The changing fortunes of Southsea Castle

2 September 2018

Like most of Henry VIII’s castles, Southsea is a short squat affair. Even as I got closer, it didn’t look any more like my idea of a castle but, of course, today was by no means my first visit. Probably, with a little more warning of today’s walk, I’d have done some research and found something different to look at in Southsea. F.G.O. Stuart took several photographs of the place I could have recreated if I’d had copies on my phone. Still, the castle was there and I had time on my hands. Besides, even familiar places can hide surprises.

Continue reading The changing fortunes of Southsea Castle

A brief history of Southsea, a church and an awful lot of monuments

2 September 2018

The fast boys decided to go for a run in Southsea this morning and, as it was a beautiful sunny day, I thought I’d go along too. We parked up near the Pyramids, fed the parking machine and met up with Rob, Mark and Gil. Then the fast boys ran off and I was all alone to wander, just how I like it.  Continue reading A brief history of Southsea, a church and an awful lot of monuments

Run rabbit run

22 October 2017

This morning we got up for a run we weren’t sure was going to happen. Hot on the heels of hurricane Ophelia came Storm Brian. It arrived on Friday night, all wind and rain battering the bedroom window. On Saturday morning I did the unthinkable and stayed in bed nursing a cold I’ve picked up from CJ while Commando went to parkrun in the howling gale. Even parkrun was in doubt but, after Commando and Rob, who was RD for the morning, walked round to check for fallen trees, it did go ahead. Meanwhile, a few miles along the coast in Southsea, the Saturday Great South Run events were being cancelled and there were some doubts whether the ten mile race today would go ahead. Continue reading Run rabbit run

Pieces of Eight

8 October 2017

With the Winchester walks, the Half Marathon and the CC6’s, it seems like years since I last had a nice quiet Sunday. When I went to parkrun yesterday morning I thought I’d be getting a lie in today. While we were having our post run coffee though, everyone was talking about races. Almost everyone was running either the Portsmouth Pieces of Eight or the Bournemouth Half Marathon. Everyone except Commando and Rob that is. All of a sudden they had a bad case of race envy. Before I knew what was going on they’d decided to try to get last minute places for Pieces of Eight and I was waving goodbye to the idea of a lie in.   Continue reading Pieces of Eight

Spitfire spotting at the Great South Run

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23 October 2016

As Kylie and I strode off across Southsea Common past food vans that made our mouths water and through crowds of other spectators all vying for good positions, I rang Commando. He’d had a head start on the position finding front and told me he was on the opposite side of the common somewhere near mile five, or so he thought. Given the size of the common and the number of people, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to find him.  Continue reading Spitfire spotting at the Great South Run

Bunny ears and the Great South Run

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23 October 2016

Another Sunday morning and another cold, early start. This time it was for one of the biggest races of the season, The Great South Run.  The sun was barely up when we set off for Portsmouth. The race didn’t start for hours but we knew finding somewhere to park wouldn’t be easy and we didn’t want to miss the team photo. There was a tiny amount of getting lost and some entering Portsmouth then leaving, then reentering Portsmouth from the opposite side, but I wasn’t driving so I’m not taking the blame. Continue reading Bunny ears and the Great South Run

So why do they call it the Muddy Beach Run? – first published 23 February 2014

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Something was bothering me about Commando’s half marathon as I struggled against the wind in February 2014. The alternative name was the Muddy Beach Run! Now anyone who knows Commando knows he is rather fond of being clean. He is even more fond of his car being clean and we’d driven down to Southsea in his car, not mine. Muddy Beach Run conjured up images of people barely recognisable under a thick sticky coating of, well, mud. Somehow I could see things going very badly. Continue reading So why do they call it the Muddy Beach Run? – first published 23 February 2014

The Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon – first published 23 February 2014

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The worst thing about races is the getting up early on a Sunday morning. On 23 February 2014 we were out of the house at about eight and on our way to Portsmouth. I, for one, was barely awake. The blast of freezing air between the house and the car did help with that but it didn’t inspire a great deal of enthusiasm for walking along the sea front. Continue reading The Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon – first published 23 February 2014

2015 disasters, history, mysteries and a marathon

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29 December 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching so the time has come to reflect. Over the next few days I will be looking back at the the highs and lows of the old year and reminding myself of the places I discovered and the lessons I learned. Along the way I’m hoping to get a little inspiration for the year ahead. Maybe there are places that could stand further exploration or mysteries that still need solving…
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A little time travel, Southsea Sea front – first published 24 February 2013

Clarence Pier
Clarence Pier

One Sunday morning towards the end of February 2013, Commando said he was going for a run along Southsea seafront. Of course, I tagged along to have a little walk. Commando had borrowed a snazzy gadget from a friend that linked camera to iPad to download photos so, to test it out, I took my real camera rather than my iPhone. If it worked well I might even buy myself one. Continue reading A little time travel, Southsea Sea front – first published 24 February 2013