A blustery day and a boating lake update

10 August 2019

After a night of alarmingly high winds, Southampton Common looked a little the worse for wear when we arrived this morning. There were leaves, twigs and even small branches littering the path as we headed towards the start area. As this path is also part of the course, it was a bit of a worry but we knew ED Rob, RD Kate and park ranger Ian would have walked or cycled round the course to do a risk assessment.

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Storm Damage

23 April 2018

Back in 2016, when Commando, CJ and I worked so hard to build my summerhouse, we could never have dreamed it would end this way. Nothing lasts forever but, as we painted and hefted and built, we believed the pretty little house would grace our garden for many years to come. It was the perfect place to sit in the shade on a sunny afternoon, a place to plant seeds, relax and sometimes even write. When we got back from the marathon and inspected the damage inflicted by the storm and the flood though, it was clear there’d be no more relaxing, planting or writing.  Continue reading Storm Damage

The Marathon after the storm

22 April 2018

Sleep didn’t come easy last night. I stayed up far too late writing about the peculiar storm and flood while it was fresh in my mind. When I did go to bed it was hard to sleep. The lightning was still flashing like a manic disco ball outside the bedroom window. My mind was racing, filled with images of those huge tubs floating across the garden and worries about what the water was doing outside. It really did feel as if we were in a Winnie the Pooh story and, at any moment, Pooh and Christopher Robin would come to rescue us in an upturned umbrella.

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In which we are entirely surrounded by water

21 April 2018

The peculiar heatwave that began on the night of the RR10 and baked us in thirty degree heat on our walk to Hamble continued for the next couple of days. It had all my running friends a little worried. The Southampton and London marathons were coming up. Everyone had trained in nothing but cold wetness. This morning weather warnings were posted. Marathon day was going to be hot, possibly hotter that the record breaking marathon day in 1996 when temperatures hit 22.7C. Heat is never a good thing when you’re running a marathon. Thunderstorms and heavy showers were forecast for this afternoon too but nothing could have prepared us for what actually happened.  Continue reading In which we are entirely surrounded by water



20 November 2016

Commando has run the Gosport Half Marathon several times, in wind, rain, sun and even combinations of all three at once. The route along the coast can be problematic, especially when it’s windy and with storm Angus Sweeping across the country bringing a night of torrential rain and high wind, there was some doubt it would even go ahead today. In fact, a message on Facebook told us the organisers would make a final decision at 8:30. Of course, we had to leave home before then, not really knowing if we would have a fruitless drive or a race ahead of us.

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The Power of the sea – first published 6 March 2014


In early March 2014 the sea had called me and I’d answered with a walk down to the shore. There were signs of Spring everywhere, along with signs of the terrible winter storms. Parts of the path were crumbling and, as I passed West Lodge I wondered what the damage would be along there. What I found makes quite an interesting tale, mostly about the amazing power of the sea. Continue reading The Power of the sea – first published 6 March 2014

Fallen trees and interview techniques – first published 13 february 2014


Some of my random and slightly desperate applying for jobs had resulted in a job interview back in February 2014. It was with a large financial institution in the city centre. Anyone who knows me will tell you finance and figures isn’t really my thing. I’m pretty sure I only applied to make up the numbers on my job search form but still, a job was a job. Continue reading Fallen trees and interview techniques – first published 13 february 2014

A step back in time – first published 11 February 2014


The second week of February 2014 I found myself revisiting my lost youth. No, I didn’t go out buying mini skirts, dying my hair pink or spending all night in a nightclub. This case of revisiting my lost youth was more about trying to find college courses in my area. This, in turn, was about making me slightly more employable, not to mention giving me something interesting to do.  Continue reading A step back in time – first published 11 February 2014

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


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

Signing on – first published 2 January 2013


2013 was finally over and it was a year I was glad to see the back of. 2014 came in with a bang in Southampton. At midnight we opened the back door to let 2013 out and open the champagne. It was raining. We opened the front door to welcome 2014 in, look at the fireworks and listen to the boats. We didn’t stay out long because the rain started teeming down. As we sat back down in front of the fire there was a flash of lightening and a tremendous clap of thunder and all hell broke loose with the rain. We hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come, 2013 had been stormy enough thank you very much. Continue reading Signing on – first published 2 January 2013