BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Walsall’

#365daysofbiking Canal dreams

April 10th – Returning home late as the sun set I turned into Scarborough Road, Pleck, and caught the sun over the Walsall Canal to the west.

You wouldn’t;t think you were in the heart of a densely populated, down at heel urban area.

Our canals are like green veins in our towns and cities. They are wonderful, and part of me.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting peacefully

April 9th – A run on the canal through Pleck and Bentley Bridge to check on the nesting swan couple at the former Anson Arm. I needn’t have worried. She was fast asleep in comfort and he was on patrol, threatening to peck my feet on the opposite bank.

This pair usually have small clutches. When the long wait is over, it’ll be interesting to watch them develop this year, as ever.

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#365daysofbiking An venerable old lady

April 8th – Returning home at gone 7pm in grey light, I spotted this elderly lady watching me from the open space in North Street.

I suspect she’d been having a standoff with a factory cat from the yard over the road.

She looks in good condition and wasn’t fazed by me at all.

Beautiful animal, and a pleasure to see.

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#365daysofbiking Thank you Gordon

April 2nd – One of the delights of Walsall Borough in springtime is the huge amount of daffodils on verges, in parks and other open spaces, like here on the corner of Four Crosses and Lichfield roads in Sheffield.

They are a credit to Gordon Kinnair at the council, sadly no longer with us, who was responsible for their planting.

This post is dedicated to both Gordon and his good friend Kate Goodall.

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#365daysofbiking Slippery customer

March 30th – Spotted on a recently cropped tree stump near the canal by Birchills locks, some impressively horrid-looking slime mould fungus that looks for all the world that it might spring to life and try to take the country by force at any minute.I’ve not seen any of this stuff for years. It was clearly living off the tree sap and the general moisture on the stump.

Stomach-churning and fascinating at the same time.

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#365daysofbiking Haunted

March 30th – I had to nip to Walsall at noon. I was tired from a very demanding week, but the weather was nice and the riding surprisingly easy.

I don’t mind Walsall these days – I long ago resolved my conflict with my memories and learned to embrace the place anew. It’s never been a bad town. It’s just that many who live here hate it because it isn’t the same as when they were young.

Of course it isn’t – all places change, and what folk resent is not the change in the town, but the change in themselves, I find.

I pushed my bike up Church Hill and admired the view, I plodded around the town below aimlessly but enjoying it immensely. I stopped for coffee in the sun. Then out on the canal to call at Sainsburys in Reedswood, where I noticed the last (nearly) whole remnant of Reedswood Power Station – the old pedestrian bridge over the long gone railway, now orphaned and fenced out of use between a pub and and the retail park.

Walsall is haunted by it’s own past, let alone the half-imagined one it has projected upon it.

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#365daysofbiking Fresh and green

March 27th – So many delights out there at the moment, despite the continuing chilly days. it’s quite dry, and nature is making the most of it with a whole host of fresh, verdant foliage on display every day.

These perfect bramble leaves were spotted on the way to work near Smiths Flower Mill in Walsall.Aren’;t they gorgeous?

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#365daysofbiking Sleepwalking

March 22nd – Working very late, a 14 hour day. I returned through a somnambulant Park Street in Walsall, the pavers shining in the electric light.

Walsall gets an awful lot of stick in some quarters, but looking tonight at the clean street and welcoming light, I was reminded that this isn’t a bad place, for all it’s detractors.

It certainly felt like home tonight.

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#365daysofbiking No danger

March 21st – A remarkable early riser at the moment in this early and temperate spring is the purple dead-nettle. Not usually seen until mid April around here, there are lovely little mauve-pink patches of this small plant in scrubs, commons, heaths, hedgerows and towpaths everywhere I go.

It doesn’t sting, and I love how the upper leaves have a red colour that compliments the delicate blooms.

In the last couple of years I’ve really come to appreciate nettles – yellow archangel is another member of the family which will soon appear and it’s stunningly beautiful too.

A real gem.

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#365daysofbiking Oddly empty

March 19th – Returning from work late, around 8pm I sailed through the Civic Quarter in Walsall and found it oddly bereft of people and even the roads were quiet.

Glad to see someone has finally painted over the horrid spots on Hatherton House which although painted by the tenant, were nothing short of an act of vandalism to a historic building.

This place is always odd at night: I love the interrelation of the light, trees and built environment but will always hate those streetlights. Awful design.

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