Cycling to school

On mornings like this, I'd cycle to school. Take the bike out the hall and over the concrete slabbed patio, and left up Ivor Road. Past the dance hall. Mist hanging low and muffling all sound. Down the hill and over Stoney Lane, then through Balsall Heath, the red light district, silent now in the morning mist, few cars, fewer people. Past the playground, through the traffic lights, chip shop closed and fish and chip papers heavy on the pavement outside. Over the Moseley Road and past bigger houses now heading towards Cannon Hill Park. Through the park. This little bit of country in my morning. Past the lakes. Stop and sit on a bench, watch the geese. Compose myself between Sparkhill and Selly Oak. Back on the bike, out past the nature centre, up past Pebblemill Studios and onto the Bristol Road. Up the steep drive to the boys' school, past the swimming pool block and swing the bike into the garage under the art room. Up the steps. Lower sixth common room. Another day. Another day.