southampton’s burning – first published 26 July 2013

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At the end of a busy day the last thing you want to see on the way home is a huge plume of smoke ahead between you and home. That is exactly what happened on the evening of 26 July 2013 as Gail and I were heading for the Itchen Bridge. By the time we realised what was burning it was too late to turn back. We’d just have to find a way around it if we could. Continue reading southampton’s burning – first published 26 July 2013

2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

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29 December 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching so the time has come to reflect. Over the next few days I will be looking back at the the highs and lows of the old year and reminding myself of the places I discovered and the lessons I learned. Along the way I’m hoping to get a little inspiration for the year ahead. Maybe there are places that could stand further exploration or mysteries that still need solving…
Continue reading 2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

Bear Grylls as a new diet tool – first published 10 June 2013

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In early June 2013 CJ accidentally got a taste of homelessness and almost frightened me out of my wits. There was a worrying development on the river path and I seemed to have chocolate on the brain. The latter is probably quite normal. I also discovered that irritating survival expert and TV personality, Bear Grylls, has his uses. Continue reading Bear Grylls as a new diet tool – first published 10 June 2013

A princess, a queen and a sun lounger disaster – first published 8 June 2013(2)

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Yesterday I told you all about the Spitfire factory and the old Floating Bridges. My plan had been to walk down to the shore and have a look at the Royal Princess from the other side of the water, trying out a different route in the process. Passing the old Supermarine site and the remains of the Floating Bridges was purely incidental but, as so often happens, I got a bit distracted and it was an interesting diversion. It’s good to make plans but not if you stick to them too rigidly, I prefer to go with the flow. Next stop, Weston Shore to see if I could get a better view of the giant ship. Continue reading A princess, a queen and a sun lounger disaster – first published 8 June 2013(2)

Moonwalk training, twenty four miles and a few disasters – first published 12 April 2013

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Most marathon training programmes build up slowly, little by little with regular walks or runs and then taper off in the weeks leading up to the event. Usually the longest walk or run is twenty miles, at most twenty two. The thinking being, if you can run twenty miles you can push through the wall to run the final six point two on the day. This was not the way I saw it. When I started off five miles seemed like a pretty long walk. After walking ten, five was a piece of cake. It seemed to me, if I did the whole twenty six point two before the tapering, it would be easier on the night. In April 2013 I’d made it to the penultimate walk. Continue reading Moonwalk training, twenty four miles and a few disasters – first published 12 April 2013

Twenty hellish miles with goats in trees – first published 15 March 2013

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With less than two months to go until the Moonwalk I had hit the long miles with a vengeance. Even the short walk weeks were ten miles plus and, in mid March, I had a twenty mile walk ahead of me. The last thing I needed was bad weather… Continue reading Twenty hellish miles with goats in trees – first published 15 March 2013

A disastrous day – first published 22 January 2013

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Some days it seems anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Other times even the things that can’t go wrong do. 22 January 2013 was one of those. In fact, it had all started to go wrong after my snowy walk the day before and went downhill from there. Reading it now it seems like one of those bad farces you watch on TV with one hand over your eyes. At the time I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Continue reading A disastrous day – first published 22 January 2013

Monumental cock up on the London Marathon front

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25 April 2015

A few years ago I made a cock up of monumental proportions on the Twilight Race For Life. Basically I turned up on the wrong night, one day after the race, dressed in bright pink, with my race number pinned to me and covered in glo sticks. As mistakes go it was a big one and embarrassing but, to put matters right, I walked more than the distance involved, dressed in my stupid pink costume, all alone, at night and feeling like a total idiot. On Saturday we discovered someone else had made an error that made mine look like a tiny faux pas. Let me start at the beginning…. Continue reading Monumental cock up on the London Marathon front

Weirs, alpacas, goats impersonating cows and stinging nettles

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21 April 2015

Even before I crossed the road I could see the green sign was still there and my heart sank a little. Even so, I crossed and peered uncertainly up the towpath. It loooked dry and firm but still I dithered. Last year there was a bad breach where the path looked to be in danger of being washed away altogether. If I went ahead I could come seriously unstuck and have to turn back. The cracked wall was testement to just how bad the flooding had been. The wier was flowing fast, but it wasn’t as high as I’ve seen it. In the end I decided to give it a try. Continue reading Weirs, alpacas, goats impersonating cows and stinging nettles

Missing the boat and other small disasters

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31  March 2015

It was a relief to turn off of Queens Park and walk up Latimer Street towards Oxford Street, at least I would have some shelter from the wind which had been trying to blow me off my feet since I set out. The next part of the Titanic trail is also part of my family history, without which I would not be writing about my wonderful Commando. Continue reading Missing the boat and other small disasters