August 26th - Even on a grim, grey day, Wall still has a fascination. Riding in via the track that constitutes Back Lane was a challenge, as it’s very overgrown, but such a delight. The fields here have been fully harvested, and look barren dressed in their underwear of stubble.
The village itself is fascinating. The half-cream, half-barebrik place with the odd gables? That was once a pub called the Seven Stars, and is now a lovely looking home.
Once, it stood on the main A5 between Brownhills and Tamworth, but the road was diverted on to a new dual carriageway half a mile to the south, and peace is restored.
A lovely little village.
Apriul 12th - I must have passed this hundreds of times without noticing it. Facing the footpath on the Birmingham Road, just on the edge of the Highwayman Car Park at Shenstone Woodend, this Ordnance Survey monument. Cast Iron, now at a jaunty angle, it sows a benchmark in the absence of a building to carve one into.
I had no idea these ornate cast iron ones existed, and they seem relatively rare. A fine, uniquely British thing.
November 29th - While we’re on the subject of architectural disasters, the new Premier Inn on the waterfront development near the art gallery looks better at night - mainly because it’s grim black colour and peculiar yellow window frames are muted by the darkness. Nearly ready to open, the lights were on and made for an interesting shot or two over the canal basin. Over a decade since development here began, the basin is still overlooked by derelict and unoccupied buildings. Not a great success story, it has to be said.