October 12th - It was a beautiful misty morning, and there was nothing for it but to head off for a ride. I couldn’t go far, so settled for a spin around Chasewater. It was gorgeous. From the mist lifting from the canal to the cobwebs on the bridge rail, everything was precious. But the sun was warm, and soon, a tipping point was reached: the mist disappeared in about 10 minutes, to reveal a beautiful sunny autumn day.
Good to see the valves finally closed, too: Chasewater has been quite low of late and it would be good to see it fill up a little.
December 12th - I had hoped for a few days of cold, clear weather - but it seems the mist and murk has settled back in. Still, I don’t mind as it makes for variety and the cold adds a welcome urgency to the commute. Today, I flew through the journey along icy backlanes, the hedges and skeletal trees dusted in rime. A peculiarly grey and silent day, it was an eerie commute, and the crystal-encrusted spiderwebs on the fence at Blake Street were fascinating.
September 3rd - Beauty is often found in unexpected places, and unexpected circumstances. Like a bad penny today, I pitched up again in South Wigston. This station - no more than a suburban halt, really - has always been a station I’d hated. No information system, little shelter, grim and fore bidding in the dark. And very, very cold in winter. Yet, this year, something strange happened. I discovered beauty here. I started to study the patch of scrub between the ramp and platform on the northbound side way back in spring, when it started to show a remarkable diversity of flowers. Untended, it seems to have been subject to some form of guerrilla planting. As the seasons have advanced, I’d spotted more stuff going on in this patch of scrub, which I feel sure I’m the only person ever to have noticed. It’s enchanting.
Today I found myself studying it again, at 8:45 on a misty, yet hazily sunny autumn morning. The fruiting has started in earnest. Haws, Hips, and catoniaster (the blackbirds go nuts for those bright orange berries) mingled with teasels, snails and cobwebs to make an autumnal tableaux that astounded and transfixed me.
Sometimes, I think I must be the only person in the world who gets excited about this stuff.