22 July 2017
The rain didn’t stop. In fact it got worse and worse as the evening wore on. There was a brief interlude of almost dryness, just long enough for Pete the Meat to cook burgers and sausages on a couple of reluctant portable barbecues under the awning of Rob and Kim’s tent then it got so bad everyone retired to their respective shelters. We slept on our new air bed inside our new sleeping bags with the sound of rain pounding on canvas as a lullaby. It was a sleep broken by worries about floods washing us away. The name Trent is Celtic for strongly flooding and the river is renowned for it. Continue reading Rain and the Thunder Run
It didn’t look like the best of walking days when I set out on 5 September 2014 but beggars can’t be choosers. The chill in the air and the grey sky made me wrap up in my padded jacket again and, at one point, I was even thinking of taking a hat and gloves. Of course, by the time I got to the top of the Little Hill I was feeling quite hot. This may have had something to do with a neighbour shouting down from the scaffolding outside his house, “you should be running not walking,” as I passed by.
“You’ve got me mixed up with my husband,” I laughed, “I never run.”
Even so I really marched it out up the steep hill and reached the top, breathless, hot and bothered. Continue reading What is, what was and what might have been – first published 5 September 2014
My second year at junior school began with another horrible teacher. Her name was Mrs Thomas and I seem to remember her having long blonde hair and a fondness for velvet alice bands, although this may well be misremembered. She was very friendly with Miss Please and seemed to have taken discipline tips from her. There were raps across the knuckles with rulers, hair pulling and general cruelty. She was one of those, find a weakness and pick on it, kinds of teachers and public humiliation was her favourite weapon. Continue reading Memories of the late 1960’s – numbers, a Moon landing, loss and grief
The change from the relative simplicity of Infant School to the far more structured environment of Junior School was a shock to my system. For one, the building itself was far larger. The long, L shaped corridors, filled with more children that I’d ever imagined existed in the whole world, were daunting for a small girl of seven or eight. Something about the rows of doors made me feel like Alice in Wonderland and I half expected to come upon a white rabbit with a pocket watch or a glass table with a key. Unlike the little Infant School, this had two floors and three sets of stairs, one at each end and a giant staircase at the apex of the L, going up, then dividing into two directions. The classrooms were almost all upstairs, mine at the far end, nearest the back gates of the school.
Continue reading Memories of the late 1960s – not fitting in
Walking to work on the morning of the 70th anniversary of D-Day I saw poppies blooming on the demolished TV studio site. They must have opened in the previous day or so and it seemed quite fitting to see their bright heads swaying in the breeze. Poppies for remembrance. It was 6 June 2014. D Day, more properly called Operation Overlord or the Normandy landings, took place on 6 June 1944. The largest seaborne invasion in history is well documented but, for me, all the talk of Normandy beaches had me hankering to go back to one of my favourite places, L’Anse Du Brick just outside Cherbourg. Continue reading D- Day and memories of Normandy – first published 6 June 2014
Walking to work along a rainy Boardwalk in early June 2014, the poppy mystery was solved. When I first noticed a lone poppy amongst the grass and wild flowers beside the railway track I thought it was an oriental poppy escaped from a garden somewhere. Along the shore at Stokes Bay I saw the yellow horned poppies blooming and revised my identification, at least until I saw flowers. Now the first bud had opened and it turned out my second thought was right. The flower was yellow and, speckled with raindrops, it made my morning. As it was 5 June, almost the anniversary of D-Day, a red poppy for remembrance might have been slightly more fitting though. Continue reading puzzles, surprises and plans – first published 5 June 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
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
After the 10k race at Victoria Country park in May 2014 and my wander around the military cemetery, it was tempting to walk back to the car with Commando and go straight home. It was warm and the sun was beating down on my head. That hadn’t been the plan though so he walked one way and I walked the other. He was headed for the car park while I was on my way to the sea, or what passes for sea around here. Continue reading Back to the sea, sort of – first published 18 May 2014
21 November 2016
From the cold windy coastline at Gosport yesterday we dashed back home to get warm with coffee and showers. There was just time to download all the race photos from my camera to my Mac and from there blue tooth them to my iPad before were were off again. This time we were Gatwick bound. Continue reading Gosport, Gatwick, Pafos