Rain, ice, stress and a road works poem

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28 – 31 January 2015

It was a typical wet, windy Wednesday so I left extra early to catch the bus across the Big Bridge.  Normally catching the bus would give me more time, not less, but the road works on the bridge and consequent traffic jams mean going anywhere on the road at the moment is a long winded, frustrating business. Still, I have a free bus ticket and I did get to say hello to the swans on the bend by the boardwalk as I marched past. Despite the leaving early I barely made it to the office on time. A journey that takes me thirty minutes or so on foot took nearly an hour on the bus. Continue reading Rain, ice, stress and a road works poem

the common and another lucky escape

Commando, getting ready for a run onTthe Common
Commando, getting ready for a run on The Common

27 January 2015

Commando took up running almost four years ago. He’s always been slim and fit. He used to teach martial arts but it’s a dangerous occupation even if you do have black belts in several disciplines. There were injuries, broken ribs, black eyes and any number of strains, sprains and assorted bruises. Throw working nights and lack of time into the mix and it became harder. Something had to give. Continue reading the common and another lucky escape

A new trail and a lucky escape

 

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27 January 2015

In the end I decided to carry on and walk down to the start of the Navigation to see how muddy it was. It would be handy to know in case I manage to go to Twford in the near future. A little forwarning is always handy and I could always take the road way back if need be but I’d rather not get half way along and have to turn back. Some fishermen looked up as I passed under the road bridge and I wondered how far along the Navigation I could get in the time available.   Continue reading A new trail and a lucky escape

a different perspective down by the river

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27 January 2015

The weekend had been a little light on the walking front. There was some Sunday retail therapy, when Commando treated me to a slap up lunch in Burger King. Not the most salubrious of establishments I admit but it did give me a different view of the Bargate. Monday was mostly about cooking.  As I had a date with Commando on Tuesday afternoon to take running photos as publicity for his London Marathon fundraising, I thought I’d better get my finger out in the morning and get a few miles in. The original plan had been to take a train to Shawford and have a wander around Twyford before walking back, possibly on the Navigation, mud permitting. This would have been an all day walk though so I had to have a rethink. Continue reading a different perspective down by the river

Frost, ice crystals, sun and ships

What a difference a day makes
What a difference a day makes

21 – 23 January 2015

Wednesday morning couldn’t have been more different to the day before if it tried. The cold was still there but the beautiful skies I’d seen on my early morning walk were now grey and brooding and the sparkling frost was nowhere to be seen. Seven cygnets were foraging around in the mud by the slipway and, as I passed by, their parents came rushing over to see if there was bread to be had. There wasn’t.

Continue reading Frost, ice crystals, sun and ships

Oh what a beautiful morning

Another hairy gate post
Another hairy gate post

20 January 2015

The Tuesday walk was more or less cancelled due to me having to go to work for the morning because of a bit of a staffing issue. When I say more or less, what I mean is, I still got to walk to and from work which was better than nothing. Commando Junior and I had been out on Monday evening unsuccessfully looking for Comet Lovejoy. Even at eight o’clock in the evening the frost was already turning the tops of the cars white so I knew it was going to be a chilly walk to work, especially as I was leaving an hour earlier than normal. Continue reading Oh what a beautiful morning

Botley Mills, the water that has passed

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18 Janaury 2015

The village of Botley grew up around a ford over the River Hamble surrounded by the beautiful Hamble Valley countryside. The water of the Hamble turned the mill wheels at Botley Flour Mills for many centuries. Part of my reason for walking the four and a half miles to Botley was to visit Botley Mills. Ok, so I’d got ever so slightly distracted by all the wonderful old buildings in the village, not to mention the church but, finally, I walked down Mill Hill to the mills. Continue reading Botley Mills, the water that has passed

So many buildings, so little time

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18 January 2015

When I left the church I had warming coffee on my mind and a hope that I’d find some somewhere in the village. Botley is a village of quaint old buildings that have been standing for centuries. Many are a little crooked and, although some of the businesses are modern, the place has an old world feel to it, like stepping back into another, gentler time. Next to the church was a terrace of red brick cottages, all the same except for their doors, which opened almost onto the street. For some reason nearly every door had a sign saying ‘please use back door,’ and I wondered why. Beyond them I could see an A frame sign on the street, maybe it was a coffee shop. Continue reading So many buildings, so little time

Botley, at last and a church to explore

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18 Jauary 2015

Botley began life as a Saxon village and the name means Botta’s leah, or a clearing in a forest belonging to a man named Botta. When the Romans built a road between Chichester and Clausentum, where my village now is, it passed Botley and a settlement grew up around the small Saxon one. Although I’ve visited it once or twice, mostly I’ve just driven through on the way to somewhere else and I’ve never really explored it properly. This turns out to be a terrible omission on my part because it has a lot to offer. Continue reading Botley, at last and a church to explore

Under a changing sky

Wednesday morning on Cobden Bridge
Wednesday morning on Cobden Bridge

14 – 17 January 2015

When I woke up on Wednesday morning the headache was still there, which was rather disappointing.  The problem is the pills that stop my stomach producing acid so the damaged lining can heal also stop my food being properly absorbed and digested. Amongst other things, this leads to a magnesium deficit, which, in turn, leads to headaches. Continue reading Under a changing sky