Below Bar deckchairs

31 July 2018

CJ and I had spent the morning walking in large circles up and down town from the precinct to Bedford Place looking for giant deckchairs. So far, with quite a lot of doubling back and grumbling from CJ, we’d found all the chairs at the top end of town. Now we had a proper map, rather than a badly cropped photo on my phone, the Below Bar chairs should be a little easier to find. In fact, I’d already seen the next three on the list on a shopping trip with Commando at the weekend.  Continue reading Below Bar deckchairs

A snowy walk of the walls

1 March 2018

In the battle between parks and walls the walls won. The snow seemed to be getting harder so staying close to nice warm shops and cafes seemed the sensible thing to do. The precinct was almost deserted. All the really sensible people were probably in WestQuay enjoying the warm and dry. We walked past and headed straight for Bargate. There was less snow than I’d hoped but the medieval gateway stood on an island of white with flurries of fat flakes fluttering all around it.  Continue reading A snowy walk of the walls

Remembering heroes


11 November 2016

My original plan for Armistice day was to walk to Netley and stand at the War Memorial in the military cemetery to mark the silence. This seemed to be the week for plans not working out though. CJ had an appointment in town and there was no way he would make it from there to Netley in time even if I drove him and waited. Of course, I could have walked to Netley on my own but, as he was so keen to mark the silence with me, this didn’t seem very fair. So I found myself hanging around outside Holyrood waiting to meet up with him.  Continue reading Remembering heroes

Distractions before the job centre – first published 21 January 2014


Towards the end of  January 2014 Commando Senior gave me a draft of the first of his memoirs to look over. When I was meant to be job hunting and filling in Job Centre forms I found myself lost in his memories of his childhood in Southampton. From reading about his life in the early thirties and the war years to Googling for old maps and photographs, most of which eluded me, I wasted more of the morning than I should.  Continue reading Distractions before the job centre – first published 21 January 2014

Southampton old town Zebras


19 July 2016

In hindsight the hottest, most humid day of the year wasn’t the best of choices for our first zebra hunt. CJ and I were too excited to wait any longer though and this was the first chance we’d had since the zebras went on display on Saturday. With one hundred and ninety eight zebras on the trail, including all the babies hidden in shops, we knew from the start we weren’t going to find them all in one go. Half way over Northam Bridge, with sweat dripping into my eyes and legs that felt like lead, I wondered if we’d even make it to town to find the first one. It may only have been three miles but, in such weather, it might as well have been a marathon. Continue reading Southampton old town Zebras

Mirrors, rhinos and achieving the impossible – first published 25 July 2013


Towards the end of July 2013 I was still in single digits in terms of rhinos found but the rhino hunting malarkey was turning out to be a rather enlightening exercise. Not only had I been led to parts of the city I’d never seen before, I’d been seeing parts I did know with new eyes. Alongside getting a bit of extra exercise I’d discovered the work of some fantastic local artists and I was just about to have a reminder of the power of perseverance in the face of difficulties and learn about a truly wonderful charity I’d had no idea about before. Continue reading Mirrors, rhinos and achieving the impossible – first published 25 July 2013

Ghostly goings on in Southampton


31 July 2015

When I finished work on Friday it wasn’t exactly the end of my day. Commando’s friend Pete, the one who organises the spring New Forest Walks, had some tickets for a Southampton Ghost Walk but found himself accidentally overbooked. Knowing about my slight obsession with ghosts, Commando said he’d take them off his hands. There was just about time to freshen up before I had to dash back out again with CJ in tow. Neither of us knew quite what to expect as we made our way through a mostly empty city towards the Bargate. Continue reading Ghostly goings on in Southampton