The Soke and the oldest church in Winchester

5 August 2018

A quick look at the map made up my mind. The top part of Blue Ball Hill looked to be devoid of houses and I could see the square tower of a church a little way along St John’s Street. Old churches are almost impossible to resist and I could always walk back up and explore further afterwards. With this in mind I began to walk along St John’s Street. There were so many interesting looking houses, it was slow going and, as I walked, I realised I was gradually going downhill, slowly losing all the altitude I’d gained with so much effort earlier. Continue reading The Soke and the oldest church in Winchester

A postcard from Highfield and a wild goose chase

26 October 2017

The area directly outside the south door of Highfield Church is dominated by a war memorial, dedicated in 1921 to men of the parish lost during the First World War. For such a small parish, there seem to be an awful lot of names inscribed upon it. Their loss must have been a terrible blow to the area. We stopped for a moment to read and think. No doubt, a wreath of poppies will be laid here soon to remember them, although it’s doubtful if there is anyone alive now who knew them personally.  Continue reading A postcard from Highfield and a wild goose chase

a snowy walk in the dark

21 December 2016

Yesterday afternoon the snow got heavier and heavier and the wind stronger. Just as we were beginning to panic about the prospect of a two to three hour trip in a boat to see the aurora (or probably not given the snow clouds), Commando got a text to say the trip was cancelled. Winds of almost seventy miles an hour were the problem. To be honest it was a relief more than a disappointment. We’d already resigned ourselves to not seeing the aurora through the thick snow cloud. The trip was rebooked for tonight, with no guarantee the weather would be any better.  Continue reading a snowy walk in the dark

A grave hunt in South Stoneham Cemetery


21 June 2016

For a while now I’ve been meaning to take a wander to South Stoneham Cemetery to look for R J Mitchell’s grave and today seemed like a good day for it. The weather forecast was for rain and the brooding sky backed it up so it seemed best to stick fairly close to home. It also seemed a good idea to bring the iPhone out of retirement. It’s one thing getting myself and my phone in its protective case soaked but I didn’t want to risk the new, and very expensive, camera.  Continue reading A grave hunt in South Stoneham Cemetery

Duckling surprise


18 April 2016

CJ and I went for a little stroll along the river this morning. For my part it was mostly about trying to fit some miles in, in a month where I am fast falling behind on my pledge. For CJ it was more about the cygnets. There had been reports that the black swans had another clutch, two this time, and he was eager to spot them while they were still fluffy and grey. Knowing how illusive they are I did my best to lower his expectations but he wasn’t really listening. Continue reading Duckling surprise

the first ever Bournemouth marathon – first published 6 October 2013


After six months of training, the day of the first ever Bournemouth Marathon had finally arrived. It was also Commando’s first ever marathon and it began very early. When I got up, at six, it was still dark. As I ate my granola and drank my morning smoothie the sun came up slowly outside the gym window. All the while Commando was calmly stuffing himself with carbs. He said he wasn’t nervous but there was a slight frisson in the air, maybe it was excitement. Continue reading the first ever Bournemouth marathon – first published 6 October 2013

Daffodils, graves and geese


17 March 2016

The sun was shining and it felt as if Spring was in the air so I thought a walk along the river was in order. The bank leading to the park was a mass of bright daffodils dancing in the gentle breeze. It felt like a great welcome to the river side. The tide was very low. White swans stood on the exposed mud and black swans swam in the shallow water. There’d be no point struggling down the steep jetty slope. There was no water underneath it. Continue reading Daffodils, graves and geese

twenty two blue sky miles – first published 29 March 2013

Frozen puddles
Frozen puddles

The end of March 2013 was Good Friday and time was running out on the Moonwalk Training front. After a horrible wet twenty miles it was time to step it up to twenty two. The forecast was good, as long as I got home before the afternoon, but it was still icy cold. As ever, there were plenty of moments when I wondered why I’d signed up for this… Continue reading twenty two blue sky miles – first published 29 March 2013