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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Moseley Slog

Today's errands facilitated a walk along Alcester Road, so with camera in hand, I went looking for stories. Here's what I found.

Woodnorton House visible through the trees, with a council fencing crew doing something round the back - looked like new fenceposts going in.

Lovely view of birches on the far side of the railway.

There's a somewhat longer story in this one, involving a landowner who wants to erect billboards along the pavement, but who was denied permission on account of the amenity value of trees. So the owner had the trees cut down. Making quite the eyesore down below, but which is probably good habitat, and which has opened up this even better view of trees on the far side of the railway. One hopes that should another application be made, that it too will be turned down - on the basis of the distant view.

Tailbacks on the bus lane at 2:20. I'm not clued up about the particulars of bus lanes, but this one is a bit naff, given that it's not even rush hour and there isn't enough room this side of the junction for all the cars to queue without extending into the bus lane.

Window painting at the Home+ showroom (x2). Here's a theme that would probably suit flickrnauts: instances of windowpainting that can be artfully framed by the camera. We know that I'm crap at doing anything consistently, so I'll give that idea away, it's gratis to anyone who wants to make something of it.

Cornish Connection and Wise Weigh: two shops worthy of custom. I go into Wise Weigh about once a week for nuts, dried fruit, dried herbs and grains or beans. This is a bulk food shop with a good selection of whole or minimally refined products. For walnuts and dried apricots they are better on price than LIDL, and is good on things that LIDL doesn't even carry: almonds, dried pears, dried pineapple, prunes, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts.

Cornish Connection opened about a year ago, catering to the lunch trade. I figured it was a pricier and more filling alternative to Gregg's, but didn't go in until a couple of weeks ago. It turns out that they do some very creative things, and not limited to Cornish pasties. Interestingly enough the guys behind the counter seem to be speaking Portugese, and some of the little cakes they have on display have a Continental character. Almond biscuits with marmalade, anyone? But while Maison Mayci (around the corner) has been going great guns, this place seems to be attracting little of the passing trade. I reckon my occasional purchase of a pastry isn't going to make a difference, but I'm going to keep giving my custom anyway. Maybe they could do with a bit more work on the interior style.

Poplar Road. Let's be facetious for just a moment and equate Poplar Road with Bond Street. Okay, the moment's over. Poplar Road has things that Bond Street cannot aspire to: mums on their way home from picking up the kids.

Three o'clock is a bad time to be anywhere in the vicinity of School Road, and that includes Maison Mayci. When I went in to buy some bread, I was confronted with a scene that must be replicated in middle-class suburbs everywhere: a room full of women and their infants, the chic equivalent of the coffee klatch. Seven women in the front of the cafe, with three or four infants. Another four or five women at the back. The big guy who normally runs the counter was nowhere in sight, and it was only after a few seconds that one of the other guys popped out of the kitchen with a slightly apologetic expression. I think that was about the Legion Femme rather than the fact that he wasn't at the counter ready to assist me.

I'd be embarrassed too. I am sure that the proprietors are happy for the attention, but it does make one wonder why this place is such a magnet when there are fine places like Peaceful Mind just up the road, places which could do with a lot more custom. In closing, a word to the wise: don't go down Poplar Road near 3:00. It's pandemonium, and it's not even psychedelic.