BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Walsall’

#365daysofbiking De-stressing

August 13th – On the way back, it was still sunny and having got through my appointment quickly, I had time to dawdle on my way back. I’m glad I did, as near Bently Bridge on the Walsall Canal, I met another family of happy, content mallards being charming.

They weren’t bothered about me, and mama was happy to mind her loose group of developing ducklings from a relative distance as they dozed and chattered to each other in the sun.

Such a delightful little family. Just wthe kind of thing you need after a stressful task.

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#365daysofbiking I know it’s under here somewhere

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August 13th – Spotted at lunchtime on an excursion from work to the hospital, a heron loafing on a wall in one of the most urban, industrial bits of Walsall: Pleck.

I adore herons for their impressive fishing ability, their shabby, almost mad appearance and their raw, appreciable character and individuality. They are endlessly entertaining to watch.

This large adult bird was preening, being slow, methodical, and thorough. It paid me scant attention as it picked at whatever underwing irritation was troubling it, but for all the world it looked like it was searching for a misplaced wallet or pair of glasses.

A welcome distraction on a lovely day.

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#365daysofbiking It’ll all wash down when it rains

July 28th – If Saturday’s weather had been poor, on Sunday it was atrocious – the rain just didn’t stop all day. I was low, everything was on top of me and I’d had enough. I went up Walsall Wood to see friend who was out then I called; I went to pick up a takeaway. They were closed for summer holidays.

I dripped and squelched back to Brownhills. I was wet. The town was wet. Everything was wrong.

This was certainly a lost weekend. But maybe not quite as bad as Lloyd Cole’s. At least there was no hotel bill…

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#365daysofbiking Browsing

July 26th – I’ve lost track of most of the local swan families in Walsall this year – there were a fair few and they’ve all been quite mobile and most have suffered attrition from predators, so I’m not sure which family I’m seeing where now.

These hungry characters were feeding near the old copper works, just west of the motorway flyover at James Bridge, on the Walsall – Darlaston border.

They look healthy and well, but I’ve no idea if this is the family that hatched just a little way up the canal from here or another family.

Never mind, it’s all good…

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#365daysofbiking On the tiles

July 24th – A sunny morning riding up the industrial, backstreets of North Walsall. In John Street, a pub with an interesting history is still thriving despite it’s secluded position.

The New Inns – or Pretty Bricks (from the tiled frontage) – is a great real ale house, and used to be a folk music venue and gay pub years ago. Now it’s a cosy, well-liked and popular real ale boozer; traditional, cosy, comfortable.

It’s well kept too, and on this sunny day the hanging baskets were spectacular.

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#365daysofbiking Monumental controversy

July 22nd – I’ve been riding through Bloxwich more often since the Chase Line upgrade, and I keep passing the remarkable sculpture of Lady Diana Spencer outside the monumental Masons that commissioned it. It’s certainly an unusual landmark.

The sculpture was made around the year 2000 in tribute to the deceased Princess, but when unveiled, it was black, shiny granite and was ridiculed for looking more like Diana Ross (according to a local politician of the day) or Dennis Nordern in the view of a local news commentator.

It was donated to Walsalls Council, who refused it, declined to place it in the local art gallery, and ended up back with the donor after plans to put it on display were apparently vetoed by the palace.

Since then, it was sandblasted to remove the sheen, and it stands outside the Masons being, well… Somewhat incongruous.

I think it’s absolutely bloody awful.

You can criticise almost every aspect of it – but the one thing nobody ever comments on that has always baffled me – the shoes.

Has she just come from welding on a ship and forgot to change her boots?

A curious bit of local legend.

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#365daysofbiking Dem feet tho


July 5th – Riding through Aldridge on the canal down through Longwood and Park Hall, the water life was busy and the canal limpid and green.

What interested me most were the water birds: I was once again reminded how very odd swan feet are – by a cygnet in this case – it’s foot tucked up on it’s back in rest position. They odd leathery texture – and those claws!

There was a gorgeously aloof, elderly heron too – who was active and looked in good health, except when he walked off I noticed a curious growth on his foot.

It wasn’t affecting his walk at all and he didn’t seem to bother him at all. I found myself wondering if it was some kind of ganglion like humans get.

Strange.

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