A woodland walk, fungi, lichen and a surprise flower bud – first published 19 January 2014

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January 2014 and Commando was training for the Manchester marathon. While he went out for a ten mile run, I decided to spend the morning wandering in Hum Hole. This is a tiny fragment of the ancient woodland that, as recently as the nineteenth century, covered the area around my village stretching all the way down to the Itchen and the river walk. Why it’s called Hum Hole I don’t know but it is a deep dip with a stream running through. When I was young it was much larger but changes to the Main Road and a new bypass ate into it a fair bit. Continue reading A woodland walk, fungi, lichen and a surprise flower bud – first published 19 January 2014

Last stand at Hursley

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17 August 2016

The Hursley RR10 was always going to be the most likely one for me to miss. It was the furthest away and, with Commando going back to work, my only hope was to cadge a lift from one of the Spitfires. Gerry and Teresa weren’t sure if they were going, Emma couldn’t make it and poor Kylie, fresh back from a horrible bout of plantar fasciitis, had only gone and broken her fibula at the weekend at the Spitfire Scramble. Honestly, the lengths some people will go to to copy Commando!  Continue reading Last stand at Hursley

Walking, talking and a seagull melee – first published 16 January 2014

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The beginning of 2014 was all about job hunting for me. In between scouring the job sites for likely work, sending off applications and fretting about the ones I’d already applied for, I walked. Sometimes there were great plans and long walks, other times just wanderings, meandering from place to place thinking and trying to find little things to make me smile. Continue reading Walking, talking and a seagull melee – first published 16 January 2014

A step back in time

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17 August 2016

Our disappointment in the parks wasn’t quite the end of our zebra hunting. It’s quite possible my feet would have taken me on the next part of today’s walk without my brain even noticing. For more than six years my walk to work took almost the same route we’d walked so far. When I planed out this zebra hunt it hadn’t even occurred to me but now, the sights and sounds, the place we crossed the road, suddenly brought it all back.  Continue reading A step back in time

A disappointing walk in the parks

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17 August 2016

We’d purposely saved our zebra hunting in the parks for a sunny day and today had more than enough sun. In fact there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There were six zebras to find, or there should have been. We already knew Skittles, near the bandstand in Palmerston Park, was likely to be absent. He was stolen on the same night as Ticket to Ride, ripped from his plinth. Unlike the poor First Bus zebra he was found, damaged and dumped in some bushes in Hoglands Park. Why anyone should want to damage these lovely beasts and spoil everyone’s fun is beyond me. Continue reading A disappointing walk in the parks

Fallen trees and fallen gravestones – first published 14 January 2014

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My visit to the Common in mid January 2014 was mainly to take a look at the fallen trees Commando had told me about. After walking for more than four miles, the only fallen trees I’d seen were old and rotten. Still, it was a lovely day and I’d seen swans on the lake so I wasn’t complaining. Back then my real aim was finding things to make me smile. Continue reading Fallen trees and fallen gravestones – first published 14 January 2014

An icy walk on the Common – first published 14 January 2014

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January 2014 and I was trying to find little things to make me smile each day. It wasn’t easy. Most of the time I felt as if I was teetering on the brink of a black pit of depression after losing my job. Walking featured large in the things to make me smile stakes. Some days there were more things to make me smile than others. Continue reading An icy walk on the Common – first published 14 January 2014

A very noisy library

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11 August 2016

Finally I managed to drag CJ out of the art gallery and down the stairs. What I wanted to do next was go home and see Commando and his broken leg. CJ had other ideas though. We made it as far as the foyer. Then he spotted a baby zebra through the door of the library.
“How many zebras are there in the library?” he asked.
“Loads and loads,” I said with a sigh. I knew exactly where this was going and it reminded me of when he was a little boy. There were always lots of questions and they were usually designed to take me in circles until he got what he’d wanted all along.
“It probably wouldn’t take all that long to find them though, because they’re all in the same place.” Continue reading A very noisy library

Drawn in by Southampton Art Gallery

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11 August 2016

We’d seen Zebby Road, the zebra I really didn’t want to miss, and, although I’d originally planned a far longer zebra hunt, I really wanted to go home and see Commando. The news that his injury was far worse than he’d thought was a shock and he’d sounded very down in the dumps on the phone. Before we left the city centre though, I wanted to take a picture of the mural on the side of Solent University’s Sir James Matthews Building.  Continue reading Drawn in by Southampton Art Gallery

Thieves, Vandals and a definitive answer

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11 August 2016

The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe who are believed to have migrated from Southern Scandinavia during the second century BC. They moved around Europe establishing kingdoms and were, reputedly, barbarians who sacked and looted as they went. They gave their name to vandalism, or senseless destruction, particularly defacing artwork. Sadly, there are modern day vandals roaming around the city of Southampton. Some of them are also thieves. Not only have several of our lovely zebras been damaged, one has actually been stolen. This added a sense of urgency to our zebra hunting and today, while Commando went for his X-ray, we went to visit as many as we could while they were still there.  Continue reading Thieves, Vandals and a definitive answer