August 11th – I had to pop to Shenstone on an errand on my way home from work, and the chance to ride these sleepy, familiar lanes, even on a dull day is wonderful.
I crossed Church Hill through the churchyard of St Johns, purely as I hadn’t been up there in a while. I have to say, the grounds maintenance at the rear in the old graveyard is currently not a patch on what it was, but I guess the wildlife appreciates the lack of disturbance.
The church remains what it has always been to me: A remarkable building in a beautiful spot, although not to my taste: A competent, muscular design in Victorian dark gothic that screams foreboding at me, not praise.
However, always good to see this landmark of my life. Love or hate it, it’s a remarkable thing.
January 16th – On my return, I came through Shenstone, and was reminded of s simple fact…
A village can be awash with money. A parish council can be very good at getting grants. But neither of those facts mean the village has any taste.
I think this clock is hideous. Sorry.
November 19th – The Queen herself today travelled to Birmingham (by train, which won’t have been delayed and will have had a working toilet) to open a station that hadn’t closed and has merely been subject to having a retail opportunity badly assembled on top, and is still unfinished.
Brenda won’t have had to walk up a static escalator, or pull a pushchair up the stairs. She won’t have seen the dingy, grim end of platforms where the 1980s access bridge hasn’t even been granted a clean down.
Someone once said that Royalty must think everywhere smells of fresh paint. In Birmingham tonight, on a late journey from home, the overpowering smell was more reminiscent of the farmyard.
Oh, and Phil – we do speak English. Chances are Shakespeare would sound more like our tongue than the fabricated received English of the Windsors (and spousal attachments).
November 1st – Gentleshaw Church, like that of Kings Bromley, shows something that I think deserves wider attention, but makes me somewhat outspoken.
Victorian architectural hubris wrecked many fine churches with utterly horrible extensions – sadly an abomination that went on for another century.
(I know the extension is 1903 – but it was planned in the late victorian period).
There, I said it. What was the architect thinking here?
August 13th – A bit better today, and I’m on the mend, and out and about earlier. Time I note for another periodic explanation…
This isn’t pollution at Catshill Junction, or anywhere else it’s happening. This time the scum film at wind traps and bends on the canal is caused by rose bay willow herb plants, which are currently going to seed and producing oodles of the white fluff.
Just like the sallow earlier in the year, it looks horrid as the chaff and hairy detritus forms a film on the water – but it’ll soon be gone.
Another curious little marker of the passing seasons.