July 16th - Working late, stopped off for a Chinese takeaway on the way home.
Just what do bored staff do in such places when it’s slack, then?
A variety of animals and flowers, mostly folded from the local newspapers. I loved it. There’s creativity in the oddest places if you look out for it. There’s clearly a talent here.
July 16th - Hey, South Wigston has a station cat. With the close proximity of dense housing, and embankments and wastelands full of small, squeaky things, it was inevitable, really, but I’d never seen this young lad before.
He was doing monorail cat on the pedestrian barrier until I appeared. He hopped off when I got out my camera, but did pose for a few shots… a lovely lad, clearly.
Like pubs, every station should have a resident cat.
July 14th - South Wigston station, where sadly some Philistine has been out with a brush-cutter and mown the interesting flowers back from the walkway.
However, the sweet peas growing in the centre of my favourite patch of wilding are keeping the bees busy.
There’s always something to cheer, here…
July 8th - It’s been a while since I got a good sunset in the bag. I was tired. I had caffeine shakes. I was a stressed, weary mess. But Cycling home in this really sorted me out.
July 8th - Working late. Exhausted, with very sore eyes, I hit Shenstone station just as darkness was falling. Pleased to note this camera takes very decent handheld shots in low light. This rural station is a long-time muse of mine, and I find the station building and environment fascinating, particularly at night.
In high summer like this, working late and catching the dark is a rare treat, and despite my bleariness, I did try and savour the light…
July 7th - New Street, New… wet feet. 8am on a Monday morning, and water trickles through the ceiling and onto the floor of the new concourse. For a supposedly refurbished building, there aren’t half a lot of faults with the new New Street Station. The seems to be a permanent array of leaks, this one at the top of the escalator to Platform 7. Several others were in evidence.
What’s most worrying is that it hasn’t rained for a couple of days…
I wouldn’t pay ‘em in tap washers.
July 4th - Sweet rain.
It’s been a long, dry and warm spell. Today was fraught, stressed, tired, sweaty. I was struggling against the urge to just go home, the heat, tiredness, irritation. But I could smell the rain on the wind. Sweet, distant, but present. I stood on the threshold of an open fire escape at work and filled my lungs with the smell of moisture on the wind.
As I left work, it began. I enjoyed it. Not torrential, but steady. Gently saturating the plants, refreshing the greenery, and making me feel if not less tired, more alert.
A sensory delight.
I was glad the week was over. And welcomed the rain.
July 3rd - Ragwort is one of those plants that everyone recognises, but few ever stop to look at. It’s rather beautiful. This plant was growing in Mill Green, and looked gorgeous as I passed this morning on my way to work. The buds are gorgeously dainty, and the shades and complexity of the flower parts themselves is wonderful.
At this time of year, it provides a welcome boost to the other, fading yellows of the hedgerow and verge.
Another weed that really deserves a bit closer study.
July 2nd - Passing through New Street Station in the morning, I noticed a motorcycle paramedic had been dispatched to some unknown incident down on a platform. Parked on the concourse, a well used, and no doubt well loved, specially adapted BMW bike.
These bikes are incredibly well engineered; they have equipment for use by the technician mounted everywhere, and it’s all to hand very quickly. The paramedics themselves hang about town all day waiting for callouts, and off they speed with all the kit to save lives and tend the injured. I used to see them in a particular coffee shop in town, always with scissors tucked into one boot.
It must be a hell of a buzz to ride through the subways, concourses and malls of Birmingham to get to a shout. I can really appreciate the rush of that.
To Flymo and the lads who wait for the call, my total respect. And I love your steeds.
July 1st - At the other end of my morning commute, Telford. The flowerbed here that held crocuses and tulips early in the year now holds these delightful blooms - the only ones I recognise are the blue lobelia.
So many people passed this flowerbed getting off the train, and never gave it a glance. I felt sorry for the flowers, who were clearly trying very hard to get our attention.
So I shared them here.
June 27th - A hard day and an awful journey home for the last commute of the week. The trains were a mess and I came back from Four Oaks against a grinding headwind with little left in my reserve tanks. I was knackered.
Re-armed with the camera, I spied this field of high-quality, nicely ripening barley at the foot of Castle Hill. It’s a lovely crop, with plump, large grain and will make fine malt.
I love the satin sheen of an undulating crop of barley, as it bobs in the wind. It’s one of the great seasonal sights of the English countryside.
June 26th - Without my trusty camera, the phone was employed again on the way home - but I hate it, and inadvertently set it to take square images, which are no use to man nor beast.
I took some photos of a lovely black and white puss that walked out of the hedge in Green Lane, and mewed a greeting at me, but the images were terrible. Just as well that I noticed this impressive pile drilling machine on the building site near Catshill Juntion. It will be drilling foundation piles for the new maisonettes here.
That’s a large drill bit and an impressively complex piece of equipment. Bet it would be fun to play with…
June 26th - Work is a lot busier this week than I expected, and I /was/ keeping on top of things… until today, when I left my camera at work. I’d spotted these cute little violet flowers on a verge near Telford Railway Station and have no idea what they are, but they’re quite small.
Sadly, as I left my camera behind, it mean 365days got behind, too…
June 25th - As the summer winds on, the next stage of the season begins; moving from the flowering, to the fruiting and seeding. In Walsall Wood’s Green Lane, there’s a patch of comfrey that’s going to seed, and I was intrigued by the way it forms from the flowers, another almost prehistoric-looking plant. Intertwined with it, the white bloom of mid and late summer, bindweed.
Soon, blackberries will be forming on the brambles, and there will be hips, haws and berries ripening aplenty, and time for a new palette of colours; but at the moment we’re passing from the purple into the white for a while.
The advancing summer makes me a little sad, but the weather is fine ad warm, and everything looks splendid. I’m in my element, to be honest.
June 25th - One the way to work today in Telford, I passed, as I usually do, a tall beech hedge. My attention was snagged by the bright, crisp red-green new growth, and the intensely geometric nature of these gorgeous leaves.
Each leaf different, but similar. Macro, and fascinating. Never really studied them before, but these were remarkable.
Funny the things you sometimes see afresh by chance.