BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Walsall’

#365daysofbiking Hawkish

April 1st – Every day now there’s a new flower to see on every journey – even the short ones.

Adding to the bright yellows of spring, a flower at first glance often mistaken for dandelions. Hawkweed.

This beautiful spring soldier is generally yellow but does come in a variety of colours and types. All dwell on edge lands, verges and in hedgerows.

This profusion of flowers is just what I need right now.

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#365daysofbiking Dripping with life

March 23rd – A wet morning, and with the Prime Minister and clown in chief due to address the nation in the evening. Life was not feeling positive.

The morning was wet, and dripping. Rain stalked my journey to work and seeped into my clothing.

However, there were fresh leaves shooting everywhere, and early, very early cherry blossom, so it wasn’t all bad.

Some days getting to work and home in one piece and in good shape is enough.

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#365daysofbiking Hello, you

February 18th – on my way through Pleck, I spotted this clump of daffodils, a welcome addition to my currently grey and grim commute.

I note daffodils are gradually emerging in parks, hedgerows and gardens, and not just the traditional early patches I’m familiar with – they seem a bit early this year but I’m not sure if they really are.

Whatever they are, they are most welcome. Spring is definitely here when these beautiful characters appear.

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#365daysofbiking Changing times

January 17th -Slowly, imperceptibly almost, Walsall is changing. After many years in a state of flux, buildings are springing up around the north of the town centre.

Land that was, I think, a car park in the days when Walsall College was on Wisemore is now a smart new Travelodge hotel, with a beauty salon to be in the basement, and an odd kebab chain takeaway adjacent.

Further toward the new Tesco is a brand new drive thru Macdonalds, much to the chagrin of the dietary purists.

But this is the new economy – retail is dying, the new town centre is about entertainment, food and convenience. Over at the waterfront, a new cinema and restaurants are doing well and I wish hem success.

It’s time Walsall moved forward, and although slow progress, I’m glad to see it.

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#365daysofbiking Life in all it’s forms

January 10th – At this time of year, I desperately scan the world around me for signs of the oncoming spring, however small or odd. Today, I spotted one.

This floating root in the canal at Walsall Wood spotted on the way to work is just such a sign. It looks like a random piece of flotsam in amongst the maturing algal bloom which in recent weeks has turned red from green. But this root is actually the front guard for a larger movement.

It’s a water lily rhizome.

These roots break from last year’s dead growth and sink to the floor of the canal, then as spring comes, they gain buoyancy and begin to float. They move with the currents, boats, winds, waterfowl moments and eventually settle and sprout roots.

In high summer they will provide a new carpet of the familiar huge leaves and bright flowers for us to enjoy.

So it’s good news: Lily thinks spring is coming!

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#365daysofbiking I want to see the bright lights tonight

December 12th – Walsall’s Christmas lights are not ostentatious these days, but Walsall always looks sort of Christmassy at night anyway.

Whether it’s Bridge Street or Leicester Street, the street lighting, vehicles, building lights and architecture combine to make something quite festive and magical.

For all the stick it gets, Walsall isn’t a bad old place.

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#365daysofbiking The Christmas list

December 12th – The Christmas tree in Walsall is usually very nicely done. After a few grim yers in the early 2000s when lighting contractors synthesised something akin to a tree from a lighting column to universal derision, then a year or two without, we now get a pretty decent tree in the square between the bus station, bank and the Crossing at St. Pauls.

This year’s tree is excellent – but following blustery weather, developed an unfortunate tilt. It’s now fixed, but still not quite plum.

I think it adds character.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting on the line

December 10th – I spend a lot of time waiting at traffic lights, and of all of them, I think I like the ones on the Arboretum Junction on Walsall’s new ring road least of all.

Ostensibly heuristic and adaptive, the loop sensors here don’t always pick up my bike, and often I watch a whole cycle take place before the lights allow me to go.

Tonight was just such a night – because the controller didn’t find me, my phase of the lights was completely absent first time around.

Nothing to do but shuffle the bike on the loop and swear…

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