Manchester

23 May 2017

Hate is an ugly thing. It begets ugly things. The hate fuelled act that tore into the heart of Manchester last night could have happened anywhere in the world. It wasn’t the first such cowardly, senseless act and, sadly, it won’t be the last. This time it happened in Manchester. My heart goes out to this wonderful city and the people who live there. Continue reading Manchester

Sunday strolling Southampton streets – first published 17 August 2014

It was a normal Sunday morning in mid August 2014. Commando was out for a training run of seven and a half miles and I decided to go for a walk. The only plan was to visit the big new Sainsbury’s for a few things they don’t stock in the one in the village. Other than that I thought I’d just have a wander and see where I ended up. Yes, I know I’m always banging on about planning walks, blah, blah, blah and I very rarely actually do it but sometimes just wandering aimlessly is actually fun. Continue reading Sunday strolling Southampton streets – first published 17 August 2014

The Lost lagoon

4 May 2017

Back where we started, at the beginning of the Cathedral trail, we turned towards the Lost Lagoon. The name alone made it worth a look. It conjured images of desert islands and palm trees, although I was fairly sure this wasn’t what we would find. Somewhere off the trail we could hear the thrum of a woodpecker pecking at a tree. We stopped and peered into the forest but saw nothing but a few tell tale holes in trunks. Continue reading The Lost lagoon

Stanley Park an ancient forest in a modern city

4 May 2017

While we were sitting on our bench by the sea discussing whether to carry on along the sea wall path or find a way into Stanley Park an elderly gentleman came and sat beside us. Pretty soon he struck up a conversation about where we were from and what we were doing. When we told him we couldn’t decide between park and sea he said, “There’s nothing very exciting along the sea wall here but there’s a path up into the park not far off.” And so our decision was made.  Continue reading Stanley Park an ancient forest in a modern city

A boat trip and a stroll on the beach

4 May 2017

Today was supposed to be the warmest, sunniest day of our stay in Vancouver, not that I always believe the weather forecast you understand. There was sun outside our hotel window when we got up this morning though and, when we walked down West Broadway in search of breakfast, it was warm even though it was still before eight. Over coffee, croissants and parfaits we both agreed it was the perfect day for a walk on the beach.

Continue reading A boat trip and a stroll on the beach

Bread for the cygnets – first published 12 August 2013

After I’d left Panda at The Triangle there was a temptation to go straight home again because the weather looked decidedly changeable. It seemed a shame to waste the nice granary bread in my bag though, especially as this was the first time I’d ever remembered to bring it, so I set off towards Riverside Park. As I walked down the slope to the park I could see I was in for a windy walk, the trees were all leaning away from the water and dark clouds were gathering. Continue reading Bread for the cygnets – first published 12 August 2013

Granville island, Downtown, rain and a free concert

3 May 2017

We’d been warned Vancouver wasn’t called Rain City, Raincouver or the Wet Coast for nothing so, when we woke to a decidedly wet world this morning, we weren’t exactly surprised. After breakfast we popped on the wet weather gear we’d sensibly packed and headed towards Granville Island where we’d had a lovely birthday meal with Jen and Kevin the night before. At least it wasn’t cold and, as we’d previously had Jen as a guide we knew more or less where we were going. Continue reading Granville island, Downtown, rain and a free concert

A lunch date at the triangle – first published 12 August 2014

After my working days changed in 2014, Tuesday became the new walking day. On 12 August, though there was no proper planned walk. The Ealing Tide Mill project that had been on the back burner for a while was shelved once again because I had a coffee date with Panda. Due to our respective working hours and days we haven’t had a chance to meet up for a while so, when she called to say she had Tuesday off and would I like to meet up, I jumped at the chance. Panda always cheers me up and right then I needed all the cheering I could get. Continue reading A lunch date at the triangle – first published 12 August 2014

Time, graves and a cool beer

2 May 2017

We found the clock and watch shop at the exact moment we were about to give up and turn back. Every inch of the walls was filled with clocks, from huge and ornate wooden monsters to quirky plastic film themed timepieces. The sound of their combined ticking added to the illusion of being in some kind of bizarre dream where night was day and day was night. Other than the clocks the shop was silent.
“If they all chime at the same time,” I whispered, “it will sound just like the beginning of Pink Floyd’s Time.”
After ten surreal minutes, during which nothing chimed and the ticking threatened to send me to sleep we left, a few unfamiliar plastic notes lighter with a working Garmin.  Continue reading Time, graves and a cool beer

Birthday number two, a pleasure dome, an ancient forest and a garden

2 May 2017

My real birthday began at two in the morning Vancouver time when I woke starving and sure it must be far later in the day. My Garmin chose this moment to inform me the battery was running low. Not the best of timing but I always had the feeling it would choose the worst possible moment. Commando was still sleeping soundly so I tried, with limited success, to ignore my grumbling stomach and go back to sleep. The morning began again at five with a Happy Birthday and a present from Commando. The time difference leant a strange dreamlike feeling to everything.  In a daze we wandered down West Broadway to Starbucks where we beat the morning rush and had breakfast.  Continue reading Birthday number two, a pleasure dome, an ancient forest and a garden