Trapped on the butterfly walk

20 September 2017

Bridge or slope? We dithered for quite a while, weighing up all the pros and cons. The slope was steep but there were steps and it would take us onto Archery Grove a shortish Walk on pavements to Millers Pond. There’d be no mud and, after the initial climb it would be easy going. The bridge would take us onto the butterfly walk. There’d probably be mud and obstacles to negotiate but it would be prettier.  Continue reading Trapped on the butterfly walk

Winnal Moors, otters, water voles and swan steps

3 September 2017

Back on the main trail again and trying hard not to scratch my itchy ankles and make them worse, I carried on. Google Maps told me the Winchester School of Art was somewhere behind the trees to my left but I couldn’t see it.  There was water too, part of a network of streams and canals running off the Itchen to drown the water meadows, but this too was invisible to me from the path. what I did see was another rustic bench, this one carved like the little totem poles I’d passed earlier. Continue reading Winnal Moors, otters, water voles and swan steps

From sea to sky

6 May 2017

Our brief stop at Porteau Cove had showed me beauty beyond my wildest dreams. Now we all agreed it was time for lunch. Jen and Kevin knew just the place, The Howe Sound Brewing Company in Squamish, a one time hop Farm turned micro brewery. The rustic atmosphere ticked all the right boxes and the food was perfect. According to Commando, so was the beer, although it took him a while to choose. Replete and happy we found our way back onto Highway 99 and headed from the sea to the sky. Pretty soon we were looking up at the Sea to Sky Gondola and, behind the low wooden building, the tumbling water of Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in British Columbia. I had the feeling my dreams were going to get a lot wilder before the day was out.

Continue reading From sea to sky

Family, secrets, mysteries and bridges to nowhere

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8 June 2016

This week seems to have been mostly about family. It began on Sunday with a gathering of the clan to celebrate an anniversary. Maggie and Alan, who showed us such hospitality when we were in Toronto last year, had come to England to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. As I was driving, I couldn’t have any of the champagne but I did have a slice of the wonderful cake made by Shirley, whose Sunday lunches are legendary. Continue reading Family, secrets, mysteries and bridges to nowhere

Walking The Weirs with new eyes and dithering

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29 May 2016

Standing at the bottom of Wharf Hill, I toyed with the idea of heading towards the Itchen Navigation. Only days before I’d walked it with CJ though and, beautiful as it is, it didn’t seem the best use of my time. Besides, I wouldn’t get very far before I had to turn back even if I marched my fastest. The morning was getting warm and slightly muggy so dawdling was the order of the day. Instead I headed towards Wharf Mill, or Seagrams Mill as it’s also known, once the main grain mill in the city. Sadly this is not the original Wharf Mill, built in around 1205. The modern building was constructed on the site of the old in 1885 and these days it’s no longer a mill. Like so much else it’s been turned into luxury appartments. Continue reading Walking The Weirs with new eyes and dithering

many bridges to cross – first published 23 June 2013

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There are three main bridges across the Itchen but in June 2013, with a bit of creative thinking, I managed to fit seven into my seven mile walk. Numbers aren’t really my thing but some have a certain magic, seven is one of those.  Actually mathematicians such as Pythagoras believed that certain numbers were mystical or lucky as much as they did their mathematical theories. So, if I’m nuts, I’m in good company. Continue reading many bridges to cross – first published 23 June 2013

walking in the dark and marvelling at the bright lights – first published 11 May 2013

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The waiting was finally over. The Moonwalk I’d trained so hard for had begun and I was off into the dark, Wind and rain in Battersea amid a sea of wet bra wearing women. We were women on a mission, not just to walk twenty six point two miles, fight tiredness, cold and the elements, but to raise money for breast cancer charities, it was going to be a long, long night and, as usual, I was walking alone even though I was surrounded by people. Continue reading walking in the dark and marvelling at the bright lights – first published 11 May 2013

Hotwells, gas works, street art and Banksy’s in the wild

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2 September 2015

We’d made it to the Cumberland Basin, the main entrance to Bristol Docks and a place that features high on my work life list of disaster areas. Part of me was interested to see what all the fuss was about. The swing bridge we were about to cross would lead us from Spike Island to Hotwells and, looking over the side at the boats moored in the calm water, it seemed peaceful enough. Of course the problem, as always in Bristol, revolves around the roads not the river and over the expanse of water in the basin, we could see plenty of traffic even on a quiet Wednesday afternoon. At least we were walking so traffic shouldn’t cause us too many problems. Continue reading Hotwells, gas works, street art and Banksy’s in the wild

Homeward bound, trails, haunted bridges, shopping trolleys and mills

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29 July 2015

We’d taken the shortest, straightest route from the Cathedral to Old Sarum but, when I’d been planning the trip, I’d seen what I thought was another, far more scenic route. Whether it was actually possible to walk it was another matter so I thought I’d save it for the return journey. If we got completely lost we’d just keep walking south and hope we’d find Salisbury eventually… Probably. Continue reading Homeward bound, trails, haunted bridges, shopping trolleys and mills