After spending weeks going nowhere apart from to the village for supplies, our next outing came hot on the heels of the Penny Game. Tonight’s RR10 at Blackfield in the New Forest was the furthest from home. Last year we got slightly lost trying to find it and, embarrassingly, had to stop and ask a passer by for directions. This time Commando found it easily, which was probably just as well as heavy traffic getting out of town meant we were running far later than planned. Continue reading Blackfield sunset
Running has been off the menu since before Vancouver, apart from a few very short and abortive test runs. Medical advice is to move as much as possible as long as there is no pain and, as the steroid injection has worked a minor, if temporary, miracle, Commando is itching to get back to pounding the streets again.
“It’s Bank Holiday so the Spitfire’s session will be The Penny Game tonight,” he said while we were sitting in the shade sipping cool drinks. “I might go along to help out.”
“What’s The Penny Game?” I was puzzled.
“Why don’t you come along and find out. It’s on the back of Peartree Green and it’s good fun.” Continue reading What exactly is The Penny Game?
Facebook was the instigator of my next short walk with Commando. For as long as I can remember there’s been a dead tree standing at the end of the shore near Abbey Hill. It must surely have been a live tree during my lifetime but I only remember it as a bleached driftwood skeleton. Perhaps it was too mundane to notice when it was alive? Whenever I walk along the shore here I stop for a moment to sit on the bench beside the dead tree, have a drink and enjoy the view across Southampton water. I always knew it would fall some day. A photograph on Facebook told me that day had come. Continue reading Elegy to a fallen tree
The round of waiting rooms and blood tests is far from over but a steroid injection means Commando is feeling much better. It isn’t a cure, investigations are still ongoing, but, for now, he is making the most of it. In fact he’s become a little stir crazy. Word had it that the new Watermark Plaza had been invaded by giant rainbow coloured snails. In fact I kept seeing photos of them on Facebook so, today, I thought we could drive over and have a look at them for real before they all slithered off. Continue reading Invasion of the giant snails and pest control
The days after our Canadian adventure seemed to be mainly taken up with waiting rooms and worries. There was a visit to the walk in centre for me to get my hand x-rayed, just to be on the safe side. It still didn’t work properly but it wasn’t broken. It would heal on its own. Commando went back to work but struggled with pain that came and went in a random way in the muscles, tendons and joints of his arms, legs and neck. Every morning was a guessing game. What would hurt, what would work. He had blood tests and anti-inflammatories. The pills didn’t seem to help but moving did. He still couldn’t run. Continue reading Waiting rooms, worries and woods
Our last stop of the day was the city of Barrie. On the map it looked like a huge sprawling thing, at least in comparison to Gravenhurst and Orillia. According to the sign we passed it had a population of 136,000, a little over half the number of people living in Southampton. There’d been precious little time for proper research so we really had no idea where to go or how easy it would be to find somewhere to park. More by luck than judgement, we ended up driving right into the centre of town where we found a car park on Lakeside Drive. Continue reading Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye
Yet again I was awake not long after five this morning. As it was our last sunrise on Gull Lake I sat on the balcony to enjoy it. When Commando woke up we had a leisurely breakfast and returned to the balcony for a coffee and a last whistful gaze at the wonderful view. Not knowing when, or even if, we’d be coming back it was bitter sweet. This wonderful country has really stolen our hearts and we were sad to be leaving. Continue reading Orillia and little black flies
Like the trees clinging so tenaciously to the rock, I am not normally one to give up and turn back in the face of adversity. Today was not a normal day though. If I’d been on my own I may have tried to find a way around the blocked trail. This might have led me to become hopelessly lost. It might not. Although Commando wasn’t complaining, I knew his leg was still giving him pain and I didn’t want our short walk to turn into a very long one, especially as we have to drive back to Toronto tomorrow. The only thing for it was to turn back. Continue reading From the trail to the lake
“How about a little walk on the trail up the road?” Commando said. “The one with the big stone inukshuk.”
“The Hahne Farm Trail,” obviously I didn’t need asking twice.
We’d been sitting on our balcony watching the Canada geese and goslings on the lake below, drinking coffee and resting from our morning adventure in Huntsville. I was pretty sure Commando had only asked because he knew I was secretly disappointed by the lack of trail walking we’d done so far rather than any real desire to go walking on his part. Still, it was a short trail, around the same distance as a parkrun, and less than a mile from our chalet. If it proved too much for Commando’s leg we could easily turn back. Continue reading Hahne Farm Trail
My twisted body clock woke me at quarter to five this morning. It was quarter to two in Vancouver and quarter to ten in England so goodness only knows what time zone my brain was in. The merest hint of pink was just beginning to show above the tree line outside. I took a quick photo and then tried to go back to sleep. Half an hour later I gave up. My body was determined it was morning so I might as well listen. The sky was a little lighter now, the line of pink rising up to meet the midnight blue sky. Continue reading Let’s go to Huntsville