Heaven and hell

13 September 2018

Back on the first floor we entered the upper gallery of the hospital chapel. In front of us was a glorious stained glass window and a beautifully painted ceiling. For the poor wounded soldiers, fresh from the horrors of the front line, the sense of peace and quiet here must have felt a little like heaven. We stood for a moment or two drinking in the atmosphere and then walked slowly along the line of pews reading the stories of some of those who once worshipped here.  Continue reading Heaven and hell

Climbing to the top of the chapel

13 September 2018

When we stepped inside the chapel it was empty except for the lady who sells tickets for the tower tour and a single guide. Entry to the chapel is free but there is a small charge to climb the one hundred and sixty six steps to the top of the forty six metre high tower. This was what we’d walked so far for and £3.50 seemed a small price to pay for a birds eye view of the park. Continue reading Climbing to the top of the chapel

Postcards from Victoria Country Park

13 September 2018

We left the beautiful new benches and set off across the park, our heads filled with the lost and wounded soldiers of so many wars. Neither of us said much as we walked across the grass of the cricket pitches towards the distant chapel. We were too busy thinking of all those past sacrifices made so we could live in freedom. War is neither good nor glorious but, when the alternative is to sit back and let evil and injustice prevail, it becomes an unpleasant necessity. Today we would be remembering those who gave so much.  Continue reading Postcards from Victoria Country Park

Water, oil and trains

19 April 2018

When we set out this morning it was sunny but cool. We’d guessed the weather would warm up a bit as the morning wore on though and were well prepared with bottles of water and snacks. We’d been sipping the water steadily all the way through the butterfly walk and, by the time we reached the shore, our bottles were almost empty. The day was turning out to be far hotter than we’d expected but the cool breeze off the water and a well earned ice cream made us feel much better and there were shops in Netley where we could replenish our stocks.  Continue reading Water, oil and trains

Five run fifty at fifty – the first ten

9 February 2018

Five thirty on a Friday morning and I’m trying to peel my gritty eyes open. The last couple of days have been a manic haze of preparation, mostly revolving around food and maps. This is the morning Commando and his friends, Rob, Rob, Ian and Luis run fifty miles to celebrate Rob’s fiftieth birthday. To say I can think of better ways to celebrate turning fifty would be an understatement. There is also a frisson of worry about Commando running such a long distance given the events of the past year. Continue reading Five run fifty at fifty – the first ten

Hamble or bust

27 October 2017

Last week, a little dawdling and some getting lost on our walk through Spear Pond Gully meant we missed the chance to drop in on Commando at work. Today was his last training shift so I thought I’d walk down to Hamble and meet him while I still had the chance. In theory it should have been a nice easy walk, all downhill after the climb to get to the village but timing would be key. Arrive too early and there’d be a lot of waiting around, too late and I’d have a long, uphill walk home.  Continue reading Hamble or bust

Hamble Rail Trail, the one that nearly got away – first published 21 June 2014

By the time I’d left Netley Abbey on midsummer Sunday in 2014 I was very hot and sorely tempted just to walk back home along the shore. The lure of the cool sea breeze was strong and, beside it, the prospect of the Hamble Rail Trail, away from the water and an unknown quantity, was not exactly appealing. The sun was strong and the heat oppressive. There was some bargaining with myself and the result was I carried on towards Netley and Victoria Country Park still unsure exactly what I was going to do. Continue reading Hamble Rail Trail, the one that nearly got away – first published 21 June 2014

A little parkrun tourism

21 January 2017

We keep saying we’re going to be parkrun tourists more often but we never quite get round to it. Not that there’s anything wrong with Southampton Common of course, it’s one of the biggest and best parkruns in the country after all. It’s nice to have a change once in a while though and to see other parks, even if it does mean getting up extra early on a Saturday morning and possibly getting lost. Anyhow, this week we did go to a different park, although not an entirely unfamiliar one.

Continue reading A little parkrun tourism

Aiming for Hamble and trying to beat the wind, rain and tide – first published 31 January 2014

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The last few of days of January 2014 were a whirl of activity, most of it centred around trying to find a job. There was a meeting at Office Angels which turned out to be far shorter than I’d expected. The person I was supposed to see hadn’t turned up, never a good start, and the one I did see wanted me to completely change my CV. Frantically working away to make the changes, I got so involved I almost made myself late for my afternoon dentist appointment and had to march it out for the three miles or so to get there. Thankfully the old choppers were fine. Pete, my dentist told me, “you really need to eat more toffees and brush your teeth less often to give me something to do.”  Continue reading Aiming for Hamble and trying to beat the wind, rain and tide – first published 31 January 2014

Role reversal and injuries

3 July 2016

These days it’s usually me standing on the sidelines and Commando running but today was supposed to be the other way round. The role reversal didn’t quite go to plan though. On Thursday night, when he was out hill running, Commando injured his ankle. Suffice to say it has been a frustrating couple of days. Rest is not a word in his vocabulary and the more I went on about rest, ice, compression and elevation the more fraught the atmosphere in our little house became.  Continue reading Role reversal and injuries