Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye

12 May 2017

Our last stop of the day was the city of Barrie. On the map it looked like a huge sprawling thing, at least in comparison to Gravenhurst and Orillia. According to the sign we passed it had a population of 136,000, a little over half the number of people living in Southampton. There’d been precious little time for proper research so we really had no idea where to go or how easy it would be to find somewhere to park. More by luck than judgement, we ended up driving right into the centre of town where we found a car park on Lakeside Drive.  Continue reading Barrie, food, art and au revoir, not goodbye

The Lost lagoon

4 May 2017

Back where we started, at the beginning of the Cathedral trail, we turned towards the Lost Lagoon. The name alone made it worth a look. It conjured images of desert islands and palm trees, although I was fairly sure this wasn’t what we would find. Somewhere off the trail we could hear the thrum of a woodpecker pecking at a tree. We stopped and peered into the forest but saw nothing but a few tell tale holes in trunks. Continue reading The Lost lagoon

Old walls and Watermark

5 January 2017

Our little tour around the inside of The Bargate  had been far shorter than CJ and I would have liked and it left us wanting more. Short of breaking into the rest of the building, which would have probably only resulted in us seeing the inside of a police cell, we decided to have a coffee instead. Normally this would mean a short walk to Costa on the High Street but, today, I had a better plan.  Continue reading Old walls and Watermark

Footprints to nowhere

21 December 2016

By the time we had our feet on the snowy ground once more clouds had moved in covering every last vestige of blue. In Iceland it seems the weather can change in a moment. Those clouds seem to spring up from nowhere and disappear again as quickly. Sadly these didn’t look like disappearing any time soon. An inky blackness hung over the woodland trail making me sure snow would soon follow. Gingerly we crunched our way along the trail towards the trees. Sure enough, a few flakes began to fall.  Continue reading Footprints to nowhere

Southampton old town Zebras

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19 July 2016

In hindsight the hottest, most humid day of the year wasn’t the best of choices for our first zebra hunt. CJ and I were too excited to wait any longer though and this was the first chance we’d had since the zebras went on display on Saturday. With one hundred and ninety eight zebras on the trail, including all the babies hidden in shops, we knew from the start we weren’t going to find them all in one go. Half way over Northam Bridge, with sweat dripping into my eyes and legs that felt like lead, I wondered if we’d even make it to town to find the first one. It may only have been three miles but, in such weather, it might as well have been a marathon. Continue reading Southampton old town Zebras

The zebras have come to town!

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12 July 2016

One sunny lunchtime in 2013, I sat in the park with a coffee and spotted what looked like a horse in a high vis jacket at the end of the path on Above Bar. The horse turned out to be a rhino. A summer of wandering around the city hunting these colourful beasts had begun. When they left, Southampton seemed a very empty and colourless place for a while and lunchtimes felt very dull. Late last year I learned there would be a new hunt this summer, not rhinos this time but zebras. Today, the zebras came to town! Continue reading The zebras have come to town!

Homeward bound

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19 May 2016

Of course whenever happened I’d have been walking home, whether I kept following the Roam art trail or not. The next exhibit was, according to the leaflet, at Northam Social Club. By now my expectations of actually finding anything else were fairly low but I couldn’t help looking around at the trees as I headed for the road, just in case the white bike was lurking. Continue reading Homeward bound

An art trail in the city

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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

The battles of Cobden Bridge, geese and mirrors

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21 January 2016

For two days I’d stayed indoors apart from strolls up and down to the village for milk and newspapers. A winter cold of the hacking cough, sneezing uncontrollably, constantly running nose kind left me feeling rather sorry for myself. Annoyingly the weather had been bright and clear, with sharp early morning frosts, just the sort of thing for walking. Today I decided it was kill or cure, wrapped up warm and went out anyway. Continue reading The battles of Cobden Bridge, geese and mirrors

Seven murals and some ice

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13 January 2016

A council estate in the centre of Southampton might not seem like a very interesting place to visit but bear with me because this particular council estate has quite a lot to offer. Besides, my recent attempts at woodland walks have been thwarted by mud and this walk involved no mud whatsoever, which could only be a bonus. What it did involve, along with being the place singer Craig David grew up, was history and art, two things I’m quite fond of. Plus there would be a nice walk over the Itchen Bridge and almost certainly a coffee. If I couldn’t have woods this was the next best thing. Continue reading Seven murals and some ice