Autumn leaves and a special guest

14 November 2018

Meeting a friend today for coffee was the perfect excuse for a stroll through the enchanted park to look at the autumn colour. A little bird had told me there was a very special visitor in town too so I was keeping my eyes peeled in case I saw him.

As ever, the park did not disappoint. The leaves, in shades from green to deep red, were stunning against the blue sky backdrop. The paths had a satisfyingly crunchy layer of fallen leaves to walk through and Lord Palmerston looked rather satisfied with himself on his plinth in the middle of it all.

We are so lucky to have this ribbon of green running through the centre of the city especially, on days like today, with autumn hues all around and the smell of leafmould heavy in the air. The park keepers do an amazing job of keeping everything looking nice. Today, I noticed, they have swept up a huge pile of leaves, which will, no doubt, be used as rich mulch once it’s rotted down a bit.

The park was so beautiful it was difficult to tear myself away but I didn’t want to keep my friend waiting. Besides, I wanted to see if I could spot the important guest in town.

The little wooden huts of the German Christmas Market have appeared in the Above Bar precinct since my last visit. November seems a little early to me but I did enjoy strolling along looking at all the bright shiny things they had on offer and the smell of roasting chestnuts and cooking donuts made me want to stop and eat.

The percinct was busy with people getting some early Christmas shopping in but the venerable visitor was nowhere amongst them, unless of course, he was in disguise. When I reached the Bargate, I saw his sleigh and reindeer high up on the roof, so I knew he must be around somewhere.

I thought, perhaps, he might be hiding under the Bargate arch. When I walked through though, he wasn’t there. I may not have seen the illusive Santa, but, on the other side of the arch, inside the walls of the old town, I did spot another of the silent soldier statues. Moments after I took his photo, my friend arrived. My little walk through the city might have ended but the fun was about to start!

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Giant deckchairs and a beach in the city

31 July 2018

On Thursday, after my missed Running School appointment, there was an Itchen Spitfires Run and Talk event. Commando and I led the very small, but select, walking group, of injured runners Rosie and Maria. There is a giant deckchair trail going on in the city centre so, to make things interesting, the runners were dashing off to see how many of them they could find. As the closest deckchair was around one and a half miles from our starting point at The Feather our slow, slightly hobbling, group didn’t quite make it. We ended up resting our weary limbs in Queens Park instead. We walked back via Oxford Street, where Commando amused some lost American Tourists with the tale of his great grandfather missing the Titanic. Continue reading Giant deckchairs and a beach in the city

The beast from the east

1 March 2018

Just when it felt like spring was yawning, stretching and preparing to throw off the winter covers, the weatherman said a big snow storm was blowing in from Russia. I frantically searched the house for my yaktrax and thought about where I could go walking in it. Ok, maybe I have issues, but we don’t get snow very often here on the south coast. My inner cyclic said it would probably come to nothing. The Met Office are fond of making snow mountains out of a few flakes.  Continue reading The beast from the east

The enchanted park – first published 21 April 2014

The primary reason I started doing long walks was to lose weight and I did lose a lot, more than four and a half stone. Unfortunately being at home for three months in 2014 along with Christmas meant I’d put on mumble, mumble, mumble despite masses of walking when I was unemployed. This just went to show walking alone is not the magic cure for weight loss. It is a great big tool in the weight loss bag of tricks though and I was on the case of getting those extra pounds back off again.  Continue reading The enchanted park – first published 21 April 2014

Fallen trees and interview techniques – first published 13 february 2014


Some of my random and slightly desperate applying for jobs had resulted in a job interview back in February 2014. It was with a large financial institution in the city centre. Anyone who knows me will tell you finance and figures isn’t really my thing. I’m pretty sure I only applied to make up the numbers on my job search form but still, a job was a job. Continue reading Fallen trees and interview techniques – first published 13 february 2014

A disappointing walk in the parks


17 August 2016

We’d purposely saved our zebra hunting in the parks for a sunny day and today had more than enough sun. In fact there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There were six zebras to find, or there should have been. We already knew Skittles, near the bandstand in Palmerston Park, was likely to be absent. He was stolen on the same night as Ticket to Ride, ripped from his plinth. Unlike the poor First Bus zebra he was found, damaged and dumped in some bushes in Hoglands Park. Why anyone should want to damage these lovely beasts and spoil everyone’s fun is beyond me. Continue reading A disappointing walk in the parks

An art trail in the city


19 May 2016

Today’s adventure was the Roam art trail previously postponed because of the Fireworks Factory fire. In the end I decided to start off by walking over the Itchen Bridge rather than Northam, mostly for the sake of adding a few much needed miles. The first part of the walk seemed to be all about flowers, starting with a lovely display in a front garden on Peartree Avenue. Further on there were ragwort brightening the verge on Sea Road, the first I’ve seen this year, along with a single goat’s beard flower. The way it was going I’d have too many photos before I even reached the start of the trail. Continue reading An art trail in the city

Blue sky, blushing leaves and strange fruit


28 October 2015

There was blue sky this morning so I thought I’d have another attempt at finding some English Autumn colour. Maybe I’d have more luck in the parks in town and, if not, there was always Costa Coffee. Starting off in the bottom corner of Hoglands Park I had to admit that a bit of sunshine did make a difference. The grass was speckled with russet leaves and the trees along the path looked as if they’d been  painted with gold. Continue reading Blue sky, blushing leaves and strange fruit

A lunch date and a walk in the enchanted park


24 May 2015

On Sunday I had a lunch date with Panda. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her, although we’ve spoken on the phone and texted. We’d arranged to meet at eleven, giving me time for a little lie in and a slow wander over to town by way of a Sunday walk. As luck would have it, it was sunny when I set out, not long after Commando had gone off for his Sunday morning run. To be on the safe side I wore my thin mack, just in case, but, by the time I got to the Big Bridge, I was hot. The water sparkled and the rowing club were powering along the river. Continue reading A lunch date and a walk in the enchanted park