April 26th - Have you recently employed a cheap plumber to refit a bathroom? Perhaps you’ve done the job yourself, and paid someone a few quid to remove the rubbish?
If you’re wondering what became of your bog and fittings, they are currently adorning a lay-by on Northfields Way in Clayhanger. They aren’t doing much for the area, to be honest.
Flytippers are scumbags. People who turn a blind eye for a cheap jack job are as bad.
April 24th - It never ceases to amaze me, the state of bikes some people ride. But this is also an argument about rubbish components.
This is a Real ladies step through (Real is a brand unique to Halfords) - a cheap, functional, popular utility bike. It’s mostly OK quality, like the majority of Halfords cycles, but the brakes are rubbish. V-brakes like this crept in on cheap bikes about 10 years ago, and replaced superior cantilever versions. They replaced them not because they offer mechanical or user benefits, but because they’re much easier to fit in production. They are a benefit not to the customer, but to the manufacturer. To put it bluntly, unless you’ve got a really good, high end set, they’re shit.
Their ease of assembly tends to make them likely to disassemble, as the arms and cable pop apart easily when snagged - for instance when getting on and off a train.
The chap(!) riding this bike - spotted on a morning train into Birmingham - is riding with no front brake, and has been for a while. I’ve seen him a few times, and doesn’t seem bothered about it.
I wouldn’t dream of riding a bike without a decent braking system… mystifying.
December 1st - I notice that Green Lane on the Walsall Wood/Shelfield border is seeing an increase flytipping again. As usual, this is just domestic refuse, and would have fitted in a wheelie bin or public littler bin. I just can’t work out how the scumbags who do this think. It must take more effort to flytip in many cases than it would do to dispose of the stuff considerately.
September 30th - A grim, wet and windy day. I went out about 6pm, and enjoyed a spin round a dark and deserted Brownhills. It felt very wintery, but the wet roads sang under my wheels and the unusual solitude on the streets was welcome. In Coppice Lane, Brownhills, I noted the scumbags have been flytipping again; 2 complete leather sofas and at the top, garden waste.
If you pay people to do jobs like gardening or rubbish removal on the cheap, you’re contributing to this problem. It costs everyone money, as our council tax has to pay for the cleanup.
The animals that do this are arseholes. No more, no less.
September 9th - Returning to Brownhills via Green Lane on the Walsall Wood/Shelfield border, I noted flytipping here was on the increase. After a relatively quiet summer with few incidents, the arseholes are back. Sadly, I can’t report these dumped window frames to the council as they’re on private land. It’s clear the idiots who did this just smashed the gate open with their truck. The same gateway has the remnants of other’s flytipping also.
Please think before you employ a very cheap workman. One of the ways they can be so cheap is to flytip, like this. Think on.
February 26th - Not far away from the crutch, but hopefully not connected with it, I spotted this on a Brownhills canal bank. Possibly caused by the hedge clipping I posted about yesterday, I hope the owner continued to feel deflated. Some cyclists make me ashamed to be on two wheels - and those who leave litter fit into that category. Drink bottles, energy bar wrappers and detritus like this shame us all - and the inner tube is a particular hazard to waterfowl who get tangled in them. Apart from anything else, it’s a waste. Or at least it would be, but it’s my size, so I took it home, repaired it and popped it in the spares box.
I have a simple message for those cyclists who litter: You brought it with you, take it the hell back. You disgust me.
August 25th - in an attempt to lift the darkness, I headed over Clayhanger Common to check out the view of Shire Oak. It’s an interesting view, and demonstrates the wide range of ages and styles of house that make up this quiet, residential end of Brownhills. This view is only possible due to the mound sculpted during the reclamation of Clayhanger Tip, where I stand was one a cutting full of brackish, dirty water.
May 21st - NCN 5 - the cycle track from the former cement works canal bridge near Pelsall Road to the the old level crossing at Engine Lane. This is either alcoholic OCD or too much time on someone’s hands. It’s a bit odd, because if you remove the cans, they’re replaced soon after. I don’t know either. Brownhills never has operated in the conventional space-time continuum.