What happened to winter?

Monks Walk
Monks Walk

19 & 20 December 2014

By Friday morning the WordPress upgrade debacle of the night before felt like it had been a bad dream. When I checked the blog I was glad to see things looked relatively normal although some work was still needed to make things pretty. Sadly I didn’t have time for that because I had to go to work. At least it wasn’t raining but the wet pavements told me it had been. It was colder by a few degrees too but nothing that could really be termed wintry. It may be December but somehow winter doesn’t seem to be able to get a grip this year. Continue reading What happened to winter?

The holly and the ivy

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15 & 16 December 2014

Being ill and housebound for almost a week has meant not only a lack of walking miles for December but a decided lack of photos or things to write about. There was a fair bit of looking out of the window from the sofa when I was awake but the energy to pick up the phone and take any pictures of what I saw out there was decidedly lacking. On Monday Commando drove me into town for a little more Christmas present buying but, still feeling a little wobbly, the only picture I took was of one of the cheery decorations on a stall in the German Market. Some presents were bought though so I’d call that progress. Continue reading The holly and the ivy

One walk, two woods and lots of fungi

Walking nervously into the woods
Walking nervously into the woods

8 December 2014

As I walked through the gate into the woodland behind the Bursledon Windmill I wasn’t entirely convinced no huge, slavering dogs would appear. At first I was looking around nervously but, when I spotted some jelly ear fungi on a fallen branch, I forgot all about dogs. Looking closer there were patches of some semi translucent, creamy spots that looked suspiciously like slime mould on the same branch. As I’d probably only walked about ten paces at this point it seemed like a good sign. Continue reading One walk, two woods and lots of fungi

Back to reality

Paul Day's The Meeting Place on St Pancreas Station
Paul Day’s The Meeting Place on St Pancras Station

25 November – 3 December 2014

Our Paris adventure was over. Dusk was falling as we left the train and pulled our bags past Paul Day’s huge bronze sculpture, The Meeting Place at St Pancras. We made it to Waterloo with prefect timing, the Southampton train was just about to leave. Outside the dirty train window the English countryside sped past as the sun went down. At one point I spotted a sliver of the Itchen Navigation as we passed through Allbrook. We were home. Continue reading Back to reality

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

November’s Coastal walking miles

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With frosty pavements, cold and rain, November was always going to be a tough nut to crack in terms of the hundred miles a month. If I had a really good month I knew I could make it across the border into Scotland and, at the beginning of the month, I was determined to try. Did I make it or did I fall flat on my face? Read on to find out. Continue reading November’s Coastal walking miles

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