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.
On a normal Saturday morning I can usually be found hanging around on the Common while Commando runs parkrun. Sometimes I volunteer, sometimes I just go for a quiet wander. For three weeks in a row though I’ve been conspicuous in my absence and it’s all down to Commando’s friend Rob and a harebrained scheme to run fifty miles and raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Continue reading Fifty miles
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
June 2014, I’d seen the roadworks on the Itchen Bridge and along Platform Road, walked along the old walls and looked at the place the castle had once stood. Fortified by coffee I strolled along Portland Terrace in the sun with my latte in my hand feeling rather excited. The next part of my hastily cobbled plan was a walk through the parks. How I’d missed my lunchtime park walks and the chance to see the seasons change, especially in the Enchanted Park. Continue reading Easy as a walk in the park – first published 9 June 2014
One of the bloodiest battles in human history began on 1 July 1916. It raged, in mud and trenches on the banks of the River Somme, for one hundred and forty one days. To most people this is ancient history, too far in the past to connect with. The image of all those young soldiers resonates with me though. Pappy was one of them. It seemed fitting that my walk today should take me to a First World War memorial and I knew just the place to go. In fact I’d been meaning to visit Hollybrook Cemetery for some time and the eve of the hundredth anniversary of Battle of the Somme seemed like a good day. Of course CJ wanted to come along. Continue reading Remembering the Somme at Hollybrook
March started with torrential rain. Today was supposed to be the driest day of the week so I thought I’d head to Portswood for my newspaper and then on towards the Sports Centre for a bit more boundary stone hunting. Typically, I’d hardly left the house when the rain began to come down. It was icy cold and wind buffeted it behind my glasses so my eyelashes sparkled with droplets at with every blink. Briefly I thought about turning back but talked myself out of it. Surely it was just a very heavy shower? Continue reading Odd things in odd places