Chasewater and the surrounding area for a few hours.
With the bad weather it was very quiet, and also a splendid day for chasing rainbows.
I note the harvest is underway at Home Farm, Sandhills; that the birds foot trefoil has been rejuvenated by the recent rain; that the little pond right by the Burntwood bypass is absolutely teeming with busy water snails and that cows are roaming the north heath as well as the spillway area.
It was a very dramatic day with some lovely sights but I do wish the settled weather would return for a bit.
October 20th – Heading home along the canal through Pleck, another of those rare treats: a rainbow.
It hadn’t rained here that I was aware of and I guess someone in east Walsall was getting an unexpected shower.
Hadn’t seen any for ages, and this is the third this month. You can’t beat a good rainbow.
October 12th – Cycling home after an unexpected, sudden shower, I was surprised to note that for a few brief minutes there was a rainbow over Walsall.
Like the rain itself, completely unexpected, but a wonderful thing I was glad to witness, and made up for the awful road conditions.