We thought it was all over…

13 June 2018

We were approaching the final segment of the Itchen Navigation and had around six miles left to walk. Despite the trail being more overgrown than I’ve ever seen it, bank breaches where they have never been before and a far warmer day than the weather forecast had led us to believe, we had made fairly good time. We’d set off from Winchester Station at around ten o’clock and it was now ten to two. Ok, so four hours to walk around seven miles is positively tortoise like but, taking into account stops and the terrain, I thought we’d done pretty well.  Continue reading We thought it was all over…

Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

13 June 2018

We’d made it to Kiln Lane without getting stung, which felt a little like a miracle. We’d got across three bank breaches, one that had left me with wet feet, and had climbed over one fallen tree. According to Commando, there was at least one more fallen tree and, possibly, one more bad bank breach somewhere along the eight and a half miles between Kiln Lane and home. If I was a betting woman, I’d have put my money on it being on the next stretch of towpath.  Continue reading Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

Once more into the breach

13 June 2018

Shortly after we got going again we passed the first houses of Shawford, with their huge green gardens sloping down towards the river. These were closely followed by a triangular Navigation marker telling us it was nine miles to Northam Wharf, and the bridge over Shawford Road. Those nine miles are a moot point. Mapping the walk, it’s nine and a quarter miles, give or take, to Cobden Bridge. Northam Wharf is ten and a half miles. Perhaps these measurements are by barge? Continue reading Once more into the breach

A reconnaissance mission

13 June 2018

Last summer the Spitfires had a Summer Challenge run from Winchester to Woolston on the Itchen Navigation. John asked me if I’d lead a walking group, as there were a few people who didn’t feel up to running the fifteen miles but didn’t want to miss out. Obviously I jumped at the chance and we all had a tough, but amazing day. In fact, it was such a success John decided to do it all again this year. On Sunday, Commando and the fast boys went on a reconnaissance mission. Today, CJ and I did the same.  Continue reading A reconnaissance mission

Tales from the photo archive summer

For more than a month Commando had been sidelined by illness. It was June before he was finally allowed to put his trainers on and test his legs. He still was far from well but seeing him cross the finish line at Southampton parkrun on 10 June felt like a huge leap in the right direction. Continue reading Tales from the photo archive summer

Winchester half

24 September 2017

Feeling rather unwelcome in the churchyard, I took a few random photos and left. Back out on the road with the race parading by me I stood in front of a rather ornate wooden bus stop and watched the runners stream past the Hursley chimneys. The road had been partly closed for the race and an unfortunate marshal had the job of holding up a stop go board to let cars trickle through when there was a safe gap between runners. It wasn’t a job I envied. Some of the drivers were less than patient despite the road closures being widely publicised weeks in advance of the race. Continue reading Winchester half

A little more history than we bargained for

20 August 2017

Garnier Road was always going to be the tipping point of my plan. As we stood looking over the wall beside Meadow View Cottage, I was frantically trying to decide which way to go. The water of Lockburn Stream tumbled through a sluice below us. The pretty little house perched precariously close, looking as if it might once have been a mill.  Continue reading A little more history than we bargained for

The Spitfire Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

11 June 2017

So far there have been no proper walks this month. The most I’ve done is trot up and down to the village, walk around town or stand on the sidelines at the RR10. Today was going to be all about walking though. Some time ago John mentioned he was thinking about a Summer Spitfire Challenge, a run from Winchester to Woolston. The Itchen Navigation would make up the majority of the route and he knew I had walked it many times. He asked if I’d lead a walking group for those who were recovering from injury or felt fifteen miles or more was a run too far. When I agreed it seemed like an easy distance. Now, with my fitness compromised by laziness, I wasn’t so sure.  Continue reading The Spitfire Summer Challenge, Winchester to Woolston

Meandering in Meadows – first published 4 August 2014

Back in 2014 Sunday was usually walking day. When the first Sunday in August rolled around though, what with funeral arrangements, I hadn’t really given it much though. To be honest, I was tempted to give it a miss. Of course, Commando told me to get off my bum and get out there so I did as I was told. One place sprang to mind just before I set off, Itchen Valley Country Park. Continue reading Meandering in Meadows – first published 4 August 2014

Northam bound with aching feet and blisters – first published 8 May 2014

May 2014 and the end of my epic walk was almost in sight. As I stepped onto the final stretch of the Navigation my feet were protesting. There were more than eight miles to go if I was really going to walk the whole thing right to Northam and I could feel the tell tale burning of emerging blisters. This was when I realised I didn’t even have any blister plasters in my bag. They probably wouldn’t have stuck anyway seeing as my feet, socks and boots were wet. It reminded me of some of those long Moonwalk training walks except my legs didn’t ache too. Small mercies and all that. Continue reading Northam bound with aching feet and blisters – first published 8 May 2014