BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘sunset’

#365daysofbiking Losing the light

May 7th – The sunset was still decent over Clayhanger Common as I returned to Brownhills. The sky has a real clarity at sunset at the moment; I guess it’s the dry atmosphere and low traffic levels leading to less pollution.

I was so taken by the sky that I stood and watched it as we lost the light for another day.

The outdoors, and that feeling of connection with it is really important to me at the moment.

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#365daysofbiking Hoked on sunsets

May 7th – It was a decent sunset and I was in Walsall Wood. That’s always frustrating, because there aren’t any very good vantage points to take one in around that area.

Then I caught the sunset over Walsall Wood Bridge past Rod, the Walsall Wood angler, who bears an uncanny resemblance to David Evans, gentleman of the parish.

It didn’t work out so bad. Shame they never sorted out the purloined fish…

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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 western skyline

April 10th – I dallied so long in the lanes I caught a great sunset over Sandhills to Ogley Hay.

To the west, beyond the horizon and telltale silhouette of Humphries House, the town I love, largely silent like most of the country right now.

What I’ve realised this last week is twofold, in that human life is separate from the environment, and that nature will always see me through times of the worst stress and madness.

Whatever troubles the world, or bothers me, the seasons wheel keeps rolling on. The clocks still go forward, the light returns, flowers bloom, the days get warmer.

And in the evening, on the western skyline, there will always be that chance of a decent sunset, and somewhere peaceful to watch it from.

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#365daysofbiking Enjoying the spirit of the water

March 28th – On the last dark night of spring 2020, I pottered out to take my daily exercise to Chasewater, just as the sun was setting. There was next to nobody around, and the sun was gorgeous as it dropped gently over the horizon, making the scene precious as it did so.

I’m finding work hard: I have a lot to do, and unusual things to apply myself to. It’s stressful; unpleasant work. I don’t want it, but it’s needed. Seeing Chasewater like this, still full to overflowing was a real tonic.

I just became still, and felt the spirit of this place. And tonight, with nobody around, there was no disputing it was mine. All mine.

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#365daysofbiking A golden hour

March 27th – Slipping home in the early evening, I couldn’t resist that quick hop up the canal to see how my favourite tree over at Home Farm was doing. I thought maybe I could seee a hint of green on it, but I think it was wishful thinking.

I gauge the seasons by that venerable, perfectly shaped horse chestnut tree. It’s as part of my life as cycling or drinking tea.

And tonight, in this most imperial of golden hours, it looked splendid.

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#365daysofbiking Lonesome roads

March 20th – It was eerily quiet on the main roads too: Only the windy sweep of the odd car as I came up the Chester Road.

The colours were great in the gathering night. The view and the feeling was strangely beautiful – but life was just about to change in a huge way. It was announced that in order to stem the spread of coronavirus, pubs, cafes and restaurants would now close from this night forward.

Only takeaways would remain.

That had put a new, odd spin on the atmosphere.

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#365daysofbiking Still

March 17th – Returning that evening, I was again cheered by the stillness and spring beauty of the canal, this time at Millfield between Home Farm and Anchor Bridge.

The sky was subtly beautiful and there was little wind to spoil it.

For a good ten minutes I gathered my thoughts here, admiring the blossom, blackthorn and forsythia I think.

There’s real serene beauty in Brownhills, if you know where to look.

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#365daysofbiking Country roads, taken me home

March 15th – The first real ride out for the hell of it in a few weeks proved to be a real tonic. Not far: Just up over to Walsall Wood, Lazy Hill then around the lanes of Lower Stonnall, Hilton and Warrenhouse, but a delight all the same.

I hadn’t been in these lanes for the devil of it for so long. It felt like coming home – and the flowers, views and rain-sodden landscape made me feel at once refreshed and home again.

Whatever happens in coming months, I’ll always have this, my spiritual home.

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