September 25th - Spotted in darkest Wednesbury whilst nipping out on an errand, a giant, concrete lego brick.
How long have these been a thing? Why was I not informed?
A world where four-feet wide giant lego exists cannot be all bad. But why just use it as an anti-vehicle barrier and not build something instead?
A wasted opportunity, I feel…
September 15th - I spent the afternoon in Droitwich. This piece of woeful, inexplicable cycling ‘infrastructure’ is precisely why we’ll never have nice things.
Do you think the designer gave any thought to cyclists going in the other direction?
(No, there isn’t a lane on the other side of the road; there isn’t even a pavement.)
September 14th - The boating lake at Chasewater has been drained for cleaning, and the old water spread on the west heath, by the railway. Odd to see this pool empty, but the feral white geese and opportunist wagtails didn’t seem to mind too much.
I noted they had warning signs out to avoid the area where the old water was spread, like it was suddenly a health hazard; whereas when it was in the pond, we were invited to sail toy boats and paddle canoes in it…
Let’s hope it’s kept a bit cleaner in future.
September 9th - As I rode home along the canal through Walsall Wood, I came upon a Mexican standoff. A small, black and white kitten one side of the canal, staring out a Heron on the other who was meeting the stare eye-to-eye.
They’d probably both still be there, but a clumsy cyclist with tea on his mind broke the moment.
September 5th - An afternoon off work and errands in Birmingham. In the backstreets of Aston, a sign raised a smile - that’s a very ambitious business model.
'Yes, that's right. If you quote for Wolverhampton and Coventry, any chance of throwing Lichfield in for half price?'
August 31st - ‘Why the long face, mate?’ ‘Because the summer’s over and passers by keep asking me stupid questions.’
Gorgeously nosey donkey, who brayed a hello at me as I cycled past at the bottom of Lazy Hill. I did the only reasonable thing - slammed the anchors on and went back to give him some fuss and take a few pictures.
August 16th - Heading back towards Chasewater, I noticed the erosion that happens here every time there is heavy rain has been corrected again, in the same way it always has been: sweep the debris back into the hole, and stamp it down.
Expect a similar report next time it rains heavily. Getting an awful sense of deja-vu here.
This really needs a permanent fix.
July 28th - Big dreams, he had them.
Better luck next time, puss. Maybe it was for the best…
July 21st - The lads are still working hard in a field further up Green Lane. The small herd of cattle continue to live in the watermeadow, which is looking noticeably more cropped than it was. The cows themselves are all looking in fine fettle - but I do have a soft spot for the brown and white one.
Is it me, or does he seem to be smiling?
July 6th - Sustrans, the cycling charity who created and ostensibly look after the National Cycle Network are really annoying me locally.
A few weeks ago, I pointed out the baffling signage south of Chasewater on the canal, which appeared to prohibit a good cycling route. Here I noticed similar confusion at the level crossing by Chasewater Heaths station. Face north, and the signage correctly leads you over the crossing, onto the cycleway past the Sportway. Come in the opposite direction, and it shows you’re on Route Five. Or you’re not.
What the hell?
Get your act together, people; you’re supposed to be promoting cycling, not preventing it.
July 5th - I popped into Aldridge, and spotted this job ad that I don’t think I can refuse.
Kids today, eh?
June 28th - At Waitrose in Lichfield, an intriguing shopping list left on the clipboard of a discarded trolley. ‘Dr. P (Doctor Pepper, I assume), Cream Soda, Flake, Bounty, Marathon, D/eck (Double Decker?).
That’s a wicked chocolate and pop binge, or one hyperactive children’s party.
All these years, and Ye Olde City still can’t bring itself to think of Snickers either…
June 22nd - Riding (unusually for me, it’s a long story) up the A460 through Rugeley, I spotted this bit of arsehattery masquerading as cycling infrastructure. This is a ‘mandatory’ cycle lane, as indicated by the solid white line. Mandatory in this context means it doesn’t have to be used by the cyclist, but that traffic shouldn’t occupy it or park in it.
So far so good.
So they run it close to an oblique parking bay, on the left. What could possibly go wrong?
What’s wrong with this picture, kids?
June 18th - A little curio I’ve been passing for years in Leicester. A higeldy-pigeldy row of water stopcocks in a pavement, numbered from 3 to 16. One is unnumbered.
They start in an orderly fashion, then the seuence falls to pieces.
They are labelled in weld - that is, someone drew the numbers using a welder, so the digits stand proud, like metallic icing on a cake. Over years and years, people walking over them have polished the digits to a shine.
But what became of 1 and 2?
June 8th - Spotted in Alrewas. Too posh to acknowledge me. Too confident to run away. I smiled at her. She glared at me.
Look at that tail, Someone loves this gorgeous bear of a cat…