Behind the scenes at Southampton parkrun

23 September 2017

In our house it wouldn’t be Saturday if it didn’t start with a trip to Southampton Common for parkrun. Southampton is the busiest parkrun on the South Coast  with between seven hundred to a thousand or more runners each week. As September parkruns were part of the Spitfire Championship and October sees the thirteenth anniversary of the very first parkrun, I thought I’d take a look behind the scenes to see what goes on to make this fabulous free event happen every Saturday morning.  Continue reading Behind the scenes at Southampton parkrun

Keeper of names

16 September 2017

For most of the summer Southampton parkrun has been using the winter course starting and ending near the Cowherds, due to a huge project to upgrade the paddling pool area. For me this has meant no time for wandering in the Old Cemetery while everyone’s running. Today it was back to the more usual start and finish near the Hawthorns, so, as soon as the runners set off, I marched across the grass towards the Old Cemetery gates.  Continue reading Keeper of names

Beyond Graffiti

19 August 2017

With all the decorating going on there have been no proper walks lately. Life has been one long round of cleaning, sanding, painting and organising things like new blinds for the windows and furniture renovations. Although all this has given me plenty of exercise I’ve missed being out with my camera walking so, today, while Commando was running round parkrun, I took a short wander on The Common.  Continue reading Beyond Graffiti

Happy 5th Birthday Southampton parkrun

8 July 2017

This morning it was quite bizarre to rock up at parkrun and find the Run Directors were actually the 118 twins complete with moustaches. Ok, so Rob has usually got some kind of facial hair going on but I’ve never seen Kim with a moustache before. Oddly, it kind of suited her. The reason for all this frivolity was a birthday. Southampton parkrun turned five years old this morning and everyone was in the mood to celebrate. The theme was heroes, obviously. Continue reading Happy 5th Birthday Southampton parkrun

The oldest graves

13 June 2017

There are three large gates entering Southampton Old Cemetery, probably designed to be used by carriages, along with several smaller gates like the one we’d used earlier. One is on Hill Lane, one near Cemetery Lake and one on Cemetery Road. We were now standing in front of the main gate on Cemetery Road. This is the oldest part of the cemetery with the most elaborate graves. We still had a little time before we had to meet Commando so we went inside. Continue reading The oldest graves

Summer tales from the Old Cemetery

13 June 2017

For Commando, one of the hardest things about being ill, apart from the uncertainty about what is wrong with him, has been not being able to run. The consultant Rheumatologist he saw last week didn’t give him a definitive diagnosis but he did give him a steroid injection and told him he could begin to run again as long as his legs were pain free. In fact, he said exercise was a good thing. On Saturday he ambled around parkrun. It was far slower than he’d have liked but it was a run. This evening he decided to go to the Common and have another run on his own. CJ and I went along for a walk as there have been precious few of those lately. Continue reading Summer tales from the Old Cemetery

A small disaster on the Common and some graffiti – first published 5 September 2014

In early September 2014 I’d revisited my past and had a pleasant walk through the parks. Now I was on my way to the Common. As I was passing the old Mad House building a van passed me with its stereo blaring. I often wonder about the hearing of people who play their music so loudly in their vehicles but this time they were playing one of my favourite songs, Kevin Lyttle’s Turn Me On. This was one of those tunes we’d put on the CD player when the marketing team were in the penthouse at Dream Factory. Sometimes we’d even get up and dance around a bit. Hearing this reminded me I had my iPod in my pocket. Once upon a time I almost always had my iPod on when I was walking but lately I’ve hardly used it. I got it out, found the song and set it to shuffle. Continue reading A small disaster on the Common and some graffiti – first published 5 September 2014

More tales from the Old Cemetery

8 April 2017

Even if you’re not a runner there are some advantages to getting up early on a Saturday morning for parkrun. For me this usually means a walk of some kind while Commando is running and, for the second week in a row my feet took me to the Old Cemetery on the Common. At this pont you might be thinking two Saturday mornings walking round a cemetery sounds borderline obsessive. Maybe you’d be right but there was so much still to see I couldn’t resist. This time I took the fancy pants camera with me. Continue reading More tales from the Old Cemetery

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

Racing for a reason – first published 7 July 2014

Six thirty on a Sunday morning is not exactly my favourite time to be crawling out of bed. This is especially true after four ten hour shifts. There was a very good reason for my early start on the second Sunday of July 2014 though. Back at the beginning of the year I’d signed up for the Southampton 10k Race For Life. For me 10k isn’t exactly a stretch but Race For Life is something I feel quite passionate about. Cancer has touched my life more times than I care to remember and raising money for Cancer Research seems like the least I can do. Little did I know back then quite how poignant this particular Race For Life was going to be. Continue reading Racing for a reason – first published 7 July 2014