The Tuesday afternoon hailstorm was short lived and, by Wednesday morning, it was back to blue skies by the time I left for work. For a change I decided to take a slightly longer route along the river with lovely glimpses through the fences and gates to all the moorings there. The water was flat and calm reflecting the boats moored under Cobden Bridge and I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I made my way to the office. It was going to be a busy week with two members of staff on holiday and a new one to train so I needed all the calm views I could get especially as I was still expecting Commando’s stomach bug to kick in at any moment. Continue reading A blue sky kind of week
Eventually I dragged myself away from my seat overlooking the Itchen Valley and, humming to myself, set off along the lane towards Church Fields. There were sheep grazing on the Water Farm fields. At this point I had a choice of route, down the winding lane to Shawford and onto the Navigation, or across the road and through the southern part of Twyford Village. The Navigation was tempting, mostly because it meant avoiding the horrors of a mile and a bit of footpathless Highbridge Road with cars zooming past at fifty plus miles an hour. The Navigation, on the other hand, would have mud and breached banks. The section between Otterbourne and Allbrook was almost impassable on my last visit. Taking that option could well mean having to turn back. Continue reading Homeward bound
Safely across the road at the Hockley Traffic lights I set off along the road towards Twyford. It’s not the nicest of roads with cars whizzing past and nothing much to see at first, just half a mile of potholed pavement, traffic and fields hidden behind scrubby trees. I could have been on the Navigation trail if I’d just turned to the west but there was method in my madness. Back in the days of Moonwalk training walks, when my one foray onto the Navigation at Mansbridge had ended after half a mile of mud and fear before I’d even got started, this had been the route I’d taken when I came to the long miles. The ten mile mark was Twford, known as one of the most beautiful villages in Hampshire and, by trial and error, I’d found a little oasis of peace and calm amid the screaming muscles and blistered feet. Continue reading Twyford, revisiting an old friend
It started with a bus. The bus was late due to the roadworks on the bridge. It crawled along but it got me there in the end. Then there was a train. The train was delayed due to signalling problems at Woking. It arrived at the wrong platform, necessitating a mad dash up the stairs and down the stairs but I got there in the end. Good job I’m intimately acquainted with Southampton Central station so I knew where to go. I’m pretty sure a few people missed it. At least I’d had time to grab a coffee from the station cafe beforehand. Continue reading Winchester, an exercise in not getting lost
Interesting as my exploration of Clausentum may have been, there really wasn’t all that much walking involved. On such a bright day it seemed a shame to go home so soon so I carried on walking with no real plan. My feet led me over the Big Bridge. On the other side the desolate park was looking anything but desolate as I passed, brightened by a large cornelian cherry beside the railings, vibrant with an overload of tiny blooms that I’d taken for leaf buds from a distance. Either way it is a sign that spring is in the air. It felt like a day for history so, on a whim, I decided I’d go from a Manor House I couldn’t really see to a castle that isn’t really there. It seemed like a plan.
Yet again, Sunday was my only real walking day last weekend. Most of my time was taken up with food shopping, cooking and house selling. Not my house of course but it was still pretty stressful and upsetting. The moment had finally come to say goodbye to Commando Senior’s house and, while it would bring closure of a kind, it also brought a few tears. After all, this was the house Commando was born in and the last place I saw my wonderful Father in Law. Unfortunately, things didn’t run as smoothly as they could have but that’s a story for another day I think. Continue reading Signs of spring and some great teamwork