Easy as a walk in the park – first published 9 June 2014

June 2014, I’d seen the roadworks on the Itchen Bridge and along Platform Road, walked along the old walls and looked at the place the castle had once stood. Fortified by coffee I strolled along Portland Terrace in the sun with my latte in my hand feeling rather excited. The next part of my hastily cobbled plan was a walk through the parks. How I’d missed my lunchtime park walks and the chance to see the seasons change, especially in the Enchanted Park. Continue reading Easy as a walk in the park – first published 9 June 2014

The tale of the disappearing castle – first published 9 June 2014

An engraving of Southampton Castle

Back when I was walking towards Hurst Castle on that never ending shingle bank I said I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a real castle. Yes, I know it was technically a castle, or at least a fort but, for me, a castle is a tall thing with crenellations, towers and battlements. Maybe this is a byproduct of living in Southampton all my life where things like that are commonplace. The thing is, Southampton doesn’t actually have a castle any more but it did once. In early June 2014 I went to look at the spot it once stood.  Continue reading The tale of the disappearing castle – first published 9 June 2014

Hidden surprises in the medieval walls – first published 9 June 2014

Early June 2014 and I’d crossed the Itchen Bridge and walked along the seafront to God’s House Tower. There had been some vague notion of walking up towards West Quay when I started out but nothing you could actually call a plan. I stood, looking at the tower, partly marvelling at the way it had stood the test of time and changes, partly wondering where to go next. What I didn’t realise as I stood there, was that these old walls I’ve lived with all my life and grown to love could surprise me with things I’d never noticed before. Continue reading Hidden surprises in the medieval walls – first published 9 June 2014

Chaos in Southampton City Centre – first published 9 June 2014

What I’d planned to do for my second weekend walk of June 2014 was check out the Hamble Rail Trail I stumbled upon last November but didn’t have time to explore. When I say planned, I mean thought about briefly without getting any concrete information or working out distances. In truth it was a vague whim rather than a real plan and it all fell apart as soon as I began trying to find out more. This may have been because I left it until breakfast time on the morning of the walk. For a start I couldn’t find a decent map of it and, as I found the start of it by accident, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to again. Then I worked out it would mean a lot more miles than I thought. The torrential rain of the previous couple of days didn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. Continue reading Chaos in Southampton City Centre – first published 9 June 2014

Fear, anger and a DVLA scam – first published 7 June 2014

I’m not usually a fearful or an angry person. Sometimes though there are things that make me cross or scared and in early June 2014 there were a few. People deal with both feelings in different ways and my way, especially with anger, usually involves seeing it as a problem to be solved. It may not be the right way but it’s the way my mind works and it works for me. Doing something, even if I know it won’t really make a difference, makes me feel better, more in control. As Mother would have said, ‘don’t get mad, get even.’ Continue reading Fear, anger and a DVLA scam – first published 7 June 2014

D- Day and memories of Normandy – first published 6 June 2014

Walking to work on the  morning of the 70th anniversary of D-Day I saw poppies blooming on the demolished TV studio site. They must have opened in the previous day or so and it seemed quite fitting to see their bright heads swaying in the breeze. Poppies for remembrance. It was 6 June 2014. D Day, more properly called Operation Overlord or the Normandy landings, took place on 6 June 1944. The largest seaborne invasion in history is well documented but, for me, all the talk of Normandy beaches had me hankering to go back to one of my favourite places, L’Anse Du Brick just outside Cherbourg. Continue reading D- Day and memories of Normandy – first published 6 June 2014

Race two, The Gosport 5k – first published 1 june 2014

June 2014, Commando had finished the Gosport Golden mile and we were sitting on the shingle at Stokes Bay relaxing. It was a warm day and even a mile, when run at top speed, is a huge effort. Of course this wasn’t the end of the running for the morning, there was still a 5K race to be run… Continue reading Race two, The Gosport 5k – first published 1 june 2014

Stokes Bay, yellow submarines and a golden mile – first published 1 june 2014

The first Sunday of June 2014 and another early start in my capacity as blister technician and chief bag carrier. Commando was running the Gosport Golden Mile and 5k again. It’s a bit of an odd race, a mile sprint followed immediately by a second 5k race run on the same course along the shore at Stokes Bay. It’s a bit of an odd place too, as I was to find out. Continue reading Stokes Bay, yellow submarines and a golden mile – first published 1 june 2014