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

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

Marvellous RR10 marshals

19 April 2017

Just when I was beginning to miss the excitement and mud of the Sunday CC6 races, the first of the RR10’s for this year came along. Last year these cross country races were very popular with the Itchen Spitfires and, as they are all evening races in some beautiful locations, I enjoyed going along, not least to get some lovely sunset photos. The first race this year was at Royal Victoria Country Park and, for the first time ever, it was organised by the Itchen Spitfires.  Continue reading Marvellous RR10 marshals

Big changes afoot at Royal Victoria Country Park

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6 September 2016

The weather had a decidedly autumnal feel as CJ and I set out on our walk this morning. My weather app said it wouldn’t rain but, as we looked across Chessel Bay from the bottom of the steep steps, the sky said different and I’d left my fancy camera at home just in case. Our aim was Victoria Country Park where I’d read work was going on to restore the chapel. CJ had read an Echo report that the D-Day memorial had been vandalised. The former sounded interesting, the latter disturbing. We wanted to see both for ourselves even if we did get wet. Continue reading Big changes afoot at Royal Victoria Country Park

Rain, rain go away

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11 November 2015

After my first, unsuccessful, hunt for black cygnets I was determined to go out every single morning and trawl the riverbank until I found them. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. The rain that began as my walk ended continued unrelenting over the next week. Once or twice I got my boots and coat on but was beaten back at the door. There was some struggling up the hill to the shops getting soaked and some driving up the hill to avoid getting soaked. On Saturday I foolishly went with Commando to watch the Parkrun. The Common was all giant puddles and soggy leaves and I somehow got volunteered as a marshal. Wet and cold don’t even cover it. Continue reading Rain, rain go away