Friday, 30th March
Today was Hilary's birthday (I can't tell you which one!) and her choice for the day was a cycle tour of the bits of Cannock Chase we hadn't yet seen. We set off due east from Penkridge and soon reached the rather unlovely town of Hednesford. Soon afterwards things improved as we got up onto the Chase itself. We found a quiet bridleway that for once was cycleable with "ordinary" bikes (so many of them require mountain or "all terrain" bikes) and stopped halfway along at the edge of the forest for a picnic lunch.
Later we headed for the "Visitor Centre and Deer Information Centre". Well, it had a cafe, toilets, a huge car park and a cycle-hire shop but no information about deer or anything else as far as we could see! At Pye Green there is a high telecommunications mast, which is clearly visible from the Shopshire Union between Wheaton Aston and Brewood. We'd often seen it from that angle but never before had we cycled virtually beneath it. By now we'd seen most of Cannock Chase. It's an interesting part of the world and good walking and cycling country - or at least it would be if the supposedly minor roads that criss-cross it were not used as short cuts by huge amounts of motor traffic speeding between the surrounding towns.
Back in Penkridge that afternoon, Hil found a hairdresser that could accommodate her at short notice (the poor girl was just packing up for the day!) while I did the shopping for the evening meal.
We had hoped to eat out and last night had toured the town's hostelries to see what was on offer, but we weren't impressed. Hil is vegetarian and has long since got used to the idea that her choices on any menu will be restricted but the choices available in Penkridge were particularly poor - and expensive - so we opted for a night in, with yours truly of course as cook!