February 19th - A beautiful, sunny, frosty winter morning. I love days like this. It was cold, but the warmth in the sun was tangible, and felt good on my shoulders. In Little Aston, mist quivered in the hollows, before being burnt up in the sun.
A great start to the day.
February 7th - None of these pictures have been doctored. Dawn, over Little Aston and Blake Street. It really was like this, one of the finest dawns I think I’ve ever witnessed.
This, my friends, is why I ride a bike.
February 5th - The cycleways of Telford were beautiful this morning. It was snowing, lightly, but the sun was out, and snow lingered in the shadier hollows and hushed my noisy wheels. Telford’s bike tracks are legendary, but not well signposted or even mapped. Now they’ve matured, they’re often very secluded, almost hidden. I could have ridden around here for hours. Just for the quiet, the air, and the light.
A diamond in the dust.
February 5th - By heck, it was nippy this morning. We’d had the merest icing sugar dusting of snow, but after the almost humid warmth of the preceding period, the cold was a shock, as was the ice on the roads, particularly Wallheath Lane. I stomped and puffed into my hands as the sun rose at Shenstone Station; it caught the clouds beautifully and I reached for the camera.
Some things are worth getting cold for.
January 9th - A beautiful morning, really, and although not very cold, after the warm weather of late it felt bitter. The sun shone, at least while I got to work - and everything had a gorgeous softness to it. In the light haze, the railway fascinated with its extended perspective and shine, and the row of terraces that back onto the junction by the station continue to fascinate in their recursion.
Even the Tyseley incinerator - working normally, as it does everyday - looked impressive; it’s water vapour, not usually visible, was forming plumes of steam in the cold air. Magical.
December 11th - These are the days. I’ve waited for fair weather for ages. Such a change from the grey and drizzle, it lasted long enough for me to enjoy a lovely cold, crisp commute to work. Had it not been for the fact that I was already running late, I’d have cycled all the way into Brum. Grove Hill, at Stonnall looked wonderful, and the only cloud in an azure sky was the plume of steam from Rugeley Power Station. At Mill Green, the hoar frost was beautiful, and made magic everything it graced. I love rides like this.
We’ve maybe got another couple of days of this. Wrap up warm and go out - cycle, walk, whatever. I never love my world more than when it’s embraced by a fine winter frost.
November 23rd - Out early, and off to Telford. Everywhere was absolutely saturated from the night before - roads, fields, gardens, everything. I’ve never seen so much surface water. The day itself, however, was bright and dry, if a little chilly. It was a beautiful morning. On the cycle paths of Telford, the still autumnal view made me feel bright and optimistic for the first time in a week, really. Daylight. Hazy sun. No wind. But will it last?
October 26th - I was out and about early, and off to Tyseley. It was the first really cold, wintry mining of the season, and the east wind was a bitter as only it could be. The air, however, was clear and clean, and the sunrise gorgeous. I stopped at Mill Green to take pictures, then quickly remembered the winter faff of having to remove gloves to handle the camera. These cold mornings are going to take some getting used to…
October 9th - At Moor Street, I was held up waiting for the train, and took a long shot down the platform to the south. I actually love this photo. It’s got Tyseley Incinerator - not far from my destination; Camp Hill church, and Bordesley church too. I love the way the tracks shine in the haze. This is my Birmingham, and pictures like this confirm why I love it so much.
October 3rd - Out to Telford at dawn meant cycling to Shenstone Station. The weather has been really variable this week, the one constant factor being the northeasterly wind that’s blown me to Shenstone in the morning and home from Walsall at night. Just as this is the time of year for good sunsets, it’s also the time for decent sunrises, too, although I’m usually too rushed to photograph them. Today was a good example - a gorgeous sky heralding a temperate day. Coupled with the shinbone skyline, it was beautiful.
August 13th - Out at sunrise and off to Redditch for the first time in a while. Coasting the top of Shire Oak Hill, I noticed the sunrise was looking good from the landfill entrance on the Chester Road. This time of year, the sunrises are usually excellent. Shame the same can’t be said for the weather at the moment - after a few days of warm, welcome summer, it’s back to overcast skies and drizzle. The day turned grey and wet by lunchtime…
May 8th - Bloody typical. A miserable bank holiday Monday, followed by a crestfallen return to work on a gorgeous, bright sunny spring day. I was heading to Telford, which means catching a train from New Street’s platform 4c, which I always think of as being Birmingham’s equivalent of platform nine and three quarters. There was something about the light today, the sun, the music I listened to on the way… it did feel very good to be out, even if I was going to work. Most peole seem to hate this station, and aspects of it are truly horrendous; but I also have a genuine affection for the old place. It feels like home, I guess.
March 28th - Misty mornings are the order of the week, and I’m so glad that I’m cycling to Lichfield throughout this distinctly summery spell. The days are warm, still and glorious, the evenings deceptively chilly. But the mornings? I see the countryside just after sunrise. Shrouded in lazy mist, golden light and curious patches of grey. I wouldn’t have missed the last few morning commutes for anything. Today, I had time to spare and dropped off Pipe Hill down the back lanes, down over the old level crossing to Deans Slade. Captivating.
November 3rd - Another early start, and a deserted Shenstone station at 6:15am. I was lucky today; the forecast was for heavy rain, but it had passed when I hit the road. It was also unseasonably warm. Approaching the station from Lynn Lane, I surveyed the platforms from the over bridge, as I often do. I love this station. It’s like a little period piece. Even at 6:15am on a dark, wet November morning.
August 22nd - The late summer sun was gorgeous this morning. Warming my back at 8AM on my way to work, I felt oddly alive and content for a Monday Morning. Walsall is surprisingly green, and this sunshine and shade aspect of the Lichfield Road near the Butts caught my eye. Oh, to be in England in the summertime.