October 11th - There’s a type of littering prevalent at the moment that’s really annoying me. It consists of collecting the rubbish in your vehicle neatly in a carrier bag, then when full, tying it in a knot and just chucking it out of the window at your first opportunity.
If you do this you are a moron with no respect for others, and are beneath contempt.
I see bags of this rubbish blighting lanes and dual carriageways; urban backstreets and country verges. This was in Little Wyrley.
There’s something very selfish about a mentality that keeps their vehicle tidy, but can’t be bothered to do the same for the wider environment. Just how hard is it to wait until you’re home and popping it in the dustbin?
Scum. Nothing more, nothing less. Filthy, littering scum.
October 11th - Still not feeling great, to be honest. Still sleepy and tired, I headed out at lunchtime to get something to eat, and do a little shopping. I needed to pop up to the Orbital in Cannock, so went via Pelsall, and up the Cannock Extension Canal.
It was a lovely autumn afternoon.
I particularly liked the boat with the unintentionally smiling face near the boatyard, and the golden hour as I returned through Pelsall was gorgeous.
If you’re out an about on a bike this weekend, do watch out for the twin hazards though: it’s hedge-flailing season and the roads are dotted with thorns, and following the inclement weather, many are coated in slippery mud. Beware, folks - both can wreck a good ride.
October 10th - As I cycled down Green Lane past Jockey Meadows, my sight was snagged by something luminous. I pulled on the anchors and doubled back. An inversion was occurring over the water meadow, and it was beautiful.
An inversion occurs when a layer of colder air in contact with the ground is trapped by warmer air above it, when normally, the reverse occurs. This traps mist in a low blanket in the cooler layer.
A full-on inversion is a sight to behold; mist streams off the surface of any water and clings low to the ground. I’ve not seen a good one for a long while, and this was minor, and seemed localised. But it gave a wonderfully haunting aura to a familiar spot.
Hopefully, we may get more soon, and this is the warmup act…
October 10th - I came home drained, and tired. But at least it was dry, and the wind seemed to be behind me. I pushed through Walsall as the sun was setting, and caught this lovely skyline in The Butts. Great chimeys, and excellent queen pots.
Looking to my right, I noticed the Arabic (or possibly Urdu) script high on the gable end of the house close by. I like that a lot. Curious.
October 9th - I came back through Walsall and had to make a call in Chuckery. Just as I came over the brow of the hill on the Sutton Road, I caught sight of the moon.
We don’t seem to get normal, plain old moons any more. Every one lately has to be a ‘supermoon’, a ‘blood moon’ or some other silliness. Still, as long as folk look up and see our sole astronomical satellite, I guess it’s all good.
A handheld, spur of the moment shot with a small, consumer camera. Inbetween me, and that big old moon? Just static, and silence. Sobering, and impressive to think about.
October 9th - I was in Birmingham for an evening meeting. It was dark and beautiful on my return. Cathedral Square and a very quiet station made for some interesting night shots - remarkably, without a tripod. Really pleased with the night performance of this little camera, so much better than previous models.
The oncoming darkness doesn’t seem so bad this year yet. I’m sort of warming to it…
October 8th - As dusk fell, the sky cleared, and heading into Brownhills on this quiet, damp evening it was actually quite beautiful. It’s been a month or two since I last saw the canal look like this… I also noted that these were probably the last days of my commuting home in the light.
Everything must pass.
October 8th - The weather has really turned this week. From the warm, dry Indian summer it’s changed into a wet, squally October. Very, very heavy periods of rain throughout the day interspersed with sunshine made it a great day for rainbow hunters, but not for drivers, as many local roads were flooded.
Here at Green Lane, on the Walsall Wood - Shelfield border, the usual standing flood near the cottage. It’s not deep, but riding this on a bike needs careful observation not to be passed by a vehicle and splashed or worse.
Coupled with all this it seems very cold (although it isn’t, it’s just a shock).
Oh hello winter. I wondered where you’d got to…
October 7th - Autumn is still merrily and beautifully doing it’s thing, although at somewhat different rates.
In Wednesbury, the gorgeously shimmering red-brown willows I spotted last week have been joined by beautiful ochre-orage beech trees (At least, I think they’re beeches). The contrast and effect are stunning, even on a grey, damp morning.
On my return, Jockey Meadows is still quite green; fitting really, as this was the last place I noticed to green up in spring. The cows have long ago moved on from this water meadow, but they cut back the scrub considerably, and the effect is still lush and verdant, all under a wonderfully dramatic sky.
Beauty, even on dull, miserable days.
October 7th - An odd bike spotted in a rack near work. It was so odd, I had to take a closer look.
It’s a Kettler city bike. Kettler are, I believe, a German brand with an office in Redditch selling into the UK. It’s a large bike, and looks very heavy indeed. Dynamo lights powered by a bottle, rather than hub generator and rim brakes - the rear an unusual crossover cantilever design mounter under the chainstays - mark this bike out as being a cheap model. More expensive steeds of this type would have hub brakes.
The bike clearly needs some love - the chain was as dry as old bones and red rusty, as were many of the components. I’m tempted to pop back just to lube the chain. It must squeak like hell in use.
An unusual thing, for sure…
October 6th - It was a dreadful morning commute, and running late on the way home meant I didn’t have much time to stop. The heavy rains and wind of the morning sapped all my reserves of energy and patience; the riding was difficult and the driving poor.
Thankfully, by my somewhat late return, it was dry with an interesting dusk sky and what I suspect was a decent sunset, although I couldn’t get in a good place to see it.
From Walsall Station it looked impressive, if a little ominous. As I passed the Black Cock at Bullings Heath later on, it started to spot with rain again, even though the moon was large and clear.
A horrid day for commuting.
October 5th - I returned to Brownhills from Pelsall over Ryders Mere and the old rail line. Dropping onto the canal just by the Pelsall Road, I notices two fresh pieces of street art by Voms on the inside parapets of the old rail bridge.
They’re competent, and well-excuted; I like them a lot. An interesting thing.
October 5th - Still feeling rotten, I slipped past the border guards and spun through the principality, entering via the Cannock Extension Canal. At Pelsall Junction, the old tonnage house has been up for sale for a bit and I assume from recent clearance works that it’s been sold. It’ll make an interesting house, but living there could present challenges, especially for access.
The canal, commons and trees looked beautiful on a grey and dismal afternoon, which despite an occasionally interesting sky, was thoroughly uninspiring.
A ride that was better than expected, to be honest.
October 4th - In Goscote, what I know as the Pelsall swan family. Dad and a couple of cygnets lost to, in all probability, a fox, the tree remaining young and mum seem to be doing well, and it was good to see them.
Noticeably more friendly that the Catshill brood, they came to see if I had food, before scudding away when they realised none was coming.
I haven’t seen the Catshill swans for ages, but the Swan Lady pointed out there were cygnets on Chasewater there now, so they’ve probably joined the wider flock there.
Following these lovely birds this year has been a real joy.