August 25th – A bad time with the IBS at the moment, but I got out late in the afternoon on what was a very pleasant day to the Historic Narrowboat Club heritage gathering at Alvecote, on the far side of Tamworth.
There were a huge number of old working boats on display, with their proud owners ready to tell you all about them – and these fine characters and their wonderful dogs made for a great couple of hours.
A very English thing on a lovely Saturday.
May 13th – Found on the outskirts of Wigginton, a lone cottage, derelict, in the bounds of another, occupied property.
It looks like the remnant of a larger terrace, and also like someone might be planning to, or made a start on renovating it.
It’s some way from the lane, and has a really strong air about it that it might be horrified.
One for the found faces pile, that one.
I do hope this place is one day a home again.
May 6th – Another fine, hot day, another long ride – this time a 55 miler out via Hints and the canal through Tamworth to Orton on the Hill, Austrey and Honey Hill.
You can see a full gallery for this ride on my main blog here.
At Orton, I stopped to study the fine, Francophile church there, and noticed the classic demonstration of weather erosion on the masonry – on the windward side, the deep pits of direct wind and rain abrasion, whereas on the leeward side, the lines cause by lateral pull and frost; on side planar side, the lapped waves of parallel forces.
That church has seem some weather over the years.
February 11th – Finally, a decent ride out. But not without challenges – I’d set out of a day with a punishing Westerly to visit a farmer’s market at Buzzards Valley near Middleton. The day was bright, skies blue and my back was warmed by the sun.
I enjoyed the market, then called at Middleton Hall to photograph the birds on the feeding station, and caught an unexpected rat on cleanup duties.
The day was steadily getting colder, and snow started to fall. Very small showers, but it was happening.
I battled up a muddy canal to Fazeley, then returned up the old A5 over Hints – where I scoffed at the GPS app’s forecast for almost continual snow. Then it started.
The ride home – against a bastard wind forged on Satan’s back step and with periodically heavy, driving snow – was a real challenge. But I was glad to be out and in my favourite countryside again, which really is showing signs of spring, as the wallflowers at Bodymoor Heath were keen to point out.
I’m really not into Wyatt’s Old School House painted terracotta pink though. Preferred it white.
A great, but exhausting ride. Real four seasons in one day stuff.
August 27th – I did a 75 mile ride out beyond Tamworth into Leicestershire. I hadn’t rode this way for a decade or more – and I headed for Barton in the Beans and Newton Burgoland through beautiful, sunny countryside on another warm, still day.
A great ride.
But those place names? Go home, Leicestershire – you’re drunk.