May 2nd - Many of us know the pain of an irritating sibling.

I spotted the charming grey cat near the Tannery flats in Birchills, Walsall. He was inspecting the flower border and very alert to me. Then what I assume to be his brother appeared.

They greeted each other with a nose boop, then grey fellow continued to stare me out, stalk me and generally let me know I was under intense scrutiny - while the brother rubbed his head on him, attempted to wash his tail, and generally didn’t take stuff seriously at all.

Eventually, Mr. Grey walked off in disgust.

A fine pair of cats. Someone loves these two very much.

June 15th As I cycled home up the Scarborough Road in Pleck, I noticed some banners on the railings of the Abu Bakr Islamic School on the old Edward Shelley School site.

Pupils and staff had taken time to make signs thanking firefighters involved in the terrible Grenfell House disaster in London.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this school observe support for victims of tragedy: they had banners in support of the victims of the terrible French terror attacks of 2016.

It’s so nice to see this. It made me stop, and think and that’s no bad thing. My compliments to those who undertook this small but significant act of solidarity with those who do their best to protect and save us all from peril, and great risk to their own safety.


“And thus we solved the mystery of the sinister house called The Copper Beeches. Mr. Rucastle survived, but was always a broken man, kept solely alive by the care of his devoted wife. They still live with their servants, who probably know so much of Rucastle’s past that he finds it difficult to part from them. Mr. Fowler and Miss Rucastle were married, by special license, and he now holds a government position in the island of Mauritius. Miss Hunter is now a head of a private school in Walsall, where I gather she has met with considerable success.”

Favourite Granada Holmes scenes (1/?)


June 22nd - More cats, sorry, but I just loved these pair, again in the cat metropolis of Scarborough Road, Pleck. There had been light drizzle, and the air was cooling but this pair of lazybones were in the same garden, asleep and totally oblivious.

I particularly like how the black one has fallen asleep while having a wash. 

Oh, for the life of a cat…


June 7th - After seeing the rhizomes floating in the canal earlier in the season, it’s gratifying to note that the development of this season’s water lilies has been sift - and a matter of a couple of week the characteristic large, leathery leaves have formed, and now the first tentative flowers were out as I rode to work along the canal at Bentley Bridge.

Two listing species are common on local canals - yellow and white, and both are gorgeous. A lovely sight.