Sunday strolling Southampton streets – first published 17 August 2014

It was a normal Sunday morning in mid August 2014. Commando was out for a training run of seven and a half miles and I decided to go for a walk. The only plan was to visit the big new Sainsbury’s for a few things they don’t stock in the one in the village. Other than that I thought I’d just have a wander and see where I ended up. Yes, I know I’m always banging on about planning walks, blah, blah, blah and I very rarely actually do it but sometimes just wandering aimlessly is actually fun. Continue reading Sunday strolling Southampton streets – first published 17 August 2014

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

Casting clouts, nesting swans and a coffee disaster, almost…

12 April 2017

Reluctantly we’d left the cool green shade of Monks Brook. We crossed the road by the Swaythling railway arch and, for a moment or two, I dithered, torn between walking through Monks Brook Meadows or the less scenic but more direct route along Wide Lane. In the end I thought about my recovering knee and the distance we’d be covering and decided on short and less sweet. The first hawthorn flowers of spring spilling over a garden wall seemed to be a sign I’d made the right decision.  Continue reading Casting clouts, nesting swans and a coffee disaster, almost…

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

Bright Islands in a dark sea – first published 31 July 2014

The week after we lost Commando Senior was difficult to say the least. For a start there was the task of letting people know. This was hard enough with the family members we speak to regularly but Commando Senior had so many friends outside of the family circle and these were mostly people we didn’t know. We also didn’t have contact details for all of them. After some discussion on Friday night we decided we would have to go to the house and see if we could find an address book or contact list. Continue reading Bright Islands in a dark sea – first published 31 July 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

A Sunday Swan Spectacle – first published 14 July 2014

Summer 2014 and the weather was perfect for walking. All week, while I’d been working, it was warm, dry and sunny with blue skies to die for. When Sunday finally came around I was looking forward to a nice ten miles or so and planning to start with the river. That morning I looked out of the window to see rain and it felt like some kind of cruel joke. In fact I will admit to being rather grumpy about it. Continue reading A Sunday Swan Spectacle – first published 14 July 2014

A Postcard from Woodmill

16 March 2017

It seems like ages since I last walked along the river and, with spring bursting out all over the place, I thought a stroll along the Itchen was well overdue. There were bound to be some new flowers to see along the way, maybe even some new leaves starting on the trees. There was an F.G.O. Stuart postcard of Woodmill and I had an idea I knew exactly where the shot had been taken. Recreating it might involve a tiny bit of trespassing but it was trespassing I’d done before so I was fairly confident it wouldn’t be a problem.  Continue reading A Postcard from Woodmill