After yesterday’s fiasco with a wardrobe, I needed to catch up on my mileage. The other half suggested that I could walk from work to the pub and she could meet me there to drive me home.
She was quite insistent and who am I to argue ?
First thing, I took the puppies out for a mile of so each before breakfasting and getting ready for the day ahead.
Getting ready for work I had to make sure that I had everything that I might require for my post-work walk. I unpacked my vest – small first aid kit, drinks bottle, sun block …
I then re-packed my pack adding my lunch and small first aid kit, drinks bottle …
It was only later that I realised that my SPF50 was still on my kitchen table – at home !
I was discussing my planned walk with a fellow worker and mentioned that I’d left my sun stuff at home and that I was planning on exposing my lily white pins on this sunny afternoon. Luckily, my co-worker came to my rescue, “I’ve a small bottle in the car, you can have that!”
Big Shout Out to Jim !
At the allowed time, I left work, stopping at Jim’s car to get the SPF50 and slap it over my exposed bits before heading out of Brum. The route would be an almost straight line along the B4128 and B4114.
This road goes by many names including Garrison Lane, Bordesley Green, Bordesley Green East, Meadway, East Meadway, Cooks Lane, Birmingham Road and Blythe Road. The road would continue to become Coleshill Road and Church Road but I was planning to cut across the fields before this point.
Whilst still on Garrison Lane I passed HMS Forward. Her Majesty’s SHIP? In Birmingham?
A little research told me that HMS Forward is a reservist unit with over one hundred members and is also the HQ for The Birmingham University Royal Navy Unit. Apparently the Senior Service doesn’t need the waves to rule them.
About two and a half miles into my trek, I passed the gates to a small park that I’d often passed either on the bus or driving. Today, I decided to investigate further.
The park is called Ideal Park and is far from that in reality. There is only the one entrance open and the area is rather overgrown.
Of interest is the remains of a drinking fountain which was erected to commemorate a local lad who in 1907 jumped into a flooded clay pit to save a four year old girl from drowning. The girl was saved (only to die four years later in a house fire) by non-swimmer Harold Clayfield.
After a look around Ideal Park, I returned to the main road to pass the huge Heartlands Hospital before proceeding towards Stetchford.
The road undulated a little along this stretch before becoming Cooks Lane near to Chelmsley Wood.
Cooks Lane is only about a mile long but does pass through Middle Earth evidenced by a sighting of The Shire.
Just after the B4114 became Birmingham Road, it crossed the M6 and became a bit more rural.
In the future this section will be dominated by the HS2 railway as this will be where the line splits between going into Birmingham or continuing North.
A little further and I crossed the River Cole, The M42 and the M6 Toll before reaching the town of Coleshill.
I had been walking along the right hand side of the road but in Coleshill the footpath disappears going past Morrsions so I made a slight detour past the Church before regaining the B4114 which had become Blythe Road, named after the River Blythe which it crossed after a further half a mile or so.
It was along this section that I spied a van parked up in a lay-by. Following on from yesterday’s bedroom furniture debacle, I thought that this was quite pertinent.
A photo was taken, later to be sent to my daughter.
At the point where Blythe Road crosses the River Blythe, I waved goodbye to the B4114 (not literally – that would be silly) to follow a somewhat overgrown footpath.
It was at this juncture that I regretted donning shorts as I had to wade through stinging nettles and brambles to reach the field beyond and a better path towards Shustoke.
I did disturb a hare as I crossed the field and I stopped to watch it bound away from me.
On the outskirts of Shustoke, I realised that I was a little ahead of time so took a slightly more circuitous route which afforded me a sighting of a zebra !
Okay, it was a horse with a stripey blanket but where’s your imagination ?
After a couple more fields where I surprised some calves who cantered away, I was at my destination.
Still on table service (due to Covid restrictions) I plopped myself down under a large open marquee and waited to be served.
A big glass of iced orange juice and lemonade was downed to re-hydrate before starting on a pint of Butty Bach.
As I was finishing my orange, Sue turned up – which was nice !
Only twenty Nine miles to go to complete my #Walk1000miles challenge – should be during next Tuesday’s walk.