The River Itchen meanders through the centre of Southampton dividing it roughly into two halves, west and east of the river. Almost all my life I’ve lived on the east side, so much of the west side of town is something of a mystery to me. Today CJ and I thought we’d explore a small part of it. There was a plan, albeit a fairly vague one, centred around an unusual church we’d seen from a bus some time ago.
Today was CJ’s birthday. It was also a beautiful, blue sky, late autumn day so what better way to celebrate than with a little walk and a nice lunch? As CJ is fond of both history and graffiti, I thought I had just the walk for him. As for the lunch, neither of us had a clue where to eat but, as our walk would end up in town, we’d be fairly spoilt for choice. Continue reading A birthday walk, graffiti, a legend some lunch
CJ and I left the Bargate Centre with mixed feelings. The new plans look exciting but the ghosts of old memories make the demolition of the building feel a little sad. We walked down East Street in silence, each remembering those far off days. Soon we’d come to another place of memories, the East Street Centre. Continue reading Underground, overground, making the best of things
With our coffee and cakes finished we bade a last sad farewell to the Costa in Portswood and walked on towards Highfield. Like most of the city, outside the centre, this was once a rural area and the name, at least according to old maps, originated from a bastardisation of Hayfield. That there were fields is in no doubt and, as the road rises up towards the Common, they were undoubtedly high fields too so the name is quite apt. Today Highfield is home to the main University Campus, built on an old brickfield. This was not what we’d come to see though. Continue reading Highfield church
With all the decorating going on there have been no proper walks lately. Life has been one long round of cleaning, sanding, painting and organising things like new blinds for the windows and furniture renovations. Although all this has given me plenty of exercise I’ve missed being out with my camera walking so, today, while Commando was running round parkrun, I took a short wander on The Common. Continue reading Beyond Graffiti
The cool of the September morning in 2014 when Commando was running the Cologne Marathon was rapidly turning into a sweltering day. Feeling thankful to be approaching the river I walked along Severinswall wondering how Commando was coping running in the heat. My jacket had long since been tied around my waist and I was still too hot. Hopefully there would be a cool breeze on the Rhine. The map told me this last stretch of wall was short and there were no more gates or mills to look out for. It was a surprise then, to come upon a large tower surrounded by a truly ancient circle of wall. Continue reading Racing for the finish line – first published 18 September 2014
September 2014 and Commando had been lost somewhere amongst the crowd of runners at the start of the Cologne Marathon. Now I had around four hours to explore the city. Cologne is filled with tourist attractions, the cathedral, churches, museums, interesting buildings and river tours, almost too much choice for such a short stay. When I go sightseeing though I like to find more unusual places to explore and, given the lack of information available on the city walls, I thought this might be an interesting walk while Commando ran his marathon. The sun had come out and it was beginning to get warm, bad news for the runners. Just walking across the bridge had made me hot and thirsty. I was pretty sure I’d seen a Starbucks near the cathedral so I set off across the bridge to find it. Continue reading walking the medieval city walls – first published 18 September 2014
In September 2014 Marathon day minus one was mostly about sight seeing and relaxing. After all we were still slightly tired and jaded from a day of travel. We set off after a hearty breakfast of granola with lots of seeds nuts and cranberries. As ever, Commando ate far more than I but then he was carb loading. The last thing I need to do is load up on carbs. There was no real plan although Commando wanted to check out the finish line as he’d read it had been erected by the Cathedral the night before. For me it was more about a trip down memory lane. Continue reading Cologne Cathedral, 4711 and berliners – first published 17 September 2014
In early September 2014 I’d revisited my past and had a pleasant walk through the parks. Now I was on my way to the Common. As I was passing the old Mad House building a van passed me with its stereo blaring. I often wonder about the hearing of people who play their music so loudly in their vehicles but this time they were playing one of my favourite songs, Kevin Lyttle’s Turn Me On. This was one of those tunes we’d put on the CD player when the marketing team were in the penthouse at Dream Factory. Sometimes we’d even get up and dance around a bit. Hearing this reminded me I had my iPod in my pocket. Once upon a time I almost always had my iPod on when I was walking but lately I’ve hardly used it. I got it out, found the song and set it to shuffle. Continue reading A small disaster on the Common and some graffiti – first published 5 September 2014
We found the clock and watch shop at the exact moment we were about to give up and turn back. Every inch of the walls was filled with clocks, from huge and ornate wooden monsters to quirky plastic film themed timepieces. The sound of their combined ticking added to the illusion of being in some kind of bizarre dream where night was day and day was night. Other than the clocks the shop was silent.
“If they all chime at the same time,” I whispered, “it will sound just like the beginning of Pink Floyd’s Time.”
After ten surreal minutes, during which nothing chimed and the ticking threatened to send me to sleep we left, a few unfamiliar plastic notes lighter with a working Garmin. Continue reading Time, graves and a cool beer