Lovely weather for ducks

15 March 2018

After the snow came the rain. It seemed to go on and on with one cold, grey, damp day following another. Walking was something to get from a to b as quickly as possible rather than an enjoyment. There was plenty of it but nothing that warranted pulling my phone out of my pocket. Today though, there was a brief dryish spell and I had an errand that took me along the riverbank.  Continue reading Lovely weather for ducks

White Swans – first published 25 May 2014

In December 2013 the White Swan pub at Mansbridge flooded. Floods are not a new thing for the Swan, it happens with monotonous regularity and I suppose it’s the price you pay for sitting on the edge of the river. Usually the flooding is limited to once a year at most. Mostly it gets cleaned up and reopens in a week or so. The winter of 2013/2014 was different, the water rose, receded a little, then rose some more, all through December, January and February. It rose higher than I’ve ever known it, closing the whole road at times. In Late May 2014, it finally reopened and, of course, I had to go along to have a look. Continue reading White Swans – first published 25 May 2014

Northam bound with aching feet and blisters – first published 8 May 2014

May 2014 and the end of my epic walk was almost in sight. As I stepped onto the final stretch of the Navigation my feet were protesting. There were more than eight miles to go if I was really going to walk the whole thing right to Northam and I could feel the tell tale burning of emerging blisters. This was when I realised I didn’t even have any blister plasters in my bag. They probably wouldn’t have stuck anyway seeing as my feet, socks and boots were wet. It reminded me of some of those long Moonwalk training walks except my legs didn’t ache too. Small mercies and all that. Continue reading Northam bound with aching feet and blisters – first published 8 May 2014

Allbrook to Bishopstoke fallen trees and lost dignity – first published 8 May 2014

My May 2014 quest to walk the whole Itchen Navigation from Winchester to Northam continued. Every time I came to a road I seemed to hit another problem and be left dithering. Highbridge Road was no exception. I looked at the sign pinned to the post and every section of the rest of the route had red lines and black crosses to say they were closed. The words ‘unsafe for use by the public’ didn’t sound good. I looked up the road towards Allbrook Hill, remembering all those Moonwalk training walks when I’d climbed it and how tough it had felt. Then I looked along the Navigation trail, the path looked dry and inviting but then so had the Brambridge end of Allbrook. Continue reading Allbrook to Bishopstoke fallen trees and lost dignity – first published 8 May 2014

Allbrook and wet feet -first published 3 May 2014

May 2014 and I’d reached Kiln Lane on my attempt to walk the whole Itchen Navigation from Winchester to Northam Wharf. After meeting a man on the path who told me it had been waist deep further along the trail I didn’t quite know what to do next. Should I attempt the Navigation or should I take the road along Kiln Lane? I stood for a while looking at the footpath sign and then along the road, dithering and uncertain. Continue reading Allbrook and wet feet -first published 3 May 2014

Mud, floods and crowds at Itchen Valley Country Park – first published 9 March 2014

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In early March 2014, Commando went off on a twenty mile Sunday morning run, the penultimate long training run before his marathon. It seemed the ideal opportunity for me to go out on another nice long walk. After lots of poring over maps I decided on a route that would take in the Itchen Valley Country Park. The park runs beside the Itchen and touches on the edges of the Navigation. There are trails through woodland, pasture and water meadows. There is also a visitor centre with a coffee shop, what more could I want? Continue reading Mud, floods and crowds at Itchen Valley Country Park – first published 9 March 2014

The call of the sea – first published 6 March 2014

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I’m always thankful that I live near the sea. There’s something about the sound of crashing waves and the taste of salt in the air that can’t be beaten. It may not be a beach of golden sands, with palm trees swaying and the sun beating down but, some days, the shore calls to me and, when it does, it have to listen. In early March 2014, I did just that. Continue reading The call of the sea – first published 6 March 2014

A March march – first published 2 March 2014

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When I planned the first walk of March 2014 I’d hoped there would be sun, or at least no rain for once. When I checked the forecast that morning it didn’t look like I was going to get home dry though. The route was around thirteen miles, give or take and it looked as if they were going to be mostly wet ones Continue reading A March march – first published 2 March 2014

Planes and boats and trains – first published 19 February 2014

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February 2014 and the first day with no rain for what seemed like forever found me trying to walk to Lakeside. There were a few worries that it might be flooded when I got there. I made it as far as the airport without rain or flood stopping me, although there were a few damp patches where the river and the stream didn’t seem to know their place. Despite the grey skies there was a definite feel of spring in the air. Continue reading Planes and boats and trains – first published 19 February 2014

Bad Planning – first published 16 February 2014

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After days of storms and torrential rain 16 February 2014 was supposed to be a sunny break in the wet weather, at least according to the weatherman. Of course, I planned to take advantage and get out for a nice long walk. Commando was off on a sixteen miler, training for his marathon and, as he pulled on his running socks, I brushed my teeth, thinking about where I would go. Things didn’t go quite to plan. Continue reading Bad Planning – first published 16 February 2014