Two bridges lite

4 January 2018

The first proper walk of 2018, if you don’t count lots of dashing about shopping or wandering around the Old Cemetery in the mud, was a version of Commando’s two bridge challenge. Frankly, at under four miles, it wasn’t much of a challenge but it was the first ‘just for the sake of walking’ walk of the year and there were swans, mud and some climbing that probably wouldn’t have seemed half as bad if I’d had breakfast before I went out.   Continue reading Two bridges lite

The two bridge challenge revisited – first published 3 August 2014

Another hot, muggy Sunday in early August 2014 and with the weather still sweltering, I decided on a short walk, sticking to the river as much as possible. It was time to revisit Commando’s two bridge challenge, otherwise known as my old walk to and from work. Continue reading The two bridge challenge revisited – first published 3 August 2014

A different sea

7 December 2016

After the blue skies and sun of Cyprus the UK took a bit of getting used to. It was cold. It was wet. It was grey. There was also a great deal of washing to be done and catching up with a week’s worth of chores, not to mention CJ’s birthday. This meant a week with very little walking unless you count trudging up the Big Hill for milk in the rain  kind of walking. Today though there was blue sky. Ok, so it was still well below freezing but I was missing the sky and the sea so much I decided to take a walk down to the shore. Continue reading A different sea

Southampton City Archives, more questions than answers

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11 October 2016

As we walked through Aldermore after our final boundary stone discovery I knew the time had come to visit the City Archives to see if I could find any more information about the eleventh and twelfth stones. Several fruitless searches on the Common and Golf Course Road had left me wondering if they even existed and, if there were any answers to my questions, I guessed this was where I’d find them.  Continue reading Southampton City Archives, more questions than answers

Storms, floods and a muggy walk

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23 June 2016

The Storm finally broke late last night. The rain hammered down, lashing against the windows, thunder clapped, lightening flashed. At one point the flash and the bang arrived at the same time, the storm was directly overhead. Sleep was hard to come by with the weather gods at battle outside. When I woke this morning Commando was getting into bed grumbling about floods, a ten mile detour to get home from work and the boiler not working. It wasn’t the best start to the day but at least the rain had stopped. Continue reading Storms, floods and a muggy walk

Never trust the weatherman

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6 January 2016

Last night the weatherman on the evening news told me the country would be shrouded in mist and fog for most of the day. My weather app appeared to agree. All Autumn I was waiting for a chance to take photos of mist swirling over the river but all we had was rain. This looked like it would be my chance so I went to bed thinking about an early morning riverside walk, swans emerging from eddies of mist, maybe even black swans. Continue reading Never trust the weatherman

Close encounters of the swan kind

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30 November 2015

The final day of November was cloudy and cold but, as it wasn’t actually raining, I thought I’d try to fit one more walk in to bolster my woefully inadequate November miles. The forecast was for rain later and I didn’t want to stray too far from home so a quick circuit of the river seemed like a good idea. Of course I might just bump into some black swans but I tried to put that thought from my mind. So far this year cygnet hunts seem to have been doomed to failure. If I didn’t think about them they might appear. Continue reading Close encounters of the swan kind

A whole new cygnet hunt

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2 November 2015

This morning I was looking through some of the posts I’d missed on the Southampton Heritage Facebook page and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw a picture of the black swans on the Itchen with five little cygnets. This is more unusual than you might think. The black swan, Cygnus atratus, is actually a native of Australia and New Zealand, not England. The first black swan arrived in 1791 as an ornamental bird and they became quite popular in zoological gardens and private bird collections. Over time a few escaped and wild birds, like the ones on the Itchen, all have their origins in captivity. With so few in the wild, breeding pairs have always been a rarity and until 2005 just twenty pairs were reported to be breeding throughout the whole of the UK. At the last count, in 2011, this number had risen to twenty eight. Continue reading A whole new cygnet hunt

low tide, lifts and St Mary’s Church – first published 29 May 2013

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The last week of May 2013 was the first five day week I’d worked for a long time. Even at Mad House I’d only worked four days, albeit ten hour ones, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with two day weekends. Still, there was always lunch time for a bit of extra walking and for this one I decided to take a wander around St Mary’s Church, the mother church of the city. Our football team take their name, Saints, from it being originally formed by church members. Continue reading low tide, lifts and St Mary’s Church – first published 29 May 2013

the unexplored path – first published 26 May 2013

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A sunny Sunday in late May, and a new pair of walking boots seemed like a good excuse for a walk, as if I ever needed one. Add to that a path I’d been meaning to explore for a while and you have a nice little afternoon stroll. As it happened it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped but at least I ticked it off my list. Continue reading the unexplored path – first published 26 May 2013