Winchester to Woolston the tough miles

11 June 2017

At Kiln Lane we left the towpath briefly to cross both the road and Brambridge Bridge. There was a second half lock here in the 1700’s, probably built to retain water levels for the Brambridge water mill. A little bridge crosses the site But you have to look very closely to see the remains of the lock. Today, with everything so overgrown and the runners hot on our heels there was no time for exploring the history of the canal. Continue reading Winchester to Woolston the tough miles

Bread for the cygnets – first published 12 August 2013

After I’d left Panda at The Triangle there was a temptation to go straight home again because the weather looked decidedly changeable. It seemed a shame to waste the nice granary bread in my bag though, especially as this was the first time I’d ever remembered to bring it, so I set off towards Riverside Park. As I walked down the slope to the park I could see I was in for a windy walk, the trees were all leaning away from the water and dark clouds were gathering. Continue reading Bread for the cygnets – first published 12 August 2013

Quacky races

21 April 2017

In our house early starts usually mean races and it was certainly early when CJ and I left the house. We were heading for Mansbridge and a race but any similarity to a normal race day ended with the early hour. For one Commando was still at home in bed sleeping off the night shift. There were no trainers, no race kit and there would be no medals at the end. My camera was in my bag though. We’d been reliably informed there would be a whole lot of ducklings to see and I didn’t want to miss them.  Continue reading Quacky races

Mother Nature’s riverside bounty

12 April 2017

This week seems to be all about errands and today was no different, not that I was complaining. This particular errand, to drop of a birthday present for Philo, involved a rather lovely walk. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, there was a light breeze to keep me cool. What more could I ask?  Continue reading Mother Nature’s riverside bounty

Orphan Cygnets – first published 1 August 2014

Sleep had not come easily and, despite being tired during the day, I’d been waking early in the morning. Tuesday 1 August 2014 was no exception. We had an appointment with the undertakers in the afternoon and Commando suggested, rather strongly, that I go out for a walk beforehand.
“It’ll cheer you up,” he said. Continue reading Orphan Cygnets – first published 1 August 2014

Monks Brook, heat and an invasive species – first published 14 July 2014

My mid July walk in 2014 had started off on a sour note but had soon improved when I had an up close and personal visit with a black swan. As I walked on towards the reed beds and, ultimately, the White Swan pub, I sipped my water. The early morning rain combined with the sun seemed to have sucked up all the air and left behind a damp stickiness. Even along the river there was little breeze and my pace slowed considerably. Still, I told myself this was not about speed but about getting out and walking, enjoying the nature around me and the sun on my skin, if not the sweat trickling down between my shoulder blades. Continue reading Monks Brook, heat and an invasive species – first published 14 July 2014

You see some funny things along the river – first published 25 May 2014

After my visit to the newly reopened White Swan pub in late May 2014 I was in a nostalgic mood thinking of all good times we had there and the water that’s passed under the bridge since then. Back then I had my whole life in front of me and now…well let’s just say I was feeling old. Nothing like revisiting your youth to remind you just how long ago it was. Continue reading You see some funny things along the river – first published 25 May 2014

White Swans – first published 25 May 2014

In December 2013 the White Swan pub at Mansbridge flooded. Floods are not a new thing for the Swan, it happens with monotonous regularity and I suppose it’s the price you pay for sitting on the edge of the river. Usually the flooding is limited to once a year at most. Mostly it gets cleaned up and reopens in a week or so. The winter of 2013/2014 was different, the water rose, receded a little, then rose some more, all through December, January and February. It rose higher than I’ve ever known it, closing the whole road at times. In Late May 2014, it finally reopened and, of course, I had to go along to have a look. Continue reading White Swans – first published 25 May 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

Not taking the easy way home – first published 18 April 2014

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My 2014 stint as the Easter Bunny has been less than successful but there was at least wall to wall sun and blue skies, a perfect walking day and it was a pleasure to put the miles in. Once I’d semi-successfully carried out my Easter Bunny duties I set off back towards Lakeside. Continue reading Not taking the easy way home – first published 18 April 2014