Au revoir Paris

Breakfast in the rain
Breakfast in the rain

24 November 2014

Monday morning was our last in Paris but, as our train didn’t leave until the afternoon, we’d planned to explore Montmartre, maybe relax at one on the cafés in Place Du Tertre and take in the glorious views from the Sacre Coeur. When we woke up it was raining which put a dampener on things. Wrapping up against the wetness we left the hotel. The rain was pounding against the cobbled road, water gushing along the gutters as we dashed to the little café on the corner for breakfast. Continue reading Au revoir Paris

Reunited

Dancing faun bronze by Eugène Louis Lequesne
Dancing faun bronze by Eugène Louis Lequesne

23 November 2014

Just as I was about to sink down onto the steps where we’d sat the day before watching the toddler playing football and put my head in my hands in despair there was a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around there was Commando. He’d been sitting on one of the green chairs in the sun waiting for me and I hadn’t noticed him when I passed. He was pretty cross but I fell, sobbing into his arms, so relieved to see him. Continue reading Reunited

From ossuary to graveyard in one afternoon

L'avenue du Général-Leclerc
L’avenue du Général-Leclerc

22 November 2014

Leaving the catacombs behind we wandered, slightly dazed, onto L’avenue du Général-Leclerc, quite some distance from the place we’d entered l’empire de la Mort. Our first priority was finding somewhere to eat. We found a little place called Indiana Café where we thought we might get a snack and a coffee and went inside. The snack turned out to be a huge meal, a beautiful hand made burger that surprised us by coming with salad and fries. Of course I had coffee too. Continue reading From ossuary to graveyard in one afternoon

L’Empire de la Mort

Fontaine de l'Observatoire
Fontaine de l’Observatoire

22 November 2014

The walk to objective number two took us through two more small parks one after another, Jardin des Grands Explorateurs and Jardin Marco Polo. We passed the Fontaine de l’Observatoire, designed by Gabriel Davioud and opened in 1874. The four female sculptures by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux represent Europe, Asia, Africa and America and the horses bursting out of the fountain were the work of Emmanuel Frémiet, but the thing that really drew my attention were the turtles sitting in the water. These gentle images full of movement and life were in stark contrast to the dank tunnels filled with old bones that lay ahead. Follow if you dare! Continue reading L’Empire de la Mort

Bonjour Paris

Wet pavements and sunshine, bonjour Paris
Wet pavements and sunshine, bonjour Paris

22 November 2014

On Saturday there was a plan, of sorts. This involved finding our way across the city armed only with a map and three separate objectives. We emerged from the hotel to wet streets and sunshine, it had obviously been raining at some point but the sky looked reassuringly blue. We got off to a good start, we knew which direction to go to start out. Continue reading Bonjour Paris

common land and hidden gems

Freemantle Common
Early morning on Freemantle Common

20 November 2014

After such a warm, wet autumn my little garden is in need of some tender loving care right now. Unfortunately, the need of the garden in Commando Senior’s crooked little house was greater. This meant a little morning walk across Freemantle Common with my folding secateurs in my rucksack. Thankfully it wasn’t raining and it certainly beats walking to work. Continue reading common land and hidden gems

Lyndhurst, an adventure in Wonderland

Illustration by Gwynedd M Hudson
Illustration by Gwynedd M Hudson

18 November 2014

One of my favourite childhood books was Alice in Wonderland. My copy was a thing of beauty that once belonged to Pappy and had colourful illustrations by artist Gwynedd M Hudson. I read it countless times and it captured my imagination. Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the story, lived most of her life in Lyndhurst in the New Forest and is buried in the churchyard there. As the Tuesday weather forecast hardly mentioned rain at all I thought I’d pay it a visit. Continue reading Lyndhurst, an adventure in Wonderland

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

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11 November 2014

Despite my pledge to attempt to reach Scotland on my virtual coastal walk this month, this weekend was turning out to be a bit of a washout in more ways than one. The planned Sunday walk was scuppered by Commanndo’s plans and my plan to walk to the dentist and back on Monday fell victim to heavy rain and food shopping. That left Tuesday as my only chance to fit some miles in. The weather forecast was hardly inspiring. Even so I planned out an ambitious walk, considering the chance of heavy rain, to Victoria Country Park. In fact it fit rather well with the date, 11 November. Continue reading The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

How do I get out of here?

Universal Boatyard
Universal Boatyard

4 November 2014

So there I was in Universal Boatyard surrounded by boats on dry land and lots of shipwrights looking askance at me. Uncomfortable didn’t even begin to describe it. According to my pre-walk reading I was supposed to go to the right of the boatyard but there didn’t seem to be a path to the right. I walked this way and that, trying not to look too lost or too suspicious but all I could see were dead ends and boats. Continue reading How do I get out of here?

Two buses, a little pink ferry and a pair of soggy feet

Bus stop number one
Bus stop number one

4 November 2014

The start to my Tuesday adventure was cold and earlier than I’d have liked on my day off because it relied heavily on public transport. Still, the sky was blue. A march up the Big Hill with puffs of breath hanging white in the air warmed me up and took me to bus stop number one. The bus was on time and I found myself in Woolston with a twenty five minute wait for the next bus. The cold was making my head ache and my walking boots felt unfamiliar on my feet after months of wearing Skechers but I had the feeling I was going to need something waterproof and sturdy. Continue reading Two buses, a little pink ferry and a pair of soggy feet