Probably the biggest barn in Britain

28 May 2018

A while ago Commando came back from a Sunday bike ride with the fast boys raving about a giant barn he’d seen. John, fast boy, founder of the Itchen Spitfires Running Club, history buff and keeper of interesting facts told him it was the biggest barn in Britain. Commando said he’d take me to see it one day. Today was that day, although I had no idea where he was taking me at the time.

Continue reading Probably the biggest barn in Britain

Postcards from Hythe

10 May 2018

Hythe is a quaint little place that seems half stuck in another, gentler age. The narrow High Street may be pedestrianised these days but the shops with their bow fronted windows look much as they must have when Jane Austin visited back in 1807.  Red white and blue bunting was strung across the street and no one seemed to be in much of a hurry, unlike the busy city centre we’d left behind us. Despite its slightly old fashioned air, I knew there were some modern amenities and, once we’d left the pier, we both decided our first port of call should be one of them. Anticipating the journey CJ hadn’t had any breakfast, for fear of seeing it again on the boat, so we headed down the High Street to Costas for croissants and coffee.  Continue reading Postcards from Hythe

Tales from the Old Cemetery

November & December 2017

On a Saturday morning I often find myself with time to kill while Commando is running parkrun. Sometimes I hang around chatting to the other spectators, sometimes I go off to get a coffee but, most often, I just wander around the Old Cemetery on Southampton Common. It’s good to leave the hubbub of parkrun behind and find a few peaceful moments wandering amongst the graves. The morning light and the changing of the seasons, along with the inscriptions on the stones, make it an interesting exercise. Sometimes I take a photo or two, sometimes my phone stays in my pocket. Usually there are not enough photos to warrant a blog post but I thought I’d gather a few together and share them with you.  Continue reading Tales from the Old Cemetery

In which we are entirely surrounded by water

21 April 2018

The peculiar heatwave that began on the night of the RR10 and baked us in thirty degree heat on our walk to Hamble continued for the next couple of days. It had all my running friends a little worried. The Southampton and London marathons were coming up. Everyone had trained in nothing but cold wetness. This morning weather warnings were posted. Marathon day was going to be hot, possibly hotter that the record breaking marathon day in 1996 when temperatures hit 22.7C. Heat is never a good thing when you’re running a marathon. Thunderstorms and heavy showers were forecast for this afternoon too but nothing could have prepared us for what actually happened.  Continue reading In which we are entirely surrounded by water

Snowmen and spring flowers

18 March 2018

Of course we couldn’t stay in the warm pub forever. We lingered as long as we could, sipping our coffee slowly and letting the warmth seep back into our cold bones. When we could put it off no longer we bundled ourselves up in our warm coats and hats and stepped back into the frozen world outside. After the warmth of the fire it seemed colder than ever.  Continue reading Snowmen and spring flowers

Frozen bridges, frozen feet

18 March 2018

“I’m not walking up Woodmill Lane,” CJ said, once I’d presented him with all the options.
He had a point, even without snow it’s a steep and seemingly unending climb to the Castle at Midanbury and an even steeper descent on the other side. Despite the cold, he didn’t want to turn back yet either though so we crossed the road and kept going along the river. Continue reading Frozen bridges, frozen feet

Sunshine after the rain and confetti in the catacombs

8 December 2017

We’d reached Six Dials and the end of our walk along the busy main road. Feeling pleased to be away from the traffic, we headed down into the underpass and emerged on Kingsway. At this stage there was no real plan, other than to get a coffee before we went back home. We stood looking over the railway bridge trying to decide which was the quickest way to our favourite Costas. Usually our walks to town would take us along Old Northam Road and through St Mary’s, so there was a certain amount of dithering and mentally recalculating of routes.  Continue reading Sunshine after the rain and confetti in the catacombs

Inside God’s House

25 November 2017

The tour we were taking today would be the last of its kind. Between 1961 and 2011 Gods House Tower was the Museum of Archeology but, for one reason or another, I never managed to visit. The doors closed in 2011 and, since then, apart from a few tours and exhibitions, it hasn’t been possible to go inside. Now, exciting things are afoot. Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the tower is about to be refurbished, then reopened as a new arts and heritage venue. Continue reading Inside God’s House

Changes afoot

26 October 2017

Once upon a time the Boardwalk and the river path were part of my daily walk to work. Often I’d look through the wire fence into the old television studio site and wonder when someone would build something there, what it would be and how it would impact on the path. Now the new houses and apartments are finally being built. As I go back and forth across the bridge I often look over and remark on the progress but I still wonder what will become of the path. As it’s a public footpath the builders shouldn’t, in theory, encroach upon it but you never can tell. Continue reading Changes afoot

Spear Pond Gully

12 October 2017

Today’s walk came with a proper plan for once. On the outskirts of the city there is a trail I’ve been meaning to explore for some time and, last night, I finally got around to mapping it out. In fact I even downloaded the route to my phone so I could follow it as I walked. Of course, not all of the trail was  visible on the map so I filled in the missing bits as best I could and hoped there would actually be a way to get through. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading Spear Pond Gully