Bright Islands in a dark sea – first published 31 July 2014

The week after we lost Commando Senior was difficult to say the least. For a start there was the task of letting people know. This was hard enough with the family members we speak to regularly but Commando Senior had so many friends outside of the family circle and these were mostly people we didn’t know. We also didn’t have contact details for all of them. After some discussion on Friday night we decided we would have to go to the house and see if we could find an address book or contact list. Continue reading Bright Islands in a dark sea – first published 31 July 2014

Albert Keates, a celebration – first published 28 July 2014

28 July 2014

The glorious sunset that made me smile on my way home from work on Thursday night was Commando Senior’s last. I’d like to think he looked out of his window and smiled at it too. At some point during the night or the early hours of Friday the world became a poorer place. We knew we’d have to let him go but we’d wanted to be there holding his hand as he set off on that final journey. In typical fashion he had other ideas, or Mother Nature did. Continue reading Albert Keates, a celebration – first published 28 July 2014

A cool breeze on the shore – first published 22 July 2014

As soon as I left the shade of the woods and stepped out into the sun on the shore I could feel the heat. The sun seemed to be searing my skin even though I’d slathered on the cream before I left home. There is no shade along the promenade unless you duck into one of the little beach shelters but I couldn’t just stay sat in one of them until nightfall so I set off along the shore, thankful that there was at least a cooling breeze blowing up from the water. Continue reading A cool breeze on the shore – first published 22 July 2014

The butterfly walk – first published 22 July 2016

With Mediterranean temperatures and high humidity in July 2014 I knew I’d have to come up with a good walking plan if I was going to get some miles in. Goodness knows I needed to as the hundred miles a month was looking more than a little short with just over a week to go. For once there was some forward planning. Ok so this only constituted a water bottle in the freezer (with the lid off otherwise they burst when the water expands) but still, it was a step in the right direction. Continue reading The butterfly walk – first published 22 July 2016

A week of mixed fortunes – first published 20 July 2014

In the middle of July 2014 I had a strange mixed up week. There was an extra day at work on Monday and an unexpected day off on Wednesday. In the end it all evened out and I worked the normal four days, just not in the normal order. Of course this left me permanently confused over what day it was. More than normal that is. Continue reading A week of mixed fortunes – first published 20 July 2014

You teach the best the things you most need to learn – first published 18 July 2014

In mid July 2014 we knew Commando Senior was not long for this world. Every time my phone rang it felt like a harbinger of doom. Each night Commando would pop in to his father’s little house on the way to work to check on him. He’d phone me afterwards to let me know he was still alive. Each night he seemed to be getting weaker, further away from this world and closer to the next one. When Commando called me on my mobile at work one sunny Tuesday morning I thought the worst. There is more than one kind of worst though… Continue reading You teach the best the things you most need to learn – first published 18 July 2014

Monks Brook, heat and an invasive species – first published 14 July 2014

My mid July walk in 2014 had started off on a sour note but had soon improved when I had an up close and personal visit with a black swan. As I walked on towards the reed beds and, ultimately, the White Swan pub, I sipped my water. The early morning rain combined with the sun seemed to have sucked up all the air and left behind a damp stickiness. Even along the river there was little breeze and my pace slowed considerably. Still, I told myself this was not about speed but about getting out and walking, enjoying the nature around me and the sun on my skin, if not the sweat trickling down between my shoulder blades. Continue reading Monks Brook, heat and an invasive species – first published 14 July 2014

A Sunday Swan Spectacle – first published 14 July 2014

Summer 2014 and the weather was perfect for walking. All week, while I’d been working, it was warm, dry and sunny with blue skies to die for. When Sunday finally came around I was looking forward to a nice ten miles or so and planning to start with the river. That morning I looked out of the window to see rain and it felt like some kind of cruel joke. In fact I will admit to being rather grumpy about it. Continue reading A Sunday Swan Spectacle – first published 14 July 2014

Lost property and scented candles – first published 12 July 2014

July 2014 and my second week as Team Leader was a manic one. It started off nicely enough with a river full of swans on Wednesday morning. Disappointingly the cygnets were nowhere to be seen but all the other swans who had suddenly appeared the week before were still hanging around close to the bank so I stopped on my way along the Boardwalk to take some photographs. Once I got to work though it seemed as if everything that could go wrong did go wrong. For a start there was the lorry fire… Continue reading Lost property and scented candles – first published 12 July 2014

Look into my eyes – first published 9 July 2014

Early July 2014 and the third day of my three day weekend was all about eyes, my eyes to be precise. My routine eye test along with the prospect of another expensive pair of glasses could be put off no longer. Really I’d rather have been trotting off for a decent hike but I had to make do with a walk to town instead. Continue reading Look into my eyes – first published 9 July 2014