Memories of the early 70’s – a dismal kind of year

1970

When 1970 dawned, it marked the beginning of the second decade of my life. If the 1960’s had seemed filled with possibilities, music, flowers and love, this new decade seemed filled with sadness, at least in our house. My lovely Dad was dead and life would never be the same for us. Money, which had never been of any concern to me, suddenly became a big issue, mostly because we didn’t have enough of it. Mother got something called a Widow’s Pension, but it wasn’t enough to pay the mortgage and feed and clothe us. She still had to go to work and, when I wasn’t at school, I was left in the care of Pappy, who was desolate at the loss of his eldest son.  Continue reading Memories of the early 70’s – a dismal kind of year

More tales from the old cemetery

December 2017

It isn’t always easy to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning and go to parkrun. Often there is a great temptation to roll over, pull up the covers and let Commando go on his own, especially on cold, frosty winter mornings. After all, it isn’t as if I’m actually going to run. Sometimes though, those are the very best mornings of all to be walking down Cemetery Lane towards the Common. Despite the icy air burning my lungs and the cold nipping at my fingers and toes, the golden light of a new day makes me glad to be there. Continue reading More tales from the old cemetery

We thought it was all over…

13 June 2018

We were approaching the final segment of the Itchen Navigation and had around six miles left to walk. Despite the trail being more overgrown than I’ve ever seen it, bank breaches where they have never been before and a far warmer day than the weather forecast had led us to believe, we had made fairly good time. We’d set off from Winchester Station at around ten o’clock and it was now ten to two. Ok, so four hours to walk around seven miles is positively tortoise like but, taking into account stops and the terrain, I thought we’d done pretty well.  Continue reading We thought it was all over…

Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

13 June 2018

We’d made it to Kiln Lane without getting stung, which felt a little like a miracle. We’d got across three bank breaches, one that had left me with wet feet, and had climbed over one fallen tree. According to Commando, there was at least one more fallen tree and, possibly, one more bad bank breach somewhere along the eight and a half miles between Kiln Lane and home. If I was a betting woman, I’d have put my money on it being on the next stretch of towpath.  Continue reading Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

Once more into the breach

13 June 2018

Shortly after we got going again we passed the first houses of Shawford, with their huge green gardens sloping down towards the river. These were closely followed by a triangular Navigation marker telling us it was nine miles to Northam Wharf, and the bridge over Shawford Road. Those nine miles are a moot point. Mapping the walk, it’s nine and a quarter miles, give or take, to Cobden Bridge. Northam Wharf is ten and a half miles. Perhaps these measurements are by barge? Continue reading Once more into the breach

A reconnaissance mission

13 June 2018

Last summer the Spitfires had a Summer Challenge run from Winchester to Woolston on the Itchen Navigation. John asked me if I’d lead a walking group, as there were a few people who didn’t feel up to running the fifteen miles but didn’t want to miss out. Obviously I jumped at the chance and we all had a tough, but amazing day. In fact, it was such a success John decided to do it all again this year. On Sunday, Commando and the fast boys went on a reconnaissance mission. Today, CJ and I did the same.  Continue reading A reconnaissance mission

Probably the biggest barn in Britain

28 May 2018

A while ago Commando came back from a Sunday bike ride with the fast boys raving about a giant barn he’d seen. John, fast boy, founder of the Itchen Spitfires Running Club, history buff and keeper of interesting facts told him it was the biggest barn in Britain. Commando said he’d take me to see it one day. Today was that day, although I had no idea where he was taking me at the time.

Continue reading Probably the biggest barn in Britain

Hythe, powerboats, hovercraft and a final postcard

10 May 2018

With a little help from Google Maps we found our way back to Hythe High Street. Here we sat for a moment or two on a shady bench and perused Google Maps. My next objective was on Shore Road where another famous resident of Hythe once lived. While I was searching for it I spotted a road called Sir Christopher Court.  Behind it was a small park facing the water.  Might this be where the hovercraft stone was hidden? As the park was right at the beginning of Shore Road, we decided to check it out.   Continue reading Hythe, powerboats, hovercraft and a final postcard

Postcards from Hythe

10 May 2018

Hythe is a quaint little place that seems half stuck in another, gentler age. The narrow High Street may be pedestrianised these days but the shops with their bow fronted windows look much as they must have when Jane Austin visited back in 1807.  Red white and blue bunting was strung across the street and no one seemed to be in much of a hurry, unlike the busy city centre we’d left behind us. Despite its slightly old fashioned air, I knew there were some modern amenities and, once we’d left the pier, we both decided our first port of call should be one of them. Anticipating the journey CJ hadn’t had any breakfast, for fear of seeing it again on the boat, so we headed down the High Street to Costas for croissants and coffee.  Continue reading Postcards from Hythe

A short cruise and a very long pier

10 May 2018

CJ suffers with terrible sea sickness. We discovered this on many trips across the English Channel to Cherbourg when he was a small child. At first I’d spend the whole journey in the ladies watching him throw up. Then, thankfully, he got too old for the ladies so Commando had to deal with the puking. We tried every anti sea sickness product under the sun. They didn’t work. Not one of them. Not even a little bit.  Despite this, today, he and I were going on a cruise. It would be a very short cruise. Hopefully it would be too short for any actual vomiting to commence. Continue reading A short cruise and a very long pier