From Millers Pond to Bursledon Windmill – first published 29 June 2014

At the end of June 2014, I started working four long days each week, which meant having three days off. My first three day weekend began with a walk, obviously. Being the last weekend of the month and being a little shy on the hundred miles I’d promised to walk it probably should have been longer  but a very bright humid day had me revising my plans before I set out. There was only so much water I could carry in my rucksack and only so much sun a fair skinned girl could take. The new plan was to revisit the Bursledon Windmill and see what, if any, progress had been made since my last visit in early September 2013. Continue reading From Millers Pond to Bursledon Windmill – first published 29 June 2014

Hamble Rail Trail, the wrong side of the tracks – first published 21 June 2014

Midsummer 2014 and I’d followed the Hamble Rail Trail, a disused railway line and ended up at a real station. The rail trail seemed to have come to an abrupt end. I hadn’t expected to end up at Hamble Station but the thought of catching a train home to my village crossed my mind because I was pretty hot at this point and obviously lost. There is only one train an hour stopping at my little village though and I was pretty sure I’d just seen it go past. As the station is unmanned there was no one to ask and no one to buy a ticket from either. There may have been one of those horrible automated machines somewhere if I’d cared to look. Machines and I don’t get on very well though and I didn’t relish the prospect of losing my card or the long wait for another train. Continue reading Hamble Rail Trail, the wrong side of the tracks – first published 21 June 2014

Hamble Rail Trail, the one that nearly got away – first published 21 June 2014

By the time I’d left Netley Abbey on midsummer Sunday in 2014 I was very hot and sorely tempted just to walk back home along the shore. The lure of the cool sea breeze was strong and, beside it, the prospect of the Hamble Rail Trail, away from the water and an unknown quantity, was not exactly appealing. The sun was strong and the heat oppressive. There was some bargaining with myself and the result was I carried on towards Netley and Victoria Country Park still unsure exactly what I was going to do. Continue reading Hamble Rail Trail, the one that nearly got away – first published 21 June 2014

Netley Abbey, abbots and priests, who’s watching who? – first published 21 June 2014

My Sunday walk in mid June 2014 wasn’t turning out quite how I planned. A visit to Netley Abbey wasn’t what I’d expected at all and, just when I thought I’d seen everything, I turned a corner and found another intriguing building. What I was really supposed to be doing was walking the Hamble Rail Trail but this seemed too interesting to miss.  Continue reading Netley Abbey, abbots and priests, who’s watching who? – first published 21 June 2014

An unplanned walk around Netley Abbey ruins – first published 21 June 2014

The plan for the midsummer Sunday walk in June 2014 was to head down to Netley and have a go at the Hamble Rail Trail. Earlier in the year I’d stumbled on part of it but, as I was lost at the time and a long way from home, I decided not to follow it. Ever since I’d been meaning to go back and explore it further. The main problem was I couldn’t find any decent maps that an expert in getting lost like me could rely on. Armed with what I could find, I set off to Weston Shore. Continue reading An unplanned walk around Netley Abbey ruins – first published 21 June 2014

Thoughts on desperation, joy and the Itchen Bridge – first published 21 June 2014

Midsummer 2014 and a rather disturbing comment was waiting in my morning inbox. It was in response to my post about the lure of the Itchen Bridge and the content was graphic, not really breakfast reading. Coming across it again I was tempted not to republish, not all my old posts make the cut after all, but something about it haunted me. In the end, I felt it was worth resharing.  Continue reading Thoughts on desperation, joy and the Itchen Bridge – first published 21 June 2014

Midsummer madness, a week in flowers mostly – first published 20 June 2014

Sunrise over Stonehenge from Wikimedia Commons – by http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/

The summer solstice 2014. As ever, the Druids were at Stonehenge watching the sun rise. In fact there were somewhere in the region of 37,000 people gathered to welcome the longest day of the year. Yes, we still have the odd Druid here in England. Maybe one of these days I will wander up the road to Salisbury to have a look myself, although I think I’d refer it without so many people. Continue reading Midsummer madness, a week in flowers mostly – first published 20 June 2014

Along the boardwalk – first published 18 June 2014

In June 2014 The Boardwalk was one of my usual haunts, mainly because it was one of two possible routes to work. It’s actually only been open since July 2010 as a result of a joint project between Southampton City Council and Sustrans using money from the National Lottery. Of course, I knew about it before my Bus Mines job but I didn’t know you could walk all the way from the Big Bridge to St Denys on it. The characters I met were a revelation too. Continue reading Along the boardwalk – first published 18 June 2014

A shed, a shed, my kingdom for a shed – first published 17 June 2014

In June 2014 I was waxing lyrical about a new shed. It was all very exciting. Commando, after a lot of window shopping, ordered a shed online from Wickes. They said it would be delivered in one to two weeks. Three and a half weeks later and we are still shedless. This wouldn’t have been quite so bad if Wickes hadn’t already taken our money. Eventually, Commando, getting a little impatient and having heard nothing at all about the possibility of an imminent delivery, called Wickes customer services. This is where things took a decided turn for the worst. Continue reading A shed, a shed, my kingdom for a shed – first published 17 June 2014

Interviews and exciting news – first published 16 June 2014

In June 2014  excitement came in the form of an email. A journalist wanted to interview me for a rather prestigious magazine. It would be a feature on people who have dragged themselves off the couch and taken up walking. Obviously I fit the bill but I wasn’t sure if it would be as lovely and surprising as East Park on the June Walk, or as disappointing as the Enchanted Park. I’d been down that road before twice. The first time the journalist used my words rather than her own but chopped and cut so much the meaning was lost and I ended up feeling cheated. The second time promises were made but came to nothing. Maybe this woildbe third time lucky? Continue reading Interviews and exciting news – first published 16 June 2014