January 29th – I got to work, then it rained. It had not been a great morning – then I realised I needed to pop down to the retail park at Junction 9. I took a short cut through a glistening, dripping Kings Hill Park.
Jack in the Green has tapped his cane upon the ground, and you can almost hear the shoots and buds straining to get up and into bloom.
Watching over it all, the resplendent, shining converted chapel, looking splendid in it’s temporary shiny jacket.
Despite the rain, I was filled with joy and optimism for a new season just starting.
January 28th – Remarkably, there is a trace of spring in the air. I noted the odd nascent crocus in the week, so decided to check out CHasetown cemetery and St. Annes now I was feeling better.
On a grey, overcast but very warm afternoon, I found a single snowdrop, hundreds of crocuses, aconites and primroses, and as an added bonus, deer on the verge of the Chasetown bypass, which although lovely to see, was quite worrying with their proximity to fast traffic.
Be careful out there folks.
There was quite a decent sunset too, and a punishing wind. It’s quite clear that bad weather is coming in, but I don’t think anything can stop the spring now. The flowers are here – it’s starting.
Welcome, my green and beautiful friend.
February 19th – It was a warm day with an insistent wind and occasional sunny periods – but a fine day for a ride. I covered 63 miles, the first big ride of the year, and the towpaths were much easier going than I thought, apart from a couple of rough patches at Stourton and west of Wolverhampton.
The canals showed themselves beautifully, and the sound of church bells and sight of daffodils, snowdrops and other spring flowers gladdened the heart.
Of course, the architecture stole the show – the viaducts, aqueducts, bridges, locks and associated houses are gorgeous.
The Black Country is wonderful and I’ll always love it.