BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Walsall’

#365daysifbiking Lining up the cast

February 13th – A ride into work on a pleasant, sunny and mild morning saw me take to the canal from Walsall to Darlaston, mainly to check on swan couple Arnold and Flossie, who had enchanted me last week.

They’re still around, still very much a couple and were just loafing, grazing the canal bottom and green shoots of reedmace. They seem in rude health and only looked cross when they realised I had no treats for them.

Looking on carefully was an enemy they may need to watch out for if they hatch a brood: Grey herons won’t bother a grown swan, but they will take hatchlings. They’ll need to be vigilant.

And so, slowly, the spring sets up it’s cast and characters…

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#365daysifbiking Deep blue

February 8th – I was in Walsall for a meeting, early evening.

In that weird interregnum between day and night, today the sky turned a remarkable, beautiful blue.

It’s been a while since I’ve actually been to Walsall town centre, rather than merely passing through. I expected it to be awful, and haunted by better memories.

It wasn’t, it was OK.

The only thing blue this evening was the sky. Perhaps my battle with my lost youth has been won.

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#365daysifbiking Hello I must be gecko-ing

February 8th -Taking a shortcut through the Tannery Estate in Birchills, North Walsall during the morning I noticed an interesting pair of wall ornaments on the edge of the communal pathway between the apartment blocks.

This metal lizard and frog friend have been carefully mounted on a garage wall, in the gardens.

There’s no obvious reason for them to be there at all, and I couldn’t see any other such ornaments, but they’re beautiful and delightful; a lovely thing.

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#365daysifbiking Of course – gorse!

January 31st – on the way to work on a grim, cold morning, the familiar sight of gorse flowers on waste ground near Bentley Mill Way surprised and delighted me. I’m never really sure of the difference between gorse and broom, but the bright yellow flowers – in bloom before Christmas – seem to be around forever and smell pleasingly of coconut.

Such a lovely sight on a cold, grey day.

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#365daysifbiking Floof!

January 25th – Passing through the Butts in Walsall mid morning, I was able to photograph this delightful character, whom I’ve met before. She’s a tiny, gorgeous little cat I’ve since found out is called Belle.

A very friendly, affectionate puss, I often see her on the bins here but usually can’t take pictures due to the nearby school.

Today, she shared head boops, nose and back tickles and purred appreciatetively, without taking her eye off the neighbourhood.

Nice to be meeting cats again…

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#365daysifbiking An end to Police brutalism in Walsall

January 24th – There is a madness afoot in the country, and possibly the broader western world in the last 10 years or so, and I can see no solution in sight.

Governments come to power on the promise of austerity and cutting spending, yet close used and needed public facilities that took decades to be obtained – in a flash. And so we lost the police station in Walsall on Green Lane, built in the Brutalist period of the 60s, which was closed in response to spending cuts in 2016. Police now have to take suspects to Oldbury when arrested, which is impacting officer availability and causing great inefficiency.

The building itself – an unremarkable modernist structure – was sold to developers and is currently being demolished.

We will need a police station again. The situation as it is is not working.

And it will cost us far more than closing this one saved to sort the mess out.

And when some politician grasps the nettle and does it, they will be derided for financial profligacy.

But the real crime is cutting things communities need, in the interests of short term political gain.

It takes years to build communities, and days to destroy them with cuts. The recklessness seems in the axe-hand to me.

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#365daysifbiking A bit chewy

January 24th – I again had to call into Pelsall on the way to working this time took the cycleway from Station Road up the old railway line to The Butts. The route through the Goscote Valley is lovely and well surfaced, mostly, but up at Ryecroft near the cemetery the surface has broken up and going was heavy and muddy.

I’m not sure who’s responsible for this section, but if its the council I shan’t hold my breath for any resurfacing at the moment.

Best avoided in the wet, I think, from now on.

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#365daysifbiking Back to grey

January 7th – I rode in to work from Walsall along the canal for the first time in a few weeks – it wasn’t;t a bad ride, though I forgot how grey it can be on a dull, overcast winter day.

Nice to see Canal and River Trust litter picking crews out at the birch ills end, and hopefully they can clear some of the mess left by the magnet fishers – what a pain in the backside they are.

At Bently Bridge the view was trying to be green, but it’s heart wasn’t;t in it, sadly. Maybe some sun tomorrow…

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