One summer evening, several years ago, I was out walking over Clent Hill with friends and an old man walking towards us stopped, pointed to his right and muttered, "Mordor", then to his left and muttered, "The Shire" and went on his way, leaving us all slightly bewildered.
To his right where the delightful, light polluted nighttime views of Birmingham and Dudley, and to his left where the calm and dim views out towards Wales. However, thinking he was some sort of J.R.R Tolkien obsessive, I think I now understand what he was really going on about.
Am I mixing up reality with fantasy here folks?
Today I went to the Long Mynd with a friend for a walk around Ashes Hollow and Carding Mill Valley and it was beautiful... Chuffin' cold, but beautiful. Hardly a soul about, patches of snow everywhere, icicles around the streams and not a big bore exhaust to be heard.
This I thought, was The Shire and having just come from the Kidderminster area, Mordor.
[These photos where taken near the Geocache, 'A Bridge too Far', for those of you in the know]
I'm increasingly wanting to move away from such built up areas and their provincial ways, to experience a more tranquil way of life and one evening last week, this idea was once again reinforced when I was out cycling with friends and returning home through Bewdley.
What is it with lager-fuelled teenagers, that makes them feel constrained to shout abuse at cyclists and make them feel threatened? I can't think of anything more innocent than riding a bike and minding my own business, but this seems to excite handfuls of youths hanging around in groups.
This week I experienced, "Go on, f'ing pedal it", followed by, "Stop, yeah you, f'ing stop", but one of my popular favourites is "Pop a f'ing wheelie", although this comes in close second place to "Get off and f'ing milk it. However, the latter has unfortunately become quite a rarity nowadays.
Today, I'm most angry about: Being shouted abuse at when cycling.
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 7/10