When Hamwic Harriers signed up to marshal the Winchester Half Marathon we’d all expected to be standing around in searing heat trying not to burn or dehydrate. All kinds of drinks were purchased in preparation for the long, hot day, along with snacks to keep us going and jelly sweets to give out to the runners. Commando had even bought paper dishes to put the sweets in. Today was the day though and dehydration looked like it would be the least of our worries.
Most people like a little lie in on a Sunday morning, me included, but today, not long after eight o’clock, I was in Winchester. This was mostly because of the Winchester Half Marathon. Commando is pacing and I am tail walking, like I did last year. This morning there was a training session for the runners to get used to the route. There was no way I’d be taking part in that because I’d never keep up but, rather foolishly, I decided to go along anyway and have a walk. When the alarm went off at silly o’clock this morning it suddenly didn’t seem like such a good idea but Mitch was keen to come walking with me so I dragged myself out of bed. Continue reading In poet’s footsteps
When Keats wrote to his brother and sister in law of his daily Winchester walks he ended at ‘the most beautifully clear river,’ the Itchen, probably where it crosses Five Bridges Road. In his letter he said, ‘now this is only one mile of my walk I will spare you the other two till after supper when they would do you more good,‘ but he never mentioned it again. Even so, it stood to reason he hadn’t just turned around and walked back the way he came and I had a good idea of the route he would have taken. The clues were all there in the final verse of his ode To Autumn. Continue reading Where are the songs of spring?
Following in the footsteps of John Keats, we’d walked from the centre of Winchester with its Christmas decorations, across the water meadows to St Cross. At the kissing gate beside the old sluice we stopped. Back in Keats’ day these sluices would still have been used to drown the meadows and encourage new grass for the grazing cows. These days the sluice stands idle but the cows still graze and the grass is lush and green. Continue reading whoever seeks abroad may find
Poetry is something I’ve always been fond of so having to learn poems by heart at school was never a hardship. Long before I met Commando and acquired a poetic surname, one of my favourites was John Keats, To autumn. The fact that it was written as he walked a trail through the water meadows in Winchester makes it all the more special and I’ve long been meaning to follow in his footsteps. Today, with the words of the poem running through my head, CJ and I did just that. Continue reading Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness