A hint of spring and things to make me smile

15 February 2018

It was the most beautiful day, bright, crisp and cold with a definite promise of spring in the air. As I was in town anyway I thought I’d take a wander through the parks to see if there were any signs that this long, cold winter was drawing to a close. My tour began with a stroll through the enchanted park. With the beautiful golden light and the trees reflected in the puddles there certainly seemed to be a touch of magic in the air. Continue reading A hint of spring and things to make me smile

Woods, hovercraft, ice cream cones and gateposts

5 April 2017

As our little jaunt to Eling had been a success as far as my poor old knee was concerned I thought I’d try a longer walk today.  The sun was shining and the sky was blue, more or less, so it seemed like the perfect day for a walk down to the shore. The breeze from the sea would take the edge off if it got too hot and there are plenty of places to sit if need be.  Continue reading Woods, hovercraft, ice cream cones and gateposts

The graveyard shift – comedy, tragedy and shipwrecks

1 April 2017

On Saturday mornings you can usually find me at parkrun. If I feel like a brisk walk I march round the 5k course, rarely coming last unless I’m actually walking with the tail runner to keep her company. Two laps of the Common is a touch boring, so I often just go for a wander and come back to cheer once people begin to finish. Occasionally I wander down to London Road or to Highfield campus to grab a coffee, sometimes I poke about on the Common. Today I decided to visit the Old Cemetery, looking for signs of spring and interesting stories.  Continue reading The graveyard shift – comedy, tragedy and shipwrecks

Around the bend in the river to Clausentum

14 March 2017

With the Care For Walk hike in the New Forest at the weekend and the weather decidedly grim this morning a long walk didn’t seem like the best of plans. As it happened, I had a parcel to collect from the sorting office anyway so, bright and early, before CJ had even got out of bed, I set off for a little stroll. The most direct route is all main roads and not interesting in the slightest and I didn’t want to take the car for such a short journey so I ended up meandering along the river.  Continue reading Around the bend in the river to Clausentum

Postcards from Andrews Park

7 March 2017

Today I had an errand to run. It involved a walk to the top end of town and, while I was there, I thought I’d have a wander round the parks. After my recent search for signs of spring at Millers Pond I was fairly sure they weren’t going to be exactly bursting with flowers but a walk in the parks is always a welcome thing, flowers or not. Besides, there were a few F.G.O. Stuart postcards from the area to recreate.  Continue reading Postcards from Andrews Park

Searching for signs of spring at Millers Pond

28 February 2017

Meteorological spring starts tomorrow, although the vernal equinox and the real, official first day of spring is a few weeks away yet. In the spirit of positive thinking CJ and I set out for Millers Pond this morning in search of signs of spring. It might be considered jumping the gun just a tad but we had high hopes as we set off along Spring Road.  Continue reading Searching for signs of spring at Millers Pond

Signing off – first published 21 March 2014

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The first official day of spring 2014 and, as I walked in the bright chill of the morning, there were songs going through my head. These were songs I haven’t listened to for real for a long time, from an album by reggae band UB40. In fact they were songs from their very first album. You may be wondering why songs about, among other things, Gary Tyler, languishing in a Louisiana gaol for thirty odd years, or Martin Luther King, were going through my head. The reason is the name of the album, Signing Off, named because the band were all on the dole until that album was released. This was the day I was going to sign off myself. Continue reading Signing off – first published 21 March 2014

Monday, Monday and a pain in the knee – First published 17 March 2014

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Mid March 2014, and the last week before I started my new job. There seemed to be an awful lot of loose ends to tie up. Then injuries started rearing their ugly heads. Commando had a twinge in his knee and, despite RICE (not the stuff you cook in boiling water, it’s an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation), he had to cut his final twenty mile run short when it had barely started. It all felt very familiar. The last weeks of my Moonwalk training were beset with knee problems and I only finished the marathon with the help of pain killers and a knee support. Continue reading Monday, Monday and a pain in the knee – First published 17 March 2014

Mud, floods and crowds at Itchen Valley Country Park – first published 9 March 2014

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In early March 2014, Commando went off on a twenty mile Sunday morning run, the penultimate long training run before his marathon. It seemed the ideal opportunity for me to go out on another nice long walk. After lots of poring over maps I decided on a route that would take in the Itchen Valley Country Park. The park runs beside the Itchen and touches on the edges of the Navigation. There are trails through woodland, pasture and water meadows. There is also a visitor centre with a coffee shop, what more could I want? Continue reading Mud, floods and crowds at Itchen Valley Country Park – first published 9 March 2014

Bees, butterflies and regeneration – first published 8 March 2014

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The real sign that winter is over isn’t the flowers or the flush of green on the tips of the branches. No, those are just the window dressing. The real sign that winter is over are the insects, the bees and the butterflies. In early March 2014 the insect seemed to suddenly reappear after their winter absence and I knew Spring wasn’t far off at all. Continue reading Bees, butterflies and regeneration – first published 8 March 2014