Our first port of call on The Common was Cemetery Lake. The last time I tried to visit it was back in December and the ground was so boggy I hadn’t been able to get across the grass to the observation area and the path around the perimeter was thick with mud. In the end I’d had to content myself with a Christmas card Robin sitting on the fence. Today the grass was wet from the recent shower but walkable. CJ and I headed for the gate. Continue reading Southampton Common cycles, cygnets and a Skyride finale
John, the Itchen Spitfire’s founder, volunteered to organise marshals for this year’s Southampton Skyride so, today, there were an unusually large number of Itchen Spitfires lining the streets of Southampton. They were all dressed in eye popping pink t-shirts. Amongst them was Commando. He left rather early this morning while I was still drinking hot chocolate and rubbing the sleep from my eyes. At a more reasonable hour CJ and I walked over to town for a little Spitfire spotting. Continue reading Skyride Sunday
June began with another RR10 in the New Forest, this time at Blackfield Common. Commando swore he knew how to get there. Stupidly, I believed him. By now I should know better. Of course, we ended up driving round in circles with no idea where to go and even Google Maps couldn’t help because I couldn’t get a phone signal. It began to look as if this would be the RR10 we didn’t make it to. Continue reading All’s well that ends well at Blackfield Common
Saturday is Parkrun day, at least it is in our house. This Saturday was a little different though because, for once, there was no Parkrun on the Common. A big event was going on there, a kind of obstacle race with giant inflatables like bouncy castles and the Parkrunners had been ousted for a week. Commando thought he’d probably go to Victoria Country Park instead and, remembering the last time I’d watched him run there, I was quite looking forward to it. There’s nothing quite like a stroll beside the sea first thing in the morning to set you up for the day. Continue reading Spitfires on Tour!
When Commando said the Itchen Spitfires needed someone to write their newsletter I heard myself volunteer. Sometimes I don’t know when to keep my big fat mouth shut! In all honesty, I didn’t think they’d want a humble walker like myself. Turns out I was wrong. Despite my lack of knowledge of all things running, they did. Still, I’ve made a career of writing about things I know nothing about so why should this be any different? Steep learning curve here we come. When Commando said he’d be running the RR10 at Stoney across tonight it seemed like my chance to add to my nonexistent running knowledge. Continue reading Stoney Cross, sunsets and what on earth is an RR10?
Once the last runner had trotted around the Bargate I thought about my options for catching Commando mid race. If I ran I could probably make it to the Itchen Bridge before he completed the return lap but it would be touch and go and I really don’t do running. Besides, it would most likely already be crowded with spectators. Instead, I headed back towards the race start, thinking I might catch some of the Spitfires who would soon be starting the 10k race. Continue reading Plan B
Every Saturday morning Commando gets up early for the Parkrun, usually on Southampton Common. Although his ankle still wasn’t quite right it was feeling much better and he didn’t want to miss this week’s run. The C25K group of new Spitfires would be running their first ever Parkrun and he wanted to support them.
“I’ll just pootle round at an easy pace,” he said, “see how the ankle does.”
I wasn’t entirely sure I believed that so I decided to go along to keep an eye on him. Besides, Parkrun was all over the news since Stoke Gifford Parish Council had controversially announced they were going to start charging for theirs. As the government are trying to persuade porky Brits to get off the couch and get moving, this seemed like a rather short sighted plan. Obviously, the popularity of local Parkruns made them look like a cash cow in need of exploitation. Continue reading Parkrun controversy and a record
Commando’s first ever race was the Eastleigh 10k back in 2012. Today he was acting as 55 minute pacer, a bit slower than he’d have liked but a nice easy run for him. Of course I went along and not just to have a look at the special pacer’s dressing room or get a Costa either. Obviously there’d be no chance for a great deal of walking or exploring but I did enough of that yesterday and races are always fun to watch. Continue reading Pacing the 2016 Eastleigh 10k
A large part of Tuesday was spent planning. Working the Bank Holiday had the advantage of giving me two lieu days which I’d decided to take straight away and I had some rather ambitious plans to make up for my lack of weekend walking. Mostly this meant an afternoon Googling, making notes and working out a detailed itinerary. Of course there was some food shopping in the morning and the cleaning I’d normally have done on Monday. By early evening I was as satisfied as I was ever going to be and Commando had a plan to get me out of the house for an hour or so. Continue reading Another record on The Common
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 spitfires on the common