Last week, a little dawdling and some getting lost on our walk through Spear Pond Gully meant we missed the chance to drop in on Commando at work. Today was his last training shift so I thought I’d walk down to Hamble and meet him while I still had the chance. In theory it should have been a nice easy walk, all downhill after the climb to get to the village but timing would be key. Arrive too early and there’d be a lot of waiting around, too late and I’d have a long, uphill walk home. Continue reading Hamble or bust
The area directly outside the south door of Highfield Church is dominated by a war memorial, dedicated in 1921 to men of the parish lost during the First World War. For such a small parish, there seem to be an awful lot of names inscribed upon it. Their loss must have been a terrible blow to the area. We stopped for a moment to read and think. No doubt, a wreath of poppies will be laid here soon to remember them, although it’s doubtful if there is anyone alive now who knew them personally. Continue reading A postcard from Highfield and a wild goose chase
With our coffee and cakes finished we bade a last sad farewell to the Costa in Portswood and walked on towards Highfield. Like most of the city, outside the centre, this was once a rural area and the name, at least according to old maps, originated from a bastardisation of Hayfield. That there were fields is in no doubt and, as the road rises up towards the Common, they were undoubtedly high fields too so the name is quite apt. Today Highfield is home to the main University Campus, built on an old brickfield. This was not what we’d come to see though. Continue reading Highfield church
Once upon a time the Boardwalk and the river path were part of my daily walk to work. Often I’d look through the wire fence into the old television studio site and wonder when someone would build something there, what it would be and how it would impact on the path. Now the new houses and apartments are finally being built. As I go back and forth across the bridge I often look over and remark on the progress but I still wonder what will become of the path. As it’s a public footpath the builders shouldn’t, in theory, encroach upon it but you never can tell. Continue reading Changes afoot
This morning was one of those dark brooding mornings when you need the light on and I was procrastinating, finding lots of little jobs in the house that didn’t really need doing to avoid going to the village. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to walk up the hill. What I was really avoiding was the imminent rain. Every time I glanced out of the window the sky looked so dark I was sure there was going to be a horrendous downpour pretty soon. When it came I didn’t particularly want to be out in it. Continue reading Portent of doom
We’d left to Road that thought it was a trail and were back on a real road again, with houses and even a sign for a railway station off to our left. One of the houses had an interesting gateway, a little like a lych gate. For a second I thought it might be the church where I was planning to stop and have a break. It wasn’t but the gate wasn’t so interesting I was about to take a photo when my phone rang. It was Commando, calling on his lunch break for a chat. If we’d walked a little quicker we could have made a detour and gone to see him. Once he’d gone I took my photograph of the gate. It was worth the wait, especially the sign that said Beware of the Gnomes. That really made me smile. Continue reading Show me the way to go home
We’d come to the end of the trail alongside Spear Pond. The footpath sign we saw by the first gate told me there must be a way through, just not where it would lead us. We could have taken the easy route and gone back through the gate and onto the Strawberry Trail. There’d be no chance of getting lost that way but it wouldn’t be as much of an adventure and I hate retracing my steps. Ahead I spotted two trails going off into the trees. Neither was marked. Continue reading A fungi filled copse and a road that thinks it’s a trail
Today’s walk came with a proper plan for once. On the outskirts of the city there is a trail I’ve been meaning to explore for some time and, last night, I finally got around to mapping it out. In fact I even downloaded the route to my phone so I could follow it as I walked. Of course, not all of the trail was visible on the map so I filled in the missing bits as best I could and hoped there would actually be a way to get through. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading Spear Pond Gully
With the Winchester walks, the Half Marathon and the CC6’s, it seems like years since I last had a nice quiet Sunday. When I went to parkrun yesterday morning I thought I’d be getting a lie in today. While we were having our post run coffee though, everyone was talking about races. Almost everyone was running either the Portsmouth Pieces of Eight or the Bournemouth Half Marathon. Everyone except Commando and Rob that is. All of a sudden they had a bad case of race envy. Before I knew what was going on they’d decided to try to get last minute places for Pieces of Eight and I was waving goodbye to the idea of a lie in.
The final part of our walk took us along the river, the one place we couldn’t possibly get lost. Today the water was mirror smooth, reflecting the beautiful blue sky above and the trees on the far bank. A spider was busily wrapping up something he’d caught in his web strung between the plants on the bank. He reminded me of the start of our walk, all spiders and butterflies. Continue reading Restless swans and autumn leaves
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