Ghostly goings on in Southampton

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31 July 2015

When I finished work on Friday it wasn’t exactly the end of my day. Commando’s friend Pete, the one who organises the spring New Forest Walks, had some tickets for a Southampton Ghost Walk but found himself accidentally overbooked. Knowing about my slight obsession with ghosts, Commando said he’d take them off his hands. There was just about time to freshen up before I had to dash back out again with CJ in tow. Neither of us knew quite what to expect as we made our way through a mostly empty city towards the Bargate. Continue reading Ghostly goings on in Southampton

All creatures great and small

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30 July to 1 August 2015

After the rather lacklustre weather during my days off work it was slightly galling to wake to bright sunshine on Thursday morning when I had to go back to work. Why does that always happen? So there I was, half past six in the morning, walking under the Big Bridge the sky reflected in a mirror smooth river, wishing I could just keep on going. Continue reading All creatures great and small

Homeward bound, trails, haunted bridges, shopping trolleys and mills

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29 July 2015

We’d taken the shortest, straightest route from the Cathedral to Old Sarum but, when I’d been planning the trip, I’d seen what I thought was another, far more scenic route. Whether it was actually possible to walk it was another matter so I thought I’d save it for the return journey. If we got completely lost we’d just keep walking south and hope we’d find Salisbury eventually… Probably. Continue reading Homeward bound, trails, haunted bridges, shopping trolleys and mills

Salisbury cathedral, a slight case of sensory overload

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29 July 2015

When we got inside the cathedral one of the first things we noticed was another of the strange, colourful knights, this was smaller than the first. Something about it felt very familiar and, when I spotted a whole row of them behind him, I realised what it was. this was a sculpture trail like our very own rhinos. Later Googling told me it was called the Baron’s Charter Trail, set up by the Trussell Trust and Wild in Art to celebrate eight hundred years of Magna Carta. It started on 12 June and ends on 6 September. If only I’d known earlier I’d have done some research and we could have gone hunting. Continue reading Salisbury cathedral, a slight case of sensory overload

A different shire, a tall spire and Magna Carta

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29 July 2015

Eight hundred years ago the tyrant King John was forced to sign Magna Carta at Runnymead. Parchment copies were sent out to the English county courts and, today, four of those copies survive. One is currently on display at Salisbury Cathedral and it was Commando’s idea for me to take CJ to have a look at it. Many years ago I regularly frequented a pub called The George in Salisbury and the spire of the cathedral has often felt like the first sight of home at the end of long journeys. Even so, I’d never visited the cathedral and I couldn’t remember the last time I visited Salisbury. All in all it seemed like a good plan for the last day of my holiday so, early on Wednesday morning, we got on a train bound for Wiltshire. Continue reading A different shire, a tall spire and Magna Carta

Butterfly walk and runners on the common

Mayfield Park
Mayfield Park

28 July 2015

The butterflies have been conspicuous in their absence this year for some reason. Although I’ve seen the odd one fluttering over the garden or when I’ve been out walking, there haven’t been nearly as many as usual. The bees have been buzzing around all the flowers in my garden since spring, but I’ve missed the colour of delicate wings drifting from plant to plant. On Tuesday, I thought I’d go and seek them out in their own habitat, the Butterfly Walk. Continue reading Butterfly walk and runners on the common

Chasing pigs on the wing

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26 July 2015

We left the Physic garden and made for the Thames. The rain had stopped but the sky still looked threatening as we stood on the riverbank. At that point there was quite a temptation to find the nearest tube station and get back to Waterloo as quickly as possible. Another four miles or so didn’t seem all that tempting but there were still a couple of items on the agenda. Continue reading Chasing pigs on the wing

So many flowers, so little time

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26 July 2015

During the early miles of Moonwalk 2013, I noticed a mysterious looking door in a high brick wall as we were making our way through Chelsea. A sign told me this was the Chelsea Physic garden and, of all the things I saw during that long, long night, the name stuck in my mind. I wanted to see behind that door. Finally, more than two years later, I was going inside. Admittedly, it was a miserable wet day and I had CJ with me so I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be quite what I’d imagined. Continue reading So many flowers, so little time

I don’t want to go to Chelsea

Liberty of London
Liberty of London

26 July 2015

If the first part of our London adventure was mostly about graffiti, the second half was going to be mostly about flowers. The graffitifest was a sweetner to stop CJ complaining too much about what was to come. Chelsea was next on the agenda, a certain physic garden to be exact, and I wasn’t entirely sure CJ was going to find it as exciting as I did. Although he didn’t know it, my itinerary was fairly ambitious distance wise too. CJ walks a fair bit but I thought a half marathon, plus some, might stretch him a little so I’d broken it down into segments, “just over three miles to Chelsea, are you OK with that? We can always get the tube?” So far he was fine but we’d walked less than four miles. Still, the rain had turned to drizzle and, being London, there was plenty to take our minds off both rain and miles. Continue reading I don’t want to go to Chelsea

Waterloo, Westminster, toilets, coffee and graffiti

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26 July 2015

Saturday night and I was feeling quite despondent. The forecast was for rain over the next few days. I could see my planned walks evaporating before my eyes. To cheer me up Commando went on line and booked two tickets to London.
“You can go exploring with CJ while I’m doing my fifteen mile marathon training. Even if it rains you’re sure to find something interesting to do.”
A couple of hours later after a lot of Googling and poring over maps, I had a plan that would keep CJ interested and take us to some of the more unusual sights in London. If it rained too much we could always seek shelter in a cafe. Continue reading Waterloo, Westminster, toilets, coffee and graffiti