For more than a month Commando had been sidelined by illness. It was June before he was finally allowed to put his trainers on and test his legs. He still was far from well but seeing him cross the finish line at Southampton parkrun on 10 June felt like a huge leap in the right direction.
Although he wasn’t happy with his time and lost fitness, he suffered no ill effects from his parkrun return. He even helped me lead the Spitfires Summer Challange to walk the Itchen Navigation from Winchester to Woolston the very next day.
A week later we went to Fareham for some Parkrun tourism. It was a beautiful venue, running beside Fareham Creek and Commando looked happy and strong. He still might not have been as fast as normal but his time was coming down and seeing him running at all was more than enough for me.
It was back to Southampton Common for parkrun in 24 June. On the way to the start we walked through the Beyond Graffiti tunnel. The smell of fresh paint alerted us to some new artwork.
A few more seconds were chipped off Commando’s parkrun time and it really began to feel as if progress was being made.
An evening walk on 6 July was filled with wildflowers. There were too many photos of a particularly pretty wild rose. This one didn’t make the cut.
On 25 July, an early evening appointment in Woolston left me with a little time on my hands. What better than a wander along the riverside to watch the sun slowly sinking? In the shadow of the Itchen Bridge I took a few photographs and wandered along the sea wall to the Supermarine Memorial. It wasn’t something worthy of a post but thse photos are worth sharing.
The walk to parkrun on 29 July took us through the beyond graffiti tunnel again. It’s usually a joy to spot new graffiti here even though it sometimes means saying goodbye to old work I’ve enjoyed. This time the joy of finding a couple of new pieces was tempered by sadness and a little anger. The senseless taggers have been at work, wrecking some of the lovely art other artists have painted. Some say all graffiti is vandalism. In my opinion some is simply art. Tagging though, now that is vandalism and I don’t see the point in it.
A photo shoot for the Spitfires on 29 July, gave me another evening stroll in Woolston, this one with CJ. On our way home we took a few photos.
Commando had gone off to lead a running group on 10 August, when there was a knock at my front door. He’d brought his group round for some hill training and popped in to say hello. Unbelievably, they we still smiling after the little hill.
I was enjoying an early evening coffee on the decking when CJ dragged me to the front of the house to look at the sky. Luckily, I took my phone with me and captured some beautiful crepuscular rays.
I don’t usually use of other people’s photographs but, on 24 August, my friend Sarah captured a shot I simply had to share. She was marshalling the Spitfire’s five mile race and caught Commando running towards the light at the end of the tunnel. It seemed like a photographic metaphor for this year. She kindly agreed to let me use it.
Then there was Kim’s surprise birthday party in the restaurant in South Western House on 25 August. The cake was a sight to behold. Commando and I ended the evening with some slightly drunken photos sitting on the throne.
The next day everyone turned up for a rather hung over parkrun.
Summer was coming to a close, Commando was slowly getting back to fitness and autumn was just around the corner…
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