August 14th - I found myself back in Walsall at dusk, having been on a mad dash to Sutton. Finally relaxed and happy, I enjoyed the evening light and a peaceful ride home with the wind assisting me.
Some days are just frantic from start to finish. But it’s nice to feel a very hectic period come to an end. Oh for a few days off and a bit of blessed normalcy.
July 25th - A busy day, but the foot improved no end, and a great meeting with an old friend started the weekend off well. I spun out at sunset, as night fell, to Chasewater. Not a bad sunset, and the warmth and light was a joy to behold.
We are so lucky to have this place on our doorsteps.
July 10th - Mission complete. It’s been a hard few days working on a rush job, and I finally handed it on now, and the crisis has passed. I returned home via Stonnall in the late evening light, almost too tired to cycle up Shire Oak Hill.
Cresting this hill - always, always hard work from any direction - is a personal nemesis and when tired, it’s punishing. But once at the top, it’s pretty much a freewheel downhill to food, rest, a good cup of tea and the welcome of family.
It’s over, for now. A great relief.
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…
June 17th - It had been a tough day, but recent issues should improve now, and I slipped out again, this time at sunset. I just took a lazy loop of the canal out of Brownhills, over Catshill Junction and up to Chasewater.
At Newtown, the dying sun caught the water and rush-irises, and rendered everything precious. A pleasingly serene end to a difficult, scary day.
April 20th - For an evening spin, it was pleasant enough; the wind was grim, but at least I’d fixed the problem with my gears. At Chasewater, the sunset was nice, but unremarkable, and I was surprised at how tiny the gull roos was. I could hear an owl calling near the dame, but I couldn’t see it. On the way back home, the sky darkened, and it looked very, very black over Bill’s mother’s.
Luckily, I just got home and got the bike in as the heavens opened… I do hope that nice spell wasn’t summer.
March 31st - First light work night of the year, and I found myself working late - and returning home just as it was getting dark. In Walsall it had not long rained, but it was warm and felt still. It wasn’t a great sunset, but it found a crack in the clouds; Alumwell wore it well, as did Birchills.
It is so nice to have the light back. I feel like a weight is lifted from me already.
March 29th - I left Lichfield and the madness of the crowds as soon as I could, and took a leisurely line through Beacon Park, past the brook and the willows, currently in bud. From there, I took Cross in Hand Lane to Farewaell, then hopped over to Burntwood and back home via Chasewater. A great afternoon in sandals and shirtsleeves, and some great spring sights in the hedgerows and fields, crowned by a stark but beautiful sunset.
Spring really is here now, and this was the last night of darkness until the end of October, a spring, summer and autumn away.
Opening out - I love it.
March 23rd - It’s always good to get home. I’m quite liking this new camera, too…
March 15th - Coming down from Shire Oak back into Brownhills I rode into a fantastic sunset. Don’t ever let anyone tell you Brownhills can’t be beautiful. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
March 13th - So, having got the new camera and charged it up, I tried it out on the way home. I need more time with it, as many settings I’m used to have moved - but I was quite pleased, really. The flowers in Walsall Wood are a credit to the people who planted them, and are really worth a trip to see. The sunset over Walsall Wood, Bullings Heath and Clayhanger Common was great tonight, in all its misty glory.
The lone red deer hind was a surprise as I rode around the new pond at Clayhanger - I almost missed her; she was nervous and high-tailed it away almost as soon as I spotted her. I think they get in the osiers and scrub on the marsh on the far side of the pool, safe there from human contact.
I see the canal boat moorings are still busy at Silver Street, and it’s nice to see the woodsmoke drifting from the chimneys as you pass by.
Not a bad first sample, really.
March 11th - And at the other end, a trip from Blake Street through the backlanes for a change. A fine evening, a fine golden hour. The same sun that shines on inner city Aston shines on the country byways of rural Lower Stonnall, and just as beautifully.
March 11th - On the way home on a sunny, spring evening, with a low sun shining long over Aston. The train stopped and was held for a few minutes, dwelling on a service coming in the other direction before the points could change - as often happens. The doors were open, and I was stood in golden light, frozen.
It’s a snapshot of Birmingham, and why I love it so.
March 10th - I love it when, for a short time every spring and autumn, my homeward commute coincides with the golden hour. Even more so if it does so during a period of good weather. This evening, I returned from Shenstone specifically to catch the station and two towers in the beautiful light, and hopefully see the sunset over Ogley Hay and St. Jame’s Church.
Neither disappointed. I’m loving this spring.