The Mad Old Baggage

The Mad Old Baggage

More ramblings.....

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Total silence, apart from the birdsong. This isn’t a bad view, is it - considering I’m in the industrial heart of England …… (at Park Lime Pits)


Total silence, apart from the birdsong. This isn’t a bad view, is it - considering I’m in the industrial heart of England …… (at Park Lime Pits)

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Saturday was spent at RSPB Coombes Valley. This reserve is a beautiful, hilly, woodland, full of surprises around every twist of the pathways throughout. Since our last visit a new walk called the Woodcock Trail has been opened up and it’s worth taking the time to walk it. There are some stunning vistas over the treetops. Lots of fungi about at present and even the odd lizard sunbathing. A very peaceful and relaxing day.

Filed under rspb coombes valley woodcock trail staffordshire fungus common lizard

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Rudyard Lake, Staffordshire. We took the opportunity to take a couple of nights away and stayed near The Roaches. After setting up we took the short drive to Rudyard Lake, the straightest lake outside the Lake District, apparently and originally built as a feeder for the Caldon Canal and the place after which Rudyard Kipling was named. It was a sunny afternoon and was so peaceful and relaxing to be there. A little later we made our way to other end of the lake where there the mud attracts various waders and were rewarded with sightings of scaup, snipe, lapwing and woodpeckers in the woods. It’s difficult to  access that end of the lake but the effort was worth it.

Filed under rudyard lake staffordshire

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August 7th - A great day - sunny. warm, still - great Indian Summer stuff. After around 6 weeks of nursing a foot injury, it was time to push it again - a long ride and some strenuous climbing was in order. 

For too long, I’v been doing only work rides, or short stuff; dropping gears to climb hills and generally riding like an old man.

I utterly punished myself on and off road; sharp climbs, speed, and plenty of honking (pedalling stood up). I was surprised at my energy. I seem to be losing weight at the moment, too, and was pleasantly surprised at my stamina considering.

Hopefully, this isn’t summer’s last yahoo and I can get some decent riding in at last before summer’s last breath.

Today, I fell back in love with it.

4 notes

Forgive me, today was a day of two halves. This morning whilst Aiden went to look at classic cars at Himley, I did a swift 15 miles. A beautiful morning, worth getting out of bed for. I shared the canals with anglers, other cyclists and a few dog walkers. Really enjoyed the ride.

This afternoon we went out for a drive around the Cannock Chase area in Aiden’s new baby. With the top down and the sun blazing, it was most enjoyable, as was the pint at The Windmill Inn, where the view is worth stopping for. Long may this Indian Summer continue.

Filed under cycling canals Indian Summer Windmill Inn

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Saturday 6th September 2014

" Doing the loop the other way "

Back in March this year we did a 39ml canal loop taking in the Grand Union / Digbeth Branch / Birmingham Worcester / Stratford / & then back on the Grand Union ! well today we did it again, only this time the other way round.

The first pic is the start point on the Grand union canal near Tysley, It was Mrs towpaths & trails keen eye that noticed the heron ! perched on the left hand side of the pipe, the second pic is a close up of the inner city heron who was quite happy to pose for photos.

Brindley place was soon reached to complete the 1st section of the trip, from here the plan was to pick up the Birmingham / worcs canal to Kings Norton junction.

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Saturday 6th September 2014

" Doing the loop & the drawbridge dickhead "

At Kings Norton junction we head south on the Stratford canal to the link with the Grand Union again at Kingswood junction near Lapworth. Pretty uneventful cycling along this picturesque canal until we reach the drawbridge pub on the outskirts of Solihull, here we stop for some liquid refreshments as we usually do.

We were about to leave until a narrow boat arrives, so we hung about for a bit just to see the drawbridge in operation, as the two ladies on the boat activated the safety barrier to close the road a rather impatient driver decided to jump the barriers and proceeded to get himself trapped on the bridge. He slowly reversed back tight to the barrier and assumed he would be safe there, wrong ! he was parked right were the huge counter weight beam was supposed to be.

After some strange metal to metal scrapping noises, and anxious voices from the vehicle, the car was freed along with it’s occupants, no one got hurt, but the car wont be worth as much as it was five minutes before.

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We popped along to the Top Hangar at the Airport Field in Aldridge today to see Vintage Vehicles and Views event organised by Black Country Echoes. It was well attended and everyone seemed to be enjoying the nostalgia, the food and beverages. For me, it was good to see the Airport Field once again being used for a public event and it was also good to see the Swallow Doretti sports cars that were once made in the TI factory in Aldridge. See beautiful things can come from Aldridge!

Black Country Echoes are working with all sorts of people to put on events and exhibitions that celebrate the manufacturing traditions and skills of the Black Country and let’s face it, we’ve made everything here in the good old Black Country! You can check out the programme at . We have an awful lot to celebrate!

Filed under aldridge airport field swallow doretti black Country manufacturing celebration community projects Black Country Echoes industrial heritage bostin