Sleeping in a tent in the rain isn’t easy. This year though, we’d dispensed with the, frankly, useless air beds that never seem to stay inflated for more than an hour or two and bought proper camp beds with us. They looked narrow and uncomfortable but were surprisingly good to sleep on. Because of the rain and the fading light we’d gone to bed quite early and I woke equally early. Commando was still sleeping but I sneaked out of the tent and went off for a wander. It was just after five in the morning.
For three whole days after my last Running School session, I could barely walk. On day one, Commando laughed every time I groaned and winced as I tried to get out of the chair. It was slightly better on day two but I still looked like an elderly lady who had lost her walking frame. Yesterday I managed to get up the big hill without stopping, but it was slow, painful progress. Oddly, my Achilles hadn’t hurt at all, throughout this epic DOMS extravaganza, my calves were the problem. Today, apart from a little residual calf tenderness, normal service was more or less resumed and we were off to Lymington for another spot of parkrun tourism. Continue reading Lymington, parkrunning and fairy doors
Standing on Colebrook Street behind the River Cottage Canteen the temptation to go to Costa and sit in the dry with a cup of coffee was strong. By now I’d been walking around Winchester in the rain for almost two hours and there is only so much dampness even I can stand. Abbey Passageway to my right would take me along the side of Abbey Gardens and back to the High Street. This was where Mitch and I found the Nunnaminster graves the other week. The passageway and gardens are said to be haunted by a ghostly nun and this dismal day seemed just right for meeting ghosts. Continue reading Dean Garnier’s Garden
My real birthday began at two in the morning Vancouver time when I woke starving and sure it must be far later in the day. My Garmin chose this moment to inform me the battery was running low. Not the best of timing but I always had the feeling it would choose the worst possible moment. Commando was still sleeping soundly so I tried, with limited success, to ignore my grumbling stomach and go back to sleep. The morning began again at five with a Happy Birthday and a present from Commando. The time difference leant a strange dreamlike feeling to everything. In a daze we wandered down West Broadway to Starbucks where we beat the morning rush and had breakfast. Continue reading Birthday number two, a pleasure dome, an ancient forest and a garden
Although we had another day before the first of the running events, Commando went for another social run this morning. There was no chance for me to laze in the hotel room or sit dreaming on the balcony though. Eddie had invited me out on a walk. It was a challenge I couldn’t resist. I think he was trying to test my mettle. Continue reading Coral Bay, searching for a shipwreck
After a great deal of dithering, I’d somehow found myself in a passageway heading for Cathedral Close. There was a door in the side of the passage leading directly into the cathedral. It was closed but the walls were etched with ancient graffiti, along with some that looked more modern. The passageway came out beside a walled courtyard with a manicured lawn. Later I discovered this was part of the great medieval priory of St Swithun. Perhaps the monks used this door to get from the priory to the cathedral? Continue reading Another secret garden, an author and a bishop
When Commando said he was thinking of volunteering as a pacer for the Winchester Half Marathon I was pleased. It would give me a couple of hours to wander around the city while he ran. Early this morning there was a practice run for the would be pacers and, of course, it was too good an opportunity for me to miss so I tagged along. We arrived in Winchester before the sun had had a chance to chase away the last of the morning mist. Continue reading Winchester, abbeys, gardens. a celebrity chef and a king
The trouble with holidays is they’re always way too short, and cold, hard reality is always there at the end of them. Commando and I had come to the last full day of our 2013 Lanzarote adventure and it was almost time to say goodbye to the volcanic paradise where the sun always shines. For some reason I’d woken every morning at around seven, later than I would at home but earlier than I normally would on holiday. Each morning I crept out onto the balcony as quietly as I could and sat, listening to the pigeons cooing, the birds waking up and the sea crashing against the rocks below my window. Slowly the sky would turn from dark, inky blue to white clouds tinged with pink. It was nice to have the time to sit and watch the dawn. Continue reading Paradise and cold hard reality – first published 22 October 2013
My social calendar is usually a rather sparsley populated thing but this weekend was jam packed. Along with the Saturday Care For A Walk and the Sunday morning Eastleigh 10k there was a rather special open day I really didn’t want to miss on Sunday afternoon. For a long time now I’ve known there is a boundary stone hiding in the grounds of what used to be Townhill Park House, in fact I’ve even glimpsed it through the thick holly hedge. The problem is the stone is out of bounds behind large, locked gates. Continue reading Out of bounds
The first Sunday in August 2013 and, as usual Commando was out on a run and I was cleaning the bathroom, washing clothes and pegging them on the line. When he came home we went to town, just for a mooch around. It’s something we do once in a while on a Sunday afternoon. Then Commando asked if I fancied a coffee in Tudor House. This was not something at all normal and I jumped at the chance. For all the times I’d walked past it I had never been inside. Continue reading a very old house – first published 4 August 2013
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